Losing at Porn Roulette

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What you watch may alter your tastes

Porn addiction can create uncharacteristic sexual tastesFor many porn users, tastes shift—generally escalating to more hard-core material. Moreover, the hotter the porn someone starts with, the greater the risk that he/she will need something even hotter before long. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the earlier someone starts viewing extreme material, the steeper the escalation and the tighter the grip of compulsion. This last possibility is disturbing, because today's young computer users start out with porn that is far more explicit than Playboy magazines. As they habituate to the porn they start with, some users find kinkier, more violent, more taboo materials compelling thanks to dopamine-related conditioning.

On the plus side, staying away from all porn and porn fantasy slowly reverses these trends. But rebooting the brain takes time and unaccustomed willpower. Relapse beckons invitingly, and strengthens the unwanted brain pathways. Most users only undertake the heroic feat of rebooting when they realize they are having erectile difficulties with real partners, or when they grow unbearably anxious about where their random search for heightened arousal has landed them. At that point, however, their anxiety itself can become a powerful trigger, demanding relief. A prime example of this phenomenon is HOCD (homosexual obsessive-compulsive disorder): straight males turned on by trans or homosexual porn. (But there are other possible, more distressing destinations, such as child porn.)

The following story, recounted by a twenty-year old, is one of about a dozen similar accounts that have come my way in the last year (this post is rather dated):

My friends were all talking about Internet porn and the incredible erotic movies online. So the very day I got the Internet I went to porn sites. After awhile, the typical porn wasn't really a turn on, so I shifted over to lesbian porn, which was exceptionally arousing. (Wow TWO women having sex with EACH OTHER?!)

Years passed, and one day while searching for lesbian porn I came across an ad for shemale porn. I can't really explain what happened. I'd never been attracted to it before in my life, but, all of a sudden, the idea of a woman with a penis seemed so...exciting? I don't know if that's the right word.

Something just snapped in my head, like it was a new "high." The lesbian porn now seemed ordinary. I could tell something wasn't quite right, because as I masturbated, I actually felt physically sick. I was thinking, "This just DOES NOT feel right, but it arouses me. Why?"

I decided to stop. After a week of no masturbating (VERY hard for this 15-year old boy), I went back to normal porn. My attraction for women and vaginas was great, and arousing again. But then I started looking at "Futanari," artwork of women with a penis and a vagina. This was another "buzz" for me. Then I went back to shemale porn.

These last 4-5 years have been very confusing. Socially, I'm attracted to women and I have no attraction to men. It's almost as if the more I FEAR shemale porn arousing me, the more it does, if that makes sense.

I thought I might be bisexual for a while. I tested the idea while on a night out. I ended up flirting with a girl, and looking at the other women thinking, "That girl just looked at me, great!" and completely ignoring the men. I don't "feel" bisexual in my heart. If I had the same romantic feelings I have for women, for men, I'd be bi/gay in a heartbeat, but the romance, the "naturalness," just isn't there.

However, after masturbating to shemale porn, I worry that I could be gay/bisexual. Weird. ‘Cause whenever I'm about to ejaculate, I immediately think of a woman and vagina. I have ALWAYS done this, even when viewing shemale porn. I always imagine myself having sex with a beautiful woman. Deep down I know I'm a straight guy. In real life I can't not talk to girls. I'm just drawn to them.

My shemale addiction escalated further, to where I was masturbating to it an average of 4-5 times each day, having no energy and not going out. I stayed at home to masturbate instead of going to college. Then, fairly recently, I was shocked to find a man in a shemale porn movie arousing. This was literally the final straw for me, and I began to realize that I actually have a worsening addiction.

This is the stage I'm at now, confused because, after a couple of days of not masturbating, I get aroused by straight, solo girl and lesbian porn. But with shemale porn I can binge longer. I've masturbated like 9-11 times in one day, although the porn gets more and more "taboo" and "naughty," to me, the more I masturbate. A typical pattern would be 1-3 the videos are straight, 4-6 shemale, 7-9th time they will be gay/me being dominated. It is pretty confusing.

Recently, I went away with my family for 3-4 days and was well away from computer and Internet. I hardly ever thought about shemale porn. I remember walking along the beach thinking it would be really romantic if I had a girl with me. Then I laughed at myself, remembering how confused I was even though the romantic thoughts in my head are always about women. When I got back home I masturbated to straight porn for a couple of days. Then, back to shemale porn.

