Every day in 2017, Pornhub received over 78 million visitors. In the entire 12-month period, it was visited close to 29 billion times. That equates to around 1,000 clicks into the website per second. In 2016, internet users watched so much porn that it would take 194 million USB sticks to fit it all – enough to reach the entire way around the moon.
From this information alone, it’s clear to see porn is a big part of our daily lives. We watch it to feel pleasure, and some people tune in to watch it more than others. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, right? Correct. There are many psychological effects associated with watching porn videos which we’ve included below. Is it time to reign that porn habit in?
Sex is a human drive that dates back to ancient times. It has been born into us since time began. As a result, your body undergoes a chemical reaction every time you view a porn video or look at imagery. Dopamine floods the brain to create a feeling of immense pleasure. Because it’s a natural reaction, it’s not something your body or you can control. However, when you watch porn videos on a regular basis or look at pornography graphics, you are triggering those areas of your brain over and over again.
Therefore, over time, you will need to view more and more to get that same feeling of pleasure from your body. You begin looking for more shocking, more sexual, and more explicit content just to feel that same pleasure you felt the first time you looked at porn.
Being told that watching porn videos shrinks your brain sounds like something your mom would say to you when she catches you in the act. In the same way that when you frown, she tells you your face will get stuck like that. Unfortunately, she wasn’t lying (about watching porn). Watching too much porn, and looking at too many pornographic pictures, can shrink your brain – but possibly not in the way you think.
A German Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Clinic researcher found that men who regularly watched porn had a smaller brain volume in the reward processing section than men who didn’t watch porn. The surprising results were published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal in 2014. However, researchers are now pondering whether the desensitization aspect as mentioned above can play a part in the reduction.
According to research published in the 2012 Journal of Sexual Medicine, watching porn videos can mean you’re watching them, but you’re not really watching them. Instead, you’re so focused on becoming aroused that you’re not able to see what’s happening in the background of the video or looking for potential danger in your surroundings either. The research showed that a part of your brain becomes almost quiet when you’re watching porn, diverting its attention and blood flow to the act of arousal opposed to what you’re looking at.
As a whole, you can’t blame porn videos for a failed relationship. However, there are parts of any relationship that is better or worse depending on whether your partner watches porn videos or not. Men who watch porn tend to be more open-minded and encouraging of equal rights for women than those who don’t. For example, they are more open to women in power and also tend to be more pro-abortion as well.
Men who don’t watch porn, however, can often be far more conservative in their views. But, usually not to their detriment. In studies published in a 2012 Sex Roles journal, women were found to be far happier in their relationship with men who didn’t watch porn videos.
It might not seem like your frequent visits to porn websites are having an impact, but you may find there is more evidence to suggest it does than you may think. If your nightly routine consists of looking at porn videos as opposed to doing anything else, then it might be time to make a change. Why not read a book instead, or watch regular TV?