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pornography addiction

I WOULD FAP out of boredom, sometimes even at work in the bathrooms. I was addicted, pathetic…

Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old.

Looking back, he recalls it clearly. “I was unable to look away. I remember everything about that first moment. The music that was playing, where my parents were in the house, the time of day.” For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social life and limited long-term employment opportunities.

Heavy reliance on porn is serious; it literally ruins lives, causing disruption in relationships, jobs, first person social interaction and other ways. Just as crucial, however, is that the mechanics behind pornography addiction are completely natural. Worrying, Anon22 has discovered that compared to many others, his was a mild case. As I write this, there are 18,928 “Fapstronauts” doing their utmost to exercise considerable self-control.

Rather than boldly going where no man has gone before, these individuals are each trying to get their lives back on track following the realisation that they’ve become a little too close to their computers. To put it bluntly, these guys – and yes, girls – are attempting to overcome their addiction to Internet porn, a condition that is becoming increasingly recognized and discussed by experts. Sadly, recognition and discussion doesn’t do much to help the potential millions that are locked into this way of life.

pornography addiction

Fortunately, there is a growing network of support for the Fapstronauts, members of the Reddit channel NoFap (“fap” is Internet slang to describe a “solo act”). Various websites offer help, suggestions and encouragement while genuine experts of the phenomenon such as Gary Wilson provide immense assistance with research and study into porn addiction on his website Your Brain on Porn.

What Is Pornography Addiction?

Watching adult movies and enjoying salacious images can often be a pastime engaged in by couples, but with the proliferation of porn on the Internet addiction has spiralled simply because it is so easy to access.

Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones — the way in which addicts can get their fix have become increasingly portable over the years. With Flash available on most platforms and other video streaming tools provided on the rest, it doesn’t take long to download movies and hi-res photos through a mobile Internet or local Wi-Fi connection.

A Range of Symptoms

There is more to pornography addiction than simply loading up a website of images or streamed movies starring the world’s biggest adult movie stars, getting to grips with it and then moving onto another activity.

In order to understand the problem in more detail, I contacted some of the users of the Reddit group NoFap to get some first-hand accounts of their experiences. This ever-growing group is a massive part of many addicts’ attempts to control their masturbation habits, or as they are called in the group, “PMO” (porn/masturbation/orgasm).

What is fascinating about these guys is two-fold: one, how closely their stories match, and two, that Internet porn has become such a part of their lives  that they didn’t realise that they had a problem until they discovered NoFap and the work of Gary Wilson.

Reddit user m1610, found his entire social and academic life falling to pieces. “I never had severe social anxiety, but I noticed that I found it hard to look people in the eye. I became very lazy and unmotivated in my teenager years (I’m now 20), going to bed late, waking up late (often watching porn late at night and watching porn first thing in the morning for hours). I got average grades in school but managed to get a place at a pretty good university. I’ve just finished my final year and really I’m so grateful with both the fact I got into a good university despite my laziness and that I’ve sorted myself out before working towards my final grade.”

Meanwhile, Teambold found that he “was generally lacking confidence, for two reasons that I am aware of: not approaching many women because porn was easier, and the fact that guys in those scenes are huge and I’m an average Joe.”

BECAUSE I WAS SPENDING so much time masturbating and looking at porn, I didn’t have the energy or desire to spend time with friends.

For Anon22, meanwhile, social interaction seems as though it was something of a nightmare: “It made me very insecure and I felt very disconnected from my body and soul. Nothing flowed. Everything I said or did was held back and altered by me before I let it out, and because of this I don’t think many people enjoyed socializing with me. Because I was spending so much time masturbating and looking at porn, I didn’t have the energy or desire to spend time with friends.”

Beyond the social issues, there is in fact a range of symptoms which are typical to those that use porn excessively. The guys I spoke to on NoFap indicated that some or all of the following had happened to them (symptoms backed up in Gary Wilson’s own research):

  • Tiredness
  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Insecurity
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lack of interest in real sex
  • Lack of interest in anything other than porn
  • Poor academic performance
  • Relationship/marital issues
  • Employment issues and job loss

Clearly – in case you were still doubtful – pornography addiction is real. We should consider the symptoms and compare them to those that we know of from other addictions; the similarities are shocking.

You’re unlikely to start stealing to fund your porn habit, but just as drug users need increasingly larger doses and alcoholics find their intake rockets over time, so porn addicts struggle to gain gratification without a new supply of fresh, and sometimes weirder, material. The reason for this is explained later on, under Desensitization and Dopamine.

sexual addiction

A Note About Erectile Dysfunction

You probably noticed the term “erectile dysfunction” in the list above.

It’s quite odd how an addiction that requires the use of a particular part of the body should result in that appendage being unable to perform when the time arises.

