Month: June 2016

PORN IS LIKE A DRUG

Posted on Updated on

This article is from (fightthenewdrug.org)

PORN IS LIKE A DRUG

On the surface, cocaine and porn don’t seem to have a lot in common. One is purchased
in seedy alleyways; the other is free to download. One habit can get expensive pretty fast, while the other is about the price of a high-speed Internet connection. Besides, Hugh Heffner doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a cartel drug lord.
So where’s the similarity? Inside the brain.

In case you’re not a neurosurgeon, here’s a crash course in how the brain works. Deep inside your brain, there’s something called a “reward pathway.” You’ve got one. Your cat’s got one. For mammals, it comes standard. The reward pathway’s job is to help keep you alive by doing exactly what its name promises: rewards you, or more specifically, rewards you when you do something that promotes life, such as eating food or achieving something you’ve worked hard for. And the way it rewards you is by releasing chemicals in your brain— mainly one called dopamine, but also others like
oxytocin [See page 15 Porn Is a Lie].

Normally, these chemicals are really handy. They help us feel pleasure and to bond with other people, and they motivate us to come back to important activities that make us happy. The problem is, the reward pathway can be hijacked. The way substances like cocaine and opioids make users feel high is by triggering the reward pathway to release unnaturally high levels of dopamine without making the user do any of the work to earn it. Want to guess what else does that? Porn. And that surge of dopamine is causing more than
just feelings. As it goes pulsing through the brain, dopamine helps to create new brain pathways that essentially lead the user back to the behavior that triggered the chemical release. The more a drug user hits up or a porn user looks at porn, the more those pathways get wired into the brain, making it easier and easier for the person to turn back to using, whether they want to or not.

Over time, the constant overload of chemicals causes other brain changes as well. Just like a junkie will eventually require more and more of a drug to get a buzz or even just feel normal, porn users can quickly build up a tolerance as their brains adapt to the high levels of dopamine that porn releases. In other words, even though porn is still releasing dopamine into the brain, the user can’t feel its effects as much. That’s because the brain is trying to protect itself from the overload of dopamine by getting rid of some of its chemical receptors, which act like tiny catcher’s mitts that receive the dopamine released. With fewer receptors, the brain thinks less dopamine is there and the user doesn’t feel as strong a reaction. As a result, they have to find more porn, find it more often, or find a more extreme version—or all three—to generate even more dopamine to feel excited.
And once a porn user becomes accustomed to a brain pulsing with these chemicals, trying to cut back on the habit can lead to withdrawal symptoms, just like with drugs. While people often think of porn as something that’s been around forever, today’s version of porn is a whole new ball game. Thanks to the Internet, porn now mixes the most powerful natural dopamine release the body can produce with a cocktail of other elements—endless novelty, shock, and surprise—all of which increase the dopamine surge. And because Internet porn offers an endless stream of variety, users can flip to a new image every time their high starts to fade, keeping dopamine levels elevated for hours.

Describing porn’s effect to a U.S. Senate committee, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover of Princeton
University said, “It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes.”

On the surface, cocaine and porn don’t seem to have a lot in common but studies are showing that viewing pornography tricks your brain into releasing the same pleasure chemicals that drugs do. What’s more is your brain actually begins to rewire itself because of this artificial stimulation. It may sound crazy, but it’s true.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
• To your brain, porn has the
same effects as drugs.

• Porn hijacks the reward pathway
in the brain.

• Just like drugs, you build up a
tolerance so you need more porn
for the same effects.

