- Psychological Concerns: Much of today’s internet pornography presents an unreal and distorted view of sexuality (i.e. that women enjoy being aggressively used as sexual objects). This a very important point to understand, as teens (or younger) view streaming videos of real people having real sex, and thus shape their perceptions and expectations.
- Potential Relationship Problems: Gone are the days when a teenager kept a Playboy magazine under his bed for occasional peeks of a nude woman; with today’s highly graphic streaming porn videos, virtually every sex act imaginable is available for consumption. Beyond the obvious internal concerns (one partner doesn’t like the fact that the other partner looks at porn), there are documented studies showing that regular viewing of Internet pornography decreases a person’s level of commitment to the relationship.
- Porn Induced Sexual Dysfunctions: ex. difficulty reaching climax, using a condom or sustaining an erection. This isn’t a blood-flow issue; it’s a brain-based issue. “Real sex” simply can’t complete in a brain trained to respond to the intensity of high-speed, ever-novel streaming internet pornography. Some porn users are conditioning their sexual arousal template to everything associated with porn use: voyeurism, novelty, fetishes, searching for the perfect video, new porn stars, new genres, etc. creating a mismatch with partnered sex, and reduced arousal.
- Physiological (brain-based) Issues: Viewing Internet pornography isn’t “bad” or problematic in and of itself. (Unless it violates your personal/cultural norms and values, but that is an individualized topic.) Chronic viewing, however, is another story. So while looking at Internet pornography occasionally or intermittently may be “normal”, there is such a thing as looking at it too much. The more often someone views it the more likely they are to experience hyper-arousal to cues for pornography use, decreased response to everyday stimuli, decreased self-control relating to pornography use and increased urges to relapse when under stress.
So what happens what you stop viewing?
Things may get worse before they get better. Many chronic users initially report “brain fog”, as well as negative moods and feelings (anxious, irritable, depressed). This is because the brain’s reward center needs time to reset itself – called rebooting in the Internet world. In time, however, things get better. Ultimately, people report benefits such as the following:
- Increases in Energy & Moétivation
- Improved Concentration
- Anxiety reduction
- Brain Fog clears
- Start new Hobbies
- Start Dating again
- Go back to School
- Emotional Reconnection
- Newfound Confidence