You’re not alone in noticing this but sadly ED is a widespread issue and one of the most concerning aspects of the whole Internet porn addiction phenomenon.

When I spoke to Fapstronaut Teambold, he told me that the inability to perform was his catalyst for change.

sexual addiction

“I would fap out of boredom, sometimes even at work in the bathrooms. I was addicted, pathetic… My only real concern was the fact that I was starting to develop ED. It worried me, but until I found NoFap I had always assumed that once it really mattered (with a real live girl) I would be hard as a rock and ready to rampage. [I was] no longer willing to take that chance.”

I COULD ONLY ENJOY any sort of sexual pleasure with her when masturbating. Everything else I just pretended to seem more normal.

Similarly, Anon22 recalled erectile dysfunction when he was as young as 15. “When it came to my first girlfriend and having sex, I couldn’t keep it up, I couldn’t feel… and wearing a condom made me so flaccid. I could only enjoy any sort of sexual pleasure with her when masturbating. Everything else I just pretended to seem more normal.”

These stories are common. Reddit noFap user m1610 recalled that the erectile dysfunction “meant I couldn’t really connect with my girlfriends or satisfy them the way I should have.”

Is porn really worth that?

The Dangers of Porn Addiction and Misdiagnosis

It isn’t as if addicts have been completely unaware that there was something about their behaviour that wasn’t quite right. In the past, before Wilson’s work became better known, some might have spent some time visiting a doctor to try and get to the bottom of the problem. There, however, they would only find themselves diagnosed with depression, or erectile dysfunction, or any one of the physical symptoms of addiction. Those that press the point are faced with common myths, such as being dismissed as compulsive users rather than addicts, or that only people with ADHD, depression or other pre-existing conditions can become addicted to pornography.

PEOPLE FEEL they can’t talk about it at all, that it makes them a terrible person.

That the general practitioners have overlooked the possibility of their patients being trapped in a self-rewarding cycle of porn, masturbation, and orgasm is telling. A general lack of awareness of the problem has led to guys just carrying on, unaware of just what’s going wrong in their lives and why.

But why are they unaware? Why isn’t it obvious? This is something that the noFappers I spoke to seem to wonder. Should a taboo subject be allowed to let people’s lives fall apart? Anon22: “People feel they can’t talk about it at all, that it makes them a terrible person, and so they are unable to seek help from friends, family, often not even their significant other. They are totally alone on this and there is no way for them to get help, so a lot of them just give up and keep going with it.”

Like any addiction, the mechanics of the human body play a part here, specifically the brain.

Becoming Addicted to Porn

What do you think of porn? Is it something you regularly view? Do you and your friends or roommates often spend time looking at, discussing and even sharing adult material?

With a world full of sexually suggestive adverts and characters in fiction and video games, it is little wonder that porn has become increasingly socially acceptable, certainly within a subculture of teenagers and young men.

sexual addiction

The advent of the Internet has also made adult material available – by the gigabyte – to children. This is a harsh reality that anyone with concerns about pornography addiction simply has to accept. Boys, as we are told, will be boys and with the exploration phase and bodily changes of puberty causing all sorts of emotional and physical havoc, easy access to porn (perhaps communicated between friends using the l33t term “pr0n”) has the potential to throw the traditional teenaged development into chaos. (You can find plenty on the topic of family parental control software 5 Free Parental Control Software That Will Set Your Mind At Ease 5 Free Parental Control Software That Will Set Your Mind At Ease Read More elsewhere on MakeUseOf.)

Peer pressure is only one stage of Internet porn addiction, however. It isn’t even a pre-requisite in all cases. What happens next, however, is common to all addicts, whether their poison is porn, shopping or drugs.

Desensitization and Dopamine

This is where things get a little scary. It seems that overcoming addiction to Internet porn is more than just attempting to break the habit. Rather, there is a chemical process in the brain that becomes rewired.

ONCE IT’S FLIPPED ON, it stays on for a while and doesn’t go away easily.

I’m not going to attempt to give you the comprehensive ins and outs of the process here; I’m not a specialist, and for a full explanation you can head over to Your Brain on Porn.

“A numbed pleasure response, or desensitization, is probably the best understood brain change that addiction induces… Dopamine is where it all starts. If dopamine is too high for too long it leads to nerve cells losing their sensitivity. If someone continues to scream, you cover your ears. When dopamine-sending nerve cells keep pumping out dopamine, the receiving nerve cells cover their “ears” by reducing dopamine (D2) receptors.

“How much is too much is determined by brain changes – not by outward behaviors, such as the amount of drug used, calories consumed, or time spent watching porn. No two people are alike.”

It isn’t just sex that gives us pleasurable feelings. Eating, listening to great music, even extreme sports can cause dopamine to be released. These positive feelings are there for a reason and porn offers a shortcut to get to those same feelings, effectively fooling the body into thinking it is about to procreate or become engaged with another human being in something intimate.