• Withdrawal symptoms can occur
when you try and walk away.
Get the Facts on Pornography © 2013 FIGHT THE NEW DRUG™ WWW.FIGHTTHENEWDRUG.ORG 2
Citations Learn more at http://www.FightTheNewDrug.org
[1] Pitchers, K. K., Vialou, V., Nestler, E. J., Laviolette, S. R., Lehman, M. N., and
Coolen, L. M. (2013). Natural and Drug Rewards Act on Common Neural Plasticity
Mechanisms with DeltaFosB as a Key Mediator. Journal of Neuroscience 33, 8:
3434-3442; Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus
Considered in the Context of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience &
Psychology 3:20767; Hilton, D. L., and Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction:
A Neuroscience Perspective. Surgical Neurology International, 2: 19. (http://www.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/)
[2] Hilton, D. L., and Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience
Perspective. Surgical Neurology International, 2: 19; (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/) Bostwick, J. M. and Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet
Sex Addiction Treated with Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230;
Nestler, E. J. (2005). Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction? Nature
Neuroscience 9, 11: 1445–1449; Leshner, A. (1997). Addiction Is a Brain Disease
and It Matters. Science 278: 45–7.
[3] Bostwick, J. M. and Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated with
Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230; Balfour, M. E., Yu, L., and
Coolen, L. M. (2004). Sexual Behavior and Sex-Associated Environmental Cues
Activate the Mesolimbic System in Male Rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 29,
4:718–730; Leshner, A. (1997). Addiction Is a Brain Disease and It Matters. Science
278: 45–7.
[4] Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., and Meisel, R. L. (2009). DeltaFosB
Overexpression in the Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual Reward in Female
Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain and Behavior 8, 4: 442–449; Bostwick, J. M. and
Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated with Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic
Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New
York: Penguin Books, 108; Mick, T. M. and Hollander, E. (2006). Impulsive-Compulsive
Sexual Behavior. CNS Spectrums, 11(12):944-955; Nestler, E. J. (2005).
Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction? Nature Neuroscience 9,
11: 1445–1449; Leshner, A. (1997). Addiction Is a Brain Disease and It Matters.
Science 278: 45–7.
[5] Bostwick, J. M. and Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated with
Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified:
How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our
Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 75; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That
Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 107; What Is Oxytocin, Psychology
Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/oxytocin
[6] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books,
106;
Kauer, J. A., and Malenka, J. C. (2007). Synaptic Plasticity and Addiction. Nature
Reviews Neuroscience 8: 844–858; Mick, T. M. and Hollander, E. (2006). Impulsive-
Compulsive Sexual Behavior. CNS Spectrums, 11(12):944-955; Nestler, E. J.
(2005). Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction? Nature Neuroscience
9, 11: 1445–1449; Leshner, A. (1997). Addiction Is a Brain Disease and It
Matters. Science 278: 45–7.
[7] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books,
106; Nestler, E. J. (2005). Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction?
Nature Neuroscience 9, 11: 1445–1449.
[8] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books,
106;
Nestler, E. J. (2005). Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction? Nature
Neuroscience 9, 11: 1445–1449.
[9] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography Addiction—A Supranormal Stimulus Considered
in the Context of Neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology
3:20767; Pitchers, K. K., Vialou, V., Nestler, E. J., Laviolette, S. R., Lehman, M.
N., and Coolen, L. M. (2013). Natural and Drug Rewards Act on Common Neural
Plasticity Mechanisms with DeltaFosB as a Key Mediator. Journal of Neuroscience
33, 8: 3434-3442; Hedges, V. L., Chakravarty, S., Nestler, E. J., and Meisel, R. L.
(2009). DeltaFosB Overexpression in the Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sexual
Reward in Female Syrian Hamsters. Genes Brain and Behavior 8, 4: 442–449;
Hilton, D. L., and Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience Perspective.
Surgical Neurology International, 2: 19; (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
pmc/articles/PMC3050060/)
Miner, M. H., Raymond, N., Mueller, B. A., Lloyd, M., Lim, K. O. (2009). Preliminary
Investigation of the Impulsive and Neuroanatomical Characteristics of
Compulsive Sexual Behavior. Psychiatry Research 174: 146–51; Angres, D. H.
and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment,
and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That
Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 107.
[10] Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction:
Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Doidge, N.
(2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 102.
[11] Pitchers, K. K., Vialou, V., Nestler, E. J., Laviolette, S. R., Lehman, M. N.,
and Coolen, L. M. (2013). Natural and Drug Rewards Act on Common Neural
Plasticity Mechanisms with DeltaFosB as a Key Mediator. Journal of Neuroscience
33, 8: 3434-3442; Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease
of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721;
Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 105;
Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our
Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 75.
[12] Hilton, D. L., and Watts, C. (2011). Pornography Addiction: A Neuroscience
Perspective. Surgical Neurology International, 2: 19; (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/) Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008).
The Disease of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54:
696–721.
[13] Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction:
Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Zillmann, D.
(2000). Influence of Unrestrained Access to Erotica on Adolescents’ and Young
Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health 27, 2: 41–44.
[14] Angres, D. H. and Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease of Addiction:
Origins, Treatment, and Recovery. Disease-a-Month 54: 696–721; Berridge, K. C.
and Robinson, T. E. (2002). The Mind of an Addicted Brain: Neural Sensitization
of Wanting Versus Liking. In J. T. Cacioppo, G. G. Bernston, R. Adolphs, et al.
(Eds.) Foundations in Social Neuroscience (pp. 565–72). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT
Press.
[15] Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our
Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 75; Caro, M.
(2004). The New Skin Trade. Chicago Tribune, September 19; Brosius, H. B., et al.
(1993). Exploring the Social and Sexual “Reality” of Contemporary Pornography.
Journal of Sex Research 30, 2: 161–70.
[16] Satinover, J. (2004). Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,
Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, Hearing on the Brain
Science Behind Pornography Addiction and Effects of Addiction on Families and
Communities, November 18.

