Does porn addiction really shrink your brain?

Has heavy porn use caused a spike in erectile dysfunction cases in men under age 30?

Does it really trigger neurological bonding to porn (rather than your partner)?

Those seem crazy, right? CLEARLY this is just some sensationalist, alarmist, crap… right? We thought the same thing, that is until we started digging into scientific literature, studies, and personal accounts.

Turns out, porn addiction (you might call it compulsive porn watching instead) is real and it’s really damaging.

Below are 101 different side effects of porn addiction / compulsion gathered from all over the web and referencing 104 different sources, nearly all backed by clinical studies.

We highly recommend taking this a few bites at a time.

If you could only read a few, we recommend:

  • #1: Reduced Dopamine,
  • #5: Hypofrontality, and
  • #7: Shrinks your brain.

Other ones to note:

  • #21: Erectile dysfunction,
  • #49: Disrupting the partner bonding process,
  • #75: Lack of ambition and drive.

 

 

Brain changes caused by porn addiction

Like your brain just the way it is?

Well, we would suggest staying away from porn then.

In fact, based on all our research, we wouldn’t be surprised to see “this is your brain on porn” advertisements in the near future.

The real porn addiction side effects - this is your brain on porn

Here are the side effects that damage, alter, or impair the brain of a porn addict:

1. Reduced dopamine

One of the primary, and most far-reaching, side effect of porn addiction is a reduction in dopamine receptors, which we’ll go into further in the “shrinks your brain” section.

The short version is that pornographic images release a surge of dopamine into our brains. Combined with the Coolidge effect (see “Habituation”) and high-speed clips of porn, we now have the ability to constantly spike dopamine time and time and time again in a short order.

In very little time our brain starts adapting, reducing the amount of dopamine receptors in our brain and requiring a larger amount of dopamine (ie. bigger “hit”) to feel the same “rush” (see “Escalation”). It causes so many problems that we’ve split them all into their own points below.

Also, according to this article from Livestrong, “dopamine controls physical movement, memory, alertness, attention, emotions and perception of pain and pleasure.” Not something we’d like to mess with too much.

2. ADHD / reduced ability to focus

This study found evidence that disruption of the dopamine reward pathway is associated with motivation deficits in ADHD adults. This means that it’s plausible that, due to the reduction in grey matter in the reward center of the brain, porn addicts can develop, or at least express symptoms of, ADHD.

3. HPA axis deregulation (altered stress systems)

So we’re getting a little scientific now. The HPA is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal. Hypersexual men had higher DST-ACTH levels than control. This means that, when given the Dexamethasone suppression test (DST) they had higher levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH regulates cortisol, the “stress hormone”.

According to psychology today, elevated levels of cortisol can “interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease” etc. Scary stuff.

4. (More) altered stress systems

In addition to HPA axis dysregulation, porn addiction makes changes to your corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the extended amygdala.

According to this study on the dark side of addictions CRF is a key mediator of the hormonal, autonomic, and behavioral responses to stressors. What does this all mean? Again from the study: compelling evidence argues the CRF stress system…  plays a key role in engaging the transition to dependence and maintaining dependence once it is initiated.

5. Hypofrontality

Hypofrontality is a weakening of the frontal lobes, or ‘executive functioning’, parts of the brain.

As defined by YourBrainOnPorn, hypofrontality causes “Weakened self-control systems, [which] are overwhelmed by the cravings emanating from sensitized addiction pathways and a desensitized reward circuit. In other words – your willpower has eroded.”

With weakened willpower, it is no longer enough to know that you shouldn’t look at porn, because the more ‘basic’ parts of the brain are now in control, not your executive brain.

6. Porn sensitization

Remember Pavlov’s dogs? Ivan Pavlov rang a bell, gave them food. Rang a bell, gave them food. Eventually the bell itself was enough to make the dogs salivate, because it meant food was on the way. Sadly, porn can create the same effect, creating Pavlovian memory circuits tied to the addiction that last long after an addict becomes sober. This means that, for an addict, the mere sight of the chair / couch / bed where they had watched porn can trigger the memory of, and subsequently a strong desire to repeat, watching porn. These are often referred to as “triggers” by AA and related 12 step programs. The “trigger” that starts the addictive spiral.

7. Shrinks your brain – Reduced grey matter in reward circuitry

Porn addiction, and addictions in general, are typically created by spiking dopamine levels, which feel good and incentivize us to do the action again. As more and more dopamine is dumped into the brain, our brains start to reduce the number of dopamine receptors in the striatum, or ‘reward center’. This leads to a reduction of grey matter in the striatum. As shown by The Cambridge University neuropsychiatrist, Dr Valerie Voon, porn shrinks your brain.

 8. Reduced reward circuit activation

As a side consequence to a shrinking striatum / reward center, sensitivity to dopamine becomes reduced. This means that it takes more and more dopamine to achieve the same “high” as before, resulting in many of the problems found in the later Escalation section.

9. Reduced ability to process testosterone

In some ways, the jury is still out on if porn and masturbation reduce testerone. This study – and at least three others like it categorized on AnabolicMen.com show that “ejaculation does not acutely change serum testosterone levels”.

However, short term abstinence has shown an increase in testosterone of about 0.5ng/ml“, maturbation and pornography themselves have not been studied enough in terms of their direct effect on testosterone. What we do know, however, is that after “copulation to satiety” (ie. multiple ejaculations in short time), male rats experienced a sharp decline in androgen receptors takes place inside the hypothalamus.

They also experienced an uptick in estrogen receptors.

This means that, while there may not be a reduction in available testosterone, a man’s body may lose some ability to actually process testosterone, and an increased ability to process estrogen, heightening the potency of each hormone.

10. Increased processing of estrogen

As we saw in the “reduced ability to process testosterone”, frequent ejaculations in a short amount of time caused an increase in estrogen receptors in male rats.

Increased estrogen (it’s unclear if the presence of estrogen in the blood, or the ability to process estrogen is the culprit here), produces a host of problems in men, including male breast growth, low sex drive, infertility, risk of stroke, heart attack, prostate problems, and weight gain.

High levels of estrogen also contribute to prostate cancer, heart disease, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Pick your poison… but we’d like none of these side effects, regardless of the difference between estrogen receptors VS. serum estrogen levels.

11. Reduction in prefrontal activation to normal stimuli

A reduction of grey matter in our reward center has far-reaching effects. Shown in these studies collected by, and according to, YourBrainOnPorn.com “addicts had greater prefrontal activity to sexual cues, but less brain activity to normal stimuli (matches drug addiction).”

