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How Watching Pornography Changes The Brain

By Mohamed Ghilan, UVic Neuroscience

It is now recognized in neuroscience that the brain is malleable. It changes with our experience and forms pathways and connections that correlate with what we watch, listen to, and learn. From the active engagement in a philosophical discussion in class to the learning of directions in the new city you moved into; even the seemingly passive sitting down to listen to music or watch television results in a constant formation of new connections in the brain that eventually make us who we are as individuals. A huge problem, albeit a silent one, that has reached epidemic proportions is the viewing of pornography, which affects men more so than it does women.

The great majority of articles on the problematic nature of this subject typically speak about it from a psychological and/or social perspective. This article, however, will shed light on the effects of viewing pornography from a neuroscience perspective.

The current model explaining how we learn and remember things at the brain level uses synaptic plasticity as the basis. Synaptic plasticity is the ability of the brain to change the strength in connections between the neurons (brain cells) in response to experience. This involves changing the amount and types of receptors expressed, as well as the amount of neurotransmitters (communication molecules) being released.

A vital neurotransmitter in the brain is dopamine. It has many important roles that it serves in functions such as voluntary movement, motivation, reward, punishment, and learning. Dopamine has been implicated in children with ADHD, cognitive decline due to aging, and depression. Most of the public’s knowledge about dopamine is about famous individuals with Parkinson’s disease such as Muhammad Ali and Michael J Fox, who have dopamine dysfunction pathology.

A vital role for dopamine is in pleasure experience, reward, and learning. Drugs such as cocaine target the dopaminergic system to release great amounts of dopamine which results in experiencing a “high,” often leading to addiction. A number of studies have implicated dopamine in either the anticipation or the direct experience of pleasure. Depending on the brain area, dopamine can be released either prior to or during the moments of heightened pleasure. When released, dopamine strengthens and reinforces the new connections that are being made in the brain while an activity is undertaken.  This in turn acts to encourage the individual to repeat the activity again so they can feel that pleasure once more.

How is this relevant to pornography? As the images are displayed on the screen, an arousal takes place and the dopaminergic system is triggered just like it would be by drugs such as cocaine. The newly formed connections in the brain from watching pornographic images become greatly reinforced by the massive amounts of dopamine being released. Rather than going into short term memory, where these images can be forgotten after the screen is turned off, the dopamine reinforcement ensures they’re moved into the long-term memory stores where they can be stuck in replay mode in the person’s mind. The troublesome fact about this is that the more something is recalled, the more it solidifies it in the brain. Think back to your school days when you studied for an exam – you repeated the statements you needed to memorize over and over until they stuck.

Pornography is fantasy. Different scenes present with different women give the illusion of the watcher having a relationship with a new person every time. These “stars” subject themselves to different demeaning sexual practices by the men in the scenes. The acts in their totality are detestable to most mentally healthy people. However, the design of the act in a pornographic scene is to link one or two normally arousing and familiar elements with others that are not. This is how the viewer acquires new tastes in sexual practice. Electromagnetic waves are emitted from the screen with a fantasy that triggers a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing dopamine. The result is a feeling of a real, yet delusional, state of pleasure and satisfaction. The dopamine reinforces the new connections with newly acquired sexual tastes, and the next thing taking place is the man asking his wife to engage in a sexual fantasy that was downloaded into his subconscious.

The sequence of events in the brain is quite disturbingly simple. Synaptic plasticity works to form new connections as a result of watching pornography, and newly learned memories are stored. Since the experience is an arousing one, dopamine release results in very strong reinforcement of those new connections. Now that the scenes are in long-term memory, two consequences take place: 1) since the very same system stimulated by cocaine is being triggered by pornography, addiction is developed; and 2) the man will often attempt to create his own re-enactments with his wife, which leads to a great disappointment. The re-enactments do not live up to expectations because instead of many different women, it’s now only one. Worse yet, this only one woman doesn’t sound, act, or look the same as the ones downloaded into his mind. Although the first couple of re-enactments might be exciting, soon reality will strike and dopamine will no longer be released because pleasure is no longer derived.

Sadly, that’s not the end of it. After such a disappointment in the actual experience due to the unrealistic fantasy-based expectations, the brain not only refrains from releasing dopamine; it actually dips below baseline levels. It goes into a depression response that results in disappointment, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness in the marriage since the wife is “not up to what he expected”. Despite the efforts by many women to “spice things up” and even subject themselves to the demeaning acts that have been artificially downloaded into their husbands’ brains, the pornography-addicted husbands will only enjoy themselves for a very short while before losing interest. Meanwhile, the wife feels unattractive and emotionally abandoned despite her best efforts, not knowing that she couldn’t compete with the dopamine buzz offered by pornography.

