Your Brain on Porn: 10 Common Signs of Addiction

“If a man or woman ejaculates to pornography on a regular basis they will actually attach to sex as object relationships as opposed to intimate relationships.” — Douglas Weiss, psychologist and executive director of Colorado’s Heart to Heart Counseling Center

What do you look at or imagine most during sex? What about just before you climax? If your answer has anything to do with a XXX website, photograph or movie, you’re at high risk for porn addiction, a condition that reportedly affects 10 percent of adults, according to Brigham Young University. Yikes, right?

Here’s why:

Whatever we envision, real or imaginary, during arousal and orgasm, when our levels of feel-good “I’m so turned on!” brain chemicals are at their highest, imprints on our brains. So the more often we watch or imagine porn during sex, the more likely we become to only experience turn-on and orgasm via porn, versus a lover. This is a definite setup for addiction. Once it develops, porn addiction can greatly detract from a person’s life.

The more porn the brain perceives during arousal, the more it wants.

The more porn the brain perceives during arousal, the more it wants.

10 Signs of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction affects people differently, but here are some of the common signs:

  • Needing to use porn for arousal or orgasm
  • Needing to use porn to relax, think straight or function normally
  • Reduced interest in normal sex
  • Using porn frequently and routinely (such as daily or more)
  • An inability to go a week, a month or longer without porn use
  • Defensiveness about porn habits
  • Secrecy about porn habits
  • Using porn instead of socializing or tending to work or family obligations
  • A strong desire for extreme sex or porn-like body types
  • Feeling generally withdrawn and having difficulty focusing

Thanks to folks like Rachel Khona, a writer whose ex-boyfriend’s porn addiction compelled her to speak up about the seriousness of the dependency, conversations are taking place, bringing light to this growing epidemic and help to those affected.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel on Girl Boner Radio on Monday. To learn more about her experience and what to do if you suspect that you or your partner is struggling with addiction, listen to our chat via iTunes:

Porn Addiction: A True Story

Rachel Khona, Writer

Rachel Khona

Related links and resources:

The Washington Times: More Women Lured to Pornography Addiction,
Brigham Young University: Pornography Statistics
Sexual Recovery Institute: 10 Signs Your Partner Might Be a Sex or Porn Addict

Have you or a loved one been affected by porn addiction? How do you keep sexual intimacy going strong, with or without porn? What did you think of our interview? As always, I love hearing your thoughts! ♥

To learn more about Rachel and her work, visit RachelKhona.com and connect with her on Twitter: @RachelKhona.

Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. jsredmond

     /  May 22, 2014

    Check out the film “Don Jon” for a good, if slightly lightweight take on this serious subject. On May 22, 2014 6:13 AM, “August McLaughlin’s Blog” wrote:

    > August McLaughlin posted: ““If a man or woman ejaculates to > pornography on a regular basis they will actually attach to sex as object > relationships as opposed to intimate relationships.” — Douglas Weiss, > psychologist and executive director of Colorado’s Heart to Heart Counseling > Ce”

    Reply
    • I sure will. Thanks, Jennifer!

      Reply
    • Concerned221

       /  January 13, 2015

      I know you mean well, but when you recommend a film with not just explicit scenes, but scenes taken right out of pornographic movies, it really doesn’t help the whole ‘don’t watch porn’ approach, especially since this is the internet and anyone who’s trying to quit this habit really ought not to watch such a movie. In fact, no one should watch such a thing, but that’s beside the point…it’s really counterproductive and ironic to recommend such a movie here. Tsk.

      Reply
  2. Fascinating post, August. I have a relative whose marriage broke up over porn addiction.

    Reply
  3. laurie27wsmith

     /  May 23, 2014

    Like any addiction it’s often the anticipation of the event more than the event itself that is more fulfilling. Once you have viewed your pic/movie/book of choice then a sense of shame and guilt usually sets in, and a vow that it won’t happen again. Until next time. Which I think is pretty much the same result as alcohol/drug/tobacco addiction. The trouble with porn addiction is it blocks your emotional responses to your partner. I think that many people can watch it and other than the immediate stimulation it isn’t a problem. If they are an addictive personality to start with then there isn’t a lot they can do to stop it, other than professional help.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

    Reply
    • Excellent points, Laurie. I’m so glad help is now available, and wish people were more aware and inclined to seek it.

      Having an addictive personality and other past addictions myself, my heart really goes out to all who are affected.

      Reply
      • laurie27wsmith

         /  May 23, 2014

        Thanks August. It’s great to see that you are standing up and talking about the things that many people try to avoid. Having been there in one way or another also adds to your courage to write/talk about addictions.
        Cheers
        Laurie.

  4. I once knew a man who’s sex life and sexuality were completely and utterly destroyed by his porn addiction. And that’s all I have to say about that.

    As for me and my hubby, we just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. The key for us is keeping it honest and real. In all things about our marriage, we keep it real. For most people, that’s the hardest thing in the world.

    Reply
  5. Raani York

     /  June 9, 2014

    Wow… this is interesting. And now I’ve read about it a few times already. Should I ever face this problem I now need where to go and double check. Thank God I never had experience with porn addiction and I hope I never need to make some!
    Thanks for sharing this, August!

    Reply
  6. Watch porn jerk off. Its healthy. Just dont overdo it. People are sucking stupid

    Reply
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