This means that everyday stimuli just can’t compete with the massive amount of dopamine needed to just register in our brains now.

12. Worsened working memory

According to this study, “…sexual arousal due to pornographic picture processing interfere with [Working Memory] performance.” The authors specifically tested working memory as it is well-known in the medical community that dependency on substances (eg. drug addiction, alcoholism) causes interference in working memory.

So when you think that you “just have a bad memory”, perhaps it’s less you, and more what you put in your brain.

13. Escalation / Desensitization

Because of the changes in neurochemistry and reduction of dopamine brain receptors, longterm porn users tend to need stronger ‘hits’ to get the same ‘rush’. I think that familyshare stated it quite well: “Over time, the pornography we first started viewing becomes mundane. We escalate to view things which we once would have considered as going too far or totally wrong.”

14. Habituation / Need for novelty – increased boredom with images

In a similar vein of escalation is habituation, or the need for novelty. According to this study by the University of Cambridge, subjects quickly grew bored by the same repeated image, yet grew aroused again after being supplied with a new image.

Where this differs from escalation is that it was not more hardcore images, but novel ones of a similar genre that had this effect, which is also known as the Coolidge effect.

15. Aggression

Aggressive behavior as a side effect of pornography use has been heavily contested.

In response Neil Malamuth of UCLA, Tamara Addison of McMaster University, and Mary Koss of the University of Arizona analyzed the arguments and data presented in those published critiques, attempted to integrate the findings of experimental and naturalistic research, and (conducted statistical analyses on a large representative sample to attempt and find the truth.

They found that:

“All three steps support the existence of reliable associations between frequent pornography use and sexually aggressive behaviors, particularly for violent pornography and/or for men at high risk for sexual aggression.”

16. Psychosis / psychotic symptoms

Psychosis is a serious condition where thinking and emotions that are so impaired, that they indicate that the person experiencing them has lost contact with reality.

We’ll admit, we’re on a bit of a limb on this one and it takes further research. Some addicts of drugs and alcohol can have symptoms of psychosis while on the substance of their choice.

Furthermore, some users express psychotic symptoms during the withdrawal phase.

Research on this subject was painfully light, but based on the correlations between brain activity and substance abuse, we decided to include it.

17. Anhedonia—no pleasure, world looks colorless

Anhedonia is a reduced ability to experience pleasure or reward – or, as stated by some – “the world looks colorless”. When it comes to low dopamine levels, anhedonia can be experienced, although it is not incredibly common.

18. Paranoia

Rather than go into more scientific explanation, we’ll cite a story we found in this article by Reuniting:

“Masturbated 5 times today and all the old depressive feelings came back. I could clearly see that the depression was NOT because I felt bad about relapsing, because I didn’t. It was all about my brain. It got depressed, paranoid and very anxious 30 minutes after my binge. I finally understand it now, not just in the abstract, but as a matter of experience. I recognized the feelings that often made me depressed and socially awkward. My solution was all the time the problem. I never suspected binging had this BIG an impact on my whole life.”

19. Mania

According to Medicine.net mania is: “An abnormally elevated mood state characterized by such symptoms as inappropriate elation, increased irritability, severe insomnia, grandiose notions, increased speed and/or volume of speech, disconnected and racing thoughts, increased sexual desire, markedly increased energy and activity level, poor judgment, and inappropriate social behavior.”

According to Mental Health Daily, high levels of dopamine can trigger a manic episode.

This could potentially explain the ability to watch porn long into the night and well into exhaustion… though that is more likely to be the cause of a host of other neurochemicals, such as adrenaline.

Sexual side effects of porn addiction

Beyond changes to the brain, porn also affects men and women “below the belt”.

20. Delayed Ejaculation

While it used to be you couldn’t watch TV after 7pm without seeing some sort of ED or premature ejaculation commercial, delayed ejaculation is the third most common sexual dysfunction in men, but one of the least talked about. It turns out that, due to excessive masturbation to porn, some men are finding it difficult, or impossible, to ejaculate when having sex with a real woman.

It’s getting so bad that men are even beginning to fake it. In fact, that article goes on to cite a “University of Kansas study that found that 25 percent of college-age men said they’d faked orgasms”.
25% faking.

The abundance of porn, and, more specifically, the amount of masturbation to porn has caused an epidemic. Many of these men start off feeling like the king of the world – ie. “I’m a stud, I can last FOREVER.”

Eventually, however, forever gets old.

Forever doesn’t please your partner.

Forever feels like failure.

21. Erectile dysfunction

Of all the side effects of porn addiction, this is the one that typically drives men to seek a solution.

After months of masturbation to porn, you’ve (re)trained your system and created a particular set of muscle memory for what causes an erection.
As recently as 1999, erectile dysfunction rates were only 5%, yet in 2014 they range from 27-33%. According to the same article, “about 60% of compulsive porn users reported erectile dysfunction in this brain scan study.”

It goes on to cite “Lots of guys, 20s or so, can’t get it up anymore with a real girl, and they all relate having a serious porn/masturbation habit. Guys will never openly discuss this with friends or co-workers, for fear of getting laughed out of town.

But when someone tells their story on a health forum, and there are 50-100 replies from other guys who struggle with the same thing, this is for real.”

This was also backed by Italian scientists surveying 28,000 men.

22. Premature Ejaculation

The flip side to delayed ejaculation (DE) is premature ejaculation (PE) – a problem that is far more well known. Interestingly, while in some men porn addiction can cause DE, in others it can cause PE. Researchers believe that this is due to addicts training themselves towards instant gratification..

PE has a darker side as well.

Rather than lasting forever, pleasing your partner, and them going to sleep – men with PE get off too early, don’t please their partner, and they go to sleep. For that reason we considered listing this under relationship harm, but decided against it.

23. Changes to sexual appetite

In a study from 1968 that was cited in Victor Cline’s research, “Dr. Stanley Rachman demonstrated that, with the use of highly erotic pictures, sexual deviations could be created in adult men subjects in a laboratory setting.

He was actually able to condition, in two separate experiments, 100% of his male subjects into a sexual deviancy (fetishism).”
This means that erotic images can, and do, change a user’s’ sexual appetite.

In fact, we also explore how many men and women, gay and straight, start to confuse their sexual identity when it comes to what they’re turned on by (eg. Gay porn for the straight man, lesbian for the straight woman, or even lesbian porn for gay men.)

24. Increases in opioids that dampen libido

In a study done on sexually exhausted rats, scientists found that the rats had increases in the opioids that dampen libido.

