Why Is Porn Addictive?

Learn why pornography is so addictive from sex therapist Dr. Megan Fleming in this Howcast video about the psychology of sex.

Transcript

So the question becomes, when does it reach a tipping point? Where it goes from sort of pleasure seeking and part of a satisfying masturbation experience to something that feels compulsive and maybe leads to intrusive thoughts when you don't have access.

I think part of why porn is so intentionally addicting is because there is virtually nothing that you can't get on the Internet these days. There is novelty. There is any kind of experience you can imagine that once was just in your head and fantasy.

For a lot of people, there's a lot of sensation seeking in the novelty and the desire to have a variety of sexual experiences. And so, it's really important to take a step back and think about your own porn use. And realize, is it ultimately helping you have the kind of experiences you want to be having with your partner?

Or, is it helping you ultimately to feel more comfortable exploring sex and sexuality on your own?

I think a tipping point certainty comes when you find it difficult to get aroused with your partner. If, all of a sudden, you find there's not enough psychological stimulation, or if you notice decreased sensation in your penis or difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection with a partner.There is something that we refer to as porn-induced sexual dysfunction.

Because it's quite possible that, on your own, you may be using a level of speed and pressure that a partner really isn't going to be able to duplicate. And so, it's one thing that it's a psychological aspect of your arousal. But, it may also be that you're so into that imagery and that story, you haven't even noticed how it's changing your level of physical stimulation and pressure.

So, take a step back and recognize that all of this can be under your control. And, from most, it just means taking a period of absence from their porn use. Just like a reset. To see how it feels and fits into your life. And, making sure that it feels like it's part of a healthy balance.

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