What’s alarming about this information is that the brain acts as a whole entity; its plasticity is global. Change in one area affects other regions. It is a literal rewiring of overall neural connections as a result of pornography viewing. The extent of influence on other parts of the brain and cognition is an area of research requiring attention.

While neuroscience paints a very disturbing picture for those affected by watching pornography, it’s not all bad news. Although the same system for cocaine addiction is targeted by it, the substance is not the same. A cocaine addict must go through a regimented program to detoxify his system or otherwise he’ll be placing his life at risk. On the other hand, many men that have learned about the real stark effects of watching pornography are able to quit immediately without experiencing negative physiological consequences. It does take a lot of willpower and requires the person to busy themselves with other activities. Initially, tormenting replays of pornographic scenes watched over the past months or years will test the person’s drive and strength to give it up. Luckily, the same brain that went through a rewiring due to viewing pornography can also be rewired again. It is an extremely efficient organ that gets rid of unused connections. The longer a person can go without restimulating his pornographic connections, the more likely he makes it for his brain to discard them. Engaging in new experiences and occupying the brain with other PG-rated matters will be bound to force it to prune others away. It just needs time to do its work and it needs to be given the choice; it will always choose what the person activates more often.

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183 Comments

  • That was a nicely written article that simplified in a very understandable way the complicated series of changes in the brain as a result of porn addiction. Sometimes its hard to articulate the complex ramifications; let alone talk about it. But you did a great job in doing so.

    • This was the only article that I’ve found that has actually given me a clear cut answer on how pornography affects the brain. Great article!!!

  • subhan Allah, that was incredibly interesting. For a lay-person like me, this was very easy to understand medically and socially. Please continue to write things like this! jazak Allah khayr

  • This is yet another incomplete article. The author mentions the addictive nature of pornography by likening it to cocaine use. And when one takes into consideration the technological age and high degree of availability of porn, we must realize that our environment is a lot like a crack house.

    We don’t need more evidence that porn is bad, just like we don’t nerd more evidence cocaine is bad. What we need is actual strategies for men to deal with this addiction. This article is void of any such suggestions, rendering it useless to the majority of men who watch porn.

    It would be foolish to ask a crack addict to just stop. It is equally foolish to ask porn watchers the same.

    • To the brother above,

      Advise is actually provided in this article, unless you have been blinded and unable to read the last paragraph.

      Perhaps, it may be because matters such as ‘self discipline’ and making the conscious decision to engage in other activities has become a strange, unleashed phenomenon in today’s time.

      I also feel, that men – or women – only watch porn if there is something missing in their life. They are either dissatisfied from their life, trying to find distractions or want to enter into a ‘fantasy’ of some sort and escape reality.. As the media, – porn industry in this case – depicts nothing more than a fantasy, that doesn’t exist in reality, and is void of what the real essence of sex is… An honorable, sacred union of two people.

      Moreover, you are right, we are in a time and place where our environment is very discouraging as it is taking us away from our Lord.. and very much for men. However, this is no excuse for you to stray. In fact, they should be an awakening call for you to educate yourself behind the hidden agenda of this ‘porn making industry’, mainstream, the media in general…. as if you were to understand it, and appreciate it, you would not allow it to meddle with you nor your values.

      And if you are educated enough to understand these factors, then you are in no position to be complaining nor making excuses, and your facing God on the day of judgment will be more rigorous than that who is not educated enough.

      May God give you the strength to attain the level of 3ubudiya in life, where your heart becomes enclosed with everything that is defined with GOD, and unleash the real essence and purpose of your existence – to build this world according to God’s wishes to attain the level of 3ubudiya. And for you to reach to a point where GOD becomes so enclosed in your heart that you begin to see how trivial these distractions are in life that are initially designed to take you from the real source of happiness, hope and peace – GOD. May your learn the purpose… the purpose that is between you and God, and between you and people in society. All the peace of mind inshAllah.
      Ameen.

    • Advice is given in the article at the end. The person is just providing another perspective on the effect of pornography on the brain. This perspective is very invaluable as he correlates the effect of porn on the brain with the effect of cocaine on the brain.

      In the same way that with this understanding we try to treat cocaine addicts, he offers similar advice (not identical) on how to deal with this addiction.

      Yes, we know porn is bad but the article offers an avenue on how to deal with the issue.

