Oxytocin and Porn Addiction

February 10, 2015

Much has been said and studied regarding modern day porn consumption. For instance did you know that the Millennials consume more porn than any other generation? 

According to a survey of 4000 men and women by Cosmopolitan magazine, over 30% of men surveyed said they watch porn every day. 71% of men age 18 to 34 watch porn at least once per month. Moreover the first time they saw porn was before puberty! A recent Pew Research center survey reported that 8% of women watch porn on line. This number seems low. It is plausible that this low number reflects women’s shame regarding their porn habits. On the other hand 93% of women in another study report that they would not consider their partner unfaithful for watching porn. At the end of the day very few women subscribe to porn sites and we know that the market doesn’t lie. When do people watch porn? Most people watch it every so often. They want to be in a state of sexual excitement. Sometimes just to be distracted from the kids or the 6 o’clock news or their homework. Some just do it as an incentive to masturbation which is a de-stressor. So, is porn a good set up to de-stress? Yes and no. Psychologists have developed much research on this matter and have concluded that a little porn can release a lot of stress but that obsessively viewing porn can possibly rewire the neural pathways of the brain, much like opiate drugs. 

The current thinking is that people caught up in porn viewership are comfortable believing that the object of today’s devotion is just a hot body with no soul attached. They are sophisticated enough to understand that they are only looking to the surface for their thrill. They are not looking for depth. The surface is just fine. Moreover, they aren’t counting on it to last which is good because it doesn’t. They log on to their favorite porn site already knowing that today’s fantasy will exhaust itself, that their libido will habituate and they will need a new fantasy tomorrow, or next week, or whenever. They log on knowing that, just like yesterday, the new imageries will be thrown out like yesterday’s empty vodka bottle. It must be, or it will only serve to remind them of the honest emotional depths with real people that have vanished in themselves. Their neural networks have been rewired, effectively reducing their sex life to a few basic triggers: big breasts, blue eyes, black eyes, big arms, hairy chests, stiletto heels, long penises, dirty talk, teens, MILF (mothers I would like to fuck), rough gestures, love & tenderness, pity, compassion, leather, whips . . . Whatever the sexual script—or scripts—they are all building sets and stages on which they become fantasy sexual actors executing erotic adventures that will subsume and make them subservient to some idyllic and more powerful force—only in their minds. 

Like opiates, obsessive porn is addictive. If you are watching porn to the exclusion of all else, it is possible that you are actively working to emotionally mitigate real world relationships and not allowing yourself to release your own natural oxytocin. Obsessive porn watching while alone can also deaden, rather than enhance your actual oxytocin production which can bleed into all aspects of interfacing in the real world; hence low oxytocin can have a profound effect on how we view all of our relationships, sexual or otherwise. If you feel disconnected from others there is a chance that you are not giving yourself the opportunity to naturally release the very bonding sex hormone (via gonads, skin, pituitary, retina, and conversation) during the act of copulation. Nipple orgasm anyone?