What happens to you brain on pornography?
And though there are many angles at which to address this topic, I will highlight today the Coolidge Effect.
“Without it, there would be no Internet porn,” declares one popular website devoted to the topic of brain chemistry on porn.
WHAT IS THE COOLIDGE EFFECT?
Normally after an orgasm sexual activity dissipates and a sensation of contentment washes over the participant.
However, if an opportunity quickly comes to become aroused by a new mate, then the Coolidge Effect kicks in.
Neurologically, the brain floods itself with dopamine, a chemical. Dopamine controls our ambitions and motivation. The brain is saying to the body, “Hey, there’s someone new to copulate with. Hurry up!”
And bam! Your brain jumpstarts from serenity into full-action mode. Rather than taking several minutes to reach an orgasm with the old mate, climax can be achieved rapidly thanks to the Coolidge Effect.
When he slows his mind down to try to have sex with a real-life woman, he may not be able to get an erection, let alone finish the job.
AS OBSERVED IN LAB MICE
Scientists have studied the Coolidge Effect in lab mice. A male rat and a receptive female rat together initiated frenetic sexual activity, for a short while. But over time, the male tired. Even though the female was still desiring, the male couldn’t participate any longer.
But once the scientists added a second receptive female, the male mouse sprang into action immediately. When a third willing female was introduced, then he got himself ready all over again quickly. He had this same response over and over until he physically exhausted himself.
The male rat had experienced the Coolidge Effect.
This same effect can happen if anyone views Internet porn or sexual activity with multiple partners.
YOUR BRAIN ON PORNOGRAPHY
Viewing the same porn images over and over deadens someone’s response time and response strength. The old images don’t create the same lustful response as they did before.
But Internet porn puts the Coolidge Effect into overdrive. With just a click of a mouse, someone can view new erotic images each second that by. Viewing novel porn actresses (or actors) means the dopamine circuit keeps getting tapped time and again.
Dopamine also serves as a reward service to the mind. Thus, each time something novel comes along, dopamine gets released. With each new porn image to come along, the brain squirts a fresh dose of dopamine. If something is especially arousing, even more dopamine squirts out.
You can see then how your brain on pornography from the Internet gets overworked.
UNNATURAL CONSEQUENCES CAN OCCUR IN REAL-LIFE INTERCOURSE
When a pornography viewer has trained his mind to associate sexual arousal with nonstop action of Internet porn, bad things tend to happen.
For one, in order for him to become aroused enough to ejaculate, he needs a huge dose of dopamine. When he slows his mind down to try to have sex with a real-life woman, he may not be able to get an erection, let alone finish the job.
This is a real struggle for many men—usually in their teens or twenties. One famous example is Reddit’s “NoFap” campaign. They challenge men who experience erectile dysfunction, to give up porn use to correct themselves over time.
And this has proven effective. The mind needs time to wean itself from the binge of dopamine.
Another unnatural consequence from your brain on pornography is a lowered regard for one’s own wife or mate.
And this makes sense. After all, a porn viewer has taught himself that women exist to arouse him. Most women he sees are porn actresses. When he sees them, he gets rush after rush of dopamine—and other chemicals, of course—rewarding himself. The variety of sexual images makes him feel good.
How does his wife or his significant other compete with that? She can’t.
A porn viewer is likely to find his wife or sexual partner less satisfying. She isn’t as attractive as she once was. She even gets marked lower in her intelligence and kindness. Her physical affection will rarely move the needle. And obviously, her performance in bed will earn her low grades, as well.
This undoubtedly cripples countless marriages and relationships. It is one of the leading causes of divorce in this country.
There is hope, and there are resources available.
A good place to start is ending the porn viewing.
Were you aware of the Coolidge Effect?
Did you know your brain on pornography could react like this?
Please share any thoughts you have below!