25. Sexual identity confusion

Many people, gay and straight, report a changing of sexual preference for porn only, but not in life. Eg. gay men reporting only getting off to lesbian porn or straight men only getting off to gay porn. In fact, porn industry professionals report that straight men are the intended audience of gay porn.

Nearly all of these users report that, when either confronted with the opportunity to act on their confusion, or when they do, they don’t like it at all. As one user said: “I was hoping for a robotic, porn like experience.”

26. Unrealistic expectations

Think of the first time you ate chocolate (or steak, or your favorite food), it was delicious, wasn’t it? But then you discover chocolate truffles. Did it resent your expectations as to how good chocolate could be?

But were you dissatisfied with your first chocolate?

In today’s porn age, men and women now start out with expectations, thrust onto them by both society and the porn industry, of what sex should be like.

But just like the photoshopped images of men and women in magazines are completely unlike even the real life models whose picture was taken, so too is porn completely unlike real sex. Men are not 14″ long, and don’t always sport an 8-pack. Women have curves, and don’t always enjoy yelling “give me more you big stud”.  

In this article published in Men’s Health “The younger a guy is when he starts surfing porn sites, Bridges notes, the greater the potential influence on his sexual expectations.

Case in point: In a recent study of college students in the Journal of Sex Research, men who watched porn once a week expressed a greater desire for partners who talked dirty, dominated them, used sex toys, had shaved pubic areas, and participated in threesomes than men who watched it less frequently.”

Unrealistic expectations were not only the domain of men.

Consider this article in Bustle, quoting Reddit user astralrayn, who stated that she had an unrealistic expectation of orgasms. “I thought orgasms were much easier to achieve than they actually are. As a result I thought something was wrong with me for a long time. I just assumed that PIV [penis in vagina] = almost instant orgasm. I was so disappointed to find that wasn’t the case.”

It can get worse, consider John Mayer who stated “When I watch porn, if it’s not hot enough, I’ll make up backstories in my mind,” Mayer told Playboy, later adding, “this is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.”

27. Hopelessness

Addict after addict after addict have report a feeling of hopelessness caused by their porn addiction. Typically, this is caused when they finally admit they have an addiction, but then don’t take the necessary steps to actually break their addiction.

While quitting an addiction is often one of the most difficult things that anyone can do – we hope we’ve given at least 101 good reasons why they should.

Emotional changes caused by porn addiction

28. Clinical depression

One of the more serious side effects of reduced dopamine – one of the major porn addiction side effects – is clinical depression. Researchers at Stanford were able to induce, then relieve, depression-like symptoms in mice by targeting dopamine receptors in the ventral tegmental area of the brain. Furthermore, many studies are showing a very close link between dopamine and depression.

29. Less energy

Dopamine is also related to both energy levels and the drive to get things done. In fact “Dopamine-deficient lab mice become so apathetic and lethargic they lack motivation to eat and starve to death.” as stated by BeBrainFit, citing a New York Times study.

30. Mood swings

Dopamine is also helps you regulate your mood. Low levels of dopamine can leave you feeling moody or with mild to severe mood swings. In fact, many addicts report that while addicted, and even during early stages of quitting, their mood can fluctuate greatly.

Also, mood swings tend to be severe – ranging from clinical depression (which we also cover) to extreme temper or a “short fuse”.

31. Deep sense of loneliness (for men and their partners)

One of the signs that usage has migrated into addiction is a deep sense of loneliness.

This applies not only to the addict, but to their partners (both long term and short) as well.
As Naomi Wolf, an author, journalist and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, stated in a feature for the New York magazine states:

“Mostly, when I ask about loneliness, a deep, sad silence descends on audiences of young men and young women alike. They know they are lonely together, even when conjoined, and that this imagery is a big part of that loneliness. What they don’t know is how to get out, how to find each other again erotically, face-to-face.”

32. Selfishness

Viewing porn is inherently selfish. You can click around freely until you find the type of actor(s) you want, doing the thing(s) you want, with the (people/objects/”other”) you want.

But rather than taking our word for it, here’s a story published in AllAboutLove.com:

“Pornography promotes selfishness. Seldom did I think of bringing sexual pleasure to my wife. I thought only about getting, not giving. Pornography made it difficult if not impossible to develop intimacy with my wife. When we had conflict, pornography made it so easy to cop out and not work through the conflict.”

33. Shame

In many countries, and especially in the United States, sex is too taboo to talk about in polite company. Worse than sex, however, is porn – we know most men (and 33% of women) look at it, but we don’t want to talk about that.

There’s a problem with this model: the more we demonize porn, the more repressed and unacceptable it is, the more that users must hide their usage. This is neither healing, nor healthy, and can result in a Shame Spiral.

The Shame Spiral looks like this: “I look at porn due to (boredom / loneliness / to rebel against religion / etc.) After the horniness subsides, I feel guilty because the expectations of society, my religion, or my beliefs about myself don’t align with actions.

Now I feel ashamed, guilty, and ‘down’… and the one thing that always picks me up is… porn.”

So around and around the spiral goes.

34. Mild to crippling anxiety

Don Shewey, a therapist in New York, has labeled a new type of anxiety, one he calls porn induced performance anxiety (PIPA) (NSFW due to language).

He goes on to show how porn leads us to put enormous pressure on ourselves and our partners to perform like the images we’ve seen. And, when that doesn’t live up to expectations – because we’re human – we start to wonder: “Is something wrong with me? (or my partner?)”

Rochana Hazra, an anxiety and addictions counselor, states: “The irony of this is that pornography is initially used to relieve anxiety. However, repeated use triggers the fight or flight sex hormones in the person’s brain. While these are intense arousal states, or the high, they also produce high anxiety states in the brain. Thus, the cycle of anxiety and high arousal states of the brain continue.”

35. Feeling worthless

We can’t say it better than this guy:

“… I hit a really difficult period of depression, shame, and worthlessness that felt like a trap I just couldn’t escape. Being a chronic sufferer of ED at such a young age was tearing me apart inside, and the worst part was that I had NO IDEA what was the problem.”

36. Compulsions

One of the key lines between porn usage and porn ADDICTION is compulsiveness. Here’s how to tell the difference: the porn user can take-it or leave-it… and, when they abstain from porn for a week or more, do not miss it and do not compulsively desire it.

The porn addict, on the other hand, will feel compelled to use porn, even though they know it might not be good for them, their relationship, or go against their beliefs.

37. Social anxiety disorder

Another side effect of low levels of dopamine is the tendency to develop social anxiety disorder.

This can be best seen by the Japanese Hikikomori – roughly 700,000 men who refuse to leave their house.

