I have had this page open now for about 24 hours.

I have written a few intros, but deleted all of them.

I feel like I have something to say, but I am uncertain what it is I want to say.

I was addicted to porn. I am no longer addicted to porn. Is there a forum for ex addicts to post, if they feel their experience might help others out of the addiction? Is this the place?

Porn is a relatively new addiction. "New addiction?" It is helpful to understand that most of the addictions we suffer are addictions we invented. Some, we invented a long time ago. Alcohol addiction we invented at least a few thousand years ago. We invent an addiction when we take some combination of non addictive things, commonly found in nature, and re-combine them to form a super stimuli, not commonly found in nature. Alcohol, for instance, does not grow on trees, and, without us re-combining what his found in nature, does not just appear. Same with most drugs. Same with porn.

We invented porn addiction around 2011. We invented it when we invented, then disseminated, High Speed Internet Porn. Of course, at the time, we did not know we were inventing it. But, being who we are, once we invented High Speed Internet, the next second someone figured out we could upload porn, thus High Speed Internet Porn. We figured out, without actually understanding what we were doing, that we could use HSIP to get high. We did not think of it in those terms because the neuroscience had not caught up, but it goes like this: Nature evolved our brains to "like" sex. OK, over and under simplification. Nature evolved our brains to like "thoughts" of sex. Still, over and under simplification. Our brains respond favorably to a dopamine release. Dopamine is a reward and motivational neurortansmitter that encourages, among other things, reproduction. This is a brain thing. 100% above the belt. When we think of sex, a side effect is getting a dopamine neurotransmitter reward. This is how nature encourages us to reproduce. When we invented porn, HSIP specifically, we did not know it, but we invented a button we can push to get a dopamine rush. Since the beginning, and I am going back millions of years, we have liked the dopamine rush we get when we think about sex. But, only since about 2011 have we figured out how to get that dopamine rush daily, multiple times a day, every day, for years, via HSIP. Why? Because that is when we invented it. This means of getting high did not exist prior to that. Yeah! (Sarcasm).

Understanding that, understanding what you are doing when you choose--yes, choose--(it is always a choice, though it may not feel like it at the time)-- to push the porn button--is key. You push the porn button for one and only reason--to get the dopamine high, rush, it gives you. That dopamine high/rush feels euphoric. We "like" it; we may even love it. Once we figured out how to give it to ourselves, some of us began to use it daily, multiple times a day, thus reinforcing that brain reward pathway, until one day, when we think the thought that we do not want to do it again...we find it incredibly difficult to quit. Bad day, that.

Good news, bad news. Like any other addiction, porn can be quit, but you have to understand what you are quitting. You are not quitting porn, you are quitting the high it brings you. Without that high, porn would be boring. Porn addiction could be worse, like the other addictions, but no one ever overdosed on porn, and no one went through withdrawals that can kill you, like other addictions. Still, if you are addicted to porn you will, like when quitting the other addictions, feel like you are dying. If you thought I was going to say there is an easy way out, sorry, no, there is not. Still, there IS a way out.

The first step, in my humble opinion, is understanding that the addiction is 100% a brain issue, and it is a fairly recently created brain issue, which is an unintended side effect of the invention of High Speed Internet.

Second step, own it. This is hard to do, but you will need to embrace the fact that the addiction was not something that was done to you, but is something you did to yourself. Fair to say you did not know you were doing it to yourself when you were doing it, you did not know you were reinforcing brain reward pathways when you had your porn and coffee in the morning--that is fair--but, you need to own the fact that you were. For years, by watching porn daily, and getting the dopamine rush that goes with it, you were training your brain to want it daily, and training your brain to miss it, if it did not get it. That "missing it" part is where the addiction forms. There is no addiction if you do not miss it when you give it up. No matter how much you like it, if you can walk away and not miss it, you are not addicted. And when I say "miss it", I am talking about withdrawals. When an addict quits the addiction and "misses it", they are withdrawing, and withdrawals, for all addicts, are living death. Living death...you got it, sucks.

