Can "Pornography Addictions" be classified as Addictions?
From "Talk-Back" on Arutz Sheva -
Velvel, silver spring (08/08/08)
Just like with any pleasure, the pleasure sensory is stimulated in the brain. Simple neuroscience. Whether its cocaine, a tasty sandwich, or pleasure one might get from bad things during movie, the serotonin levels spike & the dopaminergic pleasure pathway is activated, in the standard "addiction" pattern. Little do people know, we are actually "addicted" to food, but that's a healthy addiction, and most people are able to moderate their food intake. The same CANNOT be said for mind altering drugs & the porno.
Porn was shown to be MORE powerfully addictive than most drugs, in one study. It's not a big surprise or a big wonder why that would be. It's an intense pleasure stimulation, even more direct than a hard drug. I have also read that upon repeated exposure to certain types of images, one will seek out more and more perverse types of images..
Excerpts taken from a non-Jewish article about Internet pornography... (by Ryan Hosley and Steve Watters, M.A.)
You may manage to avoid getting caught, or even getting ripped off, but addiction is an even harder bullet to dodge. Greg Gutfeld explains that online porn has attracted a surprising number of married, professional men.” Most of them have never had a problem with porn before,” he says. “They certainly never felt like prisoners of sexual compulsion. Until now. For some, curiosity has progressed to obsession. They don’t mean to like electronic sex so much, but they do. And the need grows. They require more and more to keep from getting bored.”6 Internet pornography has earned itself a reputation for being the crack cocaine of sexual addiction. “It works so quickly and it’s so instantly intense,” says Dr. Robert Weiss of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles. “We’re seeing a whole population of clients who have never had a history with the problem, but for the first time, they’re beginning one particular activity and getting hooked.”
The experience of sexual arousal can be adrenalized and intense when viewing pornography, and like any ‘high’ your body will crave another hit. The result is a pattern of addiction and escalation. Soft-core pictures of women in lingerie will soon become boring and you will seek full nudity, and as that loses novelty you will look for something more enticing. Dr. Victor Cline, of the University of Utah, has studied this escalation and reports that it proceeds according to four steps.
Addiction You keep coming back to porn. It becomes a regular part of your life. You’re hooked and can’t quit.
Escalation You start to look for more graphic pornography. You start using porn that disgusted you earlier, but is now enticing to you.
Desensitization You begin feeling numb towards the images you see. Even the most graphic porn is no longer arousing. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again, but you can’t find it.
Acting out sexually This is the point that you make a critical jump and start acting out the images you have seen and rehearsed in your mind.
For many seekers of online sex, the dangers of getting caught, getting addicted, getting taken advantage of or getting in trouble with the law simply become obstacles to work around. Instead of avoiding the dangerous behavior, they just try to dodge the dangerous consequences. Much harder to dodge is the inevitable disappointment of trying to find meaningful sexual fulfillment outside of a committed marriage.
A recent Zogby International survey, conducted for Focus on the Family, found that one in every five person admitted that they had visited a sexually-oriented Web site. Interestingly, two-thirds of them expressed that they didn’t think it was possible to find sexual fulfillment online. It turns out that the Internet is better at delivering sexual arousal than sexual intimacy.
Seeking sexual fulfillment through pornography will inexorably leave you unsatisfied. For starters, it will subtly affect the way you view women. Dr. Gary Brooks detailed this in his book called The Centerfold Syndrome. Essentially, women lose their relational value and are viewed as only sexual objects. The effects are especially obvious in marital relationships. “When a man, after weeks of [Internet pornography], actually sleeps with his wife, he’s in for a letdown,” says Greg Gutfeld.
This is common sense, and scientifically proven. Emotional arousal causes the release of epinephrine in your brain that chemically burns the pictures into your permanent memory. This enables those airbrushed and digitally enhanced pictures of women to remain with you through adulthood, and emerge at the most inopportune times.
A non-Jewish sex therapist in Maryland wrote on one of the forums of Arutz Sheva (on the subject of porn addictions): "While many men watch pornography to stimulate their sexual excitement with their wives, the opposite is the case. The experience of our clinic and studies have indicated that pornography deadens a husband's attraction to his wife, leading him to find satisfaction outside of the marital relationship or forcing him to rely on Viagra and the like".
If even non-Jews see the awful results of this phenomena, how much more so should we - the holy people of Hashem - remain strong, and stay far away from such evils!
To learn more about the prevalent problem of porn-addiction in today's world, click here for this clip on youtube.com.