Pornography is Addictive

3 Reasons it is Hard to Quit Watching Porn

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About the author, John Doyel

 After 26 years in full time ministry John Doyel resigned his position as Senior Pastor in 2005 because of his sexual brokenness. For the past 10 years he has dedicated himself to helping men recover from sexual sin and return to God. He writes daily e-mails of encouragement to help believers recover—called 180 Recover—because we are told to encourage one another daily as long as it is called today. He also lead a recovery ministry at Vineyard Columbus called 180: Helping Sexually Broken Believers Return to God.

article source: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2017/01/31/cant-stop-watching-porn-3-reasons/

When porn stops being “fun”

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This article speaks very candidly about the addictive nature of pornography.  It is written by Zachary Horner


WARNING: This is real talk to help you learn about pornography.

 

Porn May Be Great for a Season, But Then This Happens

I remember the first time I stumbled across pornographic material, 10 years ago. I was fascinated. I hadn’t discovered masturbation yet, but the stuff I was seeing made me feel good just by itself.

Seeing women the way they were portrayed in this material activated a feeling I had never felt before. I still had a lot to learn about pornography.

Porn was something I pursued on and off for the first four years. Never got hooked or addicted to it except for a few weeks at a time, and then I’d walk away without much of a problem.

Then it drew me back. With ferocity and ruthlessness. And I got stuck. I got hooked.

Masturbation entered the picture. All of a sudden I found a way to have release, to have relief, to feel good almost whenever I wanted to.

Porn was a nice tool to have, a nice treat on the side. Keep in mind, all this time I was a Christian. And pretty soon, I realized that what I was doing what not healthy. So I tried to stop. But I couldn’t. And this is where I learned the most important thing you can ever learn about pornography.

Porn is magnetic. And you’ll get stuck.

Pornography promises so much, and it delivers on it. It promises you attention and good feelings. It promises you relief, release, and relaxation. It promises you the reward of sexual fulfillment, if even for a moment.

But then you’re hooked and it’s hard to leave. All of a sudden, watching porn and masturbating becomes more about filling a craving and not about the pleasure you first felt. Yeah, there’s still some pleasure attached to it, and that’s why you keep coming back.

Ultimately, it leaves you empty. It leaves you with just a few moments of pleasure and then a heck of a lot of emptiness. But when you’re addicted and you’re craving a fix, you keep coming back.

The most helpful thing we can ever share with someone struggling with a pornography addiction or habit is that it feels good.

Wait, really?

If we ignore the magnetic nature of pornography, we’ll never be able to beat it. Because we won’t take it as seriously as we must. It’s something that draws our attention and our time in an intense and fierce way, with the potential to fight through and take over every part of our lives, but when we ignore that magnetism, we won’t give it the effort we need.

We won’t put in the proper mechanisms to block our access to it. We won’t surround ourselves with the right people for accountability and encouragement. We won’t work to train our mind to think differently when temptation comes. Basically, we won’t do what’s necessary to overcome it.

Many times I’ve struggled to properly evaluate pornography’s effect on me, and it’s in those times when I’m most vulnerable. When you get hooked on pornography, it’s like a magnet is implanted in you, and porn is the other magnet, calling you, drawing you to itself time and time again so you get stuck. Any time I thought I had it all figured out, how to stop looking at it, or that it wasn’t all that bad, that I could resist it, you could bet that I would give in within a day or two. And you would be right.

We have to understand that just because something feels good doesn’t mean we should pursue it. Just because it feels natural to watch pornography and masturbate to it doesn’t meant it’s helpful. Just because it calls our name and begs for us to join it doesn’t mean we have to answer.

Fortunately, there are many stories of men and women who have been in this place, who have been hooked, and who have gotten themselves off the hook. Let us all, those who are losing the fight and those who are winning, seek to join their ranks, be one of the many who found real, lasting victory.


article source: https://www.xxxchurch.com/men/porn-may-great-season-happens.html?utm_term=twitter-followers&utm_content=bufferc4257&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Your Kid’s Brain and Porn

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Every parent should read this, and every person who knows others with children should read this and pass it on.  I struggled with pornography addiction for 18 years, and it all started…  …when I was a kid.  Read on, this article has some good info and resources:


This Is Your Kid’s Brain on Porn

BY
Erica Etelson
POSTED ON
January 24, 2017

childbrainWhen my son was little, we liked to go see a family variety show that performed around town. One afternoon, I sat at my computer to check the performance schedule. I Googled “The Buddy Club,” and, a moment later, was up to my eyeballs in hairy, erect penises. I fumbled to close the browser while checking over my shoulder to see if my three-year-old had witnessed the display. (He hadn’t.)