Ok, first post, and maybe last post. Just wanted to say there is hope. I can only speak for porn addiction, but, it does not have to last forever. It can be quit, and quitting only will feel like dying, for a while, but it will not kill you. To quit porn addiction you will need a gallows humor, and even if you do not have one now, you will by the end, whether you want it or not. After quitting the addiction, you will not be the same as you were before the addiction. Not a tragedy, just a fact.

It will take time, it will take effort, and you are going to have to give up something you may not have even understood you had come to rely upon: the dopamine rush you get from hypersexual thoughts, which are produced from...you know what.

If anyone is reading, thanks for reading. I post because it helps me. Of course we have to go back to the standards. How do we help ourselves? We help ourselves by helping others. Get out and help someone. No, seriously; go find someone to help, now. Stand up, walk out, and do it. This is part of the process. It may not fix you, but it is a step on the path in the right direction.

Much love.

  • 15 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @WilliamOneAndDone good morning! thank you so much for posting!! whether you post one or one hundred, appreciate your time.

    so great you got free from this addiction. sounds like you educated yourself quite a bit on it...and that can help!

    did you by chance get professional addiction treatment? just curious. some people may need to reach out to an addiction specialist to get free....

    your presence is welcomed here, as plenty are struggling with porn addiction.

    again, thank you and good to have you aboard the forum!
  • @dominica

    Hi. Yes, I got educated. This is key. For this addiction, and all addictions, we have to educate ourselves, because without that, we really do not understand what we are fighting. All addictions are 100% a brain issue. With porn, this can be confusing, because a lot equate it with sex. But, porn addiction has NOTHING to do with sex, and in fact, many porn addicts cannot even have sex, do to what the medical community calls Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction. Their boats do not float. It is important for any addict to understand that their addictions can manifest in a lot of different and subjective ways, but, objectively, all of it is about introducing a super stimuli for the purpose of producing a brain reaction.

    Porn addiction is interesting because we can pretty much track its beginning, and its beginning is in our lifetimes. For many of us, myself included, porn addiction did not exist when very young, but became available in our early teens with the invention and availability of High Speed Internet Porn. I am sure there are other addictions to be invented, but this addiction was created when we invented High Speed Internet, and then, shortly thereafter, High Speed Internet Porn. We did not know we invented it, when we invented it, but about 4-5 years after we invented it we (we being us, humanity), started asking the question: " I want to quit watching porn, compulsively, but do not think I can. How can I quit?" It took a second, as in a few years, but neurologists have figured out it was never porn that was difficult to quit, but, rather, the dopamine high that porn produced that was difficult for us to give up, once we had trained our brains to use it and want it daily, for years.

    Very important concept for a porn addict quitting: It took years and effort to train your brain to get hooked, it may take that long, and that much effort, to train your brain to get unhooked.

    Porn addiction is a bit different than substance addiction, though both involve manipulation of the brain's motivational and reward responses. Porn addiction is an arousal addiction. Substance addicts eventually have to have "more" to get their high, as they desensitize to what came before. Arousal addicts need "new and different", as they desensitize to what came before. This is why a lot of porn addicts migrate to porn categories that have nothing to do with what they conceive as their normal sexuality.

    "Porn addiction", by the way, is a bit inaccurate. It works like this. It is natural and healthy to have a dopamine high by thinking about sex. That is nature's way of encouraging reproduction. Not just in us, but in all mammals. It works great. So, understand, it is the thought of sex that produces a dopamine response, not porn itself. So, here goes: Porn=sexual thought, sexual thought = dopamine response, dopamine response via this mechanism daily, multiple times a day, for years = addictive behavior. While we could always think about sex, and have, for thousands of years, we only recently invented a means of thinking about it constantly, and searching for never before thought sexual thoughts. It is probably more accurate to think of porn addiction as porn induced dopamine addiction. But for the dopamine reaction it leads to, it would be boring.

    Sorry, your question was whether I sought professional help. The answer is no. I got clean without it. That said, porn addiction was not widely accepted when I got clean, and, to be honest, is still not, meaning a lot of professionals have accepted it exists, and yet, a lot still do not. I probably recognized myself as "addicted to porn" within 1-2 years of the phrase "porn addiction" having come into existence, and before the science of this addiction was accepted, and way before any professional ever said "I can help with your porn addiction." In 2010, had I walked into my doctor's office and said "I think I am addicted to porn", she/he would probably have said "that's not possible." Point being, professional help is not available until the professionals accept there is a problem, and that recognition is only recently and reluctantly here.