      I don’t see how from reading the above article that one can say it is ‘useless to the majority of men who watch porn’.

      • When talking about the subject of porn, and coming at it from such a medical perspective, simple advice is not good enough.

        Do you see medical doctors studying the adverse effects of cocaine, or heroin, and then give “advice” to addicts? What would you tell a doctor who told a cocaine addict, that he should use.

        ” willpower and requires the person to busy themselves with other activities. Initially, tormenting replays of pornographic scenes watched over the past months or years will test the person’s drive and strength to give it up.”

        In essence if you read my initial comment correctly you will see that the above amounts to asking an addict to “simply stop”. Which in my opinion is a useless thing to say to any addict.

        Addictions are a serious illness and should be addressed accordingly. Not through pseudo-medical articles like these.

        • “In essence if you read my initial comment correctly you will see that the above amounts to asking an addict to “simply stop”. Which in my opinion is a useless thing to say to any addict.”

          You’re assuming this article is meant only for addicts. Even when doctors and social workers treat cocaine addicts it still takes a great deal amount of willpower for the addict to recognize a problem and go through the whole treatment process. Some either don’t go through the process and then others do come off the cocaine. And of those who come off the dependence, some end up getting back hooked on the drug. The same goes for alcohol addiction.

          The person is not suggesting you can just come off it by using sheer will power to stop it but he is alerting anyone of some of the challenges they are bound to face and that we can’t just depend on someone else to fix us but it requires some amount of effort on our part as well.

          Actually, as mentioned below by Fulan there is a Br. Zeyad Ramadan who is a Muslim counselor who deals with/has programs dealing w/Muslims who have sex addictions, porn/masturbation addictions. He recently held a few seminars this month about these things.

        • As mentioned by Icthyo, there is an online program by Br. Zeyad Ramadan.

          Here’s the link http://www.purifyyourgaze.com/

          The enrolment for the current program has already ended, but you can join their mailing list, to be notified of future programs. It’s not free but it does help alot. I’ve personally benefitted from it, and so has many others. The program will teach you practical steps inshAllah to cure the addiction.

      • The solution to stopping is simple, applying the solution is VERY difficult. Change the way you think and with help, you will eventually change the way you act. I do this in my office daily with porn addicts.

    • I can understand Pasha’s frustration. I think the article did a very good job at explaining the neuroscience behind a porn addiction. If that was the purpose of the article (which I believe it was), then the article met its objective. However, it would be great to have a follow-up article of a similar style where research-based treatments are presented to the readers in an easy-to-understand manner.

      Just to point out, that quitting cold-turkey is not for everyone. While it does work for some, others may struggle. Some researchers have suggested the 12 step programs similar to the one used for AA and other addictions could be of use here. Cognitive behaviour therapy is also helpful but may be an more expensive alternative.

      Pasha, according to your expertise, do you have any suggestions that you could share with the rest of the readers?

      • As someone with a medical background, I agree with Pasha. While the article was extremely well-written and informative, I think it’s important to give advice that is applicable to everyone. Sure, someone who casually views pornography may be able to break the habit by exercising more self-control. However, for the addict, it is precisely the belief that he should be able to stop if he really tries that reinforces the addiction. Every time that an addict has a failed attempt at “recovery”, he blames himself, which leads to further depression, repetition of the addictive behavior, and so on.

        So what’s an addict to do? In today’s world, there are a number of helpful resources that can and should be pursued by someone who thinks he may have a problem, including pharmacotherapy (anti-depressants, naltrexone), counseling (cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, couples’ counseling), and 12-step groups, just to name a few. Learning more about the addiction can also be immensely helpful.

        It is important to remember that addiction has a significant genetic component. I therefore think it’s inaccurate to state that all people who turn to pornography and make a habit out of viewing it have “something missing” in their lives, as was claimed by an earlier poster. There are plenty of young children who come across pornographic images inadvertently, especially so in today’s society, and if the genetic predisposition is present, that early exposure alone can trigger an eventual addiction.

        The issue of pornography and sex addiction is one that is becoming increasingly prevalent, and it’s important to avoid passing judgment when trying to reach out to our community. Shame is all too commonly the reason for not seeking help. As such, we should do more to provide our affected brothers and sisters with help instead of making them feel like horrible failures, and discouraging them from taking the necessary steps to regain control over their lives.

