fighting for free hearts

Great Sex? Not With Porn

Breaking Free, the blog of Covenant Eyes ran a great piece on the ways porn kills great sex

i know from experience that it’s true.

When i was into porn it altered my attention and focus to pleasing my own urges rather than loving my wife.  i preferred porn over her.

In the early days of our marriage, without children and having married relatively young, i should have been enjoying a vibrant sex life with my wife.  But i was lost to porn. My wife coudn’t compete with those images.  No real woman can.

But the problem that compounded it was the fact that porn altered my neural pathways such that i had an insatiable appetite for more porn, even as it left me empty and unsatisfied.

Dr. Norman Doidge, who wrote the Brain that Changes Itself, says that human beings exhibit an extraordinary degree of sexual plasticity compared with other creatures. By “plasticity” he means that our brains and our sexuality are molded by our experiences, interactions, and other means of learning, which is why people vary in what they say is attractive or what turns them on. The brain actually creates neural pathways that label a specific type of person or activity as arousing.

Neurologists repeat a mantra: Neurons that fire together wire together. Simply put, repeating an activity makes it easier to do. But it also means that the human brain learns to associate specific activities with neurological rewards.

And then there’s Dopamine and Testosterone.

Dopamine:

The brain releases dopamine in response to nearly all drugs of addiction. Dopamine is its own reward, but it also helps focus one’s attention, and it motivates one forward for an activity. With the repeated use of porn, the brain recognizes that too much dopamine is being released. In response, the production of dopamine and receptors for dopamine are reduced, but that produces a craving. To fulfill that craving the porn user often needs to increase the amount of pornography used or the intensity or the novelty of porn.

Testosterone:

In men, testosterone dramatically increases sexual arousal and desire. It is a hormone that is released in men throughout the day, but when sexual cues are picked up by the brain the testes increase production.

Pornography (and the mental fantasizing that it enables) crafts a brain that constantly generates testosterone and heightens sexual desire. Because testosterone is slow to dissipate, men who habitually view pornography cause their own chemical imbalance.

 

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