    Thank you for your welcome. I think I will be back, and I think I would like to discuss the difference between sex addiction and porn addiction. They are radically different, but to outsiders who have not experienced either, they tend to be lumped together.

    Much love.

    Will I AM.
  • Hi @WilliamOneAndDone

    Congrats on being able to battle your porn addiction on your own. Many of us need the jumpstart of rehab and continued therapy. I'd like to peacefully/respectfully challenge a few things you said. I appreciate you got educated, but I disagree based on my extensive research and experiences with many porn addicts on a few of your conclusions:

    1) Porn addiction can absolutely have to do with sex. It's an individualized thing with no two people's stories being identical. This could reflect what your definition of "sex" means, but whether it's intercourse or sexuality in general, both have played roles in plenty of people's addictions.

    2) Porn addiction existed long before you and I were born and you can do research where it's hypothesized about how many Greek and Roman leaders had issues with it. And we certainly haven't only recently invented a way to think about sex all the time. Sure, they didn't have magazines or videos in ancient Rome, but they did have their own version of pornography if you consider voyeurism a component of porn addiction or group sex/promiscuity as parts of sex addiction . You're giving too much credit to recent technology. I became an active addict years before I ever had a modem with magazines and VHS videos. I've met men in their 70s who can't operate a computer and have been porn addicts for 50 years.

    3) Be careful throwing around the term "arousal addiction". Aside from Phil Zimbardo and the NoFap cult, it's not a real term accepted in the medical community. I would contend that porn addiction is as much a substance addiction if your definition is that the substance addict needs more to get by. In my personal experience, my use of porn escalated not only in frequency of use and duration of use, but also the material I looked at. I needed things to be more extreme to get the same high the way an alcoholic moves from beer to wine to shots. By your definition, a gambling addict would have an arousal addiction, but the DSM-5 never refers to it as "arousal addiction". If you'd like to learn more about the DSM-5 and how it addresses substance vs. non-substance disorders, this is a good resource:

    4) Your porn = sex thought = dopamine is how the average person operates, but I'd urge you to do some research on the Coolidge Effect in animals (including humans). I'd also posit that addiction does not come simply from repetition. That's a habit. Addictive behavior is much more complicated.

    5) While I again am happy that you have defeated your addiction on your own, I'm honestly a little leery on taking much advice from someone who, while clearly well-read on the subject, doesn't have experience working with professionals or hasn't spent a lot of time in the presence of other porn addicts. I think you've developed a linear way of looking at this, and addiction cannot be addressed in a linear way. I mean absolutely no disrespect in any way, but having spent time with other porn addicts at inpatient rehab, years of group therapy and months in jail, no two stories are alike.

    The one statistic I would like to leave you with and hope you'll think about is that 94% of pornography addicts have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives and until that trauma is resolved, many cannot shed their addiction, or move onto a different addiction. You may be in that other 6%, but I'd urge you, even if just to cover all of your bases, sit down with a therapist at some point and tell them your story. Having a professional and not a book or website provide feedback could be very valuable.

    Again, congrats on getting things under control. It takes a strong will do that.

  • @JoshuaShea

    Hi Joshua, thanks for the kind words. Reading and replying were part of my recovery. I wrote a book, here, in response to your post, and most of the response was very favorable. It was epic, but I just deleted it. I am glad I am clean. Let's leave it at that, and I will almost certainly post here again.

    So, thought for the day. How do we help ourselves? We help ourselves by helping others. For anyone who reads this, get out and help someone. Help yourself. Don't ever let anyone tell you it cannot be done. You can do it. You can.

    Much love.

  • @WilliamOneAndDone I couldn't agree with that more. Once the wheels of recovery start turning, I think the only way to keep them going is to share what you've learned and help others.
  • @WilliamOneAndDone @JoshuaShea i'm learning by reading your posts, so thank you both for posting and for keeping it favorable.... no room for judgment here, and each person's recovery journey will vary...

    that 94% statistics about trauma underneath addiction... i'll second that. and i believe professional treatment and doing some "inner work" on your own are necessary.... for any addiction or even if you're not an addict....
  • @WilliamOneAndDone... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing your story with us. Your insight is valuable and will help other people struggling with porn addiction. And thank you, too, @JoshuaShea. Like Dominica, I admire your ability to "agree to disagree" with certain points. Yes, everyone's recovery journey will be different. The important thing is that both of you guys have overcome your addiction, which is a wonderful thing.