Source of arcticle:  http://fightthenewdrug.org/porn-addiction-escalates/

 

Sexual Sin in the Ministry

Posted on

The following article is shared from the blog at God over Porn:

For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries.

I wish our experience was unique.

Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every student is struggling. The question we ask: ‘How serious is the struggle?’”

One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field.

Pornography is just one level of sin, a form of visual sex, or heart adultery. Physical adultery includes an affair, multiple affairs, prostitution, and homosexuality. Other sexual behaviors within the ministry are such heinous “unfruitful works of darkness . . . it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Ephesians 5:11–12). To face the crisis we must correctly understand the nature of the problem, ask God to search our own hearts, and be committed to restore each one caught in sexual sin “in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).

I have pondered long and hard two questions: Why do people repeatedly return to sexual sin and why do people turn away from sexual sin?

LURED TOWARD SIN

First, I would say that after two decades of helping set free those held captive by sexual sin, I’m convinced that the concept of sexual addiction as a diseasedoes not fully identify the seriousness of the problem. If we are going to get serious about the problem in the church we can ill afford to be misled in our thinking. The real problem is hidden deep within. The least bit of lust is an indication of vast corruption in the human heart. It is an enslavement that cannot be broken through any form of behavior management, recovery program, or counseling. The inside is so ravaged by sin that we can do nothing to change it.

When one is held in the grip of sexual sin, there is no hope of self-reform or self-efforts, for those living according to the “passions of their flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind” (Ephesians 2:3). To put it bluntly, those living in habitual sexual sin are “dead in their trespasses and sin” (verse 1). Dead, in a loss of spiritual life. Dead to finding satisfaction with God. Dead to living for his purpose. Holiness is dead. Wisdom is dead. Purity is dead. Love is dead. Like David, the sexual sinner has sinned “against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13), and in so doing has “utterly scorned the Lord” (verse 14). The horrible fact is they are “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3).

I believe addictionology plays down the seriousness of sin and the necessity of the work of God when it encourages the sexual addict to accept the theory that recovery will only be successful when they begin to believe that they are a good person at the core and just have a disease.

Diagnoses always determine the method of treatment. So ‘good’ people only need to get serious, follow the steps of recovery, and remain in recovery. The opposite is true. When dealing with sexual sin we must hold fast to the teaching of Jesus Christ, “For from within, out of the heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, . . . adultery” (Mark 7:21).

By nature and by choice we satisfy ourselves, rebel against God, and have no accurate understanding of the depth of our problem. The heart is deceptive, and without supernatural change it will grow worse. The only hope is “the grace of God . . . training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12).

Look closely and you will see that the sexual sinner is disappointed with pleasure in their pursuit of what is essentially false intimacy. As one pastor, who was living in two adulterous relationships, put it: “This was the insanity; I no sooner finished the sexual act and immediately broke into tears, devastated by what I had done, but I only returned again and again to the same sinful relationship.”

As sinners we are created with desires for intimacy and for delight. Therefore, “The way to fight lust is to feed faith with the precious and magnificent promise that the pure in heart will see, face to face, the all-satisfying God of glory” (Future Grace, 338).