Such as this man, who states, “when I was 21-22 I was feeling so depressed that I was rarely exiting from my room. All I was doing all day was watching porn.”

While his case may or may not have been caused by porn, he does state that his loneliness increased while watching, and decreased during periods of reduced usage / abstinence.

38. Anxiousness

Yet another side effect of low dopamine is anxiousness.

User Drill reported on the SocialAnxietyReport forum:

“I used to be outgoing. I had friends,always hanging out with them.Going to the discos or anything was no problem. Then when I got internet,and discovered porn at age 14,my personality changed.I had no clue why it happened.From the funny,talkative,outgoing guy to a shy,awkward,introverted.”

39. Fear

Fear, especially for the porn addict, is often rampant.

For example, imagine you’re an addict who typically watches on his mobile phone. You’re out with your mom and dad for a nice dinner and your mom asks to look up something on your phone, because her phone ran out of power.

How would you feel, knowing that she’s going onto your phone before you’ve had a chance to check it?

40. Mental confusion

In lockstep with brain fog is confusion. According to Herbal Love, mental confusion due to porn addiction occurs in stages:
“First, at the ‘problematic’ stage, the sufferer experiences fatigue and an inability to concentrate. The ‘severe’ stage finds him sleeping restlessly.

The ‘addictive’ stage manifests itself in the form of chronic fatigue and disorientation.

The final ‘severely addictive’ stage encompasses all of the aforementioned symptoms, plus an all-consuming, pervasive obsession with sex.”

Relationship & dating porn addiction side effects

41. Reduced confidence

According to eHarmony, “Ask any woman what makes a guy sexy and the collective answer is “confidence.”

A man who is self-assured and knows what he wants is admirable and makes us feel secure when we are with him.” Which is why we included Confidence under “Relationship Harm”.

Of course, we could have included this in the Life Consequences section, as Forbes cites that 61% of employers cite confidence as the third most important trait to get you hired.

Side note, while searching for actual percentages of women who list confidence as their number 1 trait, we found that “what women want in men” surfaces a bunch of garbage listacles with no scientifically backed items. If this is your niche, please go create a useful article ASAP.

42. Fewer dates

As we saw in the side effect: Reduced Confidence, literature backing evidence that increased confidence increases dates is buried under a mountain of click-bait-y, content vomiting sites.

With that said, ask any woman what traits they find attractive in a man and inevitably more than 90% will say “confidence” or “humor”.

Taking the converse of this, there are few faster routes to the friendzone than low-confidence, wishy-washy behavior around the opposite sex (turns out both women AND men find confidence attractive.) Reduced confidence tends to result in less beneficial risk taking, such as asking them for their phone number or a date.

Furthermore, according to Manprovement (and we agree): “There is no need to approach women when you have porn. You have all your sexual desires at your fingertips, which causes you to never develop game and to go straight to your laptop when you’re horny instead of trying to find a real girl.”

43. Reduced confidence in Women about what they can offer men

In her article for the New York Magazine, which we quote a few times, Naomi Wolf states:

“When I came of age in the seventies, it was still pretty cool to be able to offer a young man the actual presence of a naked, willing young woman… Our younger sisters had to compete with video porn in the eighties and nineties, when intercourse was not hot enough. Now you have to offer—or flirtatiously suggest—the lesbian scene, [and others we didn’t feel comfortable including]. Being naked is not enough; you have to be buff, be tan with no tan lines, have the surgically hoisted breasts and the Brazilian bikini wax.”

Later in the article, she quotes a young man who says “Sex has no mystery.”

Women now have to compete with cybersexualized versions of women, complete with video editing, extensive makeup, and the willingness to do anything the user desires.

No wonder men, especially porn addicts, are becoming disenchanted and believe women can’t offer them as much as the internet.

44. Girlfriends feeling that they can not “measure up”

Naomi Wolf, in her article for the New York Magazine, said: “The young women who talk to me on campuses about the effect of pornography on their intimate lives speak of feeling that they can never measure up, that they can never ask for what they want; and that if they do not offer what porn offers, they cannot expect to hold a guy.”

This applies both to porn usage and porn addiction, however many girlfriends and wives that discover their husband’s / boyfriends habits feel hurt, betrayed, and rightfully ask: “What does that 2D image have that a flesh and blood me couldn’t give?” Unfortunately, the answer is typically “the thrill”.

45. Objectification of spouse / lover

Imagine, for a second, that you’re looking for a porn clip that’ll be “just right”. What do the women / men mean to you in the perfect scene? What do they mean in the scenes that were not “just right”? Do you see them as humans, or are they more like toys, to be played with for a little while then discarded when you’re done ‘playing’?

Unfortunately, this extends to addict’s spouses and lovers too.

However, there is a second theory that is being explored: “Porn doesn’t objectify women, it just turns [them] into animals” with the article going on to mention that sex-ified women are often referred to as: “Playboy bunnies, sex kittens, vixens, cougars, hellcats, tigers in the sack, foxy ladies.” Though it isn’t outright objectification, it doesn’t bode well either.

46. Reduced motivation to date

What is easier, to put yourself out there at a bar, online dating, or other scene to meet a real life partner, or a Google search?
Single addicts make this decision, subconsciously usually, often: I’ll just stay in and watch porn… I’ll probably be rejected anyways.”

Worse, every bad date just backs up the decision that the internet would have been a better choice. In my own life, I’ve found that I really connected with less than 10% of the women I dated, and a smaller percentage of those were “bring home to Mom” material.

So in that case, which makes more logical sense?

A 100% chance of “connection”, or a 10% chance of true connection?

While the connection created by porn could barely be considered a shadow of real, human-to-human connection, if you’ve been conditioned by porn and haven’t had much success at dating, it sure does seem to be a better choice (though we’ve got 100+ reasons why it isn’t…)

47. Reduces intimacy of sex

Consider: after years of a barrage of images, implied expectations, fetishes, and ED, is it any wonder that the intimacy of sex would be reduced?

How easy, do you think, would it be for a man who’s worrying “will I be able to perform tonight?” to actually be able to enjoy the moment? How easy would it be for a women, a day removed from a 5 hour porn binge, to relax and not think about “Do I look like those women? Am I doing enough?” to relax and ‘get into it’?

But really, the sex addict, and – we believe – porn addicts, may be using porn to escape genuine intimacy much like an alcoholic uses alcohol to escape reality, even for a moment.

Furthermore, researchers discovered is that watching porn reminds you of all the potential sexual partners out there, which in turn lowers your dedication to the person you’re actually involved with. Does that sound like an intimate relationship to you?

