A.N. Turner

@a.n.turner

Porn May Lead to New Sex Tastes

March 6th 2018

I wrote a book on digital addiction. Get a copy from Barnes and Noble or Kobo

After watching porn for many years, we may desensitize ourselves to the pornography we had been viewing. Then desensitized to that content we may seek new kinds of pornographic content seeking more stimulation.

The new content you then look at may not have stimulated you before you began watching pornography. In fact, it may have disgusted you. But now, desensitized to what you found sexually stimulating from repeatedly viewing it, you try to derive sexual arousal from the new content type. The mind may facilitate this to attain the dopamine fix it became dependent on after years of repeated viewing pornography.

In a study cited at the bottom of this article, 49% of men surveyed described sometimes “searching for sexual content or being involved in OSAs (online sexual activities) that were not previously interesting to them or that they considered disgusting”.

To repeat: almost half of the population surveyed described sometimes searching for content that was not only not interesting to them before, but that they may have “considered disgusting”.

How’s this happening?

Today’s pornography is different. We instantly access limitless novel sexual content through free porn tubing sites emerging in ~2005. With our greater computing power in tandem with today’s Internet speeds, we streamline the endless novelty offered in these tubing sites. We watch many videos in each sitting. Zimbardo found boys on average watched 50 videos a week. With today’s computing power, we rapidly tab switch between different new videos. We can rewind and fast forward according to our sexual tastes.

The result?

An incredible amount of novelty based mental stimulation. An unnatural, abnormally large release of dopamine, greater than that in partnered monogamous sex.

The issue is this abnormal release of dopamine may cause dopamine receptors to wear down over time. Then you don’t derive the same kick from the content you viewed before. You then may seek more novelty, through different types of content, to experience that same kick, that same dopamine burst we’ve become dependent on.

Desperately seeking to find that dopamine fix, we find our minds somehow aroused by content we didn’t find arousing before. This could mean content of a sexual orientation we didn’t find ourselves naturally interested in before and we still don’t find interesting after ejaculating. This could also involve sex with animals. It can involve incredibly violent content. This has not been proven, but maybe wearing down of old forms of attraction inculcates new sexual states not only in porn but in the real world as well.

So, if you’re watching porn, watch out. It’s instantly accessible and insanely stimulating. Meaning, it’s really hard to resist using maximally. The problem is maximalist use may lead you down a path that may not be good for you. Along the way, your dopamine receptivity may be impacted- you may be less stimulated by normal life.

It’s hard to change your behavior when you don’t understand the consequences. Now you do. It’s worth restraining yourself for the greater long term benefit even though it’s hard.

I wrote a book on digital addiction. Get your copy from Barnes and Noble or Kobo

Source: Wéry A., Billieux J. Online sexual activities: An exploratory study of problematic and non-problematic usage patterns in a sample of men. Comput. Hum. Behav. 2016;56:257–266. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.046. Page 260.

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