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Education Erotica “PORNOGRAPHY”, HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR BRAIN, YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, and ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

PORNOGRAPHY, HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR BRAIN,  YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, and ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

IMAGINE THIS:   Every Second; -$3,075.64 is spent on pornography -28,258 people are viewing pornography

-372 people are typing adult search terms Every 39 Minutes

-A new pornographic video is created in the United States

-In 2006 13.33 Billion was spent in the US in the porn industry which exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC

-In a 1985 study, 92 percent of men had looked at Playboy by age 15; in a 2008 study, 74 percent had seen Internet porn

—usually featuring genitalia, intercourse, and often group sex

—by age 15 

  Internet porn accounts for the largest amount of porn and includes; Virtual. Reality, Live Hook Up, Cartoon (animation), Dating sites and other.      

      Gone are the days of the popular men’s magazines that started the era of pornography.   Playboy’s magazine sales are down 34 percent according to Forbes. And Penthouse is on its’ last legs. In that same era, pictures that were considered explicit you had to pay for. If you went to a pornographic movie, you had to pay for it and go out to an x rated movie theater. A group of guys might go out for guy’s night out at a theater as such.

      As advancements were made to TV’s at home, so did the availability of porn. First came the at home movie services that you had to pay for such as Cinemax, HBO and a few others. I recall one night as my parents went out my sister and I went into their room and watched Cinemax’s “Emmanuelle.” I was 11 at the time.

      Also available at this time was the telephone chat lines. After a certain hour if you dialed 1900-666-7xxx, you can speak to prostitute who will have lead you along the way. Not to long after the paid stations came the invention of the VCR’s. So, now and individual was able to record the pornographical movies and have it available when he or she desired or they went to a movie rental place like blockbuster video or another that had an adult section to rent them.

      Then came the Internet in the 90’s, thus internet porn was born. The late psychologist Alvin Cooper believed that there are three main factors that draw people into the Internet porn: Accessibility, Affordability, and Anonymity. He dubbed this the “Triple A Engine” that drives the digital porn market. Like a three-legged stool: kick out one of the legs and it will fall. Internet porn includes avatar, cartoon and virtual reality porn. One of the explosive types is the virtual reality porn. It is very titillating. You the consumer can design your woman the way you want her right down to the size of her breast. So with the virtual boobs out there the way they are makes me wonder whether the designer will ever come to respect a gal who is less titillating. Now we have this type of behavior at the palm of our hands. With internet porn, we have experienced it before in a way that no other has civilization has.

      Paralleling thee advancements in the latter half of the 20th century are advancements in cosmetics primarily breast augmentation procedures, skin enhancing techniques, and others. The availability and relative ease of getting these enhancements is attractive to porn stars.  Take for example, Wendy Whoppers.  She is one of a number of female porn stars catering to the huge breast fanatic.  Her implants are so massive that the areolas and the skin between her breasts (over her sternum) have been severely stretched. Her size is an 80 J.   Getting breast implants to a porn star is like going to a dentist regularly and having your teeth checked.

      After seeing porn stars do this to their bodies and use all of the cosmetics to make them ten years younger including the video touch ups, I had wondered, will men ever see and respect an imperfect woman’s body again? Or will they be rewired to expect a body like Wendy Whoppers?  The big question, “What drives men to porn?” I had set myself on a mission to find out and this is what I have discovered;

DOPAMINE RECEPTORS       According to William Struthers, Ph.D., a Biopsychologist and the author of “Wired for Intimacy, “Men are designed to inseminate as many partners as possible-to increase their reproduction rate.  “Pornographic images seem to activate a man’s visual system in a manner that goes beyond just looking at trees or even people.” “It’s almost like a high-definition signal compared with a standard signal.” “Once this signal—Tori Black in the nude, say—hits the male antenna, the mesolimbic (reward) system kicks in, producing a rush of feel-good dopamine. ” The process is like this.  A man’s physical response to porn—faster heart rate, increased blood flow, erection—is preceded by a deeper neurological process, which scientists have attempted to capture through brain scans. Once this signal—Tori Black in the nude, say—hits the male antenna, the mesolimbic (reward) system kicks in, producing a rush of feel-good dopamine. According to Struthers, this can reinforce the behavior much in the same way that drugs like cocaine would—which is perhaps the most widely exploited argument against porn. “Guys freak out when they think porn might be ‘rewiring’ their brains.” What happens after the pleasurable surge is more troublesome and complex and will explain the phenomena of “why men think with their zippers. “At this point, “several brain regions, called the higher cortical component, have to decide, ‘What’s the best way to deal with this?” says Struthers. “The problem is, these cortical systems can shut off—that is, they may receive less blood as the visual and arousal systems become more active. Essentially the decision-making system is turning itself over to the experience; it’s almost like the men are hypnotized. This is the classic male stereotype: When men think with what’s below, they don’t make good decisions.” Or, the decisions are made for them. (You don’t have to watch porn to find the best moves in the bedroom. Check out our Sex Position Playbook.)