    I hope to see you around these parts in the future, @WilliamOneAndDone. Thanks again for your posts!
  • @DeanD Thanks for the kind words.

    I am new here. I have never posted in a forum not exclusively dedicated to "porn addiction", before, so, a bit broader and new.

    Porn addiction is a recently invented phenomenon. We (humanity) have been fascinated with porn since we were drawing it on cave walls, but only recently, with the invention of the internet, and, then, the invention of High Speed Internet Porn, (HSIP), has porn addiction become available to us. As with all addictions, it begins with "availability". While the human brain might be susceptible to an addiction, and has been susceptible since it evolved into its current form, if the addiction is not available, the addiction cannot form.

    Crude example: Without cocaine being available, cocaine addiction cannot form.

    Addiction is not a naturally occurring event in nature. In this sense all of our addictions are "invented" when we take naturally occurring things from nature and recombine them in forms not occurring in nature. This ability may be unique to the human species.

    I have had the discussion about "sex addiction," and have been challenged on the concept that since sex is naturally occurring, the addiction, also, occurs naturally. The distinction here is that while using sex to achieve a dopamine high is an event that is naturally occurring, and is nature's healthy way of encouraging reproduction, "sex addiction" has only been widely available to large segments of the population since we started migrating to the cities, and even then, much later, when it became acceptable to mingle in venues that encouraged recreational sex. The ability to have recreational sex may be unique to us and a few other mammals. A lot of species only have sex for one reason: to reproduce.

    We invented the internet about 1990, but it was not widely available to everyone at that time, and there are still wide segments of the population (on the planet) for whom it is not especially available. Google search went live in the Fall of 1998. If one searches the first full year Google was available to search, 1999, one finds only 24 links returned for the phrase "porn addiction", and only slightly more than 1/2 actually have anything to do with discussing the actual addiction.

    By 1999, there were only about 15 links, not pages, in response to searching for the phrase "porn addiction", having actually to do with porn addiction, which was, at that time, nascent. Today, if one searches the same phrase for the last year, at Google, one will return about 24 pages for the term "porn addiction", with nearly all of them involving a discussion of the concept, as we currently use it.

    @JoshuaShea, in his writing, indicates, if I read him right, that about 1/3 of viewers of porn currently consider themselves addicted. Again, back to availability, porn may be the most available addictive event that currently exists in our reality. We are talking millions and millions of addicts, and, interestingly, most do not know it, or even know it is possible. Acceptance of the concept is new, and not widely accepted; the science behind it is new; and, while growing in acceptance, is still challenged. In 100 years, what we know now about porn addiction, which is actually porn induced dopamine addiction, will look crude, simplistic, and possibly stupid, but at least we have opened our eyes, are studying the problem, and are becoming self aware.

    And those millions of addicts who do not know it? They are about to discover it, because, eventually, and maybe inevitably, we come to a place where we want to put it down, due to the problems it causes in our lives, and quickly learn how fast our brains can punish us for denying it its daily dopamine fix. Bad days those for all of us.

    Around 2008-2011, we upgraded to High Speed Internet Porn. This meant there was no wait in response to a search. At that point porn jumped, for the searcher and potential addict, from "finite" to "infinite". That is the time frame the addiction came into existence. That distinction, finite v. infinite, is key to understanding how the addiction forms. We, humanity, for better or for worse, have always loved porn, by which I mean we have always loved the end result porn gives us: a dopamine high. But, until HSIP came into widespread existence, that means of getting a dopamine high was not "available." We will invent other means, in the future, but this addiction is interesting, to me, in that we can track its inception to the years it came into existence.

