In the past, you had to consciously choose to watch pornography. Today you have to make a conscious decision not to look at pornography. Because it is ubiquitous and can be called up within seconds on any device, anywhere and at any time. And it costs nothing. This limitless access also has a tremendous influence on us. According to conservative studies, almost every third man regularly consumes pornography. At least every second woman under the age of 35 is also affected. Marriages break up. Relationships fail.

"When does porn consumption hurt me?" is a legitimate question. However, we must all ask ourselves the more fundamental question: "When is pornography consumption healthy?" It's an impoverished form of sexuality. The counterpart is reduced to the object. Pornography makes people sick at the latest when consumption becomes addictive. When my inhibition threshold against violent or disgusting porn decreases or when I consume porn several times a week - at the latest then I have to think about it.

Long-term studies on this phenomenon of our time are being conducted at a large number of renowned universities worldwide. Also in Germany, e.g. at the Max-Plank Institute (1) in Berlin or at the JLU in Gießen (2). No wonder, because Germany is the world champion in the consumption of pornography. Measured by the worldwide share of porn traffic on the Internet, Germany ranks first with a share of 12.4%. (3) This trend does not stop at Christians either. This problem has long been present in the communities and does not only affect men. Different studies (as well as our experience) show that regular consumption is between 75%-90% for men and 65% for young women (under 30 years of age) (4).

Effects of porn consumption

The effects of regular consumption are dramatic. Watching porn triggers the reward system in the brain. The so-called dopamine effect occurs, which in turn causes an increase in the number, frequency and hardness of the pornographic material to occur in order to achieve the same "jag effect". As a result, the reward system in the brain (striatum) shrinks, similar to that of cocaine addicted individuals (5). Since pornography consumption and masturbation can hardly be separated, the binding hormone oxytocin must also be included in the picture. Oxytocin is released into the brain when orgasm occurs. It's a wonderful thing when it happens between two people. But if pornography is the basis, it leads to a connection to the many images and therefore makes it even more difficult to get out of this addiction (6).

Addicts are often plagued by extreme mood swings, depression and guilt. When we have difficulties, we humans tend to always take the easiest way to feel better as soon as possible. Since the next intoxication is just a click away, escaping into pornography becomes the preferred way to deal with fear, anger, disappointment, loneliness, overtaxing, etc. Emotions that are overtaxing or unpleasant are numbed with pornography.

The problem is that this anaesthetic cannot be applied selectively or only locally. Pornography influences and numbs our whole being. Feelings are extremely dampened by porn consumption. Deep relationships or keeping them intact is becoming increasingly difficult. In addition to the general emotional release, feelings of guilt are added. At the end of the day, dependents only revolve around themselves and have no free capacities for their counterparts. The inability to relate spreads and the cycle of shame and isolation begins anew. Many who regularly consume pornography are only confronted with the extent to which their emotional numbness has already progressed after escaping pornography. In the course of my work I have already had so many conversations with men who have come out of years of deep porn dependence into freedom and are suddenly confronted again with intense feelings. Full of amazement they tell us of a new awakening of emotions. Many who regularly consume pornography also struggle with a constant double life that must be maintained. The own mental abysses must under no circumstances become visible for the family, for friends, for colleagues. And this is how a facade is built. Many hours are invested to maintain the appearance and delete "evidence" on the Internet. The consequence of this behavior is that true openness is avoided - in everyday interaction, the true "I" does not emerge. Marriages and families are subtly influenced by porn consumption. The consumer is emotionally and spiritually absent and does not assume his responsibilities in marriage and family.

Other effects may include the following:

  • Relationship problems in partnership, family, friends
  • sexual dysfunction such as impotence or premature ejaculation
  • social phobias and isolation
  • depressive moods
  • compulsive acts
  • Dealing with (reputation of) sexual practices that one would have previously classified as disturbing or morally negative.

  1. called on 26.07.2018
  2. called on 26.07.2018
  3. called on 26.07.2018
  4. called on 26.07.2018
  5. 2014 Cambridge fMRI study on porn addicts by Voon et. Al., 2014; “Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated with Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn” (Kuhn & Gallinat, 2014); Gary Wilson, Your Brain on Porn; Barna Group, The Porn Phenomenon
  6.; called on 26.07.2018
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