In other words, guys who find themselves habitually masturbating will find that what they had previously been turned on by becomes “boring” – or more accurately, fails to turn them on. A common result of this is the quest for more porn, different porn, material that has never been seen that might even cross boundaries of taste, decency and sexual orientation.

Tackling the various myths about porn addiction has become a lynchpin of Gary Wilson’s presentations.  He also offers evidence based on cutting edge neurological research. The discovery of DeltaFosB, a protein in the brain that has been discovered by neurobiologists to affect all addictions, has shed light on just what happens to the human brain.

internet addiction

It doesn’t matter whether you’re over-indulging in junk food, drugs, over-regular sex or even long stretches of “alone time” with your PC, the dopamine increases cause DeltaFosB to accumulate, altering the way the brain works causing desensitization and over-use of the particular pleasure – in the case of the recovering NoFappers, Internet porn.

Researcher Eric Nestler found that DeltaFosB can be compared to a switch, one that is difficult to disable.

“Once it’s flipped on, it stays on for a while and doesn’t go away easily. This phenomenon is observed in response to chronic administration of virtually any drug of abuse. It is also observed after high levels of consumption of natural rewards (exercise, sucrose, high fat diet, sex).”

As Gary Wilson points out in his seminal TEDx talk (seen above) this is nothing new. The history of human procreation proves that men get bored with female partners over time, becoming aroused when a new female appears; the same is true of other species. Desensitization can occur when over-indulging in other things, not just porn. If you’re a fan of McDonalds, the urge to get more and more of their famous burgers and fries can dull your pleasure centres, catching you in an onion-scented version of the vicious circle in which porn addicts are caught.

Recovery and Rebooting

It all sounds pretty grim. Is this the future – billions of men shut up in their rooms, looking for some porn that will help them get their latest fix while the world goes to rack and ruin?

[RECOVERY] HAS SHOWN me that I have self-control. I’m excited to apply this in the other areas of my life. The sky is the limit, and now I know it’s worth the effort. My goals are no porn ever again.

Hopefully not, and while Gary Wilson and other experts are around to share their research and encourage recovery from Internet porn addiction, hope remains.

pornography addiction

Recovery from Internet pornography addiction and any related conditions (such as erectile dysfunction) can be achieved, but it requires willpower, determination and an understanding of just what has been happening. Additionally, a desire to make changes in this and other areas of life is useful to the process that is appropriately termed “rebooting.”

This “cold turkey” style experience is required because the brain has undergone the same changes that it would with any other type of addiction. Rebooting – a term usually used to describe the act of restarting a troublesome computer – is particularly apt, allowing the recovering Internet porn addict to reprogram themselves, staying away from porn, cutting back on masturbation completely during the reboot period and eventually remove the association between the two activities.

Web filters and a change of any porn-related email addresses can help, as can restoring your operating system to factory settings, thereby creating a “clean” computer. Mobile phones and tablets – indeed, any digital device used for the enjoyment of porn – should be also cleaned up and suitable software installed.

If you would rather keep your hands away from any potentially incriminating software, however, there are third party web services that can help. SelfControl for Mac will block access to the Internet temporarily while www.getcoldturkey.com can also control your ability to view adult material should a relapse occur. Even using an adblocker can be considered to stop any salacious ads appearing on Facebook or other seemingly innocent web services. Obviously, existing stashes of salacious material should also be deleted, or in the case of DVDs, videos and magazines, binned.

SINCE STARTING NoFap, I haven’t edged, and have barely touched myself. I have ups and downs like anyone else. But the struggle has been worth it, because I’ve seen quite a few changes in myself.

Because, thankfully, there is a chance of recovery; there are success stories. With nearly 20,000 members on the NoFap board – a number rising with considerable speed – it seems as though this is an issue that will only gain in recognition as time goes on. The guys I’ve spoken to are proof that there is a desire to put Internet porn back in its cupboard and perhaps shut the door for good, and with growing awareness of the problem perhaps other previously-ignored addictions can receive the attention they deserve.

We’ve only scratched the surface here. If you think you may be suffering from a similar problem, take a look at the links in this article, spend more time reading the accounts of others (the guys who kindly gave their time to talk to me for this story are the tip of a massive iceberg) and give yourself a few hours to make the right decision.

Overcoming any addiction is a big step – fortunately for new Fapstronauts there is a lot of support on offer. You can also find out more about the subject via www.yourbrainonporn.com. Becoming something of an evangelist for the subject will do a lot more good than going square eyed at 1am giving yourself a bad back.