I bet if I had been born 10 years earlier, and never seen that first shemale ad, this would've never happened, but hey, can't change the past. I'm going to try really hard to change my future though!

Pornography addiction can alter sexual tastesI speculate that in the near future this problem will gain increasing attention as the next generation—who have practically been born with Internet access and all of that porn available at the click of a mouse—will suffer much worse than I have. I think when I've got through this, I'm going to donate some money to an anti-porn organization, who, I'll be honest, before I thought were a bunch of killjoys.

Basically I'm still a virgin because of this damn addiction. I did have a girlfriend for a few weeks. I noticed I was masturbating hardly at all and thinking about her instead. Hell, I was so excited I even managed to get an erection through some tight jeans she bought for me (wrong size). It felt like they were going to make my balls explode. Ha ha! I want to find an amazing girlfriend and have a really great time with her. I don't want to be sitting in my bedroom masturbating to porn for the rest of my life.

The part of the brain that governs sex and eating is so primitive that it assesses the value of an activity according to how much dopamine it releases. When a user finds something superstimulating, his primitive (limbic) brain assumes there's something valuable around, and urges him to exploit it fully.

Unfortunately, it may do so by temporarily numbing his pleasure response so he goes only for bigger-than-normal bursts of dopamine, that is, more shocking or novel stimuli. Unlike our ancestors, today's porn users can always find something more brain-jolting.

Porn roulette can lead to unwanted destinations, but the issue is not specific content. The problem lies in the intensity of initial overstimulation—in this guy's case, the straight porn. That's where the cravings for something stronger begin. Notice that his tastes shift back whenever he stops using Internet porn. Recovery may mean foregoing masturbation to orgasm for a time, simply because his brain may not be sensitive enough initially to orgasm without porn or porn fantasy. Daunting in today's culture.

Users think of the "best" porn as the porn that gets them off the fastest or most explosively, but that may be the riskiest porn. Not all brains will be equally affected, of course. Yet superstimuli can make it more likely that a user's tastes will morph in unexpected and anxiety-producing directions.

Southpark porn addictYoung brains are very plastic, but even so, this young man's subsequent posts show that he is really struggling, not totally successfully, to stay away from porn. In his case, his confusion over his tastes is strongly linked in his brain to arousal, apparently making anxiety part of the compulsive ritual. Incidentally, there is a very active forum for distressed men caught in this form of anxious compulsion.

Bottom line: A brain hijacked during porn roulette can land just about anywhere. Which is great...if you like the destination.


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Comments

Just wanted to thank you for your article, Losing At Porn Roulette.

Almost word for word, I have gone through the exact same thing as a young men in your article, and reading your words was like lifting a mask of someone else's face off of mine. I just started so early with the Internet,I never really had a chance to form my own identity: rather, I was assigned one by the dopamine downward spiral combined with limitless Internet access.

I know I'm not that person, and have been confused by having the same symptoms as the young men in your article; I've actually held back from forming romantic relationships because of this. There's just something so powerful about seeing my exact thoughts, symptoms and worries, from the perspective of a fellow man.

You don't know how much you have helped me. Thank you so much.

SImilar things have happened to me as well. For a while I thought I might be latently gay/bi or something. In my heart I know I am really attracted to girls. the longer I go without porn, the less intense it needs to be, or I even really want it. If I go 3 weeks to a month, I can easily masturbate once or twice to pictures of naked girls. after that I go back to hardcore movies, and sometimes eventually to shemales and sometimes gay.

I'm new to the community. I just wanted to comment on this topic (let me know if there's a better place to do this).

I'm currently 27 years old and have been struggled with MPO since I was 14 years old. I have been slowly staggering myself off MPO for the last two years. I really wish I was one of those who managed to go cold turkey, but my own progress has been painfully slow. Moving from multiple MPO every day to several MPO each week and now to MPO every week or so. Ugh. It's been terrible on an emotional and spiritual level, but I'm finally approaching the point where I think (and desperately hope) that I'll be breaking free for good.

This article talks about the flexibility of the brain and our sexual tastes. I've experienced some of this first-hand, though it's hard for me to say how much I've programmed and conditioned myself and how much is simply what I like. I'll explain.

