6 ways porn is stopping you from living the good life

Watching porn seems to be a perfectly acceptable activity in modern days. It’s not spoken of in polite conversation, but come on, we all know what’s going on.

I’m guessing almost everybody over the age of 18 in the western world has watched porn at some point or another. It would be hard not to. It’s everywhere.

Here’s something that’s not too obvious about porn. It’s a drug.

It’s not a leaf that you smoke, or a powder that you snort, or a liquid that you drink or inject, so it doesn’t really fit our traditional concept of a drug.

But what it lacks in material characteristics, it makes up for with effects on brain and body.

Just check out the research cited on Your brain on porn to find out that the effects of cocaine or heroin addiction on the brain and the effects of porn addiction are more or less the same.

Without further ado, here are six ways porn is holding you back:

1. It builds up toxic shame

When you do something secretive, like furtively slithering into the nearest bathroom stall to jerk off to porn, you will certainly feel shame.

If you make it a habit, that shame builds up.

Toxic shame will affect all aspects of your life, but most noticeably your relationships, your motivation, and your self-confidence.

You will feel guilty and shameful around others, if subconsciously, and you’ll feel like you are worthless as a human being.

This results in social anxiety which can become very severe, depending on how long you’ve been using porn and how intensively.

If you’re reading this, chances are you yourself are addicted to porn, or someone close to you is. You’ll know what I’m talking about.

This crippling social anxiety leads to the next point, which is:

2. It pushes you into depression

We humans are a gregarious bunch. Healthy social relationships are imperative to our well-being and sense of fulfillment.

When we feel anxious around other people, that’s bad enough. Many of us have felt pangs of social anxiety in our lives, because it’s a natural response to difficult or novel social experiences.

But when that feeling intensifies, and becomes perpetual, and it becomes so bad that you start avoiding other people and social gatherings, that’s when some real problems can arise.

We need other people. No man is an island. How true.

When we don’t connect with others, we sink into despair. We may not even understand exactly what’s wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that we feel pretty sh**ty.

Now allow a person to wallow in this sorry state for long enough, and you’ll have a case of severe depression.

It may be difficult to connect the dots. I know it certainly eluded me for a long, long time.

As years have gone by, and the more I’ve read about psychology and the nature of addiction, it all started to become more and more obvious to me.

Do yourself a favor, if you’re suffering from pornography addiction: Study your affliction.

Learn all there is to learn about it, and from there make a game plan on how to overcome it. Don’t let yourself become complacent.

In today’s society of Prozac and Netflix, it’s easier than ever to avoid facing the truth.

Become aware of the fact that avoidance is not helping you.

3. It skews your perception of reality

My generation was the first generation that grew up with high-speed internet porn.

Right before I hit puberty, I started getting my sex education from hardcore, degrading scenes, demeaning to both men and women.

From there it slowly increased until it reached a tipping point when I was twenty-one.

At that point, I was constantly undressing everyone mentally, men and women. I would ask myself how many guys a girl had had sex with, or I would imagine orgies upon orgies next door or down the street.

Porn had given me a sense of reality that was so twisted, so far removed from what was actually normal, that it seems unbelievable to me now.

I didn’t view other people as, well, people. I viewed them as objects. Sexual objects. I saw them through the lens of hardcore pornography.

The mass media in western societies tries to paint us a certain picture of reality, which seems to be closely linked to the porn industry. All advertisements seem to portray sexual fantasies of some sort, and so do movies and TV.

Just to make this clear, I am in no way saying that people shouldn’t be having sex. I love sex. Loads of sex. All kinds of sex, between willing people.

That’s not really the issue.

What happens when you grow up thinking that everybody is constantly sleeping with everybody else, except you?

You’ll develop a sense of something being wrong. Obviously, your model of reality is at fault, but more often, we end up thinking that there must be something wrong with us.

And that’s the issue.

4. It feeds on your energy (and leaves you drained)

Anyone who’s binged on porn knows the feeling of utter depletion and lethargy after a marathon fapping session.

There’s so much stimulation, so much dopamine, that you become absolutely exhausted.

