About 83 percent of pornography addicts are men, and one in three is a woman. The largest users of online pornography are 12 to 17-year-olds. Teenagers. Fifty-six percent of divorces involve one spouse with a pornography addiction (mind-armor.com). Yes, addiction—not just viewing for recreational pleasure, but viewing it because it becomes a compulsion and the addict can’t think of or do anything else.
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Do you think you, your spouse, or someone else you know might be addicted to pornography? Following are the five stages of a pornography addiction:
1. Early exposure. As was stated, the largest users of online porn are children ages twelve to seventeen. Most boys have a curiosity about the opposite sex and, unfortunately, think they can learn more about them on Internet porn sites. They yield to the enticement offered by non-human, unemotional contact. Unless they can navigate away from this temptation, they are seduced. There are new statistics that teenage boys are being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction due to advanced pornography abuse.
2. Addiction. Addiction takes place when the initial naïve curiosity turns into a physical dependence for this degenerate type of sexual arousal. In a pornography addiction, the habit-forming “substance” is explicit sexual material. To satisfy the addiction, the addict relies on the Internet, DVDs, uses his smartphone or looks at magazines or books.
Using porn increases to more than recreational exploit. The addict loses control of his or her thoughts in pursuit of the drug. The images establish themselves in the brain and are hard to shake for visually-wired males. Porn is needed for arousal and is used on a regular basis. Instead of a vein or a lung, the substance is taken in via the eyes directly to the visual cortex in the back of the brain, releasing neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins, producing a “high.” All addictions share the same brain changes.
"Constant novelty, at the click of a mouse, can cause addiction," said Gary Wilson of TEDx, in "The Great Porn Experiment." Dopamine rewards you for seeking the visual pleasures porn presents. It makes you feel good. The brain chemicals motivate some to repeat this behavior. You keep coming back. You can’t stop. You’re hooked. Because of this chemical release — and the consequences of behavior — pornography addiction is considered to be a form of chemical brain damage. People become dependent on pornography for physical and emotional satisfaction.
3. Desensitization. Just as in any chemical dependency, the amount of pornography the addict previously used is not enough to stimulate these brain chemicals. Dopamine loves novelty. When the reward wears off, the dopamine release declines, therefore pleasure declines, the libido declines, and may cause erectile dysfunction in males. Less gratification leads to the desire for greater amounts of hardcore porn. A vicious cycle reigns. Addicts need to intensify reaching the pleasure points in their brains again, only on a more advanced level.