I have always been found overweight/chubby girls beautiful. (I know it's a bit weird, but you of all people seem to know that sexuality is a strange thing... I can't explain this... it is what it is... lol.) The years passed with me using pornography, I've found that my tastes have actually gotten more and more twisted. Evidently this is not unusual, with many guys drifting into violence, bi-sexuality, etc. I've noticed that the women that I fantasize about evolved from 200lb women to eventually 400lb+ women.

What might have been just a normal oddity in my sexuality (liking chubby girls) has grown into a monstrous, preoccupying fetish.

My wife is presently about to try to lose around 30lbs, and this is making me frustrated on a really primitive level. Of course I want her to be healthy and find her attractive no matter what she weighs, but the part of my brain that has been conditioned by MPO screams in protest. Today after around 10 days of staying away from MPO, I ended up acting out because I was so anxious and preoccupied with her losing weight. I know it's irrational and I know that all it did was set back the rebooting process.

Does anyone have experience with preoccupying fetishes diminishing in power? Can anyone offer me some encouragement? How long in the rebooting process should I expect some relief?

I would love for this thing (that feels so much like a core part of me right now) to eventually disappear!

Thanks in advance!

A few other men report tapering down their porn use, so you are not alone. Speaking of not alone the vast majority of men alter their sexual tastes with heavy porn use. You have no idea what your true tastes, libido, and desires are until you have completely rebooted. As Morpheus said to Neo "the matrix has you". In this case porn has you and your limbic brain.

Lot's of men experience fetishes. For most, the fetish becomes the most reliable source of dopamine for their numbed pleasure centers. You can recover from this. We have seen it over and over again.

Not much posting occurs on this site. Our original website, where this all started, is where all the posting and support happens.This is a link to our forum/blogs, where you can read ongoing tales of recovery, and post if you want.
http://www.reuniting.info/tracker

This link talks about benefits. There's a pdf at the bottom with many stories
http://yourbrainonporn.com/what-benefits-do-people-see-as-they-reboot

This link describes how long it might take for porn-induced ED. A lot of it applies
http://yourbrainonporn.com/how-long-will-it-take

This link is to a few rebooting accounts-
http://yourbrainonporn.com/rebooting-accounts

Good luck

Congratulations on your progress, and good luck with your recovery.

You may want to have a look at this thread about couples: http://www.reuniting.info/node/7220 You may find that feelings of "wholeness" ease cravings from within. That makes it easier to want the best for your partner's health, rather than feeling deprived.

I don't know where to turn. My tastes escalated to homo erotic content over the past 2 years. At first i didnt know what it meant, but over time it became my normal source. I know for sure i'm addicted to porn, but since my complete flatline towards women i've had what i think is hocd. But i'm not sure, suddenly i feel really uncomfortable around men. I feel uncontrollable thoughts and overall my mind has been a mess since.

Without sounding homophobic, i don't want to be gay. But my compulsions towards masturbation always have me conciously seeking for these aquired tastes. It reached the point of most concern when i thought i was arroused by my own penis.

How am i meant to not strengthen these thoughts when a trip to the toilet or a shower sparks fear and anxiety?

And how much damage has this escalation caused permanently? My fears get even worse considering i was young (16) when i think my addiction began. Will this have worse effects on a developing mind?

Also is my addictive compulsion towards masturbation in general, or these tastes? For example; you get a properly rebooted drug addict, who began on cocaine but escalated to meth and put them in a room with easy access to meth. Would they have to conciously protest the urge to relapse or would their drive once again be driven towards cocaine?

My fear is that there will always be a lingering attraction to these tastes forever.

Sorry if this is excessive, i just dont know where to turn. My mind is so skewed at the moment, having uncontrollable thoughts that aren't even related to sexuality or masturbation. I'm having trouble stringing thoughts together. I don't really feel myself.

Your pages have really helped, I couldn't thank you enough. I have begun a reboot journal on yourbrainrebalanced.com and i feel better the more i grasp of this.

As you probably know - this is our faq, with about 25 links. It has everything we know - and lots of advice.

I'm straight, but attracted to transexual or gay porn. What's up?

This book has been recommended "You Are Not Your Brain"

Read the rebooting accounts on the faq - start with this one -HOCD - Stop looking for answers 

It's not unusual for anxiety to increase when you stop using porn/masturbating.

When in doubt find a good therapist who understands HOCD.

Good luck