The Biochemistry of Porn Addiction-How Your Brain Gets Hijacked

The Biochemistry of Porn.  Porn changes your brain and your brain effects your addiction

Heavy users of porn often arrive at a certain mind/body place characterized by:

  • Distress about escalation to more extreme porn
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Copulatory impotence (can get it up for porn, not partners)
  • Frequent masturbation, little satisfaction
  • Worsening social anxiety or lack of confidence
  • Growing erectile dysfunction, even with extreme porn
  • Morphing porn tastes that don’t match sexual orientation
  • Inability to concentrate, extreme restlessness
  • Depression, anxiety, brain fog

These are symptoms that arise from addiction-related brain changes in your neurochemistry resulting from a depleted dopamine and dopamine receptors supply. The reward circuits in your brain contain structures that influence emotions, moods, cognitive function, stress response, the autonomic nervous system, and the endocrine system — all linked to low dopamine and low dopamine receptors.

“Gotta Have It NOW” – The Effects of Dopamine Binges

The desire and motivation to have sex arises from a neuro-chemical called dopamine.  Dopamine amps up the primitive part of the brain – the reward circuitry.  It’s where we experience cravings and pleasure, and where we get addicted.  Every time you indulge in a porn binge, your brain is awash with high levels of dopamine.  You don’t really seek sex; you seek a “dopamine rush.”

The evolutionary purpose of dopamine is to motive you to do what serves your genes.  The bigger the squirt of dopamine, the more you crave something.  No dopamine and you just ignore it.  Sexual arousal and orgasm are the biggest natural blasts of dopamin available to your reward circuitry.  One of dopamine’s nicknames is the “molecule of addiction.”

In fact, the actual sense of “reward” comes from opioids released into the brain.  The reason that you never really feel satisfied looking at porn is because dopamine is all about seeking and searching for reward, the anticipation of pleasure rather than the experience of pleasure.  Dopamine induces wanting, craving, looking for. It’s wanting run amok.  It’s the “gotta have it, gotta have it” mechanism that runs in your brain. Being in a state of continual craving was defined by the Buddha as “suffering.”

Novelty and More Novelty

Dopamine seeks novelty.  As the thrill of a new porn image or scene begins to become routine, dopamine plummets and you begin to get the side effects mentioned above.  To avoid those unwanted states, you become more glued to the internet to get another dose of dopamine.  The problem is that the “same-old-same-old” doesn’t do the trick.

When researches showed the same erotic film repeatedly, test subjects’ reported a progressive decrease in sexual arousal.  Habituation set in and dopamine levels declined.  After many viewings of the film, the researchers showed novel erotica and the subjects and their penises sprang to attention.  Novelty had given their brains a shot of dopamine.

Internet porn is compelling because novelty is just a click away.  When you were once satisfied to see a well-formed bottom, you now need a novel “mate,” unusual scene, bondage/discipline, women with animals, kiddie porn, acts of severe brutality against women, — you fill in the blank.

When a person has unlimited access to this artificial super-stimulating reward system, the brain adapts.   This is addiction.  It’s not addiction to sex, per se, it’s an addiction to increasingly novel pixels on a computer screen.

Your “arousal template” is changed.  Your partner no longer turns you on.  You experience porn-related erectile dysfunction.  It’s part of the “pain of the pleasure” – part of the devastating effects of continually watching Internet porn.

If you’re interested in treatment, contact me (dorothyhayden1231@gmail.com) for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

http://www.yourbrainonporn.com

http://www.sextreatment.com

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2 thoughts on “The Biochemistry of Porn Addiction-How Your Brain Gets Hijacked

  1. Pingback: Dopamine and Porn Addiction - How Your Brain Gets Hijacked | Dopamine Function

  2. Pingback: About the experiment « H.E. Olsson

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