Sunday, 17 November 2013

How porn is rewiring men's brains

In his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, the psychiatrist Norman Doidge writes about a phenomenon he began to notice among his male patients in the mid 1990s. They watched porn – “everybody does,” they told Doidge – and were experiencing “increasing difficulty in being turned on by their actual sexual partners, though they still considered them attractive.” They found themselves having to fantastise about porn scenes to get turned on.

That’s because, along with a great number of porn users, they had rewired the arousal pathways in their brains. The more often you watch porn and get the dopamine hit it delivers, the more the activity and the sensation become entwined in your brain.

A related problem is what addiction experts call “tolerance”, in other words the need for more of a given stimulant (harder and weirder porn) for the same amount of dopamine. In the end, the result is what Doidge politely calls “potency problems”. Compulsive pornography users become unable to maintain erections.



Even among more casual users, porn is wreaking havoc in the bedroom. Last year, American GQ’s sex columnist, Siobhan Rosen, complained about the “pornified sex” men seemed to expect – not in a relationship, when trust has been established, but from the very first encounter. She wrote about men she had just started seeing who brandished ball gags, ejaculated on to her body and used really nasty language during sex.



Nine months ago, Gallop launched MakeLoveNotPorn.tv – a collection of videos of real couples having sex. She was surprised (and delighted) when several porn stars sent their own home videos in. They show just how true Hartley’s words are. “Let boys know they don’t have to be hyper-masculine in order to get girls. Let girls know you don’t have to be doormats in order to be popular,” says Hartley.

Read the full article at The Telegraph.

Rag - I wonder if foreign men in Asia get a similar rewiring from all the naked ladies they see on the bar scene? Have you ever been guilty of watching TV in a go-go bar? If the answer is yes then an Asian electrician has probably been messing with your brain.


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