10 Reasons Porn Addiction is an Epidemic

10 Reasons Porn Addiction is an Epidemic
10 Reasons Porn Addiction is an Epidemic

10 Reasons Porn Addiction is an Epidemic

With the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989, it became possible to trade instant messages between people anywhere in the world. One could simply type something, and someone elsewhere would see it being typed in real time. Although the first web browsers were text-only, it was only a matter of time until images could be sent and received. Shortly thereafter, videos entered the fray. Even before the first video made its way across the internet, pornography had sprung up all over.

As with anything that appeals to or stimulates the pleasure centers in the body, it fostered a cycle of addiction in those people who were susceptible to such addictions. The first image trading took place in newsgroups, such as alt.binaries.erotica and its many clones. Such transfers were accomplished through a bulletin board systems, up until 2017, porn addiction is has become an epidemic. Why has it become ubiquitous? Here are 10 reasons why:

10It is a “forbidden fruit.”

Porn is enticing

 

Ask any teenager, “What’s the one way to guarantee that you will do something?” Chances are, the teen will say, “Tell me not to do it.” The same holds true for many adults. Among them are many self-professed Christians, who actually access porn on a regular basis as much as non-Christians! According to the results of a 2014 survey, 64 percent of both Christians and non-Christians admitted to watching internet porn more than a few times per month. A bit less than 33 percent of these people said that they thought they might be addicted to porn.

Why do we always want what we either can’t have or aren’t supposed to have? Research indicates that the roots of these particular desires fall sprout up in the far past when problem solving and striving for that which was difficult or impossible to attain was necessary for survival. George Loewenstein calls his theory on this phenomenon the “information gap theory.” He references the human race’s natural curiosity regarding the environment. As an example, Joe the Caveman knows he can’t take down a saber-toothed tiger with his bare hands. Still, he wants to “get that tiger.” So, he looks around and sees a collection of sharp rocks. He attaches one to a sturdy shaft. Presto, he has a spear.

When it comes to internet porn, the sexual longings of human beings, men in particular, often stray to married people of either gender. The unattainable object of one’s affection is the same as the saber-toothed tiger in the previous example. Instead of building a spear, however, 21st-century would-be Romeos and Juliets need only log into an internet porn site to “get that tiger.”

9Internet porn is everywhere.

Anywhere there is wi-fi there is porn

If one types “internet porn sites” into Google, there are more than 23 million hits. Some of the results are “top lists” of other sites. Others are entries in online encyclopedias that explain the prevalence and effect of such sites. A great many are the actual sites themselves. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, more than 5 billion work hours are lost annually because people are searching for or watching porn.

People can watch it on their phones or tablets. They don’t even need to be in their own homes. If someone uses headphones and keeps his or her tablet in his or her lap while sitting at a restaurant table, it would be impossible to see what that person is watching without actually leaning over him or her in a very rude manner. Watching porn in a public area also ties back to No. 10 because it’s “taboo” to do things like that. Why else is there a “mile-high club” for frequent air travelers? With the advent of free WiFi in many public spaces, such porn watching won’t even leave a record of you having watched it. Even though it’s everywhere, it’s still possible to be secretive about watching it.

8It feeds a basal need for power.

Porn can provide a rush of power

From time to time, everyone feels powerless. When it comes to men who are unsuccessful with women or men, depending on their preference, that feeling of powerlessness feeds a growing anger. Men who experience such anger sometimes objectify women and men in their quest to have power over them. Of course, these men cannot act out the aggression in real life because such behavior is criminal. Although some men do cross the line into the realm of the criminal, most turn elsewhere for their sexual release.

Porn provides these men an opportunity to scream obscenities at the computer screen and pretend they’re talking dirty to a flesh-and-blood woman or man. They imagine the object of their desire and derision in suggestive poses. It’s a very short step, too, to imagine them begging for “sexual release” that only the porn watcher can provide.

Power itself can be addictive. In some cases, the lust for power is as strong as a cocaine addiction. The porn becomes the tool for that person to exercise power in a way that’s safe and secret. The stereotype of the “pervert in his mom’s basement” is a good example of the kind of powerlessness that breeds a porn addiction.

