Sex, Porn and Masturbation Addiction

The human libido is a force of nature that few can reckon with. So, it’s no surprise that we can take good things, like sex, masturbation and porn and go too far with them, to the point of addiction.

Orgasms feel better than practically anything else on Earth, which is why people tend to get hooked on them. An old friend of mine once said, in all seriousness, “Orgasms and chocolate chip cookies are the only things worth living for, and they both last less than 5 minutes.”

addictionfeaturedAddictions are all rooted in the seeking of pleasure and the subsequent gratification that comes from achieving this sought after level of pleasure. The complex inner workings of the brain are responsible for rewarding pleasure, but responses to the same level of pleasure will diminish over time, causing the person to seek out ever more exotic and thrilling forms of the same behavior.

Akin to a heroin user beginning their use with snorting, ingesting or smoking and moving on to needle drugs is the same exact behavioral pattern found in sex, masturbation and porn addiction. What was once enticing and satisfying, over time becomes bland, boring and dull.

This can cause the addicted person to go to greater lengths and put themselves in harms way by engaging in riskier and riskier behaviors in order to receive the same rush or feeling of euphoria. The main difference with sexual addictions is that it is very difficult to go throughout the day/night and not get horny at some point. In this sense, sexual addictions can be as difficult to deal with as a food addiction.

Chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin all play a role in this response to stimuli. The actual chemical reaction caused by these chemicals being released into the brain is called the deltaFosB reaction. This is the same reaction that occurs for any addiction. The reward circuits become less and less active even after larger and larger amounts are being consumed. This can cause people to spiral out of control.

Types of Sexual Addiction

All of the positives and negatives surrounding internet pornography aside, it has undoubtedly has given rise to a generation of people who are getting a lot of their sex education from porn, especially in the cases where abstinence only education is the only other sex ed they are receiving. This is a very dangerous standard to set, since porn is such a false reality and based entirely on creating an illusion and a fantasy for entertainment purposes and sales. Here’s a real world guide on ‘How To: Have (Safe) Sex Like A Porn Star.’

Internet porn addiction can give rise to masturbation addiction, leading to death grip, a desensitized clitoris  and the inability to become erect or to achieve an orgasm unless masturbating while watching an adult film. This is because their body has been programmed to receive pleasure only through this one type of stimuli, as opposed to connecting with another person physically and/or emotionally.

Sex addiction on the other hand, is the irresistible desire to be with another person, no matter what the consequences are. This may cause the sex addict to seek out orgies when one-on-one contact isn’t causing the same chemical reaction as it used to. Others may illegally seek out a sex worker or engage in unprotected sex with strangers.

If you or someone you know has a sex, porn or masturbation addiction that is interfering with the kind of life they’d like to lead, there are sex addiction counselors and internet forums that can help. The subreddit /r/nofap on Reddit is a popular group that supports masturbation addicts on their journey to stop and your local therapists can be found online or through your insurance provider.

About Condom Depot

The Condom Depot Learning Center provides free safer sex ed and has recently been resourced by Men's Health, Go Ask Alice, Her Campus, LifeHacker, Scarleteen, Bustle, Madame Noire, Jezebel, Vice, Stallion Style, aPlus, Sex Talk Tuesday and Adult Sex Ed Month.

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