48. Sexual selfishness

Objectification, unrealistic expectations, lack of intimacy… is it any wonder that porn addicts might be more selfish sexually than non-addicts? If we stop to think about it, it would make perfect sense. We haven’t seen this in all porn addicts, but since the mere usage of porn is somewhat selfish in its own right.

Ie. I’ll keep looking until I find a **** that’ll do exactly what I want so I can get off.”

Notice how many times we wrote “I” in that sentence…

49. Disrupting partner bonding processes

After pair bonders (ie. animals that mate for life) come together sexually, a hormone named vasopressin is released. This hormone actually bonds us closer to our mate.

However, sexual release to porn also releases vasopressin, actually “bonding” the user to the 2D image.

If you’ve ever watched porn and gotten off, we’ll venture a guess that the image / video you got off to is far more imprinted in your memory then the table layout of the last restaurant you attended.
 

50. Cheating

We thought about including this in the escalation section, as it is usually indicative of problematic escalation, until we saw these studies, one which showed that “over time, exposure to porn was a robust predictor of infidelity.”

Lately, as we’ve been discussing Urgeless with fellow colleagues, friends, and family, we’ve heard more and more stories about men and women cheating on their partners, often escalating from porn, to cams, to escorts. We don’t believe that porn was the only reason – infidelity is a complex issue and well out of the scope of this article – however we do believe that it surely didn’t help, and almost certainly had a contributing effect towards cheating.

51. Loss of attractiveness to women

This one is for the straight men and gay women: is porn use attractive to Women? Let’s see what one woman had to say about porn:

“Porn makes me feel like I don’t look good enough for him and that I don’t please him so he has to go to that. I don’t like it. I seriously work my butt off to stay in shape and being in the mood for him even when I am tired.”

The article goes on to summarize 10 stories: “These women feel it’s selfish and dishonest; porn makes them feel not good enough, not important enough; they’re betrayed, hurt, angry.”

Put yourself in these women’s shoes and ponder: “Would I be attracted to someone that I felt was selfish, dishonest, and made me feel like I’m not good enough?”

52. Loss of feeling attracted to your desired sex

Let’s ponder another point for a moment. Imagine, if you will, that you’re unmotivated, life seems colorless, you have little energy and aren’t incredibly hopeful about your dating prospects. How do you cope with this?

One way is to convince yourself that you “just don’t need it”. You don’t need men / women, you don’t want a relationship, you’re too busy – name your excuse. Furthermore, with reduced dopamine levels, among other neurotransmitters, the opposite sex may actually look less attractive to you.

Here’s a test – think of the last time you were in a new location and hadn’t had sex in a while (nor masturbated).

How many attractive people did you see? Did it seem to be more than usual? How about the opposite – the day after great sex with your partner, did you see as many attractive people that day?

53. Divorce

Like cheating, we struggled to categorize this under escalation or relationship harm, but ultimately it’s too common – possibly destroying 500,000 marriages PER YEAR.

Five. Hundred. Thousand.

That’s an incredible number. Five hundred thousand broken families. One million people hurt (and up to 3.4M if you include 2.4 kids per marriage).

Where did we get this number? Therapist Dr. Jill Manning found that 56 percent of divorces involved a spouse with a pornography obsession.

54. Loss of relationship

We’re going to cite ourselves on this one, specifically, the story we heard the day our founder told the first person about tackling porn addiction:

David is a typical 32 year old man. He enjoys sports, has a steady job, and has a fiancée who adores him. In fact, David’s life is really great, except for one thing.

David is addicted to porn. Not just any porn, David has been struggling with porn since his early teens and lately, it’s gotten weird.

He’s tried the blocker apps – they turned his laptop and phone into paperweights. He’s tried therapy, counseling, and Sexaholics Anonymous too.

But nothing’s helped.

David recently came to the conclusion that he just “needs it”. Unfortunately, his fiancé doesn’t agree.

She left him last Tuesday, one month before their wedding.

55. Lying

Many partners feel hurt, ashamed, and unable to compete with porn… and their partners aren’t stupid. Partners often know, deep down, that their porn use wouldn’t be accepted by their partner, so they hide it.

But sometimes, they get asked, or caught. And often, that’s when they lie.

In fact, PsychCentral states that it’s one of the signs that a porn habit has begun to progress to an addiction.

Physical side effects of porn addiction

56. Headaches

When it comes to physical consequences, everyone tends to respond differently. However, as reported by Medical News Today and published in the Journal: Archives of Behavior – a 24 year old man developed severe headaches five minutes into watching pornographic videos.

Furthermore, the headaches were described as “exploding holocranial headaches”. And he’s not alone, as this user reported headaches too on the NoFap forum.

57. Insomnia

As reported by this user on the Your Brain Rebalanced forum – severe insomnia is a possibility when addicted to porn. See the related side effect next for more info.

58. Sleep disturbances, “restless legs”

Similar to insomnia, though to a lesser extent. As reported by the Scientific American blog changes in your D2 receptors may be at fault for poor sleep.

Unlike all the “what women want in men” type articles, Scientific American cited a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2012: Volkow et al. “Evidence That Sleep Deprivation Downregulates Dopamine D2R in Ventral Striatumin the Human Brain”.

Consider sleep disturbances lucky, as it can progress into full-blown insomnia.

59. Tiredness

Is this horse beaten to death yet?

We didn’t think so.

In this article by Reuniting.info – a user described a relapse: “After 6 days of no porn/masturbation, I used it.

Now, a day later… Here are my symptoms: Tired. Today I slept a lot. Bad flu-like symptoms. My throat aches like crazy. Depressive. I see everything in black. It’s almost like the worst day of my life.  Anxious, afraid. My voice is f-ed up. Had couple of really strange déjà vu experiences. Been thinking a lot about a few porn stars; can’t get them out of my head. Can’t work. I’m restless and disorganized.”

Besides the dopamine-induced insomnia and sleep disturbances, we think there’s another villain at play: the late nights. Many addicts report their addiction consuming hours of their life per day. Often, this tends to be later in the evening when boredom, loneliness, hunger, or a variety of other triggers are at play.

It’s tough to be alert when you get a poor night’s sleep.

60. Altered voice

We covered this briefly under “Tiredness”, citing the user in this article by Reuniting.info. Many people on the NoFap and Porn Free forums report that, after recovering from porn addiction, they actually noticed that their voice deepened. While we’re not sure exactly why, it was cited far too many times to link and made it worthwhile to include.

61. Throat aches

We’ve seen multiple instances around the web where addicts professed to throat aches as a side effect of their porn addiction. It has not been reported in every circumstance, but we did find it enough to include.