That incident came to mind years later, during a parent meeting of my son’s Jewish youth group, when a youth mentor warned us of the easy availability and extremity of online porn. One of the moms there recounted a disturbing anecdote: Her 13-year-old had seen an online porn video and later tearfully confided to his mom, “I can’t get it out of my head. I wish I could go back to the time when I’d never seen that.”

So began my quest to learn everything a mother never wanted to know about pornography: What is typically portrayed? How does watching porn affect adolescent boys? Is it addictive? Can I keep my son away from it?

If your idea of porn is naked women in lewd poses or close-ups of people vigorously copulating, you’ll have to put aside such quaint notions. Today’s porn is hard-core, hard, hard, hard. The industry’s diabolically effective marketing strategy involves baiting and hooking young viewers by feeding them a series of increasingly dehumanizing content, ratcheting up the shock quotient to forestall boredom.

By “dehumanizing,” I mean that the vast majority of heterosexual porn portrays women being violently brutalized and humiliated by one or more men in one or more orifices. Women are gagged, choked, struck, and verbally abused. They have cum squirted in their faces and large objects (made of flesh or other materials) shoved into their orifices. Close-up shots are careful to show the woman’s swollen, torn, and inflamed body parts.

In other words, when boys watch porn, they’re seeing women being sexually assaulted and tortured. Even relatively tame porn videos typically portray sex without intimacy, with a focus on ejaculation, speed, and unusually large breasts, buttocks, and penises. No wonder my son’s youth group friend was traumatized.

Most boys see porn for the first time at the age of 11 and, by the time they’re 18, many are consuming porn on a regular basis. Some of those young men become addicted to porn, though no one seems to know how many.

Girls watch porn, too. The recent spike in the incidence of teen girls waxing their pubic hair, undergoing breast augmentation, and mutilating their genitals with “labiaplasty” surgery has been blamed on porn.

Sociology professor Gail Dines, author of “Pornland”, calls pornography “the public health crisis of the digital age.” Her rhetoric isn’t overblown. According to Huffington Post, porn sites get more traffic than Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix combined. A staggering one-third of all internet downloads are pornographic.

Research into the psycho-social effects and addictive qualities of porn is just beginning to catch up with the magnitude of the crisis. A slew of studies link porn consumption with infidelity, job loss, and erectile dysfunction. Young men profiled in Time’s recent cover story on porn describe their experience in similar terms – they got hooked young, and their compulsive use of porn led to sexual dysfunction, shame, and, later, withdrawal symptoms such as depression, headaches, and insomnia.

According to Gary Lynch, a neurobiological psychiatrist at the University of California at Irvine, the viewing of a single pornographic image can immediately alter brain structure. Many researchers corroborate Lynch, among them University of Texas neurosurgeon Don Hilton, who testified at a congressional briefing on pornography in January 2015.

Hilton characterizes pornography as a readily available drug that produces an addictive neurochemical trap and notes that brain imaging of porn addicts shows shrinkage in the brain’s reward and control centers akin to that of drug addicts.

Cambridge University addiction expert Valerie Voon puts it more succinctly: “Letting our children consume [porn] freely via the internet is like leaving heroin lying around the house.”

There are, to be sure, a handful of researchers who posit the innocuousness of porn, but they’re up against a growing consensus that porn is harmful and addictive.

Certified sex therapist Wendy Maltz has treated dozens of compulsive porn users at her practice in Eugene, Oregon, including growing numbers of young men who started using porn as teens but didn’t acknowledge they had a problem until they began suffering erectile dysfunction or depression in their 20s. Her porn clients are ashamed of themselves, often self-isolate, and experience poor self-esteem, insomnia, and anxiety.

