Well I never thought I’d find myself writing that title, but the simple fact is yes, if you regularly use porn it’s probably destroying your life in more ways than you can imagine.
Before we go into how, I need to clear one thing up, I’m talking about porn here…not masturbation or sex. These things are very different and there are some specific reasons why porn is potentially harmful… so let’s not get the 2 confused.
Now before we get into this I need to talk about dopamine…or the molecule of more.
Dopamine is the molecule which in many ways makes life worth living. It’s that buzz we get when we experience something new. It drives us towards novelty and growth…to seek more in life
Now the dopamine system is designed to trigger occasionally when you do something really awesome (as its highly addictive). It’s primary job is to give you the motivation to keep moving.
In ancestral terms, it rewards you when you getup off your ass and go find a new cave, or a new herd of antelope to hunt, or a new mate.
In modern terms it’s what gives you the buzz when you land a new trick in your favourite extreme sport, when your team scores a goal…it’s what makes you seek novelty and makes you want more.
Ok so what does this have to do with porn?
Well dopamine is also responsible for driving us to seek sexual partners. Once we find one and actually do the deed we get a dopamine reward to ensure we want to repeat this activity. As it’s obviously advantageous to the propagation of the species that we do more of it!
When you watch porn you get the same dopamine response as you do when you have sex. The brain literally thinks you’re having sex with the person on the screen.
The problem with porn is that you’re only a click away from watching a different person having sex. So in one porn watching session your brain thinks it’s having sex with a load of different people…
….and rewards you with a dopamine hit for each different one.
This totally overrides the brains natural safety system, as I doubt there’s many people in the world who have had real sex with 20+ people in 30 mins, and floods the brain with dopamine. (Which also changes the structure of your brain to make it more addicted to dopamine)
This much dopamine causes the dopamine receptors to de-sensitise. So now it takes more and more stimulation (dopamine) to provoke the same response. Not just in porn but in life in general. How do you get more stimulation?
So now the next time you sit down in front of your computer tissues in hand, rather than just watching normal porn videos you have to seek more novelty to get off. This escalates and escalates and before you know it you’re watching someone getting off with a donkey. Despite the fact that you have zero interest in real life donkeys.
Now this desensitisation of your dopamine receptors means nothing in life excites you anymore. Unless it releases a huge amount of dopamine…
This puts you into a state where you are totally apathetic about EVERYTHING and literally don’t want to do anything. You have no energy and no lust for life, it literally sucks the juice out of life for you (open intended!). As nothing now gives you that dopamine high.
What’s this got to do with you?
Well most adventurous souls are by default dopamine junkies. It’s why we’re into adventurous stuff in the first place as it releases a tonne of Dopamine every time we head out on our next adventure. This tends to mean we seek dopamine in many other aspects of life. Which leaves us particularly vulnerable to porn addiction and it’s massive dopamine highs.
Secondly, despite the fact that our adventures trigger a release of dopamine, they don’t come anywhere near to the dopamine rush of having sex with 20+ people in 30 mins. So if your receptors have been dulled by a lot of porn use you simply stop getting any sort of rush from almost anything else.
No buzz = No motivation.
So you stop doing it or certainly don’t do it with anywhere near the amount of passion and drive as you should be.
So if you’re struggling to find the motivation you once had maybe ask yourself some tough questions. The good news is simply by giving up you can ofter see a reversal of these symptoms in a few weeks or months. Leaving you suddenly wondering where all this energy and lust for life came from.
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