62. Decreases in resting heart rate

It turns out that, for a period of 12 hours after ejaculation, our resting heart rate decreases.

This is not directly related to porn addiction, but given the circumstances surrounding porn and the fact that addicts tend to watch more than once a day, it seems apt to include.

Side effects causing life consequences

63. Higher difficulty making decisions

Your striatum (reward circuitry), is involved in both motivation and decision making. Because addicts now have reduced grey matter in the striatum, as stated earlier, they also often report that both motivation to act, and decision making when acting, is impaired.

64. Low self esteem

According to this article from Fight the New Drug, citing research from this study: porn usage reduces “body satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and overall emotional well-being.  

Pornography exposure was correlated with social physique anxiety for gay men and a higher tendency of developing an eating disorder. [Furthermore] their sense of emotional security was lower overall than guys who do not view pornography.”

Think it’s just men that are having lowered self esteem?

Turns out porn is also cited as the reason for an increase in labiaplasty surgeries. Yup, women are now seeking “designer vaginas” to satisfy an increased level of expectations derived from porn.

65. Reduced motivation

Your striatum (reward circuitry), is involved in both motivation and decision making. Because addicts now have reduced grey matter in the striatum they also often report a reduced both motivation to act.

This manifests itself in reduced motivation to work, reduced motivation to find a mate, reduced motivation to mate, and the list goes on long enough that this could – and might – become its own category.

Worse, willpower is a scientifically limited resource in humans. This means that, when using the willpower method of eliminating porn addiction there is less willpower to push yourself, thereby compounding the problems of reduced motivation.

66. Brain fog / Fuzzy brain

Brain fog” is a phenomenon reported by many current and former addicts.

The best description we could give is the feeling that many get after the headaches and nausea of a hangover have subsided. Brain fog literally feels like a cloud had come over your brain.

Addicts report mild persistent headache, difficulty focusing, and generally an impaired ability to process information.

67. Loss of time

Think back to the last time you looked at porn, how much time did you spend on the internet? Chances are, it’s not only a considerable amount of time, it’s probably more than you remember.

Reported by the website joe.ie, the average man spends 3 months of their life viewing porn, about 45 minutes per week (women spend about 19 minutes per week, on average).

Oh, and don’t forget that researches found a negative correlation between amount of time spent viewing porn and grey matter in the reward center

68. Procrastination

Procrastination and reduced motivation go hand-in-hand, but have some fundamental differences.

Reduced motivation means a reduction in desire to do anything, whereas procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. Not only do porn addicts find it more difficult to do anything, they also find it even more difficult to do the things that they need to do.

One hypothesis of ours is that, by expending willpower on avoiding porn, users have less willpower when it comes time to do the important, Eat the Frog type task.

The porn addict just doesn’t have the willpower left in the tank to get motivated, thereby procrastinating until they capitulate and give up.

69. Reduced ability to make decisions under ambiguity

Not only does porn reduce overall decision-making capabilities, it also diminishes the ability to make decisions under ambiguity, as reported in this study.

This means that, when making a difficult decision that doesn’t have a clear right answer, the decision itself becomes more difficult.

70. Reduced job performance

Reduced working memory, increased impulsivity, distractions, tiredness. Could these have any effect on your job performance?

While we can consider semi anecdotal stories, such as this one published by MTV stating “excessive porn use has also been linked to increased impulsivity, so if you can’t seem to muster up enough self-control to get that report written, it may be the fault of [porn]”, or Michael Leahy, who said “I was a company’s worst nightmare, I would always come in with big expectations. But over time, more and more of my time and energy was in pursuit of porn.”

Those are good, but we found a better story, published in The Atlantic:
Did porn cause the financial crisis? (Of 2008)
Yes, you read that right.

In 2007 and 2008, when cracks were first appearing in the financial system, 18 senior staffers were cited for extensive porn use and an accountant was blocked over 16,000 times from viewing porn… though he still amassed a large collection by bypassing internal corporate controls.

One piece we pulled out of the article summed it up nicely:
“A senior attorney at the SEC’s Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office. He agreed to resign, an earlier watchdog report said.” “When on the verge of the most major economic crisis in around 80 years, [SEC regulators were] watching porn instead of the financial system.”
When it comes to substance abuse in the marketplace, it’s estimated that employers see $128.6 billion in lost productivity annually. That’s the GDP of a small country, and we’d believe that porn addictions at work cause similar damages, or more.
Sure, a porn addiction won’t affect your job performance. Right.

71. Reduced wit

Think back to your last hangover.

If you don’t drink, think about the last time you saw a friend hungover. How witty were they?

Sharp as a spoon I bet.

In lockstep with eliminating Brain Fog, recovered addicts report an increase in wit.

Good thing too, as we – and many we know – enjoy a highly witty person since they tend to be funnier and keep us on our toes.

72. Slow mornings

Procrastination, reduced motivation, both are great for getting up in the morning, right? The early bird gets the worm while the porn addict is lucky to get dirt.

73. Slower thinking

YourBrainOnPorn states dopamine and dopamine receptors are central players in cognitive functioning and memory.

Once again, we see our enemy – unbalanced dopamine – at play. Many former users report an improvement in wit and thinking speed after a period of abstinence from porn.

74. Unhealthy risk-taking

Dopamine spikes while viewing porn, this is exactly how porn addiction occurs. One of the side-effects of high levels of dopamine includes unhealthy risk-taking.

For the porn addict, this includes actions such as: interactions on online sex-related chat rooms, watching live cams, escalation into child pornography, hiring escorts, exhibitionism, etc. – many of which are covered in further detail in ‘escalation’ section, below.

75. Lack of ambition and drive

We’ll admit, there’s a lot of overlap with “lack of motivation” here, but we see ambition and drive slightly differently.

When you lack motivation, it’s hard to get yourself to do anything, but it’s especially hard to take major risks, to put yourself out there 100%, and to try and realize massive ambitions.

76. Disorganization

Some porn addicts, especially heavy use, report that their brain fog causes disorganization. We believe this is due to the combination of dopamine fallout and reduced working memory, though materials were light on this point.

77. Maladjusted priorities

This is manifested in two ways: first, porn addiction – by definition – contains a level of obsession about porn, porn becomes a priority, sometimes over that of an addict’s own children, husband/wife, and job – as shown elsewhere in this article.
Secondly, ejaculation’s effects are quite likely powerful enough to affect our perceptions, priorities, feelings of well being, contentment and relationship harmony for a time.

78. Reduced friendships

So many users reported a loss of friendships due to lack of motivation, unhappiness, anxiousness, and other side effects that we lost count a long time ago.