Yet the sexual sinner, finding no pleasure in real intimacy with God, ultimately finds no pleasure in false intimacy. Real intimacy has both pain and pleasure; false intimacy offers the illusion of no pain, but in the end there is no real pleasure! A part of exchanging the “truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:25) is that you end up with pleasure now, pain forever!

DESCENDING DECEPTION

Deception runs deeper than we think. Deception is inherent to the problem of sexual sin on two levels.

First, there is the double life with clandestine liaisons, endless hidden hours on a computer, or the misuse of unaccounted time away from the office or home. The behavior is carefully hidden from view, but there are lies, then more lies to cover the lies. Face the facts: the motive for secrecy is to keep doing it. But secrecy of sexual sin also indicates a person’s commitment to flee from the light. “And people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).

The second level of deception is self-deception. If the heart is deceitful, it impacts the way we want to see the secret things in our lives, particularly secret sexual sins. The missionary can justify going to nude beaches; a pastor sees the value of an affair because it makes him happy; going to a prostitute on Monday is just a reward for hard work on Sunday.

When you say, “I will keep this part of my life a secret,” what are you hiding?

Hidden from view is a scandalous behavior that would certainly horrify any congregation or spouse. It is also a calculated contradiction of one’s public image that if revealed would bring ruin. It also may be a relationship that you believe is so fulfilling you can’t imagine ending it.

Everyone thinks they are hiding their acts of sin: lust, cheating, porn, and adultery. Such thinking makes it easier to justify the secrecy for the greater good of one’s marriage, family, ministry, job, and future. Such rationalization is universal to all secret sexual sin. “After all, a lot of people would be hurt if they knew what I was doing.” As one pastor put it, “I was in a six month affair, at the same time preaching and counseling against adultery, and telling myself that God didn’t care because the church was growing.”

In reality, it is not the behavior alone that is hidden.

Secret sexual sin is an invasive poison to the soul, mind and the body. It is a poison deep within the recesses of the soul that keeps one from finding satisfaction in God and meaningful intimacy with others. This is a poison that will kill not only in this life, but also life eternal! “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure . . . has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). Sexual behavior that is indistinguishable from the unbelieving world may indicate a person is not truly a child of God.

THE TURN FROM SIN

Why do people turn away from sexual sin?

In thousands of cases that I have counseled, only about one-percent of the men have come to us voluntarily and preemptively. Ninety-nine percent of the men were caught.

Getting caught in sexual sin doesn’t change the heart.

I can’t prove it, but I believe that God will providentially expose the secret sexual sin of his children.

It staggers our finite imagination that God will allow his chosen ones to go deep into brazen sexual sin, live in it for many years, and have so many people badly hurt. And no matter how difficult it is for spouses and church members to see it in the moment, God is at work when a pastor’s sin is exposed. Exposure is a sovereign act of God. God’s ways are not our ways! In all the vileness and rebellion against God that is a big part of sexual sin, exposure is showing us the perfect patience of Christ.

Many times I’ve been asked, “How can you keep dealing with such sinful men?” There are two reasons: First, I have seen over and over again the power of God to change the darkest sinner. Second, restoration with God is more important than anything. It is more important than career or marriage. God cares more for you, your soul, and your wife than he does your gifts and calling. You are his child before you are a pastor or a husband.

CONVICTION

After secret sexual sin is exposed we can make the mistake of focusing on the actions and attempt to eliminate behavior. We may be inadvertently feeding a false conviction rather than aiding true conviction.

False conviction is a reflex reaction caused by self-disgust, a sorrow over the consequences of sin. True conviction is an abiding sorrow over the offence against God, and while not the natural response, it does demonstrate that God has begun a good work that he will complete. True conviction is followed by true repentance. False conviction is followed by counterfeit repentance that only sees the consequences of sexual sin and the pain it caused others. Often this leads to a temporary change in behavior without a heart change.

Heart change is critical, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexual immoral (Gk. porneia) or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater) has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). There is no room for error when it comes to dealing with sexual sin. There is a demand to either repent or perish (Luke 13:35). So there must be inner transformation of the heart because it is “deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Christians must take severe measures in killing this sin. This is the real danger: “Every unclean thought would be adultery if it could” (John Owen). “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality . . .” (Colossians 3:5).