    • Women watch porn too.
      If I was a man, I’d be upset at the fact that the article keeps mentioning how men are often addicted to porn as if women never deal with pornography or unsatisfying partners whether they’ve watched porn or not. It also, should have mentioned that a lot of Muslims probably develop porn addictions because they’re forced into un-natural separation from the opposite sex and are never taught how to cope with their sexual desires aside from “Don’t do this it is haram.” Meanwhile everyone is having a good time with themselves behind closed doors and no one wants to acknowledge it, totally unhealthy.

      When will sexism in the Muslim community die?

    • Brother Pasha I think the author focused his article on describing the process since not many believe that this can be an addiction. Perhaps it’s a good idea to figure out how to contact him, and request him now to talk about strategies to overcome.

    • Pasha I see what you are saying but alhumdulilla this article really showed to me how pornography can be detrimental to a persons life. I used to be addicted to pornography. I used to watch it on a daily basis. Personaly, I found my own way to stop because I believed going through a program of some sort would not be able to help me. I tried so many times to stop and one day I told myself, “If I really want to stop than I will stop.” Although it sounds very simple there were a few other things i went through that pushed me to stop. I believed pornography was bad yet i continued to watch it. I told myself if my younger brothers started watching it I would not be able to truthfully tell them to stop because i would be doing it at the same time causing me to be a hypocrite.

    • This is not a self-help article. It is information about the brain on porn. If someone needs to stop, they need to get help in the form of treatment.

      • I should add that any therapist who is equipped to help with addictions or obsessive-compulsive behaviors could be helpful to an individual struggling to end a pornography habit.

    • Brother Pasha,
      The answer to you queston is in the quran.For Muslims, based on an understanding of Qur’an and hadith, sexual relations are confined to marriage between a wife and husband. Within this context, the role of a healthy sexual relationship is extremely important.
      Beyond childbearing, sexual relations assume a prominent role in the overall well-being of the marriage. In reading hadith, one is impressed with the Prophet’s ability to discuss all issues including those dealing with human sexuality. The topics range from questions about menstruation to orgasm. He apparently was not embarrassed by such inquiries, but strove to adequately guide and inform the Muslims who asked. Both Qur’an and hadith allude to the nature of sexual relations as a means of attaining mutual satisfaction, closeness and compassion between a wife and husband. “Permitted to you on the night of the Fasts is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments.”(2:187) Also, Muslims are advised to avoid sexual intercourse during menses so as not to cause discomfort to the woman (2:222).
      The goal of marriage is to create tenderness between two individuals and satisfy the very basic human need for companionship. “And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between you; in this are signs for those who think.”(30:21) The hadith which address this issue are numerous. The Prophet himself, while not divulging all aspects of his own sexual life, was known for his nature as a loving husband who was sensitive and physically demonstrative. In several hadith, he speaks about the importance of foreplay and speaking in loving terms during sexual relations. Again, the concept of mutual satisfaction is elucidated in a hadith which advises husbands to engage in acts that enable a woman to achieve orgasm first. (see Ihya ulum-id-din (Revival of Religious Learning) by Imam Ghazzali, chapter on Marriage). Sexual dissatisfaction is considered legitimate grounds for divorce on the part of either wife or husband.
      Sex Outside of Marriage
      Naturally, attraction between individuals is necessary to initiate a relationship that leads to marriage. But sexual relations can obviously take place between any couple, consenting or not. Because of the far-reaching ramifications of sexual relations outside of marriage, Muslims are prohibited by God from such behavior. And because the process that leads to physical attraction and ultimately intimacy is part of human nature, Muslims are advised to behave in a way and avoid circumstances that could potentially result in extra- or pre-marital sex. Modesty in dress and behavior between women and men figures prominently as a means of exhibiting self-control. Similarly, unmarried couples are admonished against spending time alone in isolated places where they would be more likely to act on their feelings and thus be less inhibited.
      Some of the negative results of sex outside of marriage include the potential for unwanted pregnancies, transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, disruption of the family and marriage (in cases of adultery), and emotional and psychological difficulties resulting from the lack of commitment associated with most relationships outside of marriage. As in other religions, extra- and pre-marital sex are considered major sins. Muslims believe that God does not simply forbid or allow behavior whimsically, but does so with our best interest at heart, guiding us away from potentially destructive behavior and towards behavior that allows us to achieve our most fulfilling potentials as human beings. For a similar reason, Muslims give up the consumption of alcohol because of faith in God’s wisdom that the negative effects outweigh the positive for individuals and society at large. “Whoever submits his whole self to God, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy handhold…”{(31:22)

  • Interesting read. Perhaps some research is needed on the increasing number of women watching this material. How does it affect them?

