THE PROB­LEM WITH PORNOG­RA­PHY

The rea­sons & con­se­quences be­hind ad­dic­tion to pornog­ra­phy

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Susie Flash­man Jarvis

Ispend a great deal of my time talk­ing about the prob­lems of pornog­ra­phy and I am al­ways sur­prised at how lit­tle is known about it. Wher­ever I speak, men and women are shocked at the in­for­ma­tion that I share. So maybe I will shock you too, as we in­ves­ti­gate the prob­lem of ad­dic­tion to pornog­ra­phy.

WHY DO PEO­PLE USE PORNOG­RA­PHY?

1. Lone­li­ness It can be a lonely world out there, in a so­ci­ety where so many peo­ple are iso­lated due to another ad­dic­tion i.e. screens. So, peo­ple are find­ing al­ter­na­tive ways to con­nect. We all have a drive to be­long and for many peo­ple pornog­ra­phy ap­pears, at first to meet that need. 2. Stress

There is in­creas­ing pres­sure to per­form, to move up the ranks in the busi­ness world, to suc­ceed on many lev­els, at home, as well as at work and thus more of a need to self-soothe and re-bal­ance. The re­lease of an or­gasm how­ever it is reached, can re­lease some of that stress, the prob­lem with pornog­ra­phy is that it brings with it a host of ad­di­tional stresses that are not so eas­ily reme­died. 3. A bor­ing sex life For some it may bring stim­u­la­tion within a bored sex­ual re­la­tion­ship and it is ei­ther shared as stim­u­la­tion or used se­cretly.

WHAT IS THE COST OF AD­DIC­TION TO PORNOG­RA­PHY?

Ad­dic­tion has at its core a drive to deal with feel­ings that are of­ten un­spo­ken, ex­pe­ri­enced as in­tol­er­a­ble. But the cost of this ad­dic­tion is a whole new set of emo­tions that need to be man­aged, the con­se­quences of which are of­ten se­vere, leav­ing the feel­ings that were there orig­i­nally, as pref­er­en­tial. As a speaker, coach, coun­sel­lor and writer, I have met men and women who are hav­ing to live with con­se­quences which can be se­vere. One man I met had lost his job and had not seen his fam­ily, his wife and chil­dren for many years.

WHAT DOES A PORNOG­RA­PHY AD­DIC­TION DO TO THE BRAIN?

Dopamine is a chem­i­cal that is re­leased within the brain as a re­ward for ac­tions taken. For ex­am­ple, when you eat a good meal or when you have good sex dopamine is re­leased. The prob­lem when dopamine is re­leased while view­ing pornog­ra­phy, is that it starts to take more

ex­treme images to get to the same ‘high’. Just like a co­caine ad­dict, even more of the drug is needed just to feel nor­mal. The truth is that just like co­caine ad­dic­tion, the prob­lem of ad­dic­tion to pornog­ra­phy is that it re-hard­wires the brain.

WHAT OTHER CON­SE­QUENCES DOES PORNOG­RA­PHY HAVE ON YOUR BODY?

There is now a con­di­tion that af­fects men called porn in­duced erec­tile dys­func­tion. This means that it takes more ex­treme images for men ad­dicted to pornog­ra­phy to have an erec­tion. Also, it means that when men try to have sex with their part­ners, if their part­ner seems less than per­fect then they will not have what it takes. The re­sults in mar­riages are dis­as­trous. I have sat with many women who feel be­trayed by their man who chooses to have sex with another woman. This is how they feel about their part­ner watch­ing pornog­ra­phy, they can’t com­pete with an im­age on a com­puter. Whilst it can re­ally dam­age men in the way they view women, it also af­fects women mak­ing them feel in­ad­e­quate.

WHAT ABOUT YOUNG PEO­PLE, EVEN CHIL­DREN?

They are stum­bling across pornog­ra­phy at very young ages, some­times as young as five and teenagers are get­ting their sex ed­u­ca­tion from the in­ter­net. They are form­ing views that sex is of­ten about vi­o­lence, not in­ti­macy as well have lit­tle un­der­stand­ing about con­sent. Their brains are be­ing re-hard­wired as teenagers any­way and so the dam­age that pornog­ra­phy can do is im­mense. It is cru­cial that par­ents have se­cu­rity on their home com­put­ers as many chil­dren state that the first time they stum­ble across pornog­ra­phy, is at home.

WHAT’S TO BE DONE?

Seek help. There are var­i­ous sup­port groups avail­able. A few in­clude:

• Sex ad­dicts anony­mous

• Thenakedtruth­pro­ject.com

What­ever hap­pens, do not do this jour­ney alone. Find some­one to be ac­count­able to…and be en­cour­aged. There is a way to over­come the prob­lem with pornog­ra­phy.

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