Image Credits: Man With Laptop via Shutterstock | Nerd and Valentine via Shutterstock | Internet Porn Concept via Shutterstock | Red Sex Key via Shutterstock | Shy Man and Flirting Woman via Shutterstock | Internet Addiction Concept via Shutterstock

  1. richard e.
    September 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    What do I D o with so M eone who says I'm an addict but I haven't watched anything in over 4 months ?all s he does is scream what a liar I am.NOT true !

    • Christian Cawley
      September 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Leave? Or avoid giving cause to be called a liar. Simple options :)

  2. B
    May 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Thankful to read this article, perhaps if this dirty little secret could become more public and easier to talk about then children would not be getting addicted daily because parents would be aware of the dangers, though I suppose soon enough there will be a new crop of parents that are very aware of the dangers and problems that arise with it.

    Porn leads to darker fetishes that are illegal.

    Young people are given lengthy sentences daily for things directly related to addictions that started in their preteen years , Perhaps if they could search and find out how illegal and damaging it is then maybe they would practice some constraint

    5 years mandatory minimum for each image of a person under 18 years of age, doesn't matter if those images are nudist beaches, teen girlfriend of hardcore sickness. The younger the age of the person in the image the longer the sentences.
    Videos count as multiple images
    If the images are stored on an online storage site such as gigatrybe or whatever it becomes a federal case
    You are then charged with trafficking (15 year mandatory minimum sentence) possession (5 year mandatory minimum) and distribution ( 15 year mandatory minimum) due to it being accessible online to multiple people, if you store underage porn online you have already probably been chatting with some undercover federal agents pretending to be into the same thing (everything you chat (fantasies included) will be used against you in a court of law.
    you dont get to serve 15 years and thats it , it is all added together for some long and lengthy sentences , when you come out you will be a felon removing all rights as a u.s. citizen no voting for you , jobs are hard to come by, you are limited on where you can live ( not near any parks or schools ) you will probably get lifetime probation, LIFETIME!!! also Lifetime stigma of sex offender status (everyone thinks those people should be dead) never get to use a computer again (how hard is that) can't be around places where children may be (think the beach, the mall , etc.)
    Lets talk prison: beside isolation from friends and family and the world, you are put in a room with men who will know your charge and hold it against you , you are a chomo a child molester, doesn't matter if the porn you had was 16 year old girls , they lump them all the same. The bed you will sleep on for 6 to 50 years is about 2 inches thick , no pillows (some guys use books for pillows) the food is all processed, canned, high sodium , no fresh veggies, most meat is soy meat , no real sugar products , the food you eat will not fill you up so you will need to order commissary food which is more crap food that costs 4 times what you would pay on the outside for it, you will probably leave prison with high blood pressure due to the poor diet , bad teeth, heart disease, etc. , no walking barefoot in the grass , no sitting watching the sun go down, no swimming in the ocean or a pool, no one to hold you , barely any touch at all unless its from other inmates in violence or sexual contact , tv is controlled by the majority so you will watch a lot of sports, no one really visits you , no one really writes to you, so if you are addicted to porn and its going south please please stop, please get help More about federal time: no parole, no early release, a lawyer starts at 25 thousand dollars , they have a point system so anything you have ever done EVEN IF YOU WERE A JUVENILE WHEN IT HAPPENED , your age, your education or lack there of is used against you to increase your sentence and wether you are classified as violent etc
    mother of a sex offender

  3. be alert
    November 11, 2012 at 6:25 am

    i am 46 yeals old and i had many times periods of up to 5- 8 months no porn no masturbation and then relapsed again ... i know people who relapsed after many years.. and plus others who never relapsed even if they were exsesive users of porn . So this is an advice for all of us not to be over optimistic with such an enemy in our brain .

    • lc
      March 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      So very true!
      Sam

  4. Ayan Barik
    November 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Awesome article.While masturbation does not affect health anyway but it does a drug-like addiction.It happens especially when you lack partner for your sexual desire.Addiction in masturbation leads people away from their regular and normal works,it especially affects education.

    • Sam
      November 13, 2012 at 1:15 am

      Masturbation addiction does effect health, it causes mental and emotional issues. As well as repetitive movement injury to joints. Wrong about getting it if you don't have a partner. Many addicts have wife's and or husbands boyfriends and or girlfriends. Addiction doesn't rely on your limited understanding of the action and reaction to brain chemistry. Do some research, you will be surprised how little you really understand on addiction.

  5. zeeshan
    October 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    what name bay january

  6. om prakash singh
    October 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

    i dont know but i agree this film watching

  7. ahmad
    September 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    this is a nice research ..

  8. jrasulev
    August 27, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Good article, I myself had such form of addiction in my teen age

  9. Scutaru Razvan
    August 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    nice article. worth reading it!

  10. AC
    August 13, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Excellent article, Christian.

    Acknowledge there is a problem. Ask God to help you overcome it. Do whatever He leads you to do about it. Set up a system of rewards and punishments and enforce it upon yourself -- slowly removing rewards for infractions and slowly restoring those rewards for good behavior over a certain amount of time. Battling the addiction is hardest at the beginning and gradually gets easier.