Maltz, co-author of “The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography,” says that porn was the first sexual experience of many of her clients. Instead of stealing kisses under the bleachers, these young men are masturbating in front of screens. “Porn railroads their sexuality,” she says. “They don’t realize they’re forfeiting control to this industry and giving up something very precious – love-based intimacy and erotic imagination.”

A little-noticed Salon essay by novelist Mark Slouka echoes Maltz’s lament. Slouka contrasts the experience of cyberporn with the experience of lovemaking. He likens online porn to a “million-room whorehouse” that offers a 24/7 smorgasbord of pre-packaged sexual fantasies that colonize the mind. In Slouka’s experience, the price porn users pay is the loss of imagination, accountability, and agency. They become an “army of unmanned drones, piloting our libido through the ether.”

Maltz’s clinical experience bears out what Slouka intuited and researchers have found – that porn serves up a powerful cocktail of feel-good neurotransmitters and adrenaline and that this blend of novelty, stimulation, and pleasure amps up what’s already a powerful, feel-good, biological response to an irresistible intensity.

Kids whose brains are wired for novelty, excitement, and risk, are particularly susceptible.

To make matters worse, free porn is never more than a few mouse clicks or cell phone swipes away. Some kids seek out porn, others come across it accidentally while Googling seemingly innocent terms such as “panda movies,” “bravo teens,” and, my personal favorite, “whitehouse.com.”

Age-appropriate curiosity can land a young child searching for words like “boobs” or “butt” on some highly inappropriate sites. A colleague of Maltz’s once treated an eight-year-old boy who got shocked, then hooked, when his search for butt images delivered images of double penetration anal sex.

Maltz reminds parents that all kids are naturally curious about sex and counsels them to make sure their kids get authentic sexual education before porn becomes their teacher. Some of Maltz’s clients don’t even know they can have an orgasm without porn while others demand that their first sexual partners act out scenes they saw in a video.

If your child does get exposed, Maltz advises staying calm and not lashing out or blaming your child. Educate yourself about why porn is harmful and share this information with your child. Validate your child’s curiosity, engage in honest, non-judgmental communication, and, if needed, seek professional help.

Parental filters on devices can help protect younger children, but most seem to figure out how to disable the filter. Eventually, they’ll see porn, whether on their own device or a friend’s. Dines’ organization offers additional resources for concerned parents.

During the time it took you to read this article, eight million people viewed porn. Was your child one of them?


source: http://www.parent.co/this-is-your-kids-brain-on-porn/

 

Prevent Recovery Burnout

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This is a great article I read on the Covenant Eyes blog.  A good reminder, and good encouragement.  Enjoy:

Porn Addiction Recovery: 5 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Last week I was having an informal conversation with one of my accountability partners. Our chat flowed through normal catch-up material and soon the quintessential question arose: How are you doing with pornography?

Having anticipated this, I delivered a rehearsed answer, one that gave the truth but left out the true emotions that ran underneath the surface: I was getting tired of the fight. Truly, I was exhausted, and down to the core I knew that I needed to speak up. I started to say things like, “I am tired of this being so hard,” “Isn’t it supposed to get easier as time goes on,” and even “I don’t think it’s worth all these sacrifices anymore.”

As I heard myself speak, I started to understand that I had hit a point that many before me had warned me about: recovery burn-out. In my discussions with those who are battling addictions of many kinds, I have observed that almost all suffer with this in some context.

At the beginning of one’s recovery, the desire to make a change and be free from that addiction fuels them, driving them forward with a determination to gain back control of their life. Everything is hard, but they were warned of this, and they have the necessary support (therapists, accountability partners, friends, etc.) to wrestle through the withdrawal stage.

Now fast-forward to a few months or even years down the road. Are they still surrounded with support, or even seeking out help? Are they still as dedicated to their recovery as they were in the beginning? Honestly, it depends on the person, but too often I find that many (including myself) get tired of asking for help.

I hear in my own head too often, “You were supposed to be over this by now, so get a handle on it without bringing anyone else into this mess.” I know that I am not alone in these angst-filled contemplations, because many times the process of recovery is viewed as peak-and-dive, where the degree of difficulty peaks during the initial withdrawal and forming of healthy thought-patterns and habits, and then drastically declines with time. Instead, the recovery process looks a lot more jagged, with ups and downs in unpredictable configurations that cause frustration and feelings of hopelessness and defeat.