    As you know, that dopamine rush, is key to ALL addictions, to varying extents. When we invented HSIP, we invented something that had not existed, in that form, before, in our reality: A means of endlessly searching for never before experienced porn, in order to achieve a prolonged, powerful, effortless, endless, dopamine high. Before that, with finite porn, we had to wait for it, and work for it. We liked finite porn, with the finite dopamine highs it could give us, but with HSIP, getting that high, multiple times a day, every day, for years, became possible, thus making the addiction available.

    Well, thanks for the kind words, and the opportunity to respond.


    I vaguely recall we might have exchanged thoughts on RebootNation. Do you recall that? It has been a long time if we did.

    Peace to all.

    Will I AM.

  • I agree with you, @WilliamOneAndDone. I think porn and porn addiction is probably the worst thing to come out of the internet. And I worry about young people growing up with the internet these days. When I was a kid, I was lucky to get a glimpse of a Playboy magazine once in a great while. Nowadays, kids can use their smart phone to see anything they want online. It's a scary thing, for sure.

    Thanks again for being here. Glad you found us.
  • In my rehabs, I have met many men older than myself who have struggled with pornography addictions dating back to before I was born. They couldn't tell you how to operate a computer, much less what high speed internet is. It's insulting to them, and to me, that somebody would suggest they don't have porn addiction because porn addiction wasn't "available" before high speed internet. To suggest a dopamine rush was not available through porn before 2008 is simply wrong. I don't want to get into a flame war, nor will I, but I will call out incorrect information. Then men who are mostly over 50 who succumbed to porn through means outside of high-speed internet would find it insulting to be told they don't have a porn addiction and I think it's dangerous to suggest that somebody even today who develops a porn addiction outside of the Internet isn't really addicted.
    I don't know if our history lesson is coming from someone who enjoyed a specific book on the subject, but the information being shared is simply incorrect.

    If you're looking for a little history:

    1896 - The Coucher de La Mariee, widely considered the first pornographic film, is made.
    1953 - Playboy Magazine launches
    1975 - Although technically 3 years old, HBO launches coast-to-coast on cable
    1977 - The first home video store opens
    1981 - Pay per view, including porn films, are introduced to cable systems
    1982 - Playboy Channel is launched
    1985 - America Online begins, Blockbuster Video opens
    1998 - Google launches

    All of this was a decade before high speed internet. I also have to say as somebody who became addicted to pornography through VHS video tapes in the late 80s/early 90s, what I read seems like revisionist history, made to give the last 10 years more credit than they are worth. I did not get addicted only when AT&T sped things up.
    I think that there are two arguments in play here. The one that postulates the Internet has exponentially made pornography addiction more likely is absolutely correct. I agree it has made access and the variety of content available more easily reached then ever in history and we are now just seeing the results of what the first generation raised on Internet porn looks like. I will wholeheartedly agree the Internet as a means of pornography delivery has brought addiction to the mainstream like never before and affected more people like never before. It's done in 20 years what all of mankind and technology could not before it.
    The other component, a history lesson on pornography addiction, I will again respectfully disagree with. We are unique in history because of the Internet, but we are not unique in history for having created pornography addiction.
  • @DeanD

    Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, we live in an interesting time. There is a population of porn addicts, a vanishing population, who experienced sex before they experienced High Speed Internet Porn. In 2018, at least if HSIP is available to them, the vast majority of people experience HSIP before they experience sex. This means that younger people will likely become addicted sooner, as in there are a lot of younger people who will be porn addicts before they experience sex. This was a common theme when I was writing at RebootNation and Nofap: virgins who could not rise to the occasion.

    The two main symptoms of porn addiction, which is actually porn induced dopamine addiction, are: Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction and anorgasmia. Inability to get an erection during sex, and, often only able to achieve an erection with porn. A third symptom might be withdrawals, but that is only when the addict is not feeding the addiction.

    The evolution of this condition is interesting to me because it has a past, present, and future, and if we think about the future, we might contribute to making it better then, by what we can learn and teach, now.

    Back to the generational thing. The guys who became addicted well after they had a sex life, find it a bit easier to quit the addiction. Still incredibly difficult, but less difficult than the person who has become addicted before ever experiencing sex. Gary Wilson of Yourbrainonporn asks an amusing rhetorical question: Why would any porn loving guy give it up? Really, if there were no adverse consequences, no porn addict would give it up. But, there are, and one of the major ones is PIED. I don't know anyone in a porn addiction forum who is giving it up, unless it has caused a problem.

