People turn to porn for many reasons—curiosity, thrill, psycholagny, chasing a high, or sexual gratification. On the surface, these may seem harmless, but over the long haul, porn can turn into a huge trap.
Whatever fleeting good feelings consuming porn might initially bring, they’re slowly replaced over time by their opposites. The consumer is left chasing ghosts of those first thrills. That first thrill can turn to frustration as porn fails the brain and acclimates to constant consuming. Perhaps worst of all is the way that porn, over time, can leave its consumers increasingly disconnected from friends, family and the world around them.
Here are four ways porn creates a disconnection.
1. Porn can lead to and fuel existing depression
Pornography, along with other addictions, floods the brain with dopamine and can provide a temporary escape from feelings you’d rather not face, like sadness, fear, anger or boredom. It can serve as a momentary haven away from real life problems, but in turn, it can worsen those problems over time.
As more dopamine is released over time, the consumer feels the effects of the dopamine less and less. This diminishing return can often lead to more time spent searching for more hardcore images. However, pornography and other “highs” are used to make the consumer (temporarily) forget about feelings of sadness, fear, loneliness, anger, or boredom. This habit can quickly lead to depression and is also something depression can lead to. Which one happens because of the other isn’t as important as knowing that porn and depression are a destructive combo.
The truth is, porn is a poor substitute for happiness. It presents a fake model of relationships that distort reality and the type of connections we need and are hard-wired for as humans.
2. Porn can lead to and fuel existing anxiety
The toll pornography takes on mental health is real, and it can seriously disconnect consumers from reality. Many turn to porn to cover up the way they feel about their lives, themselves, and relationships. Comparing yourself—and your partner—to the performers in porn can prove to be damaging, causing you to think less of yourself and the person you love. Research shows that the increase of pornography in society is a cause for an increasing number of women seeking plastic surgery to change their bodies, and the increase in young men seeking male enhancement prescriptions.
Driving the wedge between you and reality further, porn also presents a manufactured idea of what sex is supposed to be like. But the fact is, it’s impossible to measure up to airbrushed fantasy and overly exaggerated acting. But even so, consumers can often become obsessed with chasing something that isn’t real that they miss out on actual relationships and building real, authentic connections.
3. Porn can basically render your sex life totally sexless
Porn can lead to bad sex. Ironic, right? Consumers turn to porn because it turns them on and shows them a fantasy world of nonstop sex. Then, when consumers are actually with someone, after being exposed to so much unrealistic sexual explicit content, their can body shut down—they can’t perform.
Welcome to porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED). Once upon a time, erectile dysfunction was something pretty much only middle-aged dudes got. Now, with the rise of internet porn, it’s the territory of binge-watching young guys. But don’t take our word for it, check out people like Gabe Deem of Reboot Nation or our Fighters who are opening up about their experiences with it.
The reality is, porn can inhibit consumers from not only being healthy, but also from feeling socially able to connect to a potential partner, and cause them to shy away from real-life connections altogether, at times. Real sex becomes not as exciting as the pornography, and soon the consumer is potentially dealing with serious sexual problems. This is just another way porn disconnects consumers from reality.
4. Porn can cause crippling and endless shame
If social media or is any indicator, generally, people don’t feel very good or proud about their porn. You know the common movie or TV show scene, depicting porn consumers hiding their porn magazines under their mattresses or locking their doors as they power up their laptops.
We get messages all over the world from porn consumers who have expressed that they’ve felt like a bad person with no value because of their habits. Maybe that’s because, once you strip away the makeup, the camera angles, and the editing, porn doesn’t really make you feel very excellent about yourself and life.
It’s a feeling that sticks with you after the video ends—the embarrassment, the self-loathing, the feelings of worthlessness linger. And to make matters worse, it turns out that self-inflicted shame is a breeding ground for more issues like social isolation, separating consumers further from a healthy lifestyle and reality.
As if that’s not enough, there are those who add to that shame by treating people addicted to porn as the enemies. This kind of shaming can result in crippling self-esteem and outright depression.
Love and Understanding Are the Keys to Reconnecting
Bottom line—porn is never worth it. The power porn has to disconnect consumers from reality isn’t something to joke about. It can erode who you are, and harm the quality of your personal connections, leaving you isolated, disconnected and craving more.
Thankfully, the power of real love and real relationships can overpower any hold porn can have on someone’s life. Ditch the porn and aim for real friendships, real love. Your mind and your body will be glad you did.