Compulsive Porn Uses Impact on Sexual Passion

Findings from a new study show that compulsive porn use impacts sexual passion in a negative way.  Many men who get sucked into the habit and then the slippery downward slope begins. A simple release can turn into a need for some men. As such your feelings and enthusiasm for sex with and without a partner can be deeply impacted. To be able to understand this complex idea, let’s break down the elements within it.

What Makes a Porn Habit Compulsive?

Compulsion is an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way. It especially refers to acts that a person does against their own conscious wishes.  When it comes to porn use, you may have started watching out of choice, but then find that you want to stop, but can’t stop. If this is you, you have a compulsion to watch porn. Your habit is no longer in your control.

Sexual Desire Vs. Sexual Passion

Passion is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “1) a strong and barely controllable emotion, 2) a state or outburst of strong emotion, 3) intense sexual love, 4) an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, and/or 5) a thing arousing great enthusiasm.”

Desire is defined as a strong wish for or want for something to happen

In the definitions above, emotion and enthusiasm are the missing pieces when it comes to passion vs. desire. Porn’s impact on sexual passion makes it so that a man needs to come back for more and more viewing of sex in an objectified manner, with too much or too little emotional engagement with the experience. The more “out of control” the porn habit is for a man, his feelings of obsessive sexual passion (increased arousal), or inhibited sexual passion (not being able to feel it as much) were heightened.

Over time, this can create distorted perceptions of sexual experiences. Typically, sexual desire is ramped up and sexual passion is lowered.

Why Compulsive Porn Uses Impacts Sexual Passion?

Well, that is easy. It is because your porn habit is no longer in your control. Porn is now used to make your self feel better emotionally (obsessive passion) or to numb out (inhibited passion). Neither of those involves healthy sexuality. Remember, the reason your brain has developed the compulsion is from consistently getting a huge dose of neurochemicals that make your brain feel good and reduce pain. I, not so affectionately, call it Porn Brain. Your brain has been hijacked and in order to develop healthy sexual habits that give your brain the perfect amount neurochemicals, you must un-wire the brain pattern that has been created by porn and re-wire the new healthier brain pattern in.
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Real-World Implications of Distorted Sexual Passion

If you are too emotionally engaged in sexual experiences (obsessive passion) you may be using sex to give you heightened emotional feelings to offset anxiety and issues of self-worth. We know from previous science that for some men sexual addiction is about affect regulation. Actually, there has been an entire book written about it. That is, some men use sex to manage their mood and emotions. Sex is a tool to offset negative emotions from stress, anxiety, boredom, and more. You do not want this to be you.

Going back for more sex, either using porn or with your partner, just to make yourself feel better about yourself. In this case, you are just using sex as a tool to offset stress instead of the way it is naturally designed to be used, for connection. Your ability to connect with others will suffer.

 

What Does Sexual Drive and Desire have to Do with Porn?

Another finding of the study was that sexual drive was increased for men who watched porn. However, the compulsive nature of the habit was at the root of the distorted sexual passion. Thus, men who had a higher drive for sex watched porn more frequently. At the same, they did not have feelings of compulsion that kept bringing them back for more and more in an uncontrollable fashion. This is a strong differentiator when it comes to the idea of porn addiction. The compulsion, or insatiable need to go back for more, is at the heart of distorted sexual passion and intimacy.

Another finding of the study was that the men with higher sexual drive did not necessarily have high sexual desire. Thus, this means that they were drawn back for frequent porn use, an individual sexual experience if you will. This occurred rather than the desire for dyadic sexual experiences with a partner. This might be considered an issue in and of itself. Just saying.

 

What are the practical takeaways from this study, in my humble but educated opinion?

  1. If you feel a compulsion toward porn use, it is time to stop. If your porn habit has not already negatively affected the passion you feel toward sexual experiences you are at risk for this distortion to happen.
  2. Compulsive porn might be used as a means to regulate your mood and emotions. If so you are using objectified sex as a tool and are missing out on developing relational sex for connection.
  3. If you utilize porn to offset a strong sexual drive it might be healthier for your brain, body, and relationship to develop sexual desire toward your partner.

 

Want to break free from porn’s hold on you? If you struggle with compulsive porn use, I can help you.  Join my short course, Quit Porn for Good HERE. It is only $49. It is worth every cent and will begin to pave the way for you to become a better version of yourself.

 

The Science Behind This Article.

Do You Feel in Control? Sexual Desire, Sexual Passion Expression, and Associations with Perceived Compulsivity to Pornography and Pornography Use Frequency

AUTHOR(S)

Nathan D. Leonhardt, Dean M. Busby, and Brian J. Willoughby

PUBLISHED: 2020 in Sexuality Research and Social Policy

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