The cross isn’t a recovery program, the place to improve on what good is already there. It is a place to die. It is not a question of giving up sexual sin, but of giving up one’s rights!

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17–18). As dead sinners we lived “in the passion of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” (Ephesians 2:3). Deceived, we foolishly think we can use our bodies as we choose when we are in love, when it brings us pleasure, when it makes us a whole person or feeds our spiritual well being. The truly repentant sexual sinner begins to grasp, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:1920).

True repentance is radical change from the inside out. “The basic meaning of repent is to experience a change of the mind’s perceptions and dispositions and purposes” (What Jesus Demands, 41). Repentance is not just becoming sexually pure, but an inward change, “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). Inward change leads to sexual purity. Repentance happens on the inside where heart change includes the development of an ingrained attitude to flee sexual immorality.

DON’T WAIT TO GET CAUGHT

Some time ago I met a pastor who told me that he had two or three affairs in each of the several churches he had pastored. He said, “My reputation in my denomination is to take a small struggling church and see it grow, only to again take another small church and see it grow. I’ve made that move three times, but in fact, I was only moving to a new church before I got caught in those affairs.” That man has no reason to expose his sexual sin or leave the ministry. Why should anyone know?

Why should anyone turn from sexual sin before being caught?

First, don’t let yourself be deceived. “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil . . . No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:89). While not completely free from sin, the heart of the true believer has been transformed, and they cannot live in a pattern of continual sexual sin.

Second, the exhortation is to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Third, fear is not a virtue. Yes, exposure will be costly, but right now you are dying on the inside. It may not feel like dying right now, but you are, you are slowly killing yourself, your spouse, your family, and your congregation.

Fourth, if secret sexual sin has severe consequences, it is worth dealing with before the devastation occurs. Obvious examples come to mind to get help before: your Internet browsing history is discovered and shared; the prostitute turns into an uncover police women and you are arrested for soliciting; you contract an STD; or you are publicly exposed, humiliating yourself, your spouse, your family, and your congregation.

Fifth, it will come out. God is never mocked. “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness” (Romans 11:22).

Sixth, getting caught shatters trust and honesty in marriage, embarrasses your spouse, and makes reconciliation more difficult.

Seventh, there is hope. It begins with facing the truth. It is never just a struggle with your thought life; like all sexual sin, it is evil. If there is an old self to put off, there must be a new self to put on; that is the gospel.

HEAR THE BETTER WORD

Christ bears the wrath that will come for all sexual sin. If you are a true believer and real change has occurred, you are called to put off the old and put on the new. Killing sexual sin starts with exposure; it ends with no longer being enslaved (Romans 6:6). Exposure is painful, but it is better to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” than to hear, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

If you are a pastor stuck in sexual sin, no matter how well you have attempted to cover those sins with layers and layers of lies, I plead with you, step out from the darkness of those sins. Step into the light. Get help. You will never find life in the shadows.


Written by Harry Schaumburg / This article was also published on desiringGod.org.

– See more at: http://www.godoverporn.org/blog/sexual-sin-in-the-ministry#sthash.GUDw8Knp.dpuf

5 Stages of Pornography Addiction

Posted on

**this article originally appeared here:  http://newsok.com/article/5407775

About 83 percent of pornography addicts are men, and one in three is a woman. The largest users of online pornography are 12 to 17-year-olds. Teenagers. Fifty-six percent of divorces involve one spouse with a pornography addiction (mind-armor.com). Yes, addiction—not just viewing for recreational pleasure, but viewing it because it becomes a compulsion and the addict can’t think of or do anything else.

Do you think you, your spouse, or someone else you know might be addicted to pornography?  Read below about the five stages of a pornography addiction.

STAGE 1. Early exposure. As was stated, the largest users of online porn are children ages twelve to seventeen. Most boys have a curiosity about the opposite sex and, unfortunately, think they can learn more about them on Internet porn sites. They yield to the enticement offered by non-human, unemotional contact. Unless they can navigate away from this temptation, they are seduced. There are new statistics that teenage boys are being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction due to advanced pornography abuse.