    • This article does affect me. I’m never going to marry a guy who have watched porn lololol. The chance of finding one who have not is yes, slim, but I’m sure he’s somewhere out there. A proper Muslim. Hmm.

    • this article affects all who read it, i think. it gives the reader insight not just on the damages of pornography to healthy relationships but also to the psyche. i actually ran across this article while researching chemical releases in the brain as related to listening to music, but think tht some of the info contained in this article can be applied to that and other aspects of our lives. how many times have we just sat down in silence without the radio or some other background noise, for example? why is constant stimulation (in a figurative and literal sense) necessary?

  • Jazakallah, for the wonderful article! I, myself am a porn addict and trying desperately to rid myself of it. Alhamdulillah, I’m getting closer to victory every year.

    Just wanted to let my fellow brothers and sisters know about a Br. Zeyad Ramadan who is a Muslim counselor who deals with/has programs dealing w/Muslims who have sex addictions, porn/masturbation addictions. His website is purifyyourgaze.com . It requires payment, but Alhamdulillah, his efforts, by the will and help of Allah (swt) have helped many Muslims on the path to recovery. I don’t think he has any programs currently, but you can still check out his site. Just wanted to put this out in case it may help some of my brothers and sisters here.

    Assalamualaikum!

  • @pasha

    Maybe you should try reading the Very Last Paragraph,

    The article is not primarly about Solutions, although it does give you a few at the end.

    The main focus of this article is to tell you, “How watching porongraphy effects your brain”

    It is always advisable to read and re read what the actual article is about before commenting as to not look foolish.

    Very good article keep them coming!

  • well this article only shows a biased one person opinion. Have you ever considered the fact that couples tend to use pornographic material to spice their sex lives up?
    No control tests mentioned, no solutions, including points Pasha mentioned. Very incomplete article. I give 2 out of 10.

    • Huh? Pornographic material is haram.. you CANNOT use something intrinsically haram to spice up your sex life.. period.

      That’s like saying I like to spike my Kool-Aid with Vodka to spice it up..

      Seriously? And no solutions mentioned?? HOW ABOUT CLOSE YOUR EYES. Wow, this issue is so real people don’t even know it.

      • I totally agree with you… The only fact is that its haraam, and displeases Allah… No excuse, in ANY matter related to it! That’s it!!

        The only thing that should control our acts is Allah’s pleasure and displeasure… Not what WE deem pleasurable…

        Allah created us, and only HE knows exactly how we work. We can’t argue with the Creator over how we work. PERIOD!!

        This just proves how we get carried away by the illusions Shaytan creates. We don’t realize how much we making him happy when we stoop as low as animals.

        Animals who are always being slaves of their desires, and satisfying them lavishly in a seemingly “Intoxicated” manner… That’s what we are doing, and that’s what we should pray to Allah to help us STOP doing… InshsA…

        • Indeed, I believe the problem with this addiction is purely the lust for pleasure. The solution is extremely simple – just know that we are eternally a servant of god, thus our eternal duty is to please him and instead of letting pleasure control us, we should act on duty instead. In all my years of experience, I find that this is by far the best mindset for everyone in any field – whether an addict or not.

  • Excellent article!!! Very well articulated and informative. Gives the power of knowledge and forewarning to those who took the time to read this, before falling into the pits of a very common contemporary issue affecting men of our generation and the next. two thumbs up! thanks for the knowledge.

  • Great article. That is why there are many more young people (males)going to doctors for problems such as Erectyle Dysfunction and other sexual problems. The doctors just go straight to the medication, but the real problem is brain. The solution is to stop, and let the brain heal and return back to normal.

    These videos talks about what Mohamed Ghilan mentions in his article, and breaks it down , http://yourbrainonporn.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-porn

    And here is Zeyad Ramadan’s website, http://www.purifyyourgaze.com/

  • @Dahlia: also the reason there are no controlled tests and peer-reviewed scientific research is because internet pornography is a new phenomenon. No one has done large scale research on it. For people that make drugs such as Viagra and pills for ED, its more profit for them when even younger people need it for their issues. Many people miss the root problem are the changes that take place in the brain from* addiction.

    However, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence, and males have cured their sexual problems by eliminating pornography and excessive masturbation.

  • As a person in the medical field, I really love how you addressed the medical aspect of this disease. It makes it seem much more real when you can see not just the emotional and spiritual effects, but even detrimental physiological effects on a person. Also, as a brother in the process of kicking this disease, it’s really refreshing to see that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. Most articles merely tell you to be strong and fight through it, and they always seem like preaching and never seem like actual cures, whereas this article shows that maintaining strong willpower is actually a viable cure.

