What Happens To Your Body When You Watch Porn

While many people debate the morality of pornography, it’s interesting to see the actual effects that this material has on the human brain and body.

Porn is not everyone’s taste, but in my opinion, there isn’t anything wrong with it if you take it for what it is: fantasy, entertainment, a movie. The misogynistic qualities of mainstream porn are a patriarchal, white male-dominated porn INDUSTRY problem rather than an inherent porn problem. 

Look at Erika Lust; her porn is graphic and sexy, but with a mere change of focus from total male dominance to balanced viewpoints between partners’ pleasure, it’s a change of mood and focus that many people can get behind. Realistic erotic depictions of sex are doable if that’s what you’re going for.

While many people debate the morality of pornography, it’s interesting to see the actual effects that this material has on the human brain and body. Much of what science has uncovered has been a mixed pot.

You might wind up in need of more intense images.

While data on this point varies and is largely inconclusive, some scientists believe that the more intense, hardcore pornography you watch, the duller your senses can become to other erotic images. 

This means that you may require stimuli that grow in aggression to procure sexual arousal. Again, this isn’t a definite, but if you think about it, it makes logical sense. Our bodies adapt to substances, resulting in the need for larger quantities to procure the same effects. 

Take, for instance, caffeine. If you have two cups of coffee a day, your body quickly becomes dependent on that amount of caffeine. If you cut back to one cup a day, you may experience fatigue and headaches due to withdrawals. I’m not saying this is definitely what happens with porn, but I’m sure science will have better answers down the road as more research is conducted.

Porn is an escape for your mind.

In a study of heterosexual cis-women, 85% reported watching porn to escape reality.

Sometimes reality can get dull. Wanting to watch some explicit material is fully your choice. No one has a right to judge an adult who is engaging in the healthy viewing of porn. Studies have even found that it relieves stress hormones in the body. 

If you’re watching so much porn that it’s destroying your real-life sex drive, you may have a problem, but if it’s not, you should live your life.

Your brain gets flooded with feel-good chemicals.

According to a study cited in The Guardian, when you view porn, your brain's reward centers go totally nuts. Your brain sees this intensely sexual stimuli and floods the brain with serotonin and dopamine. What’s strange is that porn, while harmless in small doses, can actually “change the gray matter” in the brain, leading to a “change in sexual tastes” IRL.

Dopamine receptors are amped up when you do drugs like cocaine or heroine so, it makes sense. Don’t get too excited though; your brain also experiences these hormones after a real-life sexual experience and orgasm.

The study looked at brain scans of porn addicts and determined that porn addiction truly is a real thing, much like any other substance addiction. This came after more recent scientific developments discovered how the brain changes over time, “We know the brain is ‘neuroplastic,' and not only can it change, but that it works by changing its structure in response to repeated mental experience.” writes The Guardian’s, Norman Doidge. '

 

Related: Get A Load Of This Feminist Porn!

 

Masturbation is very healthy for you. 

Whether you like to watch porn while masturbating or not, it can provide a real jolt in the right, aroused direction.

Having regular self-love time is crucial to the health of a relationship. It doesn’t put a damper on the real thing; it just lets you connect with your body on a personal level. Many studies have shown that keeping up with masturbation can yield positive results in overall happiness both in and out of the bedroom. 

Porn can increase sexual satisfaction.

In a 2008 Danish study of 688 people, researchers found that those who regularly viewed pornography reported higher satisfaction in their real sex lives. Porn is a great way to get inspiration for new things to try in the bedroom. It also helps cultivate a rich fantasy life. Porn isn’t particularly realistic, but there might be a thing or two you like in there.

Conversely, you may not always want to do everything you see in porn. Sometimes seeing something ultra hardcore can make you happy and content for your intimate, emotional connection with a partner.

It may affect your memory.

In a study from the Journal of Sex Research, a decline in “working memory” was reported for heterosexual cis-males. While the research conducted was a very small sample (28 people), it does yield some interesting results. 

The men were shown a series of images, some sexual and some not. Of those exposed to sexual images, working memory significantly decreased. I don’t know about you, but I’m probably going to skip on porn the night before a big test or presentation and stick to my vibrator and memory.

Other studies have shown that porn may also decrease memory span.

Porn might make people less violent.

We’ve already seen that porn can reduce cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, but it may do even more than that. 

A study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that watching a “moderate amount” of porn may lead to a decrease in violent or sexually motivated crimes. While I wish we lived in a world where no one committed sex or violent crimes at all, this is not the reality. 

This information is, of course, an obtuse idea that many have formed a backlash against, but the study purports that porn can act as a place where one can release deviant or violent sexual behavior. It can be the “fix” they need, if you will, to not commit the crimes in the real world.


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