    It turns out that the people who had a sex life before becoming addicted can fall back, in a manner of speaking, to those older brain reward pathways. Via brain plasticity, they can rewire their brain to reward real sex, once they give up porn.

    Younger people who were addicted prior to having sex have a very difficult situation because their brains cannot "remember" something it has never experienced. One of the difficult concepts to understand about porn addiction is that is a far more efficient and easy means of achieving a dopamine high than sex is. Porn requires absolutely no effort or expense; sex at least requires a willing partner, and no matter how willing, the partner will not engage in sex, every day, for hours, for years; but a porn addict can get their dopamine fix exactly that way. So, one of the more difficult concepts in quitting porn addiction is that the addict cannot replace the high porn gives them with anything else, including sex. Porn is better than sex at producing a dopamine rush; sure, after we quit, we can still get that rush from sex, just not as much, or as often.

    I have read some of your stuff, and intend to read more in the future.


  • @JoshuaShea

    Done hurriedly, please forgive typos.

    Hi Joshua, thanks for the insight. I will say I did not create the concept that "porn addiction" is a result of the creating of High Speed Internet Porn. Others a lot smarter than I did. In that context, let me talk about why they think it.

    And before I do, for any newbie prowling here, just know that only a porn addiction recovery geek would find any interest or amusement in a discussion of "when" porn addiction was created. If you are newbie, your main concern must be with becoming unaddicted, and a history of porn addiction probably will not help you at all.

    The basic model for HSIP being where the current addiction epidemic flows from these concepts:

    1) Availability

    2) Desensitization

    3) Re-sensitization

    4) Escalation

    5) Repeat

    6) The Coolidge Effect

    You mention the 1896 movie. Let's say it's porn. Not the same as we have today, but in the same family. It is the Great Grandfather of today's porn. For people seeking a dopamine rush, 100 years before we identified that is what we are seeking when we use external depictions of sex to trigger an internal brain response, watching that movie worked. It was an "Available" button to push. But what we have also learned, via the Coolidge Effect, is that the dopamine response, when experiencing the same sexual experience/thought over and over again, is lessened. We desensitize to any sexual experience/thought we have, when it is the only one we are having.

    What we know from the Coolidge Effect is that, if a mammal has desensitized to one thing, introducing something new allows them to get that dopamine rush again. This is what I would call re-sensitizing.

    So, picture a man on a desert island. Marooned there for life with enough water and food to sustain him, but no chance of ever having sex again. If there are any sadists reading this, I hope this does not excite you. Then one day a Playboy, in mint condition, washes on shore. The man is able, and does, use that artificial sexual stimulation to generate a dopamine high. In fact, that is the only reason the man would find the magazine interesting; the nudes lead him to think of sex, thinking of sex causes a neurological reaction, that for the sake of keeping it simple, I refer to as a dopamine high. The articles themselves are banal.

    That man on the island with the Playboy cannot, by that means, become a porn addict. He will love that centerfold for about 50 days, but owing to desensitization, it's attraction will fade, meaning the dopamine high it originally gives him will diminish. Same, eventually, with every picture in the magazine. Give him a few years and he will find the pictures boring. He might still obtain a diminished dopamine rush using memory, but the external stimulation of the visual depiction of sex, in that magazine, will no longer give him the heighted dopamine rush it initially did.

    This is where the distinction between "finite" v "infinite" porn coms in. The reason the images in the magazine become boring to him is because the images are finite. There is no ability to search for the new, never before experienced, within the covers of that magazine. In the real world, he could get a subscription, and get a new magazine every month, and anticipate doing so (as you know, dopamine is about anticipating the reward, as much as it is about getting ). The man on the island has desensitized to the magazine, and will never re-sensitize to it. That is the problem with finite porn, if problem is the correct word: It only gets you high for so long. That man cannot become addicted to the magazine, because he has no opportunity for escalation. He will never experience the two, physical symptoms of the addiction, Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction and anorgasmia.

