Here’s why the addictive power of pornography can be worse:
- Cocaine is considered a stimulant that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter that most addictive substances release, as it causes a “high” and a subsequent craving for a repetition of the high, rather than a subsequent feeling of satisfaction by way of endorphins.
- Heroin, on the other hand, is an opiate, which has a relaxing effect. Both drugs trigger chemical tolerance, which requires higher quantities of the drug to be used each time to achieve the same intensity of effect.
- Pornography, by both arousing (the “high” effect via dopamine) and causing an orgasm (the “release” effect via opiates), is a type of polydrug that triggers both types of addictive brain chemicals in one punch, enhancing its addictive propensity.
- Not only do these addictive pathways cause us to filter all sexual stimulation through the pornographic filter; they awaken craving for “more novel pornographic content like more taboo sexual acts, child pornography, or sadomasochistic pornography.”
- While pornography activates the appetitive system by way of dopamine, an orgasm caused by pornography does not release endorphins, which are the chemicals that make us feel satisfied. By contrast, endorphins are released after an orgasm caused by having sex with a real human being. This lack of satisfaction, combined with the brain’s competitive plasticity, causes the brain to require more and more novel and extreme images to get the same chemical result as before.