Why does this matter? Ultimately, it means that all of those in recovery and those helping need to have postures of grace that adequately take into account the long-term nature of recovering from pornography addiction. With any addiction, there should be the continual reminder that this most likely will be something that will be struggled with for years, if not for a lifetime. In my recovery, I have found some thought-patterns and practical ideas that have helped me survive the reality of this long-term journey of overcoming.

1. Be realistic about the long haul.

A porn addiction is just that: an addiction. It means that this process most likely will be a temptation and a battle for months, years, if not a lifetime. When we hold ourselves to standards or expectations that demand complete deliverance from our addictions, we set ourselves up for failure.

Recovery is a process, and included in that will be many seasons of hardships, others of great success.  All of those seasons are a part of the the inclusive redemption of God’s story, no matter if this is something that we struggle with until our last day. We need to continually prepare our hearts for a battle that can be won, but a battle that will need new energy, motivation and strategy as time goes on and the circumstances of our lives change.

2. Find ways to channel that energy with a new hobby/idea.

Honestly, this has been one of the most helpful tips that I have found in my recovery process thus far. Find an interest, a hobby, a talent, and throw your energies into it.

The less time that we spend idle means that there is less time to fall into temptation. When I notice that I am having a harder week fighting temptation, I will work even harder to be intentional about what I do with my time. It makes an incredible difference in my life when I can be using so much of my frustration and angst into something productive, one that leads me away from pornography and promotes a healthy lifestyle at the same time.

3. Recognize that falling into sin may happen, but it does not discount the effort that has been taken in the recovery process thus far.

In my journey, It makes me so upset when I fall back into sin that I have already confessed and made the commitment to rid my life of. When I confessed my sin of watching pornography and found accountability, I finally felt like I could get rid my life of it. However, that process of healing did not happen in a continuous forward motion of resisting temptation. Too often, it meant that I would be resisting for a while and then eventually falling right back to where I was before I made that promise. Every time I found myself in a place of sin again, I felt more and more dejected and that the effort I had put in thus far was useless.

Yet, how beautiful is it that even when we make a commitment to resist sin and yet fall into it again, we have a God that welcomes us with open arms. His relentless love does not hold a limit of the amount of times we can fail before He begins to walk away.

In recovery, meditate on the truth that each day that is a victory! Each minute, hour, day, month is a testament to God’s strength that gives us determination. It is not about counting the number of days that we have resisted, but about the power of Jesus that weaves in our story, whether we have made it 1 day or 150, or made it a year and lost sight of the purpose for a day.

It is not a success countdown that allows us to go the distance, but a mentality and thought process that lives and breathes grace and victory.

4. Celebrate the little victories.

I already touched on this point a bit, but I want to emphasize just how important it is to this process. At the beginning, it seemed like I could not actually feel that I was winning the battle until I had reached a year without pornography. The problem was I did not make it that far. And during those times, I found no reason to celebrate that I had made it months without it.

It is critical that we learn to celebrate all the victories in this recovery, even the little ones. Did you resist going on the computer today because you were feeling tempted? Yeah, it might have been yesterday that you did not, but today you did! Were you able to make it a week without it? That is incredible! Find ways to be thankful in each and every step, however seemingly small.

God walks us through, and He gives us strength in the moment to overcome temptation. It has made my process full of much more joy when I am able to thank God for the minutes, hours, days, and months where He has walked in this with me.

5. Document the process.

It does not have to be anything fancy or creative. I have a friend who writes down on little pieces of paper the little victories or where she has seen God move in her battle against pornography. When she is feeling particularly disheartened, she reads a few of them to be reminded of God’s faithfulness in her journey.

Do whatever feels most comfortable for you and make sure you can come back to it in the future. What a blessing it is to be able to look at how God has provided for us before and be reminded that He can and will do that for us again.

Sometimes the relentless battle of fighting darkness seems too much to press on. Be encouraged that the power of Christ already has victory, and His strength will be sufficient for you. Whatever season you are in, however fall you have fallen or pushed through, God will provide for you. Find reason to celebrate in that!