    Porn addicts, aka arousal addicts, aka behavioral addicts, unlike substance addicts, do not escalate by needing "more" of it, they need "new and different" of it. Without new and different, the man on the island cannot escalate, and without escalation, and with desensitization, the addiction cannot form.

    This would be true for any of the "finite" porn buttons you mention. Sure, a guy could chase that high via those means, and really feed that high, via those means, but what we don't have, when those means (which still exist) are anyone reporting the symptoms of porn addiction, and, when not pursuing those means, reporting withdrawals. If you know otherwise, I would like to hear about. "Porn addiction treatment" is still, currently, not universally accepted, because "porn addiction" is still, in some quarters, being debated, but "porn addiction treatment", in the quarters where porn addiction is accepted, has only, really, come into existence since, give or take 2011, and probably later in the medical field, meaning addicts were seeking out self help treatment in the forums, years before the medical community was attempting to offer solutions.

    So, as I said, HSIP became prevalent around 2008-2011. An interesting experiment, if any neuroscientists are reading this, would be to map the cities where HSIP first went in. It did not go in to everyplace in the US all at once. I hypothesize that, if we could count where, currently, the highest, densest , percentage of porn addicts live, it would be in the cities HSIP has been in the longest, because that population would have had the longest, continuous, exposure to it.

    But before the internet, I know of no one who used the term "porn addict". I know of no reported instances of anyone reporting the symptoms of porn addiction. And even after the internet became common in the US, dial up was, like the magazine on the island, so slow it did not allow for escalation. Escalation, via the Coolidge Effect, involves seeking the new, never before, image. With dial up one could look for new stills, but it took four hours to download four minutes of video. It did not allow the user to ride a dopamine high instantaneously, all day. It still was a limited hit.

    in 2011, Zimbardo posts his "The Demise of Guys", and first, for the first time in history that I am aware of, is identifying "porn addiction" as a major bad side effect of the internet. In May, 2012, Gary Wilson publishes "The Great Porn Experiment." In it he describes how, over the last two years, men had begun complaining of the inability to stop watching porn, and the two symptoms of porn. Gary does not talk about how to quit it, but he does explain the mechanics of it, which involve, essentially, the six points noted above.

    By 2011, many who were accessing HSIP were becoming addicted to it. Unlike the man on the island, if they desensitized, no problem, they could migrate to the next category, and get their buzz back. When they desensitized to that one, again. Over and over again, and the addiction forms. For a porn addict, that moving though the categories, is escalation. They don't need "more" of it; they need "never before experienced, and slightly shocking, new" of it.

    Joshua, you, and really anyone reading this that is interested in this topic, can read "Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: Review and Update." Here is a link.

    It is an interesting article for various points. It was produced mid 2105. Midway through the article discusses the history of internet addiction studies. It found these studies had been done by then:

    Prior to 2009—6 studies,
    2009—4 studies,
    2010—8 studies,
    2011—9 studies,
    2012—14 studies,
    2013—19 studies,
    2014—23 studies, and
    2015 (through June)—16 studies.

    In the 19 years since the internet was invented, up to 2009, only six studies had been conducted concerning internet addiction. After 2009, we see that field of study exploding. I submit that is because the mechanism that makes porn addiction "available" was, and is, also exploding.

    OK, that was fun.

    Thanks again for the insight, and the opportunity to defend my position. Again, only porn addiction recovery geeks could be amused by this.



  • @WilliamOneAndDone Thank you for that lengthy explanation. While I disagree with large sections, as I'm sure you expected, it helped me understand why we stand in disagreement. I knew I had the Zimbardo part right in one of your earlier postings. I just neither agree with, nor respect his conclusions or methodology.

    The porn available on the Internet is not infinite. At some point, it stops. I say this because I bring you back to the years that I became a daily user. As a 13-year-old kid in 1990, I'd ride my bike two miles to the video store. They were one that let me go in the back room, behind the swinging saloon doors and rent hardcore pornography. I can't tell you how many tapes they had, but I would rent two either four or five days a week. I did this for 2-3 years, never had to rent the same video twice and it still left many that I never got to. Was there a finite supply? Yes, but I didn't reach it, so for me it was infinite, much like the Internet.

