Is Porn Ruining Your Relationship?

Is Porn Ruining Your Relationships?

Is Porn Ruining Your Relationship?
Is Porn Ruining Your Relationship?

Is Porn Ruining Your Relationships?

The purpose of pornographic material is to stimulate the brain and emotions. When someone watches or reads pornographic materials, certain things begin to happen within the body. Neurons become activated by what’s read or watched.

How Pornography Affects the Brain

A pornography addiction can strike anyone. Access to the material is greater than ever and there’s an ease of being able to get to it and get a wide variety of it at any time day or night. Even children can become addicted to pornography and there’s a reason that this addiction happens.

Whenever pornography is viewed or read, it stimulates neurons and causes a chemical reaction to take place within the brain. This is the same chemical reaction that happens whenever someone uses drugs. Both kinds of use cause the person using them to feel good. A Cambridge University study revealed there were identical changes in the brains of people addicted to porn and people addicted to drugs.

One of the reasons that taking drugs makes people feel good or gives them a high is because these drugs make the brain release dopamine. Watching or reading pornography causes this same release that a person would get if he or she used cocaine or methamphetamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s basically a chemical. Its purpose in the brain is to pass on signals from one part of the brain to the next. In normal use, these transmitters just process signals. Some of these signals have to do with feeling excited or happy. Feeling surprised or stunned also causes the release of dopamine.

Dopamine is often called the reward chemical. It works by giving the person a release based on an action that they’re doing. It’s one of the reasons that your brain can become addicted to any substance that causes you to feel pleasure.

When a person engages in any activity that causes the release of dopamine to increase, the way the neurons transmit messages is changed from the original format. The thought processes end up affected and can lead to behavioral changes. This pathway within your brain has a regular purpose and when dopamine is released the way it should be, it has no lasting effect on your brain.

Why Pornography Can Become an Addiction

When substances such as drugs or pornography are introduced to the brain, they take over the dopamine release. This takeover pulls the dopamine away from its normal production process and makes it increase dramatically. Viewing porn forces the brain to produce dopamine at a higher than normal level. This release causes a flood of good feelings to flood your body. The same way drugs do.

The reason this is dangerous is because the dopamine is pulled away from the regular job it’s supposed to do. So what happens is it creates a new area or a neurotransmitter walkway within the brain just for this pornography addiction. Because the viewing of the porn makes you feel good, you feel rewarded.

The dopamine that created this new area finds that same walkway in the brain. Sort of like wearing a footpath in the grass. Your brain will head right that way again. This makes that area easy for the person to tap into again and again. Once that area within the brain is changed, it lays the foundation upon which future behaviors are built.

What usually happens when these areas in the brain are thwarted from their original purpose is someone goes from viewing porn every now and then to viewing it regularly. From that point, it becomes easy for it to turn into something that the person just cannot live without. Their body will give them the same reaction that they’d get from drugs and that includes the drive to do whatever it takes to get that dopamine release.

Just like with taking drugs, you have to have it or you feel terrible, You can feel jittery and on edge, the same way you’d feel if you were addicted to drugs and got cut off from the supply. By the time a person is addicted, it can be difficult to stop using it. Pornography rewires the area of your brain and when that area is changed, an addiction is born. The thing about an addiction is that anyone can become addicted – even if they don’t really want to be addicted.

The person won’t be able to help themselves because now, the chemical reaction in the brain is firmly established. Once this happens, you have to keep using to be able to function. By the time a person becomes addicted to pornography, the brain is producing massive amounts of dopamine. More than it normally would. When drugs are taken, the body will build up an immunity or tolerance to the drug by the time it reaches a certain dosage.

The exact same thing happens with the amount of dopamine released. Those first few times make you feel so good, you keep on. So the brain produces more which leads a person to wanting to view more pornography to keep on feeling good and at this point, they don’t always realize they’re dealing with an addiction. The more pornography you view, the more you must have because after awhile, you have to make the brain produce greater quantities of dopamine.

Otherwise, you don’t feel that same high or feel good sensation that you used to get. Your brain knows when enough dopamine is enough. So it works to try and find a better, more normal level of the chemical. It does this by cutting off the supply of dopamine to the brain’s receptors. This is why that feel good sensation doesn’t feel as powerful as it did in the beginning.

When this happens, most people who are addicted to pornography begin to spend more time viewing it, add new pornographic material or they go after pornography that’s even more graphic. That’s because the addiction is craving that dopamine your brain is trying to limit.

Pornography Blurs the Line Between Reality and Fantasy

It’s a scientific fact that watching pornography can affect your brain. In a study shown in the JAMA Psychiatry, the subjects studied revealed the that volume of brain matter was changed and motivation was also affected. The conclusion was that more studies on how pornography affects people needed to be done.

