On May 6th, Conan O'Brien caused a fury when he tweeted out to his followers, "I’m sad that young people will never experience the magic of seeing pornography on the big screen."
Many people responded to O'Brien, asking him to take a stance against pornography, instead of joking about it. Why? Because whether you believe it or not, pornography is a distructive habit.
Why do people look at pornography? Although reasons may vary, some people blame curiosity, boredom, dissatisfaction with their sexual relationships or simply to learn more about sex.
The problem is, pornography is a distorted, disjointed and disconnected depiction of sex. The pornography industry devalues sexual relationships to make money.
The pornography industry wants customers that are addicts. Just like alcohol companies, the tobacco industry and drug dealers, they make their money by selling products that are difficult to stop using. It's really hard to stop. Sometimes stopping means getting headaches, feeling nauseous or irritable, and generally struggling to function.
Is pornography harder to stop using than drugs?
Yes. Much harder.
Pornography affects the brain
Our brains release chemicals to reward us for life-sustaining activities like exercising and eating. This is called the "reward pathway" where the "happy" chemicals flow, like endorphins and dopamine.
Fight the New Drug explains it this way: "The way substances like cocaine and opioids make users feel its effects is by triggering the reward pathway to release high levels of dopamine without making the user do any of the work to earn it. Want to guess what else does that? Porn."
In his statement before Congress, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychoanalyst and psychologist, warned, "With the advent of the computer, the delivery system for this addictive stimulus [pornography] has become nearly resistance-free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one's own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes."
Anyone call tell you that drugs are bad for your body and everyone knows that drugs mess up your mind. Pornography is the worst new drug.
The same way that alcoholics need more alcohol to become intoxicated, porn users eventually become desensitized to the images they see. They need to do more and it needs to become more intense or stimulating for them to get the "buzz" or "rush" that they want.
Pornography distorts reality
Pornography really is that serious. It is exploitation. It distorts things that are sacred and innocent. We want and need to share experiences with other people. It is not just WHAT we feel that is satisfying, but WITH WHOM we share the experiences.
In a study conducted by The Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Jennifer Johnson found that pornography controlled and damaged the participants' sexual relationships.
She explains that, "among college-aged heterosexual men, 51 percent masturbated to pornography several times per week, 19 percent use it several times per month and 13.5 percent use it daily. Men who watched more pornography deliberately conjured up pornographic images to maintain arousal during sex and preferred pornography over real-life sexual encounters. In other words, pornography is not mere fantasy for men; instead, it shapes how they engage in intimate behaviors."
Sex is less meaningful if it satisfies only one person's needs. Sex is more satisfying if it is a shared experience.
Sex is an expression of love. Pornography is an expression of lust. The age-old discussion of "love vs. lust" can be answered with the question:
How much do you contribute towards and work for the affection you intend to receive?
Pornography affects more than its participants. It is not an isolated, personal choice. It affects the entire spectrum of people relationships. Turn off the screens, go on dates, have meaningful conversations and be gentle and kind.
So many people struggle and want to stop struggling with their pornography addiction. There is love and help all around you. We want you, and the people you love, to be stronger than pornography's control.
Please. Stop lying to yourself, pornography is killing your mind.
For more information on how to break your pornography addiction, check out these articles:
Courtney is studying pre-communication and broadcasting. She is an aspiring writer and enjoys reading books, especially books set in the lifestyle of another culture. She would be interested in serving in the Foreign Service and Central Intelligence Agency someday.