Sexual Addiction & Brain Arousal – Neurobiology of Internet Porn

By | September 12, 2011

sexual-addiction-utah-st-george-pornI’ve seen a consistent theme with clients that present to my office with sexual addiction. This theme is a significant confusion about how they get their needs met. I find that many if not all of them come with beliefs and assumptions due to their addiction and history. These assumptions are in large part due to their own sexual experiences and childhood. One of those beliefs or illusions they find ‘real’ for them that I seem most commonly is the following: Sexual intensity is in fact sexual intimacy. Most wouldn’t proclaim they believe this if asked but their thinking and behavior is solid evidence that they most often do. Let me explain … if one can find something more intense, more secret, more epic sexually then it will help with sexual satisfaction and curb sexual needs, right? Well, not according to the research and literature available today by therapists and experts. In fact, most of those that become sex addicted or addicted to online online pornography are seeking intimacy and connection but end up bound to their laptop in quiet corners hooked on video porn. Most of the men I work with do not feel closer or more connected but simply aroused, only to go a day or two before repeating the same process all the while still subconsciously seeking connection and meaning through sexually acting out. Pornography cannot and will not yield connection and intimacy that these addicted persons seek.

When the brain is exposed to sexual stimuli the brain causes an entire host of things to happen. Dopamine is released, physiological changes occur that alter the body’s state, and thoughts and emotions run quickly; the difficulty here is that if in fact the brain and core Self of the person does in fact come to ‘believe’ that intensity is intimacy they end up duped and decieved, thus the brains continual looking for more sexual material with which to meet needs that are inborn, the need to connect, bond, and feel loved otherwise known as intimacy.

I recently saw a video that supports and highlights of the the elements I wrote in the above paragraph. The film is by Dr. William Struthers, a neurobiologist and university professor. In his film he discusses the nature and role of the brain its relationship to chemicals and eventual addictionand the impact that chemicals and addiction plays on the brain. He talks in depth about the real needs for intimacy that are not met, thus individuals looking at porn to find it. He speaks as a scientist and from a Christian framework toward the end as he is at Wheaton College, if you’re not Christian the film is still very much worth watching as 95% of it is the brain science regarding porn with a small bit at the end regarding his connecting sexuality and spirituality.

Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article. Justin Stum, MS LMFT, 640 E 700 S, Suite 103, St. George Utah 84770, 435-574-9193 http://www.justinstum.com


Comments are closed.