How does your Wife feel about your porn use?

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I am sharing this article I found by Shaunti Feldhahn on the X3church blog.  I challenge every male (married or not) to read and seriously considers the author’s words:


3 Reasons Your Porn Use Makes Your Wife Feel Awful

by Shaunti Feldhahn on December 26th, 2016

Men, in more than a dozen years of research about how guys privately think about things like sex and porn use, I’ve seen a striking pattern. Although nearly all men are visually tempted today, and many hate and struggle against the temptation, most of those same men also think of it as a private thing that has nothing to do with their wives. They may feel awful about it, but they really don’t understand why their wives would. As one very representative guy told me, “Sometimes I deal with it great. Other times, not so much. But my wife knows I love her, right? She knows that if I look at porn it says nothing about my love for her.”

Guys, I’m here to tell you why you’re wrong. And please know I’m not trying to heap guilt or shame onto the heavy load you’re already carrying. Honestly, given my research with thousands of men for For Women Only and, more recently, Through a Man’s Eyes, I actually have immense compassion for your struggles in today’s culture.

But I’m here as a woman – and as a researcher – to help you understand the truth of what your wife has probably been telling you: that your porn use really does make her feel terrible.

Here are three of the reasons why:

1. To her, your porn use is, by definition, sexual involvement with someone other than her. Women generally aren’t as tempted toward self-stimulation as men are; and even where we are, it is usually around internal fantasies, not via external pictures of a completely different person. So when you’re looking at another woman and having a sexual experience at the same time, we view that as having a sexual experience with another woman. I know many men don’t view it that way. But we do. (And so does God, by the way. When Jesus calls it “committing adultery in your heart” he’s not just laying down a rule of some kind; he’s accurately describing what truly is going on in the hearts of men.)

2. For your wife, sexual attraction/involvement doesn’t happen without emotional connection and love. Our female brains are wired differently than yours. Although there are certainly exceptions, we women aren’t usually sexually tempted by a man unless we’re emotionally attracted to and connected with him. And of course if we’re married, we think there’s no way we would “let” ourselves become emotionally attracted to someone other than the man we love. Thus, if you’re sexually tempted by other women (even images of them), we instinctively feel you must also be “letting yourself” get emotionally attracted and connecting to these other women; you must have some love for them, somehow. And that makes what might otherwise be seen as a purely emotionless sexual, physical experience (see #1) seem like a painful betrayal. The wounded heart cries, But you promised to love me, and me alone!

3. Your wife already feels she cannot measure up to other women… and you just confirmed it. This, oddly enough, is probably the most gut-wrenching feeling underneath the other two. Everyone has different fears and insecurities, but we discovered in our study with women for For Men Only that one of the most common insecurities for us as women is the deep desire to know that we are beautiful to our men – as well as the deep doubt that we are.

You know all those images out there in the world that tempt you to look at them? The cover of the magazine, the girl in the short-shorts, the babe on the TV? Well, we see all those images too. And as they parade by, they tempt you … but they destroy us. They whisper, You’ll never be pretty/thin/tall/well-endowed enough to be attractive to anyone. You’ll never measure up to this. You’re not beautiful; you’re ugly. And once we get married, we think we’ve found someone who does find us beautiful…. But that underlying insecurity is still there. So we subconsciously wonder, “But am I attractive enough for him?” And if your head swivels sideways when the hot girl saunters by, or we discover you’ve been looking at porn, you’ve just confirmed our deepest fears. No. We’re not enough. We’re not beautiful enough for our husband. It can be devastating.

Now, let me reiterate:

I do not share those three things to make you feel terrible, or burden you with shame. I don’t even share those to give you more pressure than you may already feel. I trust that if you have read this far, that you deeply love your wife and truly want to be the man she needs. So I share this solely so you can know what is likely going on, deep down, inside the woman you love. She needs your reassurance and your protection.

We are strong, confident women on the outside. But on the inside, most of us are still like those young girls who secretly hope that our Prince Charming will show us, yet again, that he finds us beautiful.

