What goes on inside the brain of a sex addict?

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Many enjoy porn, watch it for visual pleasure, or to build up the sexual tension, which will help them ease their kinky desires. Watching porn might be a common thing, but still a taboo to discuss upfront. Pornography triggers your brain activity, making you desperate to watch it more. If you have been watching porn continuously every day or if porn is what turns you on the most or driving your sex, then you are likely to turn into a sex addict!


Porn is a sex drug!


Pornography is known to enhance brain activity for people suffering from Compulsive Sexual Behaviour, popularly known as Sex Addiction! It is a severe condition in which people consider it as some layman term for their fantasies and love for porn. In particular, about the “brain activity,” sections of brains start to show more activity – similar to those of drug addicts. The said sections of the brain include – the ventral striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate, and amygdala. These areas of the brain handle the processing functions and thereby get highly activated among drug addicts in response to the drugs they take. The very same phenomenon happens with sex addicts too. They generally cannot control their sexual feelings and urges. It turns into an obsession to have sex whenever and where ever they desire, thereby causing problems in their personal as well as professional lives.


A study conducted at the University of Cambridge revealed that almost 50% of the men had compulsive sexual behavior problems, whereas the rest 50% did not. This shows that you could be a sex addict, and you have not realized about it. About 38 men participated in this study, where each of their brains was monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as they watched pornos and sports videos. The researchers discovered that men who were sex addicts showed high activity in the brain areas – the ventral striatum, the dorsal anterior cingulate, and the amygdala. In contrast, it was least active for those who did not suffer from sex addiction.


How to tackle this?

Often, sex addiction is not easily diagnosed. It does impact a lot on your sexual health and your sex drive. Especially for your partner, it affects emotionally and can jeopardize your relationship intimacy. Sex addiction is controversial, often leading to troubles and embarrassing situations. If you are a sex addict and you want to change your life for better, then you have to speak out your feelings openly to your partner and consult a good doctor at the earliest. Though there are not particular evidence-based treatments, the following are known to be implemented by the doctors:


  1. Impatient treatment programs
  2. 12 Step Program called Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) similar to the recovery modes like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  4. Medications


Though the methods mentioned above may not be a clear-cut resolution, they can still help you in stabilizing your relationship intimacy, sex life, and also get rid of addiction. Apart from these, you must also bring a change in your lifestyle by meditating, doing exercises, and having a healthy diet. Please note, if any individual stops watching porn, it doesn’t mean that he is no longer a sex addict. It all depends on how they react towards it. If you are occasionally watching porn, it should not be anything more than entertainment.

No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about health and wellness. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.
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