In the last couple decades, with the new normal of in-home computers, the internet, and smartphones in the hands of most of the population, we have come to experience speed and instantaneousness in ways that were previously unfathomable. Our lives have changed so rapidly and, in many ways, for the better.
In the midst of all this progress, we have certainly seen room for improvement, and many of us have mourned the increasing sense of human disconnection, in spite of being almost constantly “connected”.
No cyberspace reveals this false sense of connection as powerfully as online pornography.
Dr. Grant Hilary Brenner, M.D. is a psychiatrist who has compiled three essential reasons porn use causing problems, especially relationally.
First: Regular pornography use decreases sexual satisfaction
A 2018 study found that more frequent porn viewing was associated with decreased sexual satisfaction.
Here’s a fundamental way to understand this. The brain loves a shortcut.
When you eat a meal of roasted chicken, peas, and mashed potatoes. Messages are sent to the “pleasure center” in your brain and it begins to glow and hum sending out to the body sensations of pleasure and satisfaction.
However, when you consume Flaming Hot Cheetos messages are fired to the “pleasure center” like bullets. The brain lights up and rings like a bell.
Pornography is much like those Flaming Hot Cheetos. It is a faster route to an end result and always leaves you wanting more.
In increasing measure, young men are experiencing what is called porn-induced erectile dysfunction. What this means is that due to the amount of porn they are watching they are not able to maintain an erection without it. Their brains have been trained to use the shortcut to their pleasure center.
Second: Pornography Use Increases Feelings Of Loneliness
There is a vicious cycle we find with porn use: pornography leaves people feeling lonely, and feeling alone leads people to use pornography. There is
Third: Pornography Use Increases Divorce Rates
Not surprisingly, with decreased sexual satisfaction, and increased feelings of isolation and loneliness, marriages more often struggle to survive. It is not uncommon for couples to describe their use of pornography as an enhancement or supplement to their sexual relationships. But according to a recent study, pornography use is a better indicator of relational disruption and disconnection than it is a tool for marital enrichment.
If pornography is wreaking havoc in your most meaningful relationships, if it feeds in you a deep and pervasive sense of loneliness, consider setting a goal of reducing your porn intake.
If you find the process of cutting back or eliminating pornography more difficult than you anticipated, you may be dealing with porn addiction. You can get help from a professional, or from a group focused on sexual addiction, and learn tools for coping with stress and understanding the hole that pornography has filled in your life.
If Cedar Tree can be a help to you as you work to understand and end your addiction to pornography, please give us a call.
Consuming Ecstasy: Representations of Male and Female Orgasm in Mainstream Pornography, Séguin, Rodrige, and Lavigne (2018)
Pornography Use and Loneliness: A Bidirectional Recursive Model and Pilot Investigation, Butler, Pereyra, Drap, Leonhardt, and Skinner (2018)
Till Porn Do Us Part? A Longitudinal Examination of Pornography Use and Divorce, Perry and Schleifer (2018)
Our Best Ideas On:
Relationships, Connecting, & Family Dynamics
Sign up for "Rooted" our Free Newsletter.
Our best advice to help you nourish deep connections in your family right to your inbox!
In the best of times, co-parenting can be challenging but when you add in a pandemic and the start of a new school year, the situation can feel downright impossible, especially if you and your ex have difficulty seeing eye to eye. During COVID-19 your family’s safety...
In our lives we often feel worried. When life begins to feel chaotic and anxiety-provoking, we tend to move towards desiring control. We want to control our finances, and make sure that we have enough for the next month. We want to control our children, who seemingly...
What Parents Need to Know About Their Child’s Social Development During Quarantine: A Short Age by Age Guide
We all know family time is important, but with COVID-19, quarantine and social distancing may have you wondering if we’ve got too much a good thing on our hands. As our society chugs along and kids of all ages are spending more time out of school and away from...
Cedar Tree's Mission:
There are a lot of broken families who struggle to do life well together.
That’s why we help families create an environment where deeper connection & healing can happen.