10 toxic side effects of pornography use
Outside of the obvious spiritual implications pornography use has serious, negative side effects.
Some of pornography's toxic side effects include:
1. Creates emotional bond with artificial worldAll people have a critical need for human intimacy and emotional connection with others. When someone views pornography, they end up creating an intimate bond with an artificial, fake world and can actually lose the ability to bond with real people.
2. Sex without intimacyPornography is about sex being used for the wrong reasons. Because it is sex without emotional closeness, the underlying hunger remains unsatisfied. The viewer starts wondering what is wrong with their relationships and gets irritated or depressed. They end up feeling emotionally empty and disconnected from those around them.
3. UnsatisfyingWhile pornography use may result in a short term high, it eventually results in feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem and deep loneliness. It ultimately creates emotional distance in relationships. Because the world of pornography is artificial and cannot satisfy the need for emotional intimacy, this basic need remains unmet, creating an appetite for more and more.
4. Triggers addiction cycle in brainStudies show that actual brain function changes in someone who has an addiction – and the changes are the same in all addiction: alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Because pornography use can become an actual addiction, viewers are not able to stop through their own will power. Pornography addicts will need to engage in the same difficult recovery process a drug addict has to go through.
5. UnfulfillingUsing pornography to feel pleasure and escape feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, boredom and frustration creates a gateway for addiction. When the rush of pleasure disappears, the feelings a user is trying to escape from reappear stronger than ever, and they are compelled to repeat the cycle. Over time, their brain chemistry is altered and a full-fledged addiction occurs.
6. Great deceptionInitially, you were attracted to pornography because of the positive things it did for you. ("I love the rush I feel," "This is my favorite pastime," "I feel lonely," "This is my reward to myself for making it through a rough day...") Eventually, it will do just the opposite. ("I no longer feel an emotional response to anything," "There is nothing in my life I enjoy doing," "I feel totally isolated from the world," "My anxiety and stress levels are at an all-time high...").
7. Imitation of the real thingWith pornography, we use sex as a substitute for nurture, intimacy, and love. Sex is no longer a wonderful source of connection between our deepest selves and a beloved partner; it becomes a commodity used to avoid intimacy and mask needs that should be met through human connections.
8. Always hungryBecause this is an addictive substance, it creates an appetite for itself. This appetite increases over time as you spend more and more time viewing pornography. The time spent viewing pornography can jeopardize work, relationships and interest in healthy pastimes.
9. EscalationOver time, the pornography we first started viewing becomes mundane. We escalate to view things which we once would have considered as going too far or totally wrong. We feel increasing desire to do things which will damage our reputation and relationships.
10. Blunt truthIn the long run, pornography will not shore up a shaky ego, will not fill the emptiness left from childhood wounds or abandonment, will not save a shaky relationship or failing marriage and is not satisfying. In fact, it will magnify each emotional wound from the past and cripple your ability to meet your essential emotional needs, damage your ability to have a healthy relationship and leave you unable to sexually or emotionally respond to your spouse.