Pornography addiction has the ability to affect the daily lives of individuals experiencing it – the compulsive behaviors can lead to psychological distress and can directly affect your sex life as well. But, the mounting question is why is porn addictive? Is there something to do with brain chemistry? Why can’t individuals just stop watching porn?

 

Sexual compulsivity in relation to compulsive pornography can be a sore topic due to the stigma associated with it. It is not uncommon for those that have a porn addiction to hide their behaviors furthering their psychological distress. 

Screening Call with our in-house expert

Understand your concerns better, talk to sexual health expert directly.

Why Is Porn Addictive?

The consumption of porn releases a lot of feel-good chemicals which results in a euphoric state with increased sensory sensitivity. There are 5 chemicals that make the perfect combination:

  1. Dopamine: this neurotransmitter is released during sexual stimulation, increasing the feelings of arousal and the urge to engage in sexual activity.
  2. Norepinephrine (NE): The release of NE allows the individual to be “in the moment”, alert.
  3. Oxytocin: This helps in the association of pleasure, developing a memory of pleasure with the object of pleasure.
  4. Endorphins: This creates the “pleasurable high” that individuals crave for.
  5. Serotonin: fluctuations in serotonin after orgasm brings a sense of relaxation.

The brain chemicals during this time provides a high that many can become addicted to. This type of addiction has the ability to alter brain chemistry as well. Due to this, the individual develops the urge and craving to achieve higher levels stimulation. This is what can affect personal relationships as individuals will began having unrealistic sexual expectations from their real life partner(s).

Examine your sexual health with a 2 minute self-assessment.
Get a FREE assessment
Take self-assessment
87%
people received expert guidance for their concerns.

The Dopamine Reward System

When it comes to the human brain activity – it is designed to reward us for things we do that allows us to survive and thrive. Dopamine, one of the feel-good hormones helps us search for these activities that helps us feel good. The release of dopamine creates a high – such as when you eat really good food, or engage in sexual intercourse.

 

With porn addiction, our normalcy in our brain reward pattern can become skewed. When dopamine is released during a feel-good activity, the brain creates an association – it builds memories of how the good feeling was attained. This is why we always go back to doing things that feel good to us – we’re in search for that high.

 

With the compulsive consumption of porn, individuals crave this same ‘high’ and therefore continue engaging in porn excessively. The brains of porn addicts becomes desensitized to the amount of times they have experienced the high, results in them needing to view explicit porn material – an addictive behavior – to increase the intensity of their dopamine high.

 

This can eventually lead to an addiction that can’t be controlled and can have negative impacts on an individuals day-to-day life, creating psychological distress, affecting relationships or work, causing financial debt etc.

What is the difference between compulsive behaviour and addictive behaviour?

Compulsion results in behaviours that are repetitive, and have no rhyme or reason. The actions that come from compulsion, are often engaged in to reduce the anxiety caused by wanting to engage in the behaviour.

Advertisements
Ask allo sexpert ai
Have questions?

Ask Allo SexpertAI

24x7 AI backed chatbot for all your sexual health related queries

 

Addiction on the other hand refers to an individual not having the ability to stop a certain behaviour. Most importantly, it refers to the fact that these individuals engage in addictive behaviour irrespective of the negative consequences it has on their life.

 

You may notice that the one similar both have is that in both, the individual lacks control of stopping a certain behaviour.

What is the difference between engaging in porn and being dependent on it?

Please keep in mind that not everyone that watches porn becomes an addict. An addiction to porn occurs over a duration of time, and happens progressively causing adverse effects on an individuals life. There are porn addiction indicators that allow professionals to diagnose an level of addiction to pornography – one of the main indicator beings a negative impact on daily life.

Key Takeaways for porn addiction

Key Takeaways

  • Watching porn a healthy amount does not lead to porn addiction.
  • Addiction to porn may become addiction because it impacts your brain chemistry much like drugs or substance abuse does.
  • Porn becomes addictive due to the result of a overwhelmed dopamine reward system in the brain.
Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personalised, discreet, and judgement-free treatment at your fingertips – book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.

Tags: Porn Addiction