Whether the viewer is a man who believes women should be dominated and humiliated, a closeted gay man dealing with feelings of self-loathing imposed on him by society and who is looking to lash out in private, or anything else in between, porn gives a feeling of power.

7People are just horny.

Sex is a biological need

John DeLamater and Rebecca F. Plante performed a survey study in 2014 regarding the reasons people watch porn. Of the four responses that yielded enough statistical significance to be characterized by the study, “I was horny,” was at the top of the list.

Men and women both get horny often enough that there will come a time in their lives, even if they’re involved with a significant other at some point, when they just want to “get off.” Maybe the person has a particularly erotic thought before getting in the shower, and the person’s partner has already gone off to work. All that person has to do is queue up a video from any of a number of websites, watch it, and “take care of business” in the shower. The more often the person feels horny, the more often the person can turn to internet porn for release. When something like porn is easily accessible, it’s possible for that “something” to progress to addiction. When a lot of people all over the world get horny, it can easily become an epidemic of internet porn addiction.

6It’s easy to fulfill one’s fantasies.

Porn fuels fantasy

Even if someone isn’t on a quest for power, it’s very easy to indulge one’s fantasies in the world of internet porn. If someone likes the “naughty nurse” look, for example, more than a million images are just one Google search away. If videos are the order of the day, then there are more than 350,000 from which to choose. Brian Boyd, Joseph Carroll, and Jonathan Gottschall, in their pretends that the women are underage, is the only way to avoid jail time.

The thrill of such “taboo” items can quickly become addictive. For example, in the same way as “adrenaline junkies” become addicted to high-risk adventures, internet porn addicts whose fantasies are controversial or even illegal can live vicariously through the performers on the screen.

Furthermore, people who are repressed sexually can investigate and explore other fantasies and aspects of their sexuality simply by browsing short videos on any one of the more than 4 million porn websites on the internet. The freeing nature of such explorations can also contribute to the overall addiction to porn.

5It might just be a compulsion.

It’s easy to get carried away

According to a study performed in 2013 at the Univesity of Leicester, a porn “addiction” might be a compulsion stemming from certain traits, such a neuroticism, conscientiousness, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The degree of correlation was quite high that men who visit internet porn sites regularly enough for such behavior to be considered an addiction also had dispositions that made them vulnerable to compulsive disorders. In short, for these men, stopping the porn is as hard as “stopping at one potato chip.”

Researchers in 2014 discovered similar findings in a study sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Such compulsions were found to have detrimental mental and physical health consequences in a percentage of the cases studied. These data support the idea that someone’s affinity for internet porn, even if it is a compulsion, the effects of such an affinity mimic the effects of addiction.

Because porn is so easy to find and access, it presents no real obstacle to process by which “liking” it degenerates to “wanting” or “needing” it in the same way as a heroin addict needs the next “fix” to stave off withdrawal. The “feel-good” chemical in the body, dopamine, is key to both the need for sexual stimulation and the feeling after orgasm. Dopamine is also the driving force behind addictions of all kinds. It’s small wonder that porn addiction is has become an epidemic when one considers all of the factors behind that epidemic.

4It’s fun, by gosh!

Fun? Maybe.

Noah B.E. Church notes in his book, “WACK: Addicted to Internet Porn,” that porn is “… really, really fun!” It is so fun, in fact, that is can lead to cravings similar to wanting a cigarette. It can become an emotional necessity for someone to function throughout the day. It can even lead to “building a tolerance.” For example, blow jobs and straight missionary pounding might stop being enticing enough to generate arousal. In cases like this, the porn watcher will have to begin searching for “stronger” options.

Because internet porn and the orgasms that result from watching it generate so much dopamine, watching it can become a vicious cycle. The would-be mastubator watches it to have a little fun coming behind closed doors. The same person indulges fantasies and watches spanking porn, bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, or BDSM, and maybe even “barely legal Catholic girls in plaid skirts, patent leather Mary Janes, and white ankle socks.” After becoming addicted, the poor fellow finds that the addiction is creating concurrent obsessions in his life. And, as already noted, the compulsions have all the terrible ramifications of the addiction.

The watcher is compelled to watch porn to generate dopamine, which creates good feelings, which then lead to withdrawal, which then leads to beginning the cycle all over again.

3Men can’t handle sexually assertive women.

