As I've written before, an awful lot of folks in our society have a real struggle with pornography. Mostly men, but not all. And for those who wrestle with it, porn can be a tremendously powerful thing.
And, as you might imagine, this is something people talk to me about -- and I want to help them. I'm frequently looking for resources.
Today I looked at a series of articles at the Art of Manliness, with a fourth and final installment due shortly. The author put in some impressive work on the subject. Here are some things he explains in plain (albeit sometimes crude and direct) language:
-- It's all about brain chemistry and survival. Dopamine in our brains "rewards" and thus motivates behaviors that further our life, and further reproduction. Of course, this same function can be triggered by sexual pleasure generated by imagery.
-- We tend to crave what gave us that dose of dopamine, and seek it out. That leads to habit, escalation, seeking novelty.
-- The release of dopamine is "also strengthening neural connections that are responsible for the behavior that keeps those neurotransmitter hits coming. Porn is literally rewiring your brain."
The author, Brett McKay, develops other consequences: we tend toward depression because our brain becomes desensitized to dopamine, which is supposed to make us happy, and we tend to lose focus and discipline as the part of our brain that contributes that is weakened.
That series, in turn, led me to another site I found fascinating: Your Brain on Porn. It has tons of information and links, way more than I could examine; but what I saw seemed to offer some good tools for those who are trying to break this habit.
If you check these sites out, please come back and let me know any reactions or observations you have.