  11. Sam Black
    August 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Great article. To help break bad habits, it's helpful to have a friend supporting you, someone you can be accountable to. When I quit smoking, having a friend to encourage me was a great help. Covenanteyes.com provides Internet Accountability software, which reports how you use the Internet to a friend, whether you are using a computer, your tablet or smartphone. Being able to talk about the triggers for Internet porn and knowing you're not alone, can be so helpful. My Internet reports go to my longtime friend and hunting buddy. Use this promo code to receive the first 30 days free: safeguard.

  12. Dougie
    August 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Your writing style made the concepts easy to comprehend and apply to real life situations. Also, the knowledge you shared was interesting and informative. Thank you for writing/sharing this article.

  13. Pedro
    August 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Nice article.

    PS: I've fapped to female images. Nice triggers!

  14. Kurt Decker
    August 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Very thought provoking!

  15. Lambvolution
    August 4, 2012 at 5:04 am

    nice article!

  16. echantrea
    August 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Great sharing for using other activity to fix your boring other than porn.

  17. Sai Krishna
    July 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

    excellent article. A must read for young adults.

  18. moses
    July 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    i find this article very useful.. and reading it has given me the energy and hope that i can control my self..tank you

  19. Daniel Tanner
    July 30, 2012 at 6:00 am

    This article is great in itself. But I believe that it could be applied to other internet addictions as well.

  20. MUO Fan
    July 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Excellent article that takes a bold look at a critical issue in our society. As a young woman myself in this day and age who feels greatly victimized by our overs**ualised culture and has witnessed first hand the detrimental effects of our cavalier attitude towards obscenity and unprecedented acceptance of s**ual expression, I am heartened to see that there are people of my generation who are willing to address this issue as a matter of concern, and not from a self-righteous or "preachy" standpoint.

    As an example, I feel that we have gone too far in our society with the recent popularity of the novel trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey." Though I have not read the book myself and have no intent of doing so, I am appalled at the level of appreciation the author has received for a book that in my view, is nothing less than obscene and a how-to manual on rape and s**ual torture thinly "shaded" as a horribly written bodice ripper. I believe this book should be take out of print and all copies, digital and otherwise, destroyed, as the United States Supreme Court allowed for in the case of a book on how to become a professional assassin that was used as a guide in several murders in 1993. Search Wikipedia for "Rex Feral" and you will see what I mean.

    I believe that the ease of self-publishing systems and the dire lack of QC (quality control) on the part of sites like Amazon (where FSG was initially released), Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and FanFiction.net (where an early version appeared as a story about "Twilight") has set the precedent, and a dangerous threshold at that, for total anarchy with regards to what is acceptable in the marketplace. Yet, all hell broke loose among self-centred smut peddlers who decried PayPal for its decision in spring of this year to disable accounts that were used to profit off material like this FSG trash, the unseemly Harlequin / Ellora's Cave digital editions, and their equally X-rated ilk.

    Advocates of so-called "free speech" who abuse the United States First Amendment in my opinion, to lower the bar and tear down the floodgates even more, organized a boycott of PayPal and Amazon's Kindle Direct Publisher program in response. Rumour had it they were trying to get Anonymous to DDoS both Amazon and PayPal, making it impossible for anyone to buy anything from those respective services. Not surprisingly, both Amazon and PayPal relented, and the result is the smut and atrocious crap that are allowed to be marketed over the Internet today.

    But in our society that values all its "freedoms," including those like s**ual perversion that destroy lives and contribute to the downfall of a healthy civilization, any argument against against erotica or pornography, or more likely, in favor of system-wide guidelines to prohibit such materials and combat abuse and addictions like we have here, are quickly met with accusations of prudishness, Puritanism and fascist censorship. I myself have argued on numerous occasions that the author of these books -- the distributors and producers of any such materials, in fact -- ought to be mandated to undergo psychological counseling, because they create the products and therefore the consumers, and are just as much at fault if not more so for this disastrous. But in doing so, I have been told that I "shouldn't knock X until I've tried it." I should add that no one my age ought to be trying anything like this -- my age, and that of my peers, being roughly sixteen years old.

    While I myself am not a native of the United States, I do know something about its laws, and I would say that things have very much gone downhill because both sides, conservative and liberal, use the backbone of the country's constitution for political and personal gains rather than in the interest of the public good. An example is that the Bush Administration sought to use anti-pornography statutes as backdoor go-aheads to spy on ordinary citizens via the Patriot Act.