You know, there’s a famous study where rats were given two levers to pull, the first would deliver a piece of food, and the second would directly stimulate their brain’s pleasure circuits.

The male rats would end up pulling the second lever thousands of times per day, ignoring females in heat, food (even if they were starving) and even water (even when dying of thirst).

They were trapped in a cycle of super-stimulation.

Which is exactly what high-speed internet porn is. A single partner, however sexy, cannot compare to porn star after porn star after porn star.

There’s a concept in behavioral science called the Coolidge effect, named after U.S. president Calvin Coolidge. I won’t go into the story of the name, but the concept itself has to do with sexual selection.

When a male rat (in the case of this study) is presented with a willing female, he’ll copulate with her, take a rest, and then, god willing, he’ll go at it again.

But after a few times he’ll have had enough of her and start to look for something else to engage in.

However, when the same rat is presented with a succession of new female rats, he will keep going until the little guy collapses from exhaustion. What a life!

Again, this is exactly what porn does to the male mind. Partner after partner after partner (however pixelated and distant).

We can constantly look for novel sexual experiences through porn. You can watch hundreds of videos within an hour, with different actors and actresses each time.

This is devastating to our mammalian brains.

Which is why so many people who give up porn report a surge in energy.

It’s not so much that quitting porn gives you energy, it’s that porn has been draining it from you your entire adult life.

5. Other aspects of life become bleak and meaningless

When we’re stuck in a cycle of overstimulation or superstimulation, we start to feel that the stimulation is the only thing that matters.

Sex is one thing, but the intense superstimulation of high-speed internet porn is another.

We feel this to a lesser degree when we binge on a good television show or even when we become engrossed in a great book.

It’s the same principle, except with internet porn the effects are multiplied.

When I was at my worst with regards to using porn, nothing compared.

Wherever I was in life, whoever I met, whatever I was doing, no matter how interesting or enjoyable it should have been, the main priority in my mind was figuring out when I would get a chance to fap again.

It’s very sad, and fortunately today I’m in a much better place. Not perfect, but certainly a hundred times better than I’ve ever been.

Neurologically, what happens (and bear with me, I’m no neurologist) is that our brains become overly sensitive to the neurochemical dopamine.

Dopamine is the chemical responsible for motivation, excitement and anticipation. It’s not so much a feel good chemical as much as it is a motivator for seeking feel-good behavior.

What happens when we constantly overstimulate our dopamine receptors? They start to become less sensitive to dopamine, via a process called sensitization.

What this means is that you need more dopamine to feel the same amount of motivation or excitement as before.

So it becomes more difficult to find pornography to satisfy you, leading you to search for more intense, shocking scenes, but more importantly, other activities can no longer hold a candle to the dopamine explosions of porn.

Things like eating a tasty sandwich, going for a run, meeting up with friends, or going out of the house at all start to seem pointless.

The drive is gone, because the dopamine these activities normally produce just don’t cut it anymore for the sensitized brain.

Practically speaking, life loses its color.

6. It warps your sense of self (and your sexual identity)

When the brain has become sensitized to dopamine, vanilla porn is no longer enough to arouse you.

You start looking for more shocking, intense, or even brutal scenes. You may start to look for things that disgusted you before, or scenes that don’t match your sexual preferences.

And this can go on for years.

As you sink further into the dregs of the porniverse, you start to lose yourself. You start to think that your new, often disgusting preferences are just a part of who you are.

You may start to doubt your heterosexuality (or maybe your homosexuality), or your gender.

I’ve become so lost, and so confused as to who I was, that it drove me into deep depression and filled my day to day life with anxiety.

Fantasies of domination and of being dominated started to become very strong and overtook my thought processes many times a day.

It’s like compulsive porn use exaggerates the extremes of sexual fantasy.

Wherever I went, I couldn’t stop obsessing over my sexuality. In a healthy human being, sex is only a big deal when it’s available, or after long periods of abstinence. In the porn-riddled mind, sex is always on your mind.

I’m going to write a lot more about what I’ve learned about porn addiction, and other aspects of sexuality in the future. I also want to go over the necessary steps to overcoming this monster of an addiction.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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