Needless to say, obsession with porn to the point of addiction leaves the addict with so many unattractive side effects that it’s no wonder they have fewer friends.

What might be more surprising is that they can maintain any friends at all.

79. Black shadows (feelings of guilt)

Guilt and shame are often side effects of porn addiction, but this one goes a bit deeper. For many, porn goes against their religious beliefs, beliefs about themselves as a person, and/or commitments.

Users called these the “black shadows”, deep guilt and shame that permeated the periphery of their minds during the days.

It’s a combination of guilt and fear. It could be that they’ll be found out, that there’s a disconnect between what they believe about themselves and their actions, or that they just plain don’t like the results of their actions.

Escalation – when porn addiction evolves

This section contains many stories and claims that will not be applicable to everyone.

In fact, we really hope that these side effects apply to nearly no-one, though we’ve heard personal stories of men and women whose porn addiction has lead them down one of these many paths.

For the sake of your health, your freedom (many of these are highly illegal), and society, please don’t let an addiction live long enough for it to evolve down this path.

80. Online chat rooms

Once 2D images and videos no longer provide a large enough spike, the next step for many is to start live, but on-screen, interactions in online chat rooms or cams. This is probably the most mild of what we label under “escalation”. It did land here, however, because where the lines between porn and life really start to blur.

81. Sex with prostitutes / buying escorts

Sadly, this is a not-too-uncommon progression of porn addiction, and one we have seen in others. Taken to the extreme, the need for bigger and harder “hits” pushes people to extreme actions, including paying for prostitutes.

82. Sexual transmitted diseases

What happens when you combine escorts, sexual promiscuity, and addiction? Addiction is characterized by, among others, hypofrontality / a decreased ability to utilize willpower against the reward center.
What do you think the chances are, then, of STDs when something goes wrong, such as a condom breaking (or not having one to begin with)?

83. Theft / Stealing

When researching this post, we found several people who admitted to buying the services of escorts at a pace well-above their means (some even spending $40,000-$70,000 in a year).

Addicts, especially ones addicted to substances, have been known to do whatever it takes to get their substance, including stealing.

For porn addicts that have escalated, this is a very real possibility, with one admitting that he “would borrow money with no intent of paying it back”.

84. Sexual addiction

The line between porn addiction and sex addiction is blurred, at best, because during escalation 2d images are no longer enough.

Plenty of men have reported turning to escorts after porn just couldn’t cut it. One escort can become two, which – in some circumstances – can become hundreds, as we show under “Loss of money”.

85. Pedophilia

Sadly, a progression into pedophilia is not a far stretch from other progressions.

Consider this, at a certain point as more and more dopamine spikes are needed to maintain similar “hits”, more sex just won’t do it. Typically, a user then turns to shock (BDSM / fetishes) or porn that goes against their beliefs about themselves (straight men reporting watching gay sex, lesbian women who only get off to straight porn, etc.)

But once shock and disalignment are no longer enough, users sometimes turn to the illegal, such as pedophilia.

Consider these NoFap users, who posted the most disturbing things they got into while addicted to porn. WARNING, it’s not safe for work, and probably not safe for life in general… some of the postings are truly shocking.

86. Compulsive promiscuity

An example cited in Victor Cline’s research paper: “pornography’s effects on adults and children”, shows how bad it can get.

“Deputy Mayor Arrested: The 46-year-old Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles attended a west L.A. porn theater one afternoon a few years ago. While watching the sex film, he became so aroused that he started to sexually assault a patron sitting next to him.

The individual turned out to be an undercover city vice-squad officer. The Deputy Mayor was arrested, booked, and found guilty in a subsequent trial. This distinguished public servant left the office shamed and humiliated, his career in shambles.”

87. Voyeurism

Similar to exhibitionism is voyeurism. We say they’re similar because they’re both highly risky behaviors that often lead their abusers in prison.

88. Sexual Deviancy

In a study in 1968, and cited in Victor Cline’s research:

“Dr. Stanley Rachman demonstrated that, with the use of highly erotic pictures, sexual deviations could be created in adult men subjects in a laboratory setting. He was actually able to condition, in two separate experiments, 100% of his male subjects into a sexual deviancy (fetishism).”

Now while we can argue that, with the use of a lab of brilliant, professionally trained researchers intent on inducing sexual fetishes in men would produce a higher conversion rate than in the wild, it’s still hard to argue that these results are anything less than incredible.

And somewhat terrifying.

89. Exhibitionism

Writing this section is rather difficult. When I was a child, I attended a youth church with a fantastic pastor that kept us laughing, engaged, and excited to come into church each Sunday.

One day, we come into the youth group and our pastor isn’t on stage, rather, it was the head pastor.

“Kids, I have some news. Jeff* (the former youth pastor) has recently been caught flashing young women at a gas station. He has been let go, and Steve* will be your new pastor…”

While I have never caught up with Jeff I would venture a guess that he was addicted to porn long before he needed exhibitionism to give him a strong enough “hit”.

I can say from personal experience that losing someone you respect in this manner was a massive blow and something that took years to begin to understand.
Or there was the time that, in a major university library, a man was masturbating near an ex-girlfriend of mine, making sure that she saw. Luckily for her, and unluckily for him, she was able to make it to the front desk and alert help before the man had a chance to pull up his pants and run out the door.

He was promptly accosted and persecuted.
I wish those was the only personal stories that I know of exhibitionists, but many other men in groups such as SLAA, an AA like group for sex and love addicts, report that they turn to exhibitionism when the internet, chat rooms, and escorts no longer can cut it.

This is not a side effect of porn to be taken lightly, it’s a serious problem of escalation and one that lands many men in jail and many others with ruined home lives or families.
*Names changed.

90. Group sex

To some, this might be a positive side effect of the prevalence of porn.

According to The Daily Report, the amount of people who admit to having a threesome has doubled since 2010.

However, as reported by these 15 anonymous people on the Whisper app: that’s not necessarily a good thing.

While some enjoyed it, one user said:
“I had a threesome for the first time last night. It was easily the worst sexual experience I’ve ever had.”

91. Rape

Another incredible, and terrible, result of pornography addiction, and the subsequent evolution to sex addiction, is the prevalence of rape. Victor Cline cites another powerful example in his paper:

“I was asked to consult on a case where a Phoenix-Tucson area professional person, president of his firm and head of his church’s committee on helping troubled children, was found to be a serial rapist who had violently raped a number of women at gun or knife-point in the Arizona area. In doing the background study on him, I found him to come from an exemplary background and trouble-free childhood. He was an outstanding student in high school and college.

