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There are of course many forms of addiction that impact on relationships, this blog is about addiction to internet porn.
Over the past month or so I have had conversations with three different women about a serious problem they were experiencing in their relationships.
Their partners were addicted to internet porn, could no longer be intimate with them or get an erection. It’s a serious problem, it’s not going to go away and I have serious concerns for the young men of today who are growing up with access to internet porn who may never be able to engage in a loving, intimate relationship.
I did some research on the subject and found this information on manupproject.com.au which describes the circumstances from a man’s perspective much better than I ever could.
In this post I wanted to take a closer look at a particular type of addiction that is gripping men and having devastating effects on their relationship and their own health.
At the click of a button men can have access to thousands and thousands of images of a pornographic nature. John Mayer, who is quite open about his porn addiction, once said that it’s not unusual for him to be able to see 300 vagina’s before he gets out of bed in the morning. Was that possible prior to high speed internet? Of course not but it is now.
So let’s paint the scene for you. A man has been using sex, masturbation and porn for most of his adult life to help himself deal with the low grade depression/anxiety that he has been feeling. He works from home which is adding to the feelings of anxiety. He begins to watch more and more porn looking for the perfect video flicking from one to another trying to get his fantasy fulfilled.
He is partial to young women so his search is usually for this. After a period of time the videos he used to watch no longer get him aroused so he searches for harder hits to try and get himself off. His partner, who isn’t 18 years old, begins to notice a downward turn in their sex life with her partner making excuses to avoid intimacy as he is no longer turned on by her and struggles to get and keep and erection during intercourse with her. Before long the relationship is in ruins with both parties blaming the other and there is a tremendous amount of pain and blame.
This is a snapshot of a very real problem that’s facing many couples. In my last blog we looked at the brain chemicals that are released during pleasurable activities and how that can end up becoming quite literally a survival response in the downward spiral to addiction. We might think of addiction as being substance abuse like alcohol and drugs but porn fits this substance list perfectly.
Once you start to flood the system with enough dopamine to take down a baby rhino your body begins to reduce the amount of receptors so you have to search for harder and harder forms of pornographic material to find it pleasurable. Only problem being that your partner isn’t likely going to want to enact what you’re viewing on the computer. The jack hammering, dominating and often violent scenes that men watch, and literally rewire their brains, are a far cry from what women want in bed leaving them feeling unmet and unloved.
The other scary part of porn addiction is the rewiring of the brain. If you expose yourself to a stimulus enough times (think 18 year old porn stars. Barely legal) then your brain starts to make these new connections permanent pathways and before long you can only get turned on by young women. I’ve seen this happen to middle aged men with porn addiction and they are no longer turned on by women of their age. The only problem is that they can’t connect emotionally to young women so they have this split and struggle to find love and lust in the same person.
This is not just a very serious problem for young boys and men, it can also impact on young women in a very negative way as they struggle with their own sexuality issues and wanting to please a man.
So what’s the answer?
Education? Is that enough or is there more that can be done? I sure don’t have the answers!
I would however, love to hear what you have to say on this subject, open discussion brings more awareness to the seriousness of this problem.
To see more on this topic go to manupproject.com.au
Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.
With love and gratitude
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