The hidden cost of pornography consumption

Traversing the murky waters of porn addiction and its negative effects on relationships and society

Throughout history, people have liked to look at beautiful, naked bodies. What harm could come of taking a peek? After all, isn’t looking at porn a bit like eating decadent chocolate cake? A little is OK?

Recent studies of brain function give a whole new perspective on pornography and its effects, not from a moral standpoint, but from that of changes taking place in the brain which may lead to sexual dysfunction, depression, family breakdown and even suicide.

The availability and intensity of porn today is unprecedented in human history because of the private and immediate nature of our many hand-held technical devices.

We are only beginning to see pornography’s cost to the family and to our society. The very thing some folks started to watch to ‘spice up’ their own sex lives, or more commonly, that they were exposed to inadvertently on the internet, is having tragic effects on their personal lives and families.

It is addictive behavior that is as destructive as that of hard drugs, progressive in nature and reaching pandemic proportions.

Counselors say that most couples in their offices today deal with porn issues invading their primary relationships, and that nearly all teens have been exposed.

The question has become not “if” but “when” the last time was that your teenager viewed pornography. Gaming devices that parents didn’t even know had internet access are bringing porn into the home. Many addictive starts were ‘innocent’.

Frequent masturbation accompanying porn leads to Porn Induced Sexual Dysfunction (PISD), wherein a male can no longer sexually perform with a real, live woman, because his body has become trained to repeated, unnatural super-stimulus. Pornography conditions brain and body to fantasy scenarios. Individuals of all ages have isolated themselves, not seeking human companionship, choosing rather to live in the secret world of porn. By all reports, it is not a happy existence.

And this isn’t all that studies on brain function have observed. The brain’s set points become altered, so that more and more stimulus is required to satisfy the hunger and the habit.

And the violence that is part of 90 per cent of soft porn movies becomes ‘normal’ and acceptable and shapes the perceptions of the viewer to accept and desire more hard core material.

Certified sex addiction counselors tell us that adult porn is the gateway to child porn, increases the chance of violence and rape, fuels sex trafficking and promotes society’s objectifying of women as sex toys. Porn is not like chocolate cake by any stretch of the imagination.

As in other addictions, feelings of powerlessness over the compulsive behavior, despondency, shame and self-loathing can result. This pre-occupation devours time and energy causing loss of concentration at school or work and wreaking havoc on relationships.

Pornography is a “universal solvent that destroys emotions, family, marriage and ultimately humanity” said Donald L. Hilton Jr. MD, of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, who educates others about its destructive power.

Porn robs us of the very relationships that we truly desire and need to get us through the stresses of life: Real, loving, caring primary relationships.

What can you do if you or someone you know has become addicted to porn?  Come out of hiding. Get educated and get professional help.

Understanding that the issue is not about another person or unfaithfulness helps some people to cope with the anger, jealousy or shame and helplessness that are associated with porn addiction. There is help and hope!

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