3 Reasons to Beware of Porn

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Mark Chamberlain, Ph.D. of Love You, Hate the Porn.

Today’s twenty-somethings have been exposed to more pornography, and research is showing that they’ve become more accepting of it.

I heard from a young woman the other day who didn’t get why I was anti-porn. “It’s a great way for my fiancé, to meet his needs when I’m not in the mood. I don’t want him to keep bugging me if I’m not into it that night. And he shouldn’t just have to ‘deal’ with frustration, either.”

What’s not to love about porn?

It may seem helpful enough now, but I’m convinced that couples like this will pay a price for their casual acceptance of porn.

I remember when a group named Science in the Public Interest made a stink about an unhealthy, formerly unpublicized, very tasty ingredient in movie theater popcorn: Coconut oil.

Problem is it will clog our arteries for the same reason we keep going back for refills: it’s loaded with the most addictive kind of fat.

Porn is like movie theater popcorn laced with heroin.

It’s up to us to decide whether or not we’re going to consume it, but let’s at least understand what it does to us:

1. Porn ruins real sex.

The woman from the couple above said that her fiancé prefers real sex when he can have it. Unfortunately, even if he prefers flesh-and-blood sex with her now, the scale may tip as he keeps using porn.

The high of infatuation fades over time in a relationship. Why diminish attraction even more by exposing ourselves to a parade of alternative sex objects? Study after study has demonstrated that viewing pornography diminishes research subjects’ attraction to and satisfaction with their real-life partners.

I see it all the time in my practice: One client knew her husband was back into porn because he never wanted to make love to her. Another client, a porn-addicted young man, found that sex with his girlfriend was only exciting when he imagined they were being filmed.

2. Porn fails to satisfy.

Prolactin is one of the feel-good chemicals that comes in like the tide after lovemaking and leaves us contented and more attached to our partner.

In a study at the University of Paisley, some subjects had sex with their partner; others masturbated to porn. Afterward, there was 400% more prolactin in the bloodstream of the subjects who had made love.

Mitch sought my help because he felt trapped by porn, and he didn’t like what it was doing to his life. “I get fed up and try to stay away. But then some part of me wants to explore again. I think, ‘Okay, I’ll look for a few minutes. Then I get hooked in and stay at it.

Later, looking back on the time I spent, it feels so empty. Before, when I was with a girl and the attraction was mutual, I was happy to just be with her. Life was an exciting adventure. Now, with the porn, life’s just bland. I get on the computer and look something up. That’s as special as it gets.”

3. Porn kills confidence.

A client complained to me: “I get a gross feeling in the morning from being so exhausted from looking at porn the night before. I’m disgusted with myself. It sets my day off on the wrong foot. I go about my business and pretend I’m fine, but inside something feels amiss.”

The other day another client concluded, “Porn has played a part in my being afraid of real women. When I can get on the computer and look at any woman, it makes me look past real women. Now, if I bump into a beautiful girl, I may think, ‘She’s pretty,’ but there’s not the same pull, the same electricity that I used to feel. Now the only way I can get that intense attraction is from porn. It makes me not trust my reactions to women, so I’m gun-shy. I used to feel better when I got more aroused by my imagination instead of looking at a computer screen.”

There are lots of couples like our first one out there.

I’m sure some are open to the possibility that porn may not be good for them or for their relationship. If you’re one of them, please remember: there’s heroin in that popcorn.

Read more from Mark on his site Love You, Hate the Porn.

(photo source)

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