Your Brain On Porn Pt 1

I’ve been reading through a really interesting book called “Your Brain On Porn”.  It’s written by Gary Wilson.  I came across him from a TED Talk he did a few years back.  I’ve put the video down below; it’s essentially a summary of his book.

Wilson has a website that he runs also dedicated to the issue of internet porn addiction.  In the first chapter he works his way through all of the main consequences that he sees of porn addiction. 

To back up his argument he uses anecdotal evidence from his website.  These people have written about their experiences of porn addiction on forums on his website.

Here’s a list of the consequences he works through in the first chapter:

-        Interfering with life, inability to control porn use

-        Erectile dysfunction

-        Inability to orgasm during sex

-        Unreliable erections during sexual encounters

-        Unaccustomed premature ejaculation

-        Alarming porn fetish tastes

-        Loss of attraction to real partners

-        Effects on libido, romance

-        Social anxiety & self-esteem issues

-        Inability to concentrate

-        Depression & low energy

The problem here is that as people start to feel the effects of porn and more specifically porn addiction, they ironically turn to porn in order to feel better.

Wilson notes that when people have been addicted to porn since puberty, they are unable to recognise that porn is the issue.  He writes: “No matter how miserable they are, porn seems like a way to feel good – a solution rather than a source of problems.” (p. 20)

More than that, I think these consequences are the exact opposite of what most people think would happen to a porn user.  People assume it will increase sexual appetite and performance.  In fact, back in the 80’s, Andrea Dworkin predicted that the rise in pornography would lead to men having an insatiable appetite for sex. (quoted in this article).  And yet here we have Wilson showing the opposite.

I’ll post more on Wilson’s books in the weeks ahead, but for now, check out his TED talk to get an idea of what he is about.