What are the Effects of Pornography - Is it normal? Is it harmful?
With effort (and practical steps), it is very possible to break free from pornography addiction.
This article was loosely adapted from Sean Covey's book, The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make: A Guide for Teens.
See Sean Covey's website for other books that were created to inspire teens.
Sean Covey in his book, The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
, discusses the subject of pornography, referring to it as "the Drug of the 21st Century." Covey is accurate in that respect; pornography addiction has many similarities to drug addiction. Invariably, the addict wants to break free, feels a certain amount of shame, but has a difficult time resisting that urge to return to this crack addiction for the eyes.
In the end, for some, it is easier to rationalize and justify than to take the positive steps needed to break free from addiction to pornography.
However, freedom from pornography addiction is possible. The first step to recovery, like alcoholism, is to recognize the problem and how it can affect you.
Pornography has always been around in one form or another. However, the Internet has made pornography so much more easily accessible, in many different forms for so many different types of people. It is anonymous, and in your home constantly. You don't have to buy anything, see anyone else, go to a store, or be embarrassed, because no one will know.
First, you need to realize that the industry is big bucks, ranging in the mega-billion dollars and growing. You can easily be enticed and trapped because we are constantly being sold pornography on the Internet and even in other forms of media such as television and newspapers. Covey likens pornography to the crocodiles that wait silently below the surface of the water. The gazelle meanders to the pond and begins drinking. Suddenly, "the gaping jaws of the crocodile reach up and grab its prey, pulling it beneath the surface and eating it alive. So it is with porn. If you get too close, it will reach up, sink its teeth into you, and pull you down beneath its murky waters so fast you won't even know what happened."
Covey states that guys are especially vulnerable to the snare of experimentation with pornography.
Pornography is like a Drug
Pornography triggers certain hormones in our bodies, such as adrenaline, and stimulates the production of testosterone, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Indulging in pornography is like indulging in a chemical cocktail. It gets you going. Like any drug, though, once the "rush" is over, there is invariably a letdown or a bombardment of negative emotions. To get the rush again, you have to take another hit later. Therefore, the addiction potential for pornography is enormous. Like drugs or alcohol, some get addicted after one time.
One "addict" said that he became so caught up in pornography that it "ruled his life."
Is Pornography or Pornography Addiction Normal?
To answer the question simply, the answer is NO! Pornography is not normal. It is not normal to have sex virtually — with someone you don't know, with a fantasy. Pornography can ruin your real relationships and turn you into a selfish person, as well as getting you involved in self-abuse of a degraded kind [some pornography addicts masturbate five times a day, which is hardly normal. A person can become a virtual slave to masturbation.
Pornography addiction can gradually progress to more and more vulgar, hard-core types]. Pornography can be desensitizing. Persons become so over-stimulated by pornography that normal pleasures, even the pleasures of normal sexual relations, are not possible to attain and experience [some men addicted to pornography are not capable of having normal sexual relations with a woman, because the only way that can be stimulated is through pornography and masturbation. This is often the fruit of pornography addiction. Sexual pleasure through pornography and masturbation is strictly one-sided. The pornography and masturbation addict is not able to bring mutual satisfaction to his wife. He has been trained to please only himself].
What Harm is There in Pornography?
Covey mentions that pornography significantly contributes to "child abuse, rape, violence against women, drug abuse, broken marriages, and broken lives." It can even lead to acting out what one views in pornography as well, which may be deviant and degraded.
"Pornography is behavioral addiction as strong as cocaine," states Covey. He recommends: "Avoid it. Be smart and self-aware." Take practical steps to overcome pornography addiction. Put your computer away, install software that blocks pornography and put someone responsible in charge of the password (throw away the key, as it were). Make the effort. Don't let pornography mold your personality into something you are not. Become selfless rather than selfish. Find pleasure in normal relationships rather than virtual fantasies.
Benefits of Breaking Free From Pornography Addiction
Better self esteem
Better self-control all the way around
Better relationships with real people and the ones you love
An improved relationship with God
A better chance at a successful marriage
The better course is not to experiment with pornography. Don't taste the forbidden fruit, and you'll never get addicted to it. However, if you do find yourself addicted to pornography, you can break free; you can become clean and win the battle. Many have done it and you can also.
This article was loosely adapted from Sean Covey's book, The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
See Sean Covey's website
for other books that were created to inspire teens.
Pages Related to Pornography, Mental Health, and Pornography Addiction
The Effects of Pornography
on Individuals, Marriage, Family, and Community
Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.
Effects of Pornography
Robert A. Baron, Ph.D. Sociology summary.
How Exposure to Pornography Affects Children
, Mental Health, and Pornography Addiction
K9 - Free Parental Internet Filtering Software
Art, in particular, drawing or painting faces, can be effective in helping develop compassion for other humans, and can be one positive step in breaking free from pornography addiction. It can help you view humans as something of value, rather than a commodity for personal gratification. Draw and paint faces!