In many of our previous blogs, we’ve detailed the problems that can arise when it comes to pornography addiction and other forms of problematic sexual behavior. It’s best to deal with these types of out-of-control sexual behaviors with the help of a therapist who specializes in helping people with addictions.
While these problems are most often dealt with via non-physical methods such as therapy, it’s important to realize that there are physical changes occurring in the brain of an addict. Today we’re going to look at some of these changes that occur and how they can lead to continued problematic sexual behavior.
It’s Always New
Most male animals exhibit something known as the Coolidge effect. This means that males will almost always show increased sexual interest in a new female that is introduced, even if the animal in question has already been satiated by existing females. In other words, in an effort to have the greatest chance of impregnating as many females as possible, dopamine production allows the animal to have “one more go” even if they are sexually satisfied with their current partner. The Coolidge effect also happens in females, but to a much lesser extent.
This probably sounds pretty familiar when it comes to pornography. Even if a person is getting their sexual release with a physical partner, sexual desires can be reawakened when pornographic images are presented. Because there are millions of pornographic videos and actors to view, this can trick to brain into believing that there will always be new “partners” that are more desirable than the current one.
Dialing It In, Immediately
Everyone has different interests when it comes to sex. In many cases, couples are sexually compatible in their interests and can expand them as they both see fit.
One of the most appealing parts of pornography is that you can get whatever you want at the exact moment you want it. This means that the dopamine release associated with a preferred sexual act — one that might not be common with an available sexual partner — is mere keystrokes away.
The Addiction Needs More
Viewing “standard” pornography releases dopamine in the brain. But the brain gets accustomed to “standard” pornography and wants something new to release the same dopamine. That often means a person will move on to more intense pornography that they wouldn’t have even imagined themselves viewing just months before. The end result can be viewing violent or illegal images, as well as no desire to have normal sexual encounters with a real-life partner.
You’re Not Alone
Remember, if you are suffering from a pornography addiction, you’re not alone. Approximately 30-percent of all data transferred on the internet is porn, and more than half of men view it monthly. It’s built to be enticing and to get you addicted, hacking your mind’s natural way of working.
The counselors at Sexual Addiction Treatment Services are here to help. We have the training that can give you alternatives to pornography and help you rebuild any relationships that might have suffered. Contact us today to get the healing process started.