    The Obama Administration, meanwhile, which is very much tied in with corporate media outlets such as motion picture studios and record labels, seeks to use the same kind of legislation to charge people with piracy "crimes" and level extreme penalties against them, the likes of which have perhaps not been seen since debtors' prison was the norm in England centuries ago.

    In summation, I once again commend the young author of this article for his objective yet insightful analysis of the issue of pornographic addiction, the proliferation of s**ual materials, and its origins and effects upon society and numerous individuals who've suffered from it and continue to suffer. As with all addictions, however, the first step towards a real, viable solution is admitting there's a problem.

    But society has as much of an addiction as these poor individuals do, and s*x itself, I'm afraid, carries with it, and is in fact, its own unique beast of psychotic, perverted mental disease for which the supply will only decrease until we allow proper guidelines enforced and measures taken to decrease our demand.

    Unfortunately, until society itself can take some major steps back, curtail its animalistic impulses, and realize the mess we've created in the years post-1970s s**ual revolution and 1990s Internet revolution, what truly amounts to an epidemic will go unnoticed and dismissed as a "problem" we only had in the '50s-era past.

  21. irfan ali shah
    July 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    i like this

  22. irfan
    July 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    i like this . make my profile like this. thanks

  23. Jason Williams
    July 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    great article on a little known issue.

  24. Jason Williams
    July 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    great article on a not so well known issue.

  25. Jason
    July 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    i was glad to read this article. this is a growing issue in which i have personally seen families torn apart over ones dependency on this. Hopefully all those affected can read this and take heart that this addiction is not the end.

  26. Pedro Oliva
    July 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Great article, so informative. Thanks :)

  27. Jonny Roder
    July 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I like pron))))

    • Alex
      July 29, 2012 at 11:46 am

      You're a pervert

  28. Fabrice Soopramanien
    July 29, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Very interesting article !! :P !!

  29. EARL ADDAE
    July 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    thanks for sharing all of this with the world

  30. Choon Khai
    July 28, 2012 at 10:52 am

    It's very informative and helpful! I never thought of this, an eye opener indeed!

  31. Praveen Kumar
    July 28, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Oh Man Porn Is So Dangerous....

  32. Contest Winner
    July 28, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Great story. Sometimes these are the tough ones to not only write but to read. Addiction, no matter the cause, is a symptom that affects a mass quantity of people both physically and mentally, yet too many people do not take it seriously or fully understand the severity and how many ways it can infect a persons life. many who have addicted genes and have some form of addiction, will never know of their illness and will never be able to live the type of life they are capable of. So i commend stories like this, and hope they continue and grow, as it can potentially impact a persons life.

    • lc
      March 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      True!

  33. Fausto Garcia
    July 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Very interesting, thanks.. but I am asking now if it's recommended to block porn at home ?
    or is better to explain the problems of addiction to children ?

    Thakns.

  34. Thus Spike
    July 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    can't believe I read this through and now I'm like 'uh-oh' ! But seriously, very well-written and thought provoking. Every dude needs to read this......

  35. Noman Fayez
    July 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    It is really a very good post......

  36. Maurizio Iccio
    July 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I do not know what to say!

  37. Doug Greer
    July 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Amen brother! I understand addictions and this is right on. Covenant eyes is a phenomenal program. It doesn't block anything, but it sends a report of all websites (pop ups and unders) web searches and images that someone has visited to an accountability partner, spouse, etc. It can only be uninstalled with a code and when an uninstall code is generated an email is sent to the people who the reports are sent too. If someone tries to disable it the internet will be blocked. It's nice - having sons in high school and college, being an educator it doesn't block sites or searches that are legitimate!

  38. Cliff Mccullar
    July 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    an article on how masturbation ruins your life.....up next: how breathing air is harmful to you!(and addictive!!! just try to stop!)

    • lc
      March 20, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      That isn't what was said... Masturbation is NOT the same as an addict.... And this is a very real and serious problem! My experience and I believe a majority of porn addicts have other life issues prior... My side ; We took a 2 month break( talking daily). I thought this was what stared his addiction, both a good thing( he wasn't getting it elsewhere) and bad because he had become addicted... The more I pointed out his ways of finding sex on TV, which amazingly is ALL over network and cable when one really focuses on seeing it or is focused on pointing it out, that being me, I caught myself turning into a CONSTANT nag! Which in turn, in no way helped our sex life( or non sex life) nor his addiction! This went on just over a year and a half,,,crying, frustration, pleading for him to see where I was coming from, I had needs and all the toys, tools, and creativitys we came up with, not that those were bad by ANY means! We opened up in an awesome way other than the fact that there were NO erections,,, no how, no way! Long long story shorted... We were clueless of the CANCER that was taking over his abdomen, his Liver over 80% Timor's and over 3x the normal We only had a couple weeks of truly knowing and understanding this addiction and then he was gone.... He was addicted, chasing, trying soo hard to please me in the way I wanted( needed), fighting with himself because he wanted an erection JUST as bad as I did and he "thought" watching and looking (visual stimulation) would eventually, sooner or later, hopefully,,,, work for us.... Looking back, I am so thankful we stuck in there and didn't give up and our last few weeks(we were given 6-11 months) together, were the best weeks of his(and mine) lives....