Sexually dominant women scare some men

Hugo Schwyzer wrote an article in “The Atlantic” called, “Turns Out Women Have Really, Really Strong Sex Drives: Can Men Handle It?.” He notes that the evidence suggests that mean are not able to handle the concept of sexually assertive women. Furthermore, the same data indicate that women want sex just for sex’s sake in much the same way as men. Gone is the idea that many women want “all the mushy stuff.”

This challenge to the stereotypical gender roles when it comes to sex threatens some men, which would fuel their sexual anger and drive them to internet porn for the same power discussed above in No. 8. Men, not wanting to be “shot down,” turn to the images in porn so that they can treat the image in such a way to vindicate their bruised egos no matter if such bruising is imagined or not.

Interestingly, the quest for power also involves many men not wanting to move away from the “mold” where they protect and provide for the women in their lives. In their minds, women should be passive and should focus on the pleasure of men rather than their own. In the world of porn, which is dominated by a male perspective even in cases of lesbian films, women’s pleasure is only there to support the pleasure of men. Tying back in with No. 8, sexual power corrupts, and the absolute power that men addicted to porn wield over the women on the screen corrupts them absolutely.

2The porn industry pushes itself.

The porn industry promotes consumption of its product

Cigarette companies knew as early as the 1940s that smoking their product was dangerous to people’s health. Yet, they pushed their products without concern for the sickness and suffering people endured from their products. It’s very simple. Internet porn is a multibillion-dollar business. Porn producers meet in back rooms to discuss profit margins, emerging markets, and how to generate website hits and make money from them. They sound like they’re selling any other product. They’re in the business to find as many people as possible, make them as horny as possible, and get them interested in buying their products.

When such a juggernaut pushes down on a consumer’s metaphorical neck, all but the strongest consumers will often give in to the pressure and “try the product.” How many people would have taken up smoking if there hadn’t been ads showing rich men sitting in expensive cars in the driveways of even more expensive houses, and with gorgeous women in the front seat? Many more than would have taken up the habit had the ads been some rumpled old guy in a seersucker suit saying, “Smoke this brand.”

They want people to be addicted because they make more money when their customers are addicted. Even if people follow their browsers to free porn sites, they will encounter a myriad of click-bait advertisements for everything from sexual lubricants to “legal” escorts that can be had for a song “if you just click here.” If a person has been using internet porn for any of the other reasons listed above, it would be extremely difficult to change that behavior under the weight of the addiction-pushing porn industry.

1Most of the time, it’s free.

The real growth of porn addiction is due to its availability

There’s not much more to say about this. There are millions upon millions of websites that cater to free porn. Savvy internet users can turn off the click-bait on many free websites. They can protect themselves from online attack with malware and antivirus programs. And, when one comes right down to it, they can watch porn and enjoy it for free.

The “free” aspect of internet porn is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the free-of-charge access means that the addict has an unlimited supply of his or her “drug” at all times. On the other hand, the one bright spot of an internet porn addiction is that the addict doesn’t have to visit economic ruin upon him or herself no matter what his or her taste or fantasies.

Conclusion

Internet porn is the subject of study, controversy, and curiosity in today’s society. For every Bible-thumping Christian who decries its existence, there is at least one horny guy or gal who releases a bit of stress on a Friday night when he or she doesn’t have a date. In some cases, couples even watch it to “get inspiration.”

Addiction is a serious thing, however, and if one is not careful in its use, internet porn can quickly devolve to the point that the viewer falls into a maelstrom of emotional turmoil. The addictive power of internet porn is great, but there are options for anyone who fails to avoid the maelstrom. As with any addiction, there are both self-help groups and clinical strategies available to help. Porn addiction can be treated. Some such treatments include:

•12-step programs

•Cognitive behavioral therapy

•Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR

There are also alternative treatments available, such as art therapy and equine behavioral therapy.

Early treatment is similar to the treatment of other addictions: separation from the object of the addiction and fighting back against the denial that accompanies such addiction. Advanced treatments, such as the aforementioned EMDR, reinforce the gains made during the initial treatment process. In any event, the porn addict doesn’t have to face his or her issue alone. The American Society of Addiction Medicine and Rehab.com are just two places to start to get the necessary help and begin to take one’s life back from the jaws of a porn addiction.