Pornography: What's myth and what matters

Pornography is addictive, as we all have heard. But how and why is it so addictive, and why does it matter? Let's narrow it down to a few major concerns and some myths of — and what matters about — pornography.

Pornography: What's myth and what matters

Pornography is addictive, as we all have heard. But how and why is it so addictive, and why does it matter? Let's narrow it down to a few major concerns and some myths of — and what matters about — pornography.
  • Pornography is addictive.

  • We hear this on TV and on the radio. We see it on billboards as we drive down the freeway, but we don't hear why.

  • Here’s the why.

  • 1. Pornography acts in much the same way as a drug. When we view porn, the brain is exposed to chemicals: Serotonin, oxytocin, epinephrine and dopamine. Drugs or

  • pornography — the results are much the same. Your brain then accommodates for the extra chemicals; building up a tolerance for, and a dependency to them. Wanting becomes needing. Sound familiar?

  • 2. Pornography destroys relationships by encouraging infidelity and significantly decreasing interest in face-to-face contact. It warps the image of real physical relationships.

  • 3. Pornography contributes to aggression and negative attitudes toward the opposite sex. There are significant ties to frequent porn usage and major depression, as well.

  • 4. One third of porn addicts

  • lose their jobs.

  • Myths, and what matters

  • The myths perpetuated by the porn industry are rampant and insulting to humankind. The industry exists to make money.

  • Myth: Women have made the choice to participate in pornography.

  • Fact: Many women who have participated in or posed for porn were recruited as young girls. Often, these are teen girls who have run away from home because of an abusive situation. These are those who "choose" to be in porn — which has ties to prostitution and sexual slavery. Often, these women have shortened life spans.

  • Myth: Little kids should have the opportunity to choose to have sex.

  • Fact: Child porn is strictly an adult venture. It encourages society to sexualize children. There is no choice for them.

  • Myth: Porn doesn’t really affect your personal relationships.

  • Fact: Relationships are built on expressions of commitment. Porn trivializes person-to-person contact. People who view porn lose out on having a normal, healthy relationship, or have turned to porn because of an unhealthy situation.

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  • Myth: The worth of a woman is judged by men and is dependent on her body. Those who don't look like a porn model are devalued and appraised as unworthy.

  • Myth: Women, down deep, like being abused. She may say "no," but she will always mean "yes."

  • Fact: (I can't believe I have to acknowledge this with the time it takes to type.) Are they nuts?

  • Myth: Pornography promotes liberated and healthy sexual expression.

  • Fact: Pornography supports absurd stereotypes, degrades humans as disposable and worth only what someone will pay. Inequality and social prejudices are represented, in fact, celebrated, in porn as "turn-ons."

  • Myth: Porn is just an image on film.

  • Fact: Investigators in law enforcement have linked some type of pornographic imagery to every serial killer in the modern era. Professional counselors report that those who batter women or abuse them sexually are no strangers to porn.

  • Had enough?

  • Here are a few ways to eliminate your use of pornography. Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill in the bunch. Quitting any habit is not easy, but ridding oneself of a behavioral addiction can be exhilarating and self-affirming in the long run.

  • First, get rid of any pornography to which you have access. Break DVDs in half, videos can be ripped out, and electronic images purged.

  • When you get on a computer, do it when others are around. Keep your laptop in a public place.

  • Use porn-blocking software to limit access on your computer.

  • Get out of the rut. Understand when and where you are tempted most often, and stay out of those situations. Come up with a game plan to create a new way of acting under pressure.

  • Acknowledging a higher power and asking for help has been a comfort and a strength to millions.

  • Grab a partner to report success and failures. Having someone to whom you are accountable helps in all the right ways. This could be a partner or clergy.

  • If you are married and your spouse does not know about your problem, you need to talk about it. Don't wait until you have control of the situation to break the news.

  • Try exhibiting self-control in other areas, as well. As in the techniques used in cross-training, the same techniques will apply to cutting the porn habit. Self-control is self-control.

  • Don’t just sit there and try not to think about porn. Do something else. Read something else. Watch something else.

  • Create positive mental images. Picture what success will look like for you, and be reasonable about it. You will always have temptations available, but you can become strong enough to overcome them with increasing ease.

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  • There are professionals to help if you are doing all you can and it’s just not working. Look up addiction and find someone in your area, or ask clergy for a recommendation. Addiction is addiction, and professionals have tools to help.

  • Sink or swim

  • Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged after a fall. Falls happen. Sometimes they happen, again. The fact you are trying to lose a bad habit says a lot for you.

  • The status quo will always call out and send you emails from the gutter to tell you to give up. If you fall and quit, they feel great.

  • Try again regardless of difficulty. Just keep swimming.

Davison Cheney attended a university to became proficient in music and theater, preparing him to be unemployed and to over-react. Check out his blog


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