  39. ShabbarAFC
    July 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Great article. Thumbs up!

  40. thilina1024
    July 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    This is a suggestion from me.
    If you can add th "Facebook Recommend" button (rather than the "Like" button), to the articles in the web site, it would be great.

    • Alexis
      July 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Ditto.

      • Adel
        July 31, 2012 at 7:21 am

        Hi I want to improv my E langoug can you help me

  41. Tajul Islam
    July 26, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I agree with you.

  42. Tajul Islam
    July 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    i agree with you

  43. Alexis
    July 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

    This is absolutely, without a doubt, the best (non-spiritually based) article I've read on the effects of porn. As a women who has been devastated by this addiction in a marriage, I found your article to be honest, on point, and truly inspiring. Honestly--all the ground you covered is top notch and so eye-opening. I think after all this time, I can't help but be amazed at how many symptoms a porn addict shares with a fellow addict. Thankfully, by spreading the word on this subject, more will find the courage to seek help, and for those subsequently effected by it. I know that I am very thankful. God bless - Alexis

  44. Suman Acharya
    July 26, 2012 at 6:29 am

    nice article. worth reading it.

  45. Haakon Wibe
    July 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Nerds are sometimes very smart people, but we/they should never forget that they are humans with all the strengts and weaknesses within. Of course porn addiction doesn't apply only to nerds, but that is what I am. The urge to reproduce is the strongest second to eating, and will completely block out the rest of the world.
    This is perhaps the latest "Taboo" in a series of social issues discussed worldwide in the last 50 or 100 years.
    The symptoms following, e.g. depression and social anxiety, are actually more dangerous than the addicition to porn itself in that they create the isolation and loss of connection with the surroundings.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I don't think one needs to be a nerd to end being seduced by and addicted to Internet porn!

  46. Fayz
    July 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    A scary read for those who watch pornography! XD

  47. Phúc Ng?c
    July 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Good to know! Thanks Christian for such a informative article.

  48. Steph
    July 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I am a 67 year old grandma and I thank you for dealing with this subject in such a thoughtful way. It is a hidden addiction and we may never know the damage and harm this has done to how many people. It is not just men either although most p*rn is directed at men...women can be addicted too. I am sure the shame and guilt must be horrid for those who are addicted to it. It takes courage and a "one day at a time" approach just like getting rid of any other type of addiction. Thanks again for putting this top in a public forum. Hopefully, it will help those who are suffering and want help. Even if it is just one person, it is well worth the exposure here in your column.

  49. Chris Hoffman
    July 25, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Great stuff, Christian.

    Like most people out there, I never really stopped to wonder whether porn addiction was actually a thing -- it seemed a bit silly.

    After reading this, it's pretty clear that it is a problem some people struggle with. If they've managed to turn their lives around by breaking the habit, more power to them!

  50. dinesh kumar
    July 25, 2012 at 1:58 am

    For such articles i love this site

  51. Benjamin Lee
    July 25, 2012 at 12:51 am
  52. Benjamin Lee
    July 25, 2012 at 12:48 am

    So many insights! You managed to address this important issue clearly and succinctly without crossing the line in either direction. Here is another (Christian-based) addiction recovery program:
    http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/

  53. Josh Wein
    July 25, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Great article, I appreciate it :D

  54. Vipassana
    July 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Cool article Christian - thank you for being one of those who is breaking open this topic so that we can have conversation that matters rather than all just FAP our vitality/spirit down the drain (because that's what's happenin' imho).

    Nonstop tech delivery of porn has pandered to addiction like Pandora's box, at staggering profits to pimp-companies and a huge loss of awareness, creative freedom, and personal presence on behalf of many otherwise hot men in our society. That's just my sense, as a single awesome woman who has found that the playboy/1970s unconscious attitude of "disposability" towards females and sexuality has only increased.

    As Joel mentioned, there have always been legitimate non-religious reasons for avoiding porn, including cultivating a non-consumer mind, physical vitality training, and an awesome capacity for full presence in this brief, precious life - whether partnered or not.

  55. Oluwaphemmy Popoola
    July 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Nice work man, i am rely happy that you are treating this topic with so much info, advice, and indepthness but what worked for me was just a final and complete acceptance of Jesus into my life.

    Porn addiction became something i remember and just smile about, it became so smooth because even every part of my life was affected...

  56. Humza Aamir
    July 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Its a worthy skill you have of presenting information of delicate nature so smoothly and comfortably that would otherwise be a bit hard to grasp.

