Entertainment

The dark forces behind a growing addiction to porn

06 May 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Porn addiction: The whys and the hows

The Maharashtra IT department recently revealed that daily, 30,000 users log in to Mumbai's free public Wi-Fi to access porn.

In another incident, a Karnataka legislator ended up forwarding porn to a WhatsApp group consisting of police officials, media personnel and others.

Our obsession with porn is seemingly at an all-time high. What's driving this deep, dark phenomenon?

In context: Porn addiction: The whys and the hows

06 May 2017The dark forces behind a growing addiction to porn

EffectHow does pornography affect your worldview?

Pornography builds an unrealistic idea of sex, often ignoring emotional connect and taking physical pleasure to extremes.

"Pornography…changes the way you think about people. People become objects, people become body parts, they become things to be used rather than people to be loved," said self-proclaimed porn addict, actor and former American football player Terry Crews.

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When porn becomes an addiction

AddictionWhen porn becomes an addiction

A compulsive eater craves for more food. Similar is the case with porn, which capitalizes on the primitive lust for flesh: the more porn one watches, the more one will crave.

It also raises the standards of sexual gratification: as one starts associating porn, which is often aggressive, with sexual pleasure, one will eventually be in need of it to get turned on.

Issues'Addiction' can damage your relationships

Research has found that people who identify themselves as porn addicts often report having trouble maintaining romantic relationships; however, those who view it as a healthy, "in control" habit face no such issues.

Terry Crews said how his porn addiction almost destroyed his marriage.

"I felt like my wife owed me sex. When you have a sense of entitlement, it's dangerous," he said.

Even kids as young as 10 are watching porn

With drastic advances in technology, even children can today access a variety of porn at ease. For kids, the fact that it is "forbidden" adds to the appeal. "Between 10-12 years, a child has seen porn at least once," says Dr. Avinash DeSousa of Thane.

DebateSo is porn addiction a thing?

There is no unanimous agreement on this controversial issue; the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual doesn't recognize it as a disorder.

Researcher Nicole Prause says brain activity in porn addiction "looks similar to other addictions, but only up to a point; then it diverges".

On the other hand, there are online groups, like NoFap on Reddit, where thousands of 'addicts' have told of their struggles.

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When Japan's porn obsession controlled population!

Japan's population shrunk, for the first time ever, last February. Estimates say it will reduce by half by 2115. Many have blamed a growing obsession with porn, which has led to a general disinterest in sex; a 2016 study found 40% of youths were virgins.

SupportFrom men who have given up porn

The 'PornFree' group on Reddit consists of men who have entirely given up porn, and are now helping others overcome addiction.

Community member Jason explained it is likelier one would turn to the internet in such times, rather than approach someone directly.

Most who have quit porn say apart from having better relationships, they are now "more confident, emotionally-sensitive, energised and overall more content".

TipsThings to keep in mind while attempting recovery

Researchers suggest one should get out of isolation and secrecy to tackle the issue; "they are some of the most counterproductive ways to stop use" as they facilitate more watching of porn.

Reshaping and redefining sexuality forms a major part of the process; one needs to dissociate guilt and aggression from sex.

Recovery can help one re-attain fulfilling sexual intimacy and a productive life.