This brings us to the discussion of the “mirror neuron system.” A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Scientist have linked porn  as a motivating factor to this system  and, in the  2008 study in the journal NeuroImage, for example, men who watched erotic videos experienced mirror neuron activation and reported a desire to replicate the sex acts they saw. The stronger their mirror neuron response, the harder their erections tended to be. (This parroting effect may be more pronounced in response to videos, which have more action cues than photographs do.) ”  “When you’re viewing something sexual, the mirror neuron system enables you to vicariously experience it,” says Struthers. However, simply watching isn’t sufficient to elicit an orgasm. This is why the need to masturbate or to seek an actual sex partner becomes so overpowering that men can’t resist it.

The issue of affordability, accessibility, and anonymity have been reinforced by Paul Wright, Ph.D.. (Assistant Professor at Indiana University who researches social aspects of sex).  “Men have evolved to pursue lusty, busty women who are willing to engage in casual sex.”  This may be because a woman’s appearance can give more clues to her reproductive potential than a man’s can. However, Emory University research suggests that men and women are similarly interested in visual sexual stimuli, but what they find sexually interesting definitely divides along gender lines. “Men prefer novelty, while women are more interested in stable dynamics,” says study author Heather Rupp, Ph.D., now a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute. (Is Porn Harmful? J. Scott) The triple A’s go like this

Affordable: The majority of the internet porn is free. Just type up any of the key words and it will come up.

Accessible :You are just one click away-and it is right there as you need it

Anonymous :We don’t know who you are, you can engage in sex anonymously without repercussion

RESEARCH SUGGESTING HOW A MANS BRAIN IS REWIRED AND CAN EFFECT HOW HE SEES A REAL IMPERFECT WOMAN      In 2003, three psychology professors at Illinois State University surveyed a broad population of women who were, or had been, in a relationship with a man who they knew used pornography. About a third of the women described the porn habit as a form of betrayal and infidelity. But the majority were neutral or even positively disposed to their lover’s taste for smut, responding slightly more favorably than not to prompts like “I do not mind my partner’s pornography use” or “My partner’s pornography use is perfectly normal.” Consider how the research bears this out. Pornography doesn’t teach men to serve, honor, and cherish their wives in a way that fosters romance. Pornography trains men to be consumers, to treat sex as a commodity, to think about sex as something on-tap and made-to-order. As Dr. Mary Anne Layden writes, “It is toxic miseducation about sex and relationships.”

  • In Dr. Gary Brooks’ book, The Centerfold Syndrome, he explains how pornography altars the way men think. Because the women in porn are only glossy magazine pictures or pixels on the screen, they have no sexual or relational expectations of their own. This trains men to desire the cheap thrill of fantasy over a committed relationship that requires them to connect to another human being. Pornography essentially trains men to be digital voyeurs: looking at women rather than seeking genuine intimacy.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, after only a few prolonged exposures to pornographic videos, men and women alike reported less sexual satisfaction with their intimate partners, including their partners’ affection, physical appearance, and sexual performance.
  • Another study that appeared in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found similar results. When men and women were exposed to pictures of female centerfold models from Playboy and Penthouse, this significantly lowered their judgments about the attractiveness of “average” people.
  • Dr. Victor Cline’s research has shown that sexual arousal and excitement diminish with repeated exposure to sexual scenes, leading people to seek out greater variety and novelty in the pornography they view.
  • French neuroscientist Serge Stoleru reports on how overexposure to erotic stimuli actually exhausts the sexual responses of healthy young men.
  • Dr. Dolf Zillmann reports when young people are repeatedly exposed to pornography, it can have a long-lasting impact on their beliefs and behaviors. Frequently, men who habitually view pornography develop cynical attitudes about love and the need for affection between partners. They begin to view the institution of marriage as sexually confining. Often, men develop a “tolerance” for sexually explicit material, leading them to seek out more novel or bizarre material to achieve the same level of arousal.
  • Pornography causes impotence—an inability to function with your own sexual power. “If he can’t make love to his beloved,” says Reisman, “If he has to imagine a picture, if he has to imagine a scene, in order to actually reach the heights of completion with this person, then he’s no longer with his own power, is he? He has been stripped. He has been hijacked. He has been emasculated. He has, in effect, been castrated visually.”
  • We might say the real problem with pornography isn’t that it shows us too much sex, but that it can’t show us enough about what real sex is. Porn treats sex one-dimensionally, packages it in pixels and rips it from its relational context. It titillates with images of sex but cannot offer the experience of real intimacy.
  • Feminist author Naomi Wolf puts it best. She believes the onslaught of porn doesn’t increase butdeadens male libido, leading men to see fewer and fewer women as porn-worthy. “For how can a real woman…possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?” No woman can compete with this. “Today,” Wolf writes, “real naked women are just bad porn.”

    However, comparing marital intimacy to pornography is like comparing apples to oranges. “The type of pornography that’s available now was never available in human history,” says Dr. William Struthers, author Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. “If you can get on a 50-inch HD television a picture of a woman engaging in a sexual act, the brain’s not wired to expect that kind of thing, because there aren’t women who have 50-inch-HD-TV bodies out there.” Even the tabloids show us that the so-called picture perfect women can’t possibly compete with fantasy. Why would Tiger Woods cheat on his swimsuit-model-wife Elin Nordegren? Why would Peter Cook spend $3,000 on Internet porn when he could come home to Christie Brinkley? Why would Charlie Sheen be drawn to a digital harem, being married to Denise Richards? The answer is that a mind trained for fantasy will find reality dull, no matter how supposedly stunning that reality is. Many men have conditioned their brains with this “digital drug” (as Dr. Struthers calls it). Some men train their minds to be turned to viewing sex from certain camera angles. Others train their minds to be turned on by certain physical characteristics. Others train their minds to expect variety: many images, many women, many physical types. And this toxic training begins for most men at a very young age.

  • Ladies, to think that even if you are married or committed and your significant other wont look at porn, your are wrong. The words of Dan Savage Seattle Columnist).   This is also the progressives model: “All men look at porn … The handful of men who claim they don’t look at porn are liars or castrates. Tearful discussions about your insecurities or your feminist principles will not stop a man from looking at porn. That’s why the best advice for straight women is this: GET OVER IT. If you don’t want to be with someone who looks at porn … get a woman, get a dog, or get a blind guy … While men shouldn’t rub their female partners’ noses in the fact that they look at porn—that’s just inconsiderate—telling women that the porn “problem” can be resolved through good communication, couples counseling, or a chat with your pastor is neither helpful nor realistic.” “Porn captures these women [its performers] before they get smart,” he said in a hot whisper as we sat in Schiller’s Liquor Bar on the Lower East Side. Porn exploited the sexual desires, and naïveté, of women in their early twenties, he went on … He spoke of acts he observed online that his wife wouldn’t do. “It’s painful to say, but that’s your boys’ night out, and it takes an enlightened woman to say that.” Porn captures these women before they get smart … It’s painful to say, but that’s your boys’ night out. This is the language of a man who has accepted, not as a temporary lapse but as a permanent and necessary aspect of his married life, a paid sexual relationship with women other than his wife. And it’s the language of a man who has internalized a view of marriage as a sexual prison, rendered bearable only by frequent online furloughs with women more easily exploited than his spouse.   The use of the term enlightened is telling, since the strongest argument for the acceptance of pornography—and the hard-core variety in particular—is precisely that it represents a form of sexual progress, a more civilized approach to the problem of the male libido than either the toleration of mass prostitution or the attempt, from the Victorian era onward, to simultaneously legislate prostitution away and hold married couples to an unreasonably high standard of fidelity. Porn may be an evil, this argument goes, but it’s the least of several evils. The man who uses porn is cheating sexually, but he isn’t involving himself in an emotional relationship. He’s cheating in a way that carries none of the risks of intercourse, from pregnancy to venereal disease. And he’s cheating with women who may be trading sex for money, but are doing so in vastly safer situations than streetwalkers or even high-end escorts.

  •       WHAT’S REALLY MISSING FROM INTERNET PORN THAT YOU FIND IN A MARRIAGE OR COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP IS INTIMACY  Can you really get intimate with your lap top guys? People think porn is about sex. It’s not; it’s about intimacy,” says Struthers. “The guy who can’t find a girlfriend and starts looking at porn is searching for intimacy. He hasn’t found it. He’s found the erotic payoff of orgasm. It’s a counterfeit form of intimacy.” Struthers clarifies that arousal is an essential part of sexual intimacy—but only if it’s coupled with some form of interpersonal connection. “Sexual intimacy has two components: One is sensual; the other is contextual,” Struthers says. For a man, intimacy begins with sex—he’s attracted to a woman’s body, say, so he pursues her. For women, the entry point to intimacy is contextual: “Who is this guy? What’s the nature of this relationship?” As a couple’s bond strengthens, their definition of intimacy becomes more parallel: The man comes to value context (“I want her because she’s my girlfriend”), and the woman increasingly emphasizes eroticism. “It’s when the two are enmeshed that you have a deep, sexually intimate relationship,” says Struthers. This underscores what may be one of the primary differences in the male-female experience with sexual media, one that has more to do with motivation and less with content.

  • Steps for Guilty Husbands   John Mandeville offers his words of advice to men: “You’re either going to give in and go for it, and sacrifice everything for pixels on the screen, or you make a commitment to what’s real—what’s a real human sitting next to you, and commit to whatever it takes to make that work.” And turning to Shelli he says, “And we had to make that decision together.” Where do men start in making that commitment?  Accept responsibility. Men often blame their wives for not being attentive enough. Certainly, an inattentive wife can be frustrating to a man, but using this as an excuse for virtual adultery is nothing but cowardice. Counselor Joe Dallas writes, “The wife who is inattentive, indifferent, or downright abusive is responsible for her sins, not his. No woman, no matter how odious, makes her man commit adultery, so if a wife sins, let her account. But let her account for her sins alone.” Many times men are putting the cart before the horse when they use this excuse. It may not be her inattentiveness that has been the catalyst, rather it may be a sign of him not initiating real romance and true intimacy in the first place. And, of course, other issues affecting intimacy may require professional counseling.

  • Talk is cheap. Fred Stoeker, author of Every Man’s Battlesays, “You must give your wife every right to play a role in defining what ‘trustworthiness’ means to her in your marriage.” What does your wife need from you? She needs more than an apology. She needs to see you are making every effort to change. Ask her what she needs to see from you so trust can be rebuilt.

  • Be patient.  Remember guys, your wife may not understand your attraction to or struggle with porn like you do. And if she has just found out about your struggle, she may be dealing with a whirlwind of confusion and hurt. Just as you desire patience from her as you distance yourself from pornography, give her the same patience. Allow her the freedom to express the hurt she rightly feels.

  • Get accountability. . Arrives from the three A’s . The leg of anonymity is the easiest one to remove. When you remove the secrecy of your Internet use, you eliminate much of the temptation. We do this through accountability: we make ourselves willing to account for where we go and what we see online, allowing trusted friends and colleagues hold us to task on our commitment to stay pure. Use Internet accountability software as a tool in your commitment.

  • Make real intimacy your end goal. The goal is not simply “quitting pornography.” That, of course, is admirable, but it only leaves a void. What pornography attempts to imitate is what, in the end, we really desire: intimacy with another human being. This is what husbands must strive for in their marriages. Reclaim what pornography has stolen from you. Choose to break the cycle. Choose to stand for intimacy in a culture drowning in illusion. “So we’re drawing a line,” John Mandeville says, “and whatever it takes, the generation that grows up behind us is going to run where we stumble.” Doreen Finkle

 

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