Why is porn addictive?

Porn is addictive for the same reason as many other drugs. Neurologist Dr. William Struthers explains how the brain reacts repeatedly to watching porn:

As men develop a deeper mental habit of fixation on these images, exposure causes the formation of neural connections. Just as a path is created in the forest by each of the following tourists, it also creates a neural connection in response to what happens next when one sees an erotic picture. Over time, these neural connections become coarse as they are often used in response to pornography. They will become automatic pathways through which any interaction with women is guided. This neural circuit is firmly anchored in the brain. With every long look, pornography deepens a gorge similar to the Grand Canyon in your brain, through which pictures of women are to travel. (Wired for Intimacy, p. 85)

The following is a list of hormones related to porn addiction.

Testosterone

It is a gonadal hormone (produced in testes) that is involved in many processes in the body. One of them is the male sex drive. Testosterone controls men’s interest in sex. Mental images trigger a reflexive response in the body, which begins to secrete testosterone, and as it happens, testosterone levels rise. Men experience this as an intense and growing desire for sexual release.

This rise in testosterone levels happens when a man is thinking about, or is in contact with his wife, but it happens even if the man stares at other women or pornographic images.

Noradrenaline

Noradrenaline is the brain version of adrenaline. Unlike adrenaline, it is not a hormone that passes through the body, but like adrenaline, it is responsible for energizing the body. It is a neurotransmitter that helps us wake up and fall asleep, and helps us watch out at school or work.

In sexual arousal, like watching pornography, norepinephrine energizes the brain: “Something’s going to happen, and we have to get ready for it.”

Serotonin

Serotonin is a mood-associated neurotransmitter. Low serotonin levels can lead to problems with depression.

Although not explicitly related to sex, when sexual arousal occurs, serotonin is excreted in the brain in small amounts, which may contribute to an overall sense of excitement and enjoyment.

Dopamine

The brain is connected in such a way that it wants to remember where our natural desires are satisfied. For example, if we are thirsty and find water, the brain will give importance to the place where we found it so that we can go back to that place.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that implements this mental focus. If we have a natural desire, a small amount of dopamine is secreted from a place known as the middle brain into our limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for feelings and learning. Because dopamine is about focusing and meaningful, when dopamine begins to be secreted, we feel, “I have to have this thing. It’s what he needs now, and here’s where I can get it. ”

Dopamine is not sex-specific as testosterone, but is released during sexually enjoyable experiences. Dopamine is the way your brain remembers how sexual desire has been satisfied in the past, which leads you to seek the same in the future. If it is someone who is addicted to porn, dopamine creates a very intense focus on porn.

Endogenous opiates

The body produces natural forms of opiates called endorphins. Endorphins release pain and, like opiates, cause euphoric well-being. “Running intoxication” is one example of the release of these endorphins.

When a man has an erection, these opiates are largely released, creating a feeling of euphoria and a flush of pleasure that flows through the body.

Oxytocin and vasopressin

Oxytocin and vasopressin are hormones that are released in the brain, one example of which is released is an erection. These hormones help to store long-term memories in cells. They “link” the memories of a person to an object that has given him sexual satisfaction.

When someone returns to pornography over and over again, it builds a “relationship” between a man and what he saw in pornography.

Let’s put it all together

As a man experiences his day, testosterone levels begin to rise as he begins to look at and fantasize about women, creating a desire for sexual release. Meanwhile, norepinephrine is released, more and more energizing his brain and ready to act. Serotonin is also released, creating a sensation of excitement about his sexual “retribution.” In addition, dopamine concentrates the mind and says to the brain, “You have to go back to porn. There you will find reliable satisfaction. ”Then the man searches for porn and masturbates, releasing endogenous opioids in the brain, causing a rupture of euphoria. In addition, oxytocin and vasopressin are released, which binds it to the images they see.