Men, you’ve got a treasure in your hands: your wife’s vulnerable heart. Ask God for what I know you truly do want: the ability to hold and protect that treasure well.

user avatar Shaunti Feldhahn


article source: https://www.xxxchurch.com/men/3-reasons-porn-use-makes-wife-feel-awful.html?utm_term=twitter-followers&utm_content=bufferc435c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Don’t think pornography is addictive?

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Watch the following video….

What Fuels Your Addiction?

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desentWhy do I do what I do?

You may ask yourself this question.  However, you may be asking the wrong question

Your behaviors are not the source of the problem… it is your thoughts…

One of the first steps to recovering from an addiction is to correct negative ways of thinking and faulty or wrong belief systems.

In CBT, these are called negative schemas.  Changing how we think causes us to change what we believe.  Changing what we believe results in changes to our behaviors.  In my work with pornography addicts, one common goal is the attempt to repair and/or rebuild my clients’ worldview.

The following are ways of thinking that fuel [and perpetuate] sexual addictions.  Which of the following do you believe and tell yourself often?

  1. Normal sexual behaviors and desires are wrong.
  2. I am alone and no one will [or can] meet my needs.
  3. I must give in to sexual urges and desires they are too powerful for me to resist. [no choice]
  4. I am worthless, unlovable.
  5. I can only trust myself to meet my needs.
  6. My sexual needs are my most important needs.
  7. I am powerless to control my life. [I am not responsible for my actions]
  8. I am a dirty pervert.
  9. Others exist to meet my needs because I deserve it.
  10. Others entice me and I cannot help myself.  [I am not responsible for my actions]
  11. Others are here for my pleasure.
  12. If no one sees [what I do], it does not matter.
  13. If no one knows [what I do] it cannot hurt them.
  14. I cannot live without sexual release.
  15. I cannot live without my addiction.  [It is who I am]
  16. I am not hurting anyone by watching porn.
  17. It is nobody’s business what I do with my own body.
  18. I am not capable of handling my own life.
  19. I am unattractive, stupid, ugly, unlovable…
  20. I cannot be free…

If you believe any of the above statements, you are believing lies.  Seek truth.  Seek help.

Whether you are a Christian or not, you will eventually (if you haven’t already) realize that you do not have the strength to overcome your addiction on your own.  I challenge everyone to  Seek God for His help in this time; for He is the only true source of limitless help and strength.  If you don’t know Him, you can… right now.  Start Here:

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.  13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (Romans 10:9-10; 13 NLT)

In addition to seeking the Lord, enlist the help of other people.  Admit it.  You have an addiction.  If you could quit you already would have quit.  You need help overcoming an addiction to pornography, and you need others to hold you accountable.  You may need someone to show you the path to recovery.  If so, please reach out to a local counselor/therapist with experience treating sexual addictions.  Start your journey to freedom… today.


If you are looking for help recovering, and live in the Upstate of SC, consider reaching out:

I currently serve as Counseling Pastor for a church in the upstate of South Carolina.  I hold a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University.  I am awaiting my scheduled time to sit for the SC LMFT-I licensing exam.

It is my goal to help rebuild broken lives and families from the inside-out through awakening and fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ. I specialize in helping men recover from addictions to sex and pornography.  I run a support group for recovering men on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm.

email: michaelwatsoncounseling@gmail.com

Brain Chemicals and Porn Addiction: Science Shows How Porn Harms Us

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this article is shared from the blog at Covenant Eyes:


Monday, February 3, 2014 | Written by

Recent research is telling us a lot about the brain when it comes to watching porn.

Over a decade ago, Dr. Judith Reisman called porn an “erototoxin,” theorizing that the brain itself might be damaged while watching porn. She speculated that future brain studies would reveal that the surge of neurochemicals and hormones released when someone watches porn has measurably negative effects on the brain.

Recent studies are validating her theory about brain chemicals and porn addiction.

What Brain Scans Tell Us

Cambridge Neuropsychiatrist Valerie Voon was featured last year in the UK documentary Porn on the Brain. Her research demonstrates that the brains of habitual porn users show great similarity to the brains of alcoholics. A brain structure called the ventral striatum plays a significant role in the reward system of the brain—the pleasure pathways. It is the same part of the brain that “lights up” when an alcoholic sees a picture of a drink.