  57. qox
    July 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    PC breaks.
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/drwright-force-regular-breaks-linux/

    Now, porn breaks.

    You should have started with "How to find a girlfriend".

  58. Danny Stieben
    July 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Fantastic feature, Christian. Very well written. I'm usually not someone who is patient enough to read something as long as this, but it was a very interesting read.

  59. Patrik Strömberg
    July 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Great article..

  60. Bob
    July 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I applaud you treating this subject in-depth and seriously. Great article.

    • Jessica Cam Wong
      July 28, 2012 at 2:07 am

      I absolutely agree. Excellent article, Christian!

  61. Joel Lee
    July 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Your Brain on Porn is a very useful and informative resource. For a long time, the anti-porn stance has been seen as a remnant of a Puritanical America, but these findings are really putting pornography in a new light. There are now legitimate non-religious reasons to avoid pornography, and I welcome it.

    Very nice article and different from the usual MUO stuff, but definitely applicable for most readers (yep, both males and females alike!).

  62. Emmanuel Olalere
    July 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Very informative post, i've tweeted and shared for Facebook for my friends to see.

  63. Austin Halsell
    July 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    This is super informative, and, though it is off beat from typical MUO articles, I think it is very welcome. Porn addiction is serious, especially since internet pornography is so easily accessed by children. Clearly this article isn't for everyone, but the awareness and knowledge of addictions is key to aiding yourself and/or loved ones through their addiction no matter what the vice.

    Thanks for the quality article. It can (and probably will/has) help a lot of people find a place for support and information.

  64. Leo Huzair Sharifudin
    July 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    nice writing...:)

    • All of it
      July 26, 2012 at 4:09 am

      Thanks for sharing. I've seen some great programs which can block the junk.
      Puresight.com is one it looks at the HTML of the site and blocks it before the fact as well as chats etc.
      also change your DNS to Opensdns (http://www.opendns.com/)
      it blocks the worst of the junk.

    • All of it
      July 26, 2012 at 4:10 am

      Also who makes the trash and how is this all legal?
      It's things like these which lead to crime (colorado shooting etc.)

      • Christian Cawley
        July 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

        I've been extremely touched and humbled by the quality of comments on this post, but this is the most stupid, trite, crass and insensitive piece of nonsense I could have imagined.

        Why don't you put your brain in gear before writing such ridiculous trash? You could at least have switched your computer off before clicking the post comment button.

        • jay
          July 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

          Now you know,what you're sayings is nonsense.pornography is trash.

        • Christian Cawley
          July 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

          Hold on.

          The previous comment equates to "porn caused a massacre".

          And you're saying that ISN'T nonsense?

        • yousuck
          October 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

          Christian:

          You're a punk writing your last comment. "Why don’t you put your brain in gear before writing such ridiculous trash? You could at least have switched your computer off before clicking the post comment button."

          YOU DO REALIZE THE VT KILLER WAS HOOKED ON PORN?! there's never more than 1 cause but a culimation of factors.

        • Michael Braley
          July 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

          depression, anxiety, & anger. It is not stupid or incensitive. People become depressed and families become destroyed when they become addicted. Many times have people become depressed to the point they are willing to hurt others, Columbine massacre is an example. It is not that porn makes people want to kill others, but the long run is that destroying relationships and seperating someone emottionally does create a problem.

          Your calling someone elses opinion trash. I think that is trash. Why write the article in the first place if something it not wrong with pornography and the addiction that it can cause. Were is the sence in that?

        • Christian Cawley
          July 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

          The other poster made a ridiculous statement that was crass insensitive to a pretty horrific event.

          Not too difficult to understand, is it?

        • Michael Braley
          July 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

          Saying that it is crass or insensative, is just stupid. To much bleeding heart in this world.

        • Christian Cawley
          July 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

          Dammit, you're right - people just care too much, don't they?

        • Michael Braley
          July 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm

          What is wrong is when people cry over everything. He made an example, this article used examples. The problem is knowing when to identify something as wrong. It is just like when someone says Barack Obama is not a good president, you hear a thousand people shout that the OP is a racist and the only reason the OP does not like him as a president is that he is black. I used the columbine as an example, you did not say anything because it was not resent and people are still not in an uproar about it. Yes the Colorado shooting was a sad incident, but if mentioning it is crass then free speech is not a good idea.

        • LeviTashun
          August 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm

          First, let me apologize for accidentally reporting your comment when I meant to click Reply. Sorry! >_<

          A lot of users are trolling/posting random junk because they're trying to get points for the giveaways, unfortunately.

      • Christian Cawley
        July 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

        Thanks to everyone for your extremely positive comments!

    • All of it
      July 26, 2012 at 4:10 am

      also guardyoureyes.org may help

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