STAGE 2. Addiction. Addiction takes place when the initial naïve curiosity turns into a physical dependence for this degenerate type of sexual arousal. In a pornography addiction, the habit-forming “substance” is explicit sexual material. To satisfy the addiction, the addict relies on the Internet, DVDs, uses his smartphone or looks at magazines or books.

Using porn increases to more than recreational exploit. The addict loses control of his or her thoughts in pursuit of the drug. The images establish themselves in the brain and are hard to shake for visually-wired males. Porn is needed for arousal and is used on a regular basis. Instead of a vein or a lung, the substance is taken in via the eyes directly to the visual cortex in the back of the brain, releasing neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins, producing a “high.” All addictions share the same brain changes.

“Constant novelty, at the click of a mouse, can cause addiction,” said Gary Wilson of TEDx, in “The Great Porn Experiment.” Dopamine rewards you for seeking the visual pleasures porn presents. It makes you feel good. The brain chemicals motivate some to repeat this behavior. You keep coming back. You can’t stop. You’re hooked. Because of this chemical release — and the consequences of behavior — pornography addiction is considered to be a form of chemical brain damage. People become dependent on pornography for physical and emotional satisfaction.

STAGE 3. Desensitization. Just as in any chemical dependency, the amount of pornography the addict previously used is not enough to stimulate these brain chemicals. Dopamine loves novelty. When the reward wears off, the dopamine release declines, therefore pleasure declines, the libido declines, and may cause erectile dysfunction in males. Less gratification leads to the desire for greater amounts of hardcore porn. A vicious cycle reigns. Addicts need to intensify reaching the pleasure points in their brains again, only on a more advanced level.

STAGE 4. Escalation. The addict desires greater pleasure, expanded novelty, so he or she ups the dose. They pursue pernicious, indecent images from the Internet. Porn has become their drug of choice, and self-medication rises to new levels. Licentious sexual images, urges and fantasies dominate the thoughts. This over-stimulation interferes with the normal balance of the addict’s brain chemicals. They now crave extreme novelty. Most viewing is done in secret.

STAGE 5. Acting out sexually. Acting out is the next stage of escalation. The addict moves from viewing pornography to seeking a real world experience. It leads to risky behaviors, like stealing from joint bank accounts to pay for prostitutes, binge drinking for heightened courage to act out, unexplained anger or promiscuous sex. The latter may, and does, cause STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Leaving their boring spouses behind, who long ago failed to fulfill sexual gratification, addicted men and women actively seek other live sex partners. If married, the addict will think nothing of committing adultery to satiate the craving for intense sexual novelty. Men will visit prostitutes, women will pick up men in bars or at the gym, or resort to cyber porn (including email, chat rooms, and social media). Chatting with strangers who vicariously satisfy sexual needs behind closed doors is adultery—ask any spouse who is victim of their partner’s porn addiction and has acted out in the cyber world. It’s emotional adultery and may lead to acting out with live partners.

Depending on the level of graphic, hardcore porn the addict has viewed in order to spiral to the acting out level, some escalate to the deviant sexual behaviors and perversions of rape, child molestation, incest and even murder. Pornography could be considered a gateway drug to severe criminal behaviors.

In Ted Bundy’s final interview on the day of his execution, James Dobson uncovered the knowledge that the impetus of this serial killer’s criminal rampage began with an addiction to pornography which escalated to acting out.

A pornography addiction is about selfishness—getting, taking—not giving, as it would be in a normal intimate relationship with a spouse. The addiction makes it impossible for any emotional or marital familiarity, closeness or love.

The admission of addiction and desire to be rid of it is the beginning of recovery. It’s the beginning of renewal, mending of self and relationships. In a perfect world, the addict will crave freedom from the addiction and seek help.

For more information about pornography addiction and recovery:

“Taking the power away from porn—for good.”

Fight the new drug

Morality in Media/Porn Harms

Finding a Great Accountability Partner

Posted on Updated on

This article is from the blog at covenanteyes.com

10 Steps to Finding a Great Accountability Partner

finding-an-accountability-partnerWhen you are using Accountability Software, the most important question to ask is: Who should receive your Accountability Reports?

For some people the choice is an obvious one: a parent, a best friend, a spouse. But a lot of people simply don’t know who would make a good Accountability Partner.