Dr. William Struthers, author of Wired for Intimacy, sounds a similar alarm, teaching that viewing pornography and masturbating actually weakens the region of our brain known as the cingulate cortex—the region that is responsible for moral and ethical decision making and willpower.

The Brain Chemicals of Sex

The Porn CircuitIn The Porn Circuit, Sam Black describes the various hormones and neurotransmitters involved when someone views porn and how each ingredient in this neuro-cocktail contributes to the problem:

  • When having sex or watching porn, dopamine is released into a region of the brain responsible for emotion and learning, giving the viewer a sense of sharp focus and a sense of craving: “I have got to have this thing; this is what I need right now.” It supplies a great sense of pleasure. The next time the viewer gets the “itch” for more sexual pleasure, small packets of dopamine are released in the brain telling the user: “Remember where you got your fix last time. Go there to get it.”
  • Norepinephrine is also released, creating alertness and focus. It is the brain’s version of adrenaline. It tells the brain, “Something is about to happen, and we need to get ready for it.”
  • Sex or porn also trigger the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones help to lay down the long-term memories for the cells. They “bind” a person’s memories to the object that gave him or her the sexual pleasure.
  • The body releases endorphins, natural opiates that create a “high,” a wave of pleasure over the whole body.
  • After sexual release serotonin levels also change, bringing a sense of calm and relaxation.

This system works the way it is supposed to work when you’re having sex with your spouse. Together you can experience a high, an alertness of sexual pleasure, and the deep calm afterwards (norepinephrine, endorphins, and serotonin). With each sexual embrace you are emotionally bonding to this person (oxytocin and vasopressin). Over time a craving for sex is transformed into a desire for one another (dopamine).

But porn short-circuits the system.

How Porn Hijacks the Brain

Multiple problems happen when porn is used. First, instead of forming a deep connection to a person, your brain ends up “bonding” to a pornographic experience. Your brain remembers where the sexual high was experienced, and each time you desire sexual stimulation, you feel a sharp sense of focus: I’ve got to go back to the porn.

In addition, pornography gives the brain an unnatural high. In a recent TEDx talk, physiology teacher Gary Wilson explained that when men look at porn, they experience surge after surge of dopamine in the brain. The brain eventually fatigues, stopping the production of dopamine, leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. As a result, everyday pleasures stop causing excitement and the viewer seeks out more novel, more intense pornography to get the same high as before.

This imbalance in the brain leads to many problems: impotence with your spouse, frequent masturbation with very little satisfaction, anxiety, fatigue, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, and escalating tastes for more bizarre or novel porn.

 

article source: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2014/02/03/brain-chemicals-and-porn-addiction/?utm_campaign=porn-circuit&utm_content=46731247&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

 

7 Lies I Believed When I Still Watched Porn

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About the author, Amy Riordan

Amy Riordan is a Christian writer and speaker with a desire to see women’s hearts healed and set free. Her passion is to inspire others to embrace who they were created and redeemed to be. Amy lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She candidly shares her story on her blog, Walking in Freedom, encouraging women to pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus, the only One who can satisfy their deep longings for intimacy and connection

article source: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2016/04/05/7-lies-believed-still-watched-porn/?utm_campaign=your-brain-on-porn&utm_content=35540626&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

 

Addicted to what??

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The following is adapted from an article I found on xxxchurch.com by Alice Neaves on July 18th, 2016

Addicted to masturbation???    Is that even possible?

Perhaps you’re already picturing me as a hundred-year-old Sunday School teacher or pastor, with corduroy pants so high rise they must be a cover for a long-term fitted chastity belt.

Or maybe you’re seeing the Christian protester who has nothing better to do with their precious time on Earth than to yell about people “fanning the flame” or “ringing Satan’s doorbell” or… choose your favorite euphemism.

But have no fear; I’d like to think I’m a fairly reasonable and open minded gal, who hasn’t worn anything corduroy since the early nineties.

However, the reality is, masturbation can become a legitimate addiction, just like any behavior. I’m not intending to make a moral statement or provide a biblical guideline but rather to help you decide if you are addicted so you can seek healing.

