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Porn as Erototoxic | Posted: October 22, 2011

Porn numbs body's response to sexual pleasure: Psychology Today

By Christine Dhanagom, October 20, 2011

Recent research indicates that porn use can cause sexual dysfunction by numbing the body's response to normal sexual pleasure, according to a report published in Psychology Today.

The report was authored by Marnia Robinson, and originally published in "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow: Biology Has Plans for Your Love Life," a book Robinson co-authored with her husband, Dr. Gary Wilson. 

Robinson explains that the brain can become desensitized to dopamine, the neurotransmitter that activates the body's reaction to sexual pleasure, through the kind of over-stimulation readily available via the internet's porn culture.

The result is that users fall into a chemical dependency, requiring larger doses to achieve the same effect. This phenomenon drives the market for "extreme genres" of porn and decreases an addict's ability to respond to real life sexual encounters.

"It's all free, easy to access, available within seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Overstimulation of the reward circuitry in the brain is a very real possibility today," Robinson explains. "Many men don't realize their brain's sensitivity is declining toward normal sex because Internet erotica delivers endless dopamine hits."

She adds: "There is almost total ignorance about the significance for porn users of the recent discoveries of addiction science."

The article contends that recovery from the effects of a porn addiction is possible within 6-12 weeks, but may require the help of a professional counselor.

Men who have attempted to stop a pornography addiction report withdrawal symptoms such as temporary drop in libido, insomnia, irritability, panic, despair, concentration problems, and even flu-like symptoms.

The article cites one recovered porn addict who lays down three facts that other addicts should be aware of: "1. This is 100% fixable; 2. It will likely be one of the most difficult things you've ever done; 3. If you ever want a normal sex life again, you kinda don't have another choice."