Here are ten steps to get you started.

1. Understand relational accountability

Before you can choose a good partner, you have to know what accountability is all about.

Accountability is the ability and willingness to give an account to someone else of your actions and motives.

There are several key aspects of this definition:

  • Ability: This is what Accountability Software gives you. It summarizes what you do online into an easy-to-read report and automatically sends it to your Accountability Partner.
  • Willingness: True accountability is not forced. It is chosen.
  • Actions and Motives: Accountability is about being open about what I do and why I do it.

2. Take personal responsibility

When relational accountability is divorced from personal responsibility, you will be disappointed every time. In the end, it is not an accountability partner’s job to change your life. You must completely own your mistakes, your messes, your weaknesses, your habits, your character.

Many end up looking to accountability partners as scapegoats. “I didn’t meet my goals because my accountability partners fell through.” Wrong. If you are unwilling to own your shortcomings, how can anyone hold you to task on your goals?

3. Take stock of what motivated you to find accountability

Ask yourself why you signed up for Covenant Eyes in the first place. Were you struggling with porn? Were you venturing into morally “gray areas” online? Were you spending too much time playing online games and neglecting your family? Were you hoping to establish good habits by limiting your time online? Did you choose accountability to serve as a good example to your family or others?

You should be able to state very clearly what your objectives are in very specific words.

4. Formulate two to four questions based on your motivation

Your partner should know your goals, your weaknesses, and your biggest potential pitfalls.

Get started by writing down two to four questions you want your partner to ask you. Make the questions detailed enough that you can’t answer them with a simple yes or no. This will help you talk about not just your actions but your motives as well.

Here are some examples:

  • “What was the most tempting thing you encountered online since we last spoke?”
  • “Tell me about a choice you made online this week that compromised your desire to be [insert character quality here].”
  • “What on your Accountability Report should draw my attention?”

Having specific questions gives you a place to start and keeps you focused on the goals at hand. Eventually, accountability conversations can evolve from a routine list of questions to richer conversations about transparency, honesty, and character.

5. Find someone trustworthy

You should choose someone you can trust to keep your Accountability Reports and conversations confidential.

6. Find someone challenging, not condemning

Pick someone who will be challenging but not condemning. They shouldn’t be timid, but willing to ask you questions. Good accountability partners are not cops who are just looking for you to slip up, or who jump to conclusions about your Report, but more like coaches who are challenging you to live with integrity.

The best Accountability Partners take their role seriously and responsibly. They want the best for you. They are willing to be accountable for you just as you are willing to be accountable to them.

7. If needed, find more than one person

One person might not give you all the support you need, so consider asking more than one person to be your Accountability Partner.

By the way, if you’re married, your spouse should know who your Accountability Partners are, and your spouse should determine whether he or she wants to receive your reports. It is good to be honest with your wife or husband about your online life. But remember, spouses occasionally can be too close to a sensitive situation to give you constructive feedback. Don’t necessarily lean on your spouse for the same kind of support as you do other partners.

8. Customize your Accountability Reports to match your goals

Talk to your partner about how frequently they should receive your Internet Reports and how often you’d like to talk about them.

You should also tell your Partner which sensitivity level is best for your Reports. Covenant Eyes rates each website for mature content and gives each site an age-based rating. Your Partner can choose the minimum rating they want to see on your reports. Do you think your Reports should be set at the Teen level? Mature Teen? Highly Mature? Give your partner an idea what would be appropriate for you.

9. Set up times to meet and/or talk

How often do you want to meet with your partner? What makes sense given your goals? Talk to you partner and suggest a regular day and time to talk.

10. Tell your partner(s) how to challenge you

Finally—this last step is critical—tell your partner what you expect them to do if something questionable appears on your Report or if you admit to a failure.

Your partner might see a questionable search you did online, or a questionable website, or a questionable time of day or night you were online. Should they call you? E-mail you? Talk to you in person?

Setting expectations gives your Partner an open door to have conversations with you.

One size does not fit all

Remember, accountability will look a little different for everybody. What’s important is that you and your partner find what works best for you.

Original article can be viewed at:

10 Steps to Finding a Great Accountability Partner