Here are three practical ways to help you discern if you’re addicted to masturbation:

1) Are you using masturbation to alter your mood?

Masturbation is a quick fix. It’s free, accessible and easy. It’s the perfect drug. Understandably, men and women use it to medicate bad moods. Those warm fuzzy chemicals sure hit the spot!

There are more positive ways to sooth moods, for example, listening to calming music or having a hot bath after a lousy day. The difference with using masturbation to alleviate negative emotions is that the powerful chemicals and hormones involved set you up for compulsion and emotional repression, not to mention they can be a detriment your future or current sex life. These are powerful chemicals you’re playing with.

Take note of when you feel the urge. What has triggered you in the past? Did you feel stressed? Powerless? Rejected? Lonely? Tired? Anxious? Sometimes the feeling that drives us is just a need for comfort.  Whatever the trigger, there is often an underlying motivation: to feel good. Because you don’t already.

If you’re regularly masturbating in response to negative emotion, you may be addicted. Why? Because it reveals you’re not processing your emotions and indicates you’re living in some level of distress, making it the perfect opportunity to get hooked. Addiction loves pain. It is a faux salve for emotional wounds. But in reality, our vice, be it masturbation or otherwise, is infecting that wound that so desperately needs to be healed.

2) Do you feel like you can’t stop?

Perhaps one of the clearest signs of addiction is when you feel you can’t stop, even when you really want to. Pretty simple. You may white-knuckle it for a few weeks, but it always come crashing back into your life.

There’s a reason for this.

A sexual encounter (with someone else or on your own) instigates the release of a host of nice-feeling chemicals into your brain’s reward system. It’s an incredible gift from God when it’s not confused (and used as He intended –  within the bonds of matrimony). It keeps humanity thriving and surviving. It releases chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin when you participate in a behavior that it [the brain] believes ensures survival of the body or gene pool (hence why an orgasm feels so much better than mopping the floor or eating dirt). The reward pathways function is to remind the brain to do that thing again! Your body begins to make unconscious associations. When you feel poorly, it remembers how to give you a kick! A process begins deep in your brain which, unbroken, leads you right back to the behavior, because your brain is wired to seek the easiest route to pleasure.

3) Is your habit harming you or those around you?

A characteristic of any addiction is continuing despite harm. Harm can come in many forms: emotional, relational, physical, spiritual or criminal to name a few.

If you’re masturbating to the point of overuse or needing medical assistance, you may very well be addicted.

Compulsive masturbation can lead to sexual dysfunction and less-than-ideal intimacy with your spouse. This is a very real harm that must be identified. More than physiological, this can affect your spouse emotionally. Are you masturbating to the detriment of your sex life?

Isolation is another harm to look out for.  Such retreat can be rooted in shame, anxiety or the lost ability to interact non-sexually. Perhaps you would rather be at home masturbating than socializing?

Having an orgasm is easier than building real relationships.

But only building real relationships will bring lasting happiness and fulfillment in the long run.

Masturbation is a very personal and complicated topic. It can be a response to sexual or emotional trauma, it can be a struggle that begins in early childhood, it can be accompanied by viewing porn or voyeurism or nothing at all; and the line between “struggling with” and “addicted” can get blurry. There is a battlefield of opinions out there and it is so easy to slip into judgment and shame in this conversation.

Please know that, no matter what, you are known and cherished by the God of the universe, and the team at XXXchurch have resources to help you find freedom. You are not alone, and you need not feel ashamed. Recovery is so possible.

article source: https://www.xxxchurch.com/women/3-ways-tell-youre-addicted-masturbation.html?utm_term=twitter-followers&utm_content=buffer64955&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer


If you are looking for help recovering, and live in the Upstate of SC, consider reaching out:

Shannon Watson, LMFT-I (awaiting licensure)

I currently serve as Counseling Pastor for a church in the upstate of South Carolina.  I hold a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University.  I am awaiting my scheduled time to sit for the SC LMFT-I licensing exam.  It is my goal to help rebuild broken lives and families from the inside-out through awakening and fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ. I specialize in helping men recover from addictions to sex and pornography.  I run a support group for recovering men on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm.

email: hisvineyardcounseling@gmail.com