Many enjoy porn, watch it for visual pleasure, or to build sexual tension which will help them fulfill their kinky desires. Watching porn discreetly might be common, but it is still taboo to discuss upfront. Pornography triggers brain activity, making you keep coming back for more. If watching porn continuously, every day is hampering your daily routine or if you are dependent just on porn to get turned on or experience any kind of sexual desire, then you are most likely to turn into a sex addict!

Porn is a sex drug!

Pornography is known to enhance Compulsive Sexual Behaviour, popularly known as Sex Addiction! What we mean by a triggered “brain activity,” is that sections of the brain start to show heightened activity – similar to that of drug addicts. These sections include – the ventral striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate, and amygdala. These areas handle processing functions. Sex addicts generally cannot control their sexual feelings and urges. So much so that it turns into obsession to have sex whenever and where ever they desire, eventually causing problems in their personal and professional lives.

A study conducted at the University of Cambridge revealed that almost 50% of men selected for the sample had compulsive sexual behavioral issues, whereas the rest of the 50% did not. This shows that you could be a sex addict without realizing it. About 38 men participated in this study, each brain being monitored through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as they watched both pornos and sports videos. The researchers discovered that men who were sex addicts showed high activity in the ventral striatum, dorsal anterior cingulate and the amygdala sections of the brain. In contrast, these areas were less active among men who did not suffer from sex addiction.

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How can sex addiction be tackled?

Sex addiction is not easily diagnosed and has a significant impact on your sexual health and sex drive. If you are in a relationship, partners can be affected emotionally and intimacy levels can take a turn for the worse. Sex addiction is controversial, often leading to trouble and embarrassing situations. If you are a sex addict and want to change your ways, you must learn to speak about your feelings openly with your partner and consult a good doctor who can help. There are no particular evidence-based treatments for sexual addiction but the following are recommended by specialists in this field:

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

Though these aforementioned methods may not be a clear-cut resolution, they can still help stabilize relationship intimacy, sex life, and also get rid of addiction.

Certain lifestyle changes like meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet will aid considerably. Please note, that if an addict stops watching porn, it doesn’t suddenly mean that he is no longer a sex addict. It depends upon how he reacts toward sexual urges, their frequency, intensity and whether he feels them in the first place.

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Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP