What causes porn addiction???

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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janetjay
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What causes porn addiction???

Post by janetjay » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:58 am

I don't have that addiction myself, but have seen it before.

Is it the act of seeing others genitals go in and out of eachother that is so addicting, or is it that they pretend that person they are seeing is their partner?

Both?

None of them...please explain!

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:24 pm

Anything which we find pleasurable, we can be addicted to.
It is not the thing itself, but the attitude of the person.

The (psychological) addiction of some few folks to any given thing only proves that it provides pleasure, and is no grounds for prohibition.

Physiological addiction is, perhaps, another matter altogether.

RachelAnn
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Post by RachelAnn » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:13 pm

Physiological addiction is, perhaps, another matter altogether.
To paraphrase a recent conversation with a cognitive science grad student: "Neurons and dendrites retrain to habit and from habit to addiction because one chose the behaviors in the first place, and chose to continue the behaviors. Thus the neurophysiology changes. This means that one can choose to re-train the brain and overcome the addiction."

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:56 pm

All of our actions are a form of addiction.
The reason why drugs work is because they are sufficiently similar in their chemical composition to drugs which are released in response to our every day activities.

When it comes to pornography, and sex, the chemical is a potently addictive one, it is an opioid from the same family as opium, methodone and heroine.

We are all addicts in some sense, to the fulfilment of this cornucopia of chemical stimuli, and the way we lead our lives is a matter of generating a satisfying cocktail.

However, there is an important differentiation to be made between this sense in which we are addicted, and other senses.

The damaging form of addiction that is considered 'unhealthy' is that which we might call dependency. In terms of psychological addiction this is when we have a significantly negative feeling if, at a certain rate, a particular condition is not fulfilled. To be called a dependency this should properly be something rather narrow, and acts to the exclusion of other things, leading to a general degradation of our wellbeing.

A chocoholic is, properly, someone who cannot feel content unless they are eating or have recently eaten chocolate. The chocolate has become the only way that their brain can stimulate certain drugs to be released that are fundamental to contentedness. This can, most certainly, be overcome by the methods that you mention.

A physiological addiction is something much more, though most people who are physiologically addicted are also psychologically dependent.
Alcohol is a drug which is physiologically addictive, and what it technically means is that when the drug is withdrawn there are serious negative effects which can only be allayed by the consumption of more of the drug. With alcohol this effect can be quite harsh, and has been shown to come with a certain amount of damage to the brain (from the withdrawal, NOT the consumption). So, a person who gets repeatedly addicted and repeatedly withdraws will do themselves some terrible harm. In response to this harm the person gets cravings, much as you might experience if you were to fast. Once this harm, and the cravings that act in response to it, have been overcome the person can be said to have overcome their physiological addiction, though they may still be psychologically dependent.

When going about their normal lives bumping into old acquintances, seeing old haunts, or anything that evokes their life as an addict can cause a relapse. This is one of the greatest dangers to the ex-addict.

Every time a person uses such an addictive drug it is rewiring their brain. Normally when we have sex our brain rewires itself to try and notice what lead to our having sex, and then this itself is associated with sexual pleasure. The addictive drug our brain produces serves the purpose of causing us to find activities which lead to the fulfilment of the activity to be enticing.
When a person circumvents this with the chemically similar drugs in the world, they rewire their brain to make the activities associated with the chemically similar drug to be vastly enticing, and hence the risk relapse.

Psychological dependency, however, can come innumerable forms. As I earlier said, a person can become dependent on anything they find pleasurable, and I think it is normal and 'healthy' to be somewhat dependent on a number of conditions. It is not wrong to need certain conditions met for us to be content, this acts as our motivation to avoid these conditions, which can be very important.

Buddha was very much of the opinion that the brain/mind could, and should, be retrained to overcome our 'grasping' desire for various conditions to be met, and that this constituted enlightenment.

I am of the opinion that the feeling of contentment itself is quite probably a particular drug, or set of drugs, the release of which is conditional on the interactions of the various other drugs in our brain, buddha is not removing conditions but instead altering the conditions to things that are always present, or always available.

Oftentimes when people speak of someone's addiction, say, to something like pornography, implicit within this is the notion that the thing which the person is using is being used overly much, or that the thing is itself inherently bad. Without this particular notion, the person's behaviour might be understood to be in no manner negative, so long as it is not acting to the exclusion of other things which their contentment is predicated on.

Anyhoo, thats my little ramble over.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:58 pm

Just a little note, I have realised I made an error.

Chocolate, like many foodstuffs, acts also as a direct drug.

There is the release of drugs that are produced by our own brain, as caused by certain conditions and stimuli, such as the fullness of our stomach.

Then there is, as with chocolate, chemicals which are obtained by breaking down the foodstuff and absorbed by the bloodstream to act in the stead of these drugs that our brain produces.

Arch_Anarchist
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Post by Arch_Anarchist » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:19 am

It's loneliness and male hormones acting on the brain, of course...

bus2bondi
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Post by bus2bondi » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:56 am

edit
Last edited by bus2bondi on Tue May 19, 2009 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jean
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Post by Jean » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:06 am

It is as simple as this,

Stable Vices:

http://www.users.bigpond.com/berrime/stabling.htm#vices

ala1993
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Post by ala1993 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:51 pm

It might not simply be sexual pleasure that causes an addiction to pornography. We must consider the role of sex within any given society, and recognize that it does not simply fulfill the demand to procreate. Sex, and sexual activity, can also act as a kind of currency which enables people to measure their own value. In much the same way as someone without a job might understand themselves to be of lesser value, someone who is either not having sex or deems their sexual activity to be inadequate might develop an addiction to pornography because it brings them to believe that this inadequacy does not exist. We must recognize the manner in which sex is presented to us ... even if it is also possible to understand sex on a less 'fantastic' (i.e. based on fantasy) level.

The social critic Henry Havelock Ellis once wrote that every society gets the criminal it deserves; it is very possible to consider this idea in relation to any behaviour deemed, by society, to be abnormal. We must accept the possibility that a market which utilizes sex as a medium through which to elicit consumption will also produce individuals obsessed with the particular sexual images displayed within that same market.

Put simply, it is interesting but not sufficient to focus on physiological explanations.

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Jean
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Post by Jean » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:42 am

Experts needed. I'll take those who claim not to have a porn-addiction at their word; this thread needs porn addicts. Who else could say?
ala1993 wrote:It might not simply be sexual pleasure that causes an addiction to pornography.
We must consider the role of sex within any given society....
Sex, and sexual activity, can also act as a kind of currency which enables people to measure their own value.
Good method; sex is the last place to look for causes to this. I'd broaden this interpretation even wider and say that porn addiction is connected with living in an urban environment similar to a crowded horse stable; there is almost nothing to do, the mind needs to be kept active (for some reason) so the most stimulating activities that can keep the mind awake are invoked: sex, power, reason, violence. Porn addiction is similar to other neurotic activities, it is defense against dread, in this instance specifically extreme non-freedom and boredom; it is like Sudoku for sensualists. This is why pornographers collect like stamp collectors and other neurotics.
Henry Havelock Ellis once wrote that every society gets the criminal it deserves; it is very possible to consider this idea in relation to any behaviour deemed, by society, to be abnormal.
This is the guy who invented "homosexual" and "pedophile." So you would be right to see that it is "very possible", it is impossible not to! It is all the same metaphor with different particulars.
...a market which utilizes sex as a medium through which to elicit consumption...
What it will do is put the sex-trade out of business. Reality for non-philosophers is not a feature of sex that is more desirable than fantasy touch-ups.

ala1993
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by ala1993 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:57 am

Reality for non-philosophers is not a feature of sex that is more desirable than fantasy touch-ups
Interesting passage. Could I take this to mean that a 'non-philosopher' does not think purely in sexual terms and as such does not see 'reality' as simply an appendage of sex?

realunoriginal
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by realunoriginal » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:29 am

1) Not getting laid.
2) There is no #2.

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Jean
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Jean » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:00 pm

ala1993 wrote:
Reality for non-philosophers is not a feature of sex that is more desirable than fantasy touch-ups
Interesting passage. Could I take this to mean that a 'non-philosopher' does not think purely in sexual terms and as such does not see 'reality' as simply an appendage of sex?
Sex has many metaphors. You could do one analysis with each. I would find a porn addict and ask them to explain and then assess their bad-faith; that would be my method. If you can't find a real hard-core porn addict. Then I could do my best to play one and you can interview me; I have some experience with porn, but I don't know that I'd really be the porn-zealot that we really need to answer our questions. But, fire away with your questions, if you have any and don't just want to type 'porn' to giggle.

EDIT: I'd say, this thread should be moved out of Philosophical Counselling and into the Spectacularism and Scape-goating Index until some porn addicts come forward and actually want Counselling. Until then, this tread is just building the walls of prejudice.

ala1993
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by ala1993 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:53 pm

I have some experience with porn
ooh ... I really don't know where to begin!

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Jean
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Re: What causes porn addiction???

Post by Jean » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:00 pm

ala1993 wrote:
I have some experience with porn
ooh ... I really don't know where to begin!
So what do you want to know about? Acting? Production? Distribution? Purchace? Viewing?

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