Once a person gets used to viewing pornography images, there are other changes that also take place in the brain besides dopamine levels and volume. One of these changes is the blurring of the line between reality and fantasy. It creates an alternate universe where anything can go. The sex can be over the top and the actors up for anything regardless of if the act is degrading, painful or not even feasible.

This blurred line causes the viewer to take on the mindset that what he or she views in fantasy can actually become a part of their reality. The learn to believe that if they can see it acted out, then they can have it in their own lives. But what viewers often fail to realize is that what they see on the screen is not real and the actors are being paid to perform.

They see images without consequences and fall prey to the belief that the same can be had in their own lives. The mind can then begin to blur the lines between what’s real and what isn’t which can lead people to act in ways that they normally would not act. Viewing pornography can raise a person’s sex drive past the normal limit. When a person views porn and is stimulated sexually, the drive to have more sex increases but engaging in porn can affect the body as well as the mind.

A recent online survey compiled of people who regularly used pornography to stimulate themselves revealed that more than 50% of pornographic viewers had to watch more deviant pornographic images to feel the same high. Young people who took the survey showed that some percentages struggled with reaching a climax too soon.

Others found it difficult to have a climax at all. Erectile dysfunction is another way that viewing pornographic images impacted the young people in the survey. But besides changes in the brain and how viewing porn can affect the ability to perform sexually once an addiction is created, this habit can have a negative impact on your relationships with other people.

The biggest area of impact seen with pornography viewing is seen in marriages and in relationships between two committed partners.

Pornography’s Impact on Relationships

There seems to be a misconception that only men regularly engage in pornography. But women also take part in the habit and while the statistics show that men do so far more than women, women tend to keep quieter on the matter. But whether the person watching it is a man or woman, all forms of pornography are one dimensional and based on fantasy.

Unlike real life, what pornography offers people is a hassle-free opportunity to engage in sex with as many people as they want to without seeming to suffer any consequences. So it feels like a harmless, win-win situation to people who use it.

But pornography’s biggest impact is how it affects the real life relationships. When a person takes part in regular viewing of pornographic material, it eradicates the desire to engage in intimacy with a spouse or significant other. Because with pornography, there’s no giving. It’s all receiving.

It also creates an unrealistic view of people as human beings rather than as objects used for merely performing sex acts. This type of objectification occurs with people you may know and even with people you don’t know.

A desensitization occurs with exposure to pornography. Those who view it begin to be far less thoughtful of other people. This is traced back to viewing people as objects. As a result of this it affects relationships because there’s a lack of consideration, of interest or care in what the person thinks or needs.

One of the biggest things that change with relationships when pornography is involved is a lack of empathy toward the gender of the person you’re used to viewing in pornographic material.

For example, men who see a lot of women in the types of acts shown in pornography don’t feel as concerned that something might negatively impact the women in his life. Women become a means to sexual gratification. And because some porn shows violence toward women, men can become apathetic towards violence against women.

For women, they can gain an unrealistic view of the men in their lives. They can also objective men and compare them to the images they have from pornographic materials. No man can stand up to the fantasy men portrayed by the actors.

As a result, a woman can feel unsatisfied with her significant other and unhappy when her expectations aren’t met. Both sexes actually experience unrealistic expectations from their significant other after they’ve engaged in porn usage for a while. It causes them to want the person they care about to be like what they’ve found on the screen.

They want someone that’s available when they want to them to be and can perform in the ways that they’ve seen. When this doesn’t happen, it can lead to frustration, unhappiness and in some cases depression.

Both men and women who have a partner that uses pornography to stimulate themselves can begin to feel inadequate when new demands are placed on them sexually. They can also experience emotional wounded by the lack of care and concern from the one viewing the porn.

Women often feel like they’re of less value during intimacy when their partner has a pornographic habit because they’re concerned about not “measuring up.” Men can experience the same feelings when the person they’re involved with uses porn.

Watching pornography removes the intimacy level from the act of sex. It replaces it with a focus on simply being gratified rather than having an emotional involvement. If done often enough, the habit can overtake the desire for intimacy to the point where the person actually prefers watching porn to engaging with a real person.

Pornography uses certain themes to promote the appetite for sex. This causes the level of sex to decrease between partners because the appetite can only be fed by the porn and it decreases the ability to be turned on by a partner.

More often than not, watching porn is done without the knowledge of the partner. It’s hidden and done in secret. This can cause feelings of guilt and shame when the partner wants to engage in intimacy but the sex drive has already been fulfilled by viewing the porn.

It can also lead to lying in a relationship. Many people feel the need to hide their pornography viewing and so they lie to their partner about their actions. If they’re found out, this leads to a lack of trust and can be followed by a break in the relationship.