    I urge you to do some deeper studying on the overall topic of addiction and I think you'll see where some of these "experts" hypothesis fall apart. As somebody who was probably even more addicted to alcohol, there are a lot of commonalities between addictions that I think somebody who is only cross-addicted can appreciate. While I find the Coolidge Effect interesting, and a reality, I think it has very little to do with addiction. There are just simply too many men who are not addicted to apply it as a law or condition of pornography addiction. That man on the beach with the one Playboy or the guy who could only watch the one porn from 1896 could absolutely become addicts. The moment that they want to stop watching, can't, and being suffering negative effects...that's addiction, with or without a modem, high speed or not.

    I have never experienced PIED, but have talked to a lot of men who have. I'll be honest. I don't think a lot of it has to do with porn addiction. I think there are other mental and physical things at play, and perhaps it's a side effect of porn addiction for some, but porn addiction itself is only a side effect of something else. That's why I kind of shake my head and these men beating their chests on the NoFap or Reddit sites of the world. Feeling bad about yourself for PMO isn't the same thing as an actual addiction. I'm not saying one can't be dealing with both, but the PMO crowd is high on theory, low on science. I feel the same way about the Porn Kills Love and several other organizations out there that seem little more than T-shirt companies.

    I guess if it gets you to where you want to go, any of it is good. The problem with a lot of these groups is that they profess their way is THE way and it's exclusive. Who wants to be part of an exclusive porn addict club? Especially one that's made mostly of guys who feel guilty about looking at porn, but lack any actual addition? For someone who is an addict, stopping the behavior doesn't stop the addiction. I use the term "former porn addict" because it makes people more comfortable, but much like I'm not a "former alcoholic" I'm not a "former porn addict". I'm a porn addict and an alcoholic because it's now part of my brain chemistry. I think the NoFap and other PMO clubs of this world are full of addicts who are in denial they're actually addicted and guys who just feel bad about their behavior. But again, if it's what stops them that's cool, I would just like more inclusivity. Because some people did not get addicted to porn through the Internet, or because they're not 23 and can still get it up with their 62 year old wife should not disqualify them from the "porn addict" label. I think your argument tries to exclude and minimize anybody who didn't get hooked via the Internet as something less of a porn addict. I don't understand the motivation behind the argument.

    When I was in rehab for porn addiction in 2015, one of the directors told me that there had been an explosion in porn addict cases as part of their sexual addictions program, but they had regularly been treating people for porn addiction back to the mid-1980s when they opened.

    If you think that we should have "porn addiction" and "Internet porn addiction" as different disorders, that would go a long way to supporting what you're saying, but perhaps because I'm in my early 40s, I don't really see the difference. I can obviously agree the Internet has had the single biggest role in the proliferation of pornography when it comes to ease of access, cable television actually introduced it into more people's homes for the first time. I don't know your age or how much of society you participated in prior to the dawn of high speed Internet, or even the Internet in general, but I'm sure some of the people in their 40s, 50s and older on this site can tell you about a world that was full of pornography, and no shortage of it long before any of us had heard of the Internet. They'll tell you about adult theaters, peep shows, girlie bars, videos, magazines, mail order, etc., etc. Their addiction is just as real as someone who is 25, perhaps even more so because it stood the test of time.

    I absolutely agree with you the Internet has:
    1) Made access available to more people
    2) Made access easier for more people
    3) Reduced the stigma of looking at pornography
    4) Caused a rise in PIED and other sexual dysfunctional conditions
    5) Exposed the world to varieties of pornography not before available to the mainstream
    6) Allow access to more pornographic material than ever before.
    7) Been the top factor in the rise of porn addiction cases
    8) Helped facilitate bringing the topic of porn addiction to the mainstream like nothing before it.

    I can't agree that porn addiction is a new phenomenon, even if the label is new. I've met too many good people who have struggled too long to insult them like that. I also can't agree to many of your "paths to porn addiction" statements. While they may be the paths for some, I've heard too many first-person stories to believe there is one way to addiction.
  • Hi Joshua @JoshuaShea

    I completely respect your input. Never meant to insult anyone, and know you have walked a difficult path and are making the very best of it.

  • I know that porn and porn addition existed prior to the internet. But I do believe the the internet has increased the problem many, many times over.
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