His wife, children, business, and church associates had not the slightest inkling of his double life or dark side. The only significant negative factor in his life was an early adolescent addiction to pornography which, for the most part, was kept secret from others.

This gradually escalated over a period of years, eventually leading to spending many hours and incurring great expense in “adult” bookstores, looking at violent video-porn movies and masturbating to these.

His first rape was triggered by seeing a close resemblance in the woman he assaulted to the leading character in a porn movie he had seen earlier in the day. Reality and fantasy had become extremely blurred for him as he acted out his pathological sexual fantasies.”

I fully believe that this man did not like his actions, did not want to continue his actions, yet something kept him from being able to break the pattern.

92. Sadomasochism

Sadomasochism is a subset of sexual deviancy, or fetishism. Thinking though some of the other porn addiction side effects, however, we can see that this side effect plays into the aggression side effects, seen earlier.

This is particularly frightening as it creates a reinforcement cycle within the side effects, ie. aggression and sexual deviancy lead to sadomasochism, which then feels good, thereby reinforcing the aggressive tendencies.

93. Child molestation

This controversial study showed that 85% of men who were arrested for child pornography were also child molesters, molesting an AVERAGE of 13.5 victims apiece. We are willing to bet that at least 90% of those men, when they were young, couldn’t fathom themselves as child molesters in their future. Or how about this story, published in the Deseret City news:

“Samuel Seager doesn’t know whether it was child pornography that led him to sexually abuse his 12-year-old victim or not.
“I think, for my case, it was coincidence that they both happened at the same time — but maybe not,” he said from the Duchesne County Jail.
“Would I have done so much with her if it hadn’t been what I’d seen on the Internet? Got ideas and really started playing with the deviant part of my mind? With these cases, you don’t know what you would have done without that influence in your life.”

This is one of the hardest porn addiction side effects to write about, but one of the most important.
We can’t say that even a significant percentage of porn addictions end in child molestation and imprisonment, but the number is (scarily) non-zero.

94. Loss of money / a trip to the poorhouse

On the NoFap Reddit forum a user asked “What is the most disturbing thing your porn addiction has escalated to?”

One of the examples really stuck out: “escorts, I would estimate probably $4K on massage parlours/escorts. Still recovering….”
$4,000 a month. That’s $48,000 PER YEAR.

In 2014 the median US household income was $51,939. This man was spending nearly the entirety of an average HOUSEHOLD on escorts and massage parlours.

To put that in perspective, that’s enough money to buy a brand new Scion FRS (Toyota’s quite-cool sports car) and have enough money to take his two kids out to seven HUNDRED and fifty-six movies in a theater.
And he’s not alone.

In this article, a 23 year old named Rundeep admits to using over 900 escorts.

At an average cost of $71 apiece, that puts conservative estimates at ~$65,000 (or £45,000 – as he is British).

95. Abuse

Aggression, extreme temper, and mood swings, all of these we showed previously were prevalent in porn addicts.

While we believe that few addicts turn to outright aggression in their relationship (studies were difficult to find / non-existent), the probability of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse are likely higher in porn addicts than in well-balanced people.

96. Unemployment / Job loss

Think that porn induced job loss is a myth. Of course it is. Except, well, for these three judges who were sacked for watching porn on the job..

Or this Washington state employee who “spent more than 300 hours on the Internet for non-work related purposes, including watching porn and browsing car parts.”

Or how about this Baltimore City employee who spent more than 39 hours watching porn over a two week period that he was monitored, including one day where “viewing occurred for 6 hours and 46 minutes of an eight-hour day.”

While a porn addiction isn’t guaranteed to get you fired, it sure doesn’t help.

97. Substance abuse / addiction

Although not common, another possible escalation from porn addiction is a migration into substance abuse and addiction.

We believe this likely leads back to reduced dopamine receptors. Perhaps addicts, when faced with the need for dopamine but ethical and physical ramifications of escorts, prefer instead to turn to drugs and/or alcohol to get their dopamine fix.

There are many stories of migrating addictions. For example, an alcoholic might give up drinking, only to find they are now addicted to sex.

98. Possibly leads to Parkinson’s disease

We’ll be the first to admit that we’re going out on a large limb here, as this hasn’t been directly studied with respect to addictions.

With that said, according to this study, “a decrease in dopamine in the substantia nigra of the brain has been implicated as the cause of Parkinson’s disease”.

From all the research we’ve collected above showing the correlation of porn addiction and altered dopamine, we believe we may see more cases of Parkinson’s in 50+ years.

99. It may cause schizophrenia

Similarly to Parkinson’s disease, we’re going out on a limb.

But according to the same study, “it is argued that a functional excess of dopamine or oversensitivity of certain dopamine receptors is one of the causal factors in schizophrenia.”

There’s a LOT of grey areas here – as we already showed that porn addicts can have prolonged sessions of excess dopamine, but also tend to lose sensitivity to dopamine.

So the jury’s still out, but it’s terrifying enough to include within the escalation section.

100. Imprisonment / jail time

Many of the porn addiction side effects that we’ve covered in the escalation section are illegal, many felonies, and will end up landing someone in jail for a significant amount of years.

Worse, many of them are so abhorred by society that they can fundamentally alter, and often shatter, the course of an offender’s life.

We’re sure that nearly, if not all, offenders never could have possibly imagined themselves doing the horrendous actions as adults if they were asked if they were capable of these actions as children (or even just a few years before.)

So the question is – is it worth the risk?

Porn addiction side effects that cause Societal Damage

101. It supports sex trafficking

While nearly all of the porn addiction side effects harm the addict or someone close to the addict, such as a spouse, it also often harms the mostly women, and men, who star in the clips themselves. In fact, feminists and conservatives alike believe that the demand for sex trafficking is caused by (or at least exacerbated by) porn.
But where’s the direct link between porn and sex trafficking? For one, some traffickers use pornography for psychological control – a performer may want to leave the industry, but the pictures of them will be on the internet forever. Also, with the porn industry being reputed to be an approximately $100BN industry, there’s a lot of money to be made – and trafficked victims can’t really say no.

3 comments

  1. Pingback: Porn Addiction Side Effects - I believe in a thing called love

  2. Kathy

    Reply

    #95 is true. I lived an extremely violent nightmare with my porn-addicted mate…our relationship ended in his suicide. Thank you for this information.,

    • Reply

      Kathy, thank you so much for your comment. My heart goes out to you… I couldn’t begin to imagine that scenario and what you went though. I hope it was far enough in the past that you’ve had time to recover and heal.

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