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Is Porn Addiction Symptom Or Cause?
Is Porn Addiction A Symptom Or A Cause of Issues?
Let me make something clear here... Not everyone uses porn because of underlying issues.
We are in a new day and age where you do not just have your "classic" addict who has a history of abuse, or some kind of traumatic experience, or self esteem issues. Now that there is an unlimited supply of supernormal stimuli available and for free, we have a whole new "contemporary" addict who simply has chronically used something pleasurable, that is accepted by society, and has in turn changed their brain. Chronic over-consumption of anything intensely stimulating can cause sensitization, and desensitization.
Of course pre-existing conditions do increase some users' vulnerability to addiction. Yet therapists are increasingly seeing another type of porn addiction that is not dependent on pre-existing conditions.
They are labeling it in various ways including "opportunity addiction" and "contemporary rapid-onset addiction." Unlike classical 'sex addiction,' this type of addiction is to internet porn and has more to do with having access to, and watching porn on the internet, than inherent vulnerabilities, which may or may not be present.
Some guys watch porn to experience pleasure, some to ease pain. Both think that it will fill their life with joy, both are wrong.
John Mayer, a guy who dates supermodels, said he would rather watch porn and fantasize over having sex with a real woman than have sex. His brain has changed. His life doesn't suck.... In his interview with Playboy he said this when talking about how stimulating internet porn is:
Quote You're looking for the one ... out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don't finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that [thumbnail] was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work.
Really understand this: If a young teenage boy has unlimited access to naked females/males doing things he has never heard of, he does not have to have an 'issue' for him to over-consume the supernormal stimulus in front of his eyes. He is naturally wired to find it arousing. Then slap A) the novelty factor in, where a teen can always escalate into more shocking material. And B) the fact that a teens brain is more vulnerable to addiction, and you have a recipe for disaster... or I should say sensitization.
(For further reading on the impact of todays porn on the teenage brain read these: Porn Then And Now: Welcome To Brain Training, Why Shouldn't Johnny Watch Porn If He Likes, or watch this video presentation on the teenage brain! )
I and 3 other of my good friends experienced porn-related dysfunctions. All of us were normal dudes with normal lives. Why did we all watch porn? Because we thought it was awesome and felt amazing "busting all kinds of nuts ". We were unaware that it might have a negative physical impact. In fact, I didn't believe porn could be the cause of my problems until I did the PIED test. I had ED for about a year before I figured it out, since I could get it up with porn. I had no clue what kept me limp with a partner.
Porn-induced ED is porn induced.... not issue induced. Without chronic over-consumption of porn there would hardly ever be chronic ED in young guys.
Now, I would agree that there are many guys still struggling with porn addiction who have some underlying issue, but not all. Some have simply watched a lot of highly stimulating porn from a young age and have addiction-related brain changes. Namely, 1) Sensitization, a highway in our brain that makes us crave porn. 2) Desensitization, a numbed response to other pleasure and normal sexual stimulation, making us crave more stimulation (porn). 3) Hypofrontality, weak executive control in our frontal cortex so we make bad decisions...and watch porn.
You do not have to be predisposed to become addicted. You just have to chronically over-consume porn, which can lead to brain changes.
However, both groups of guys, the pleasure seekers and the pain avoiders, need to get out and enjoy life. So the message still stands, Get busy doing other healthy things.
Simply put, porn addiction recovery is more about "why you can't stop", than it is "why you are addicted". You cannot become addicted to something without chronically over-consuming it.
Some will have issues to acknowledge and take care of, which have led them to use porn. Others will simply need to stop watching it and replace it. BOTH groups need to fill the void that giving up porn leaves in their schedule and mind with something healthy and/or productive. BOTH groups need to learn how porn re-wires and numbs the brain. BOTH groups need to understand that staying away from porn does not mean you will miss out on pleasure, It means you may finally experience it to the fullest.
The Great Porn Experiment
Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction
Your Brain On Porn
Adolescent Brain Meets Highspeed Internet Porn
The Science of Pornography Addiction
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