    Jazak Allahu Khayr brother, I would love to see more medical based religious articles in the future :)

  • Life is a choice, God gives us a clear sense to sort out which one is best for us, especially in the visual language of pornography, which is seen in the eyes clear intention to give the impact of the imprint in our brains .. the problem is not just something on the watch, the people finally triggered to practice it .. the dangers when practiced in violation of the prohibition of religion .. Why Pornography (porn action further up) is strictly prohibited, because it triggers a variety of criminal acts .. because keeping religion forbids us from destruction …

  • Great article, I agree with the article that staying away from it helps to change the brain and the need for that stimulus of porn. Also, Pasha guy is addicted to porn and very upset that he cannot stop his addiction to this sin. It destroys and weakens the mind, however, again, if u stay away from it then change in the brain can happen. Pasha is addicted but is afraid to let it go. He has no hope in creating something more real. That is a tragedy.

    Here r some ways to let go and protect oneself from porn

    1. Give up your lap top for a month- Yes, give it to your friend or keep it at a place where u have to drive to and use in front of others like a freinds house. This is annoying but it has to be done to create the distance from that desire.

    2nd. Cut your internet service from your house for two three months or until u get married. Trust me it will make u calm and more relaxed and less frustrated. But at first you will experience withdrawal.

    3rd. CUT YOUR INTERNET !!!!!!! TRUST ME.

    4th. Read Quran till you get tired, A scholar once said that reading in Arabic will get you tired cuz it takes a lot of energy to read and then do something else to keep busy.

    5th. Fast, eat less, start eating Halal Zabiha and stop the non zabiha meat. The meat you eat outside of zabiha effects your soul and body.

    6th. Excersize but not at 24 fitness, at home or at the track. Cuz if u go to 24 hour or an public gym, you might as well shoot yourself from the fitna of women their. lol

    7th. MAKE DUA – ASK ALLAH AND BE SINCERE IN STOPPING PORN. THINK HOW YOU RE DESTROYING YOUR MIND. You cannot remember things etc.

    8. Lastly, For dealing with withdrawal of no internet, take the lesser of the 2 evils, masturbation but not like crazy. Only once a week. Sorry, this is sick but it is better than porn.

    9th. Remember You are disrespecting God and your Parents when you watch porn in your parents house.

    10th. Make dua that Allah grant you decency and Haya shame so you may stop.

  • How is watching sexual acts in pornography different from watching your wife lying naked in the bedroom seducing you?

    Does not that imprint images in the brain? Does not that induce dopamine release? How is that dopamine, which is released when a man watches his wife naked, or when a wife watches his husband naked, different from that which is released while watching a porno?

    And how can you call such sexual acts “detestable?” Does not Islam allow men to enjoy their wives in whatever way? Does not Allah swt say they are tilth onto you?

    • @ scientist
      One wife, 10 billion vidoes.

      Internet porn differs in many ways. The primary is novelty. Dopamine rises with each novel porn star, genre, and scene. One women cannot match how Internet porn is used: multiple tabs & windows, clicking between tabs, fast-forwarding to just the right parts, searching and seeking the hottest thing to get you off.

      You could see more hot “partners” in on session than our anscestors saw in several lifetimes. It cannot compare static, once a month Playboy, or an occasional rental to the rapid fire, high speed, HD, anything goes natore of Internet porn.

      The ability to escalate to whatever is surprising or is shocking also activates the dopamine system.

      In addition, in trains you to be a voyeur rather than a participant. To need full body, multiple tab visuals, rather than a face, or nothing but touch.

      Real vs artificial.

      I suggest your read – Porn Then and Now: Welcome to Brain Training
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201108/porn-then-and-now-welcome-brain-training

  • 11th. Imagine when you were once in love with a chick long ago and you had natural feelings for her. Now look at yourself after porn, u lost that natural fitra feeling and only want a chick for sex. You will never be satisfied and she will stop loving you.

    12th. People will naturally notice from your character that you have issues of sexual tension and may even consider you a sexual threat even though u may not notice it urself.

    13th. Imagine on the Day of Judgement when you are standing in the circle of those who created porn i.e. porn industry, cuz you took part in what they promote. So you are worshiping that.

    14th . Lower your gaze G Money, cuz your always thinking about …

    15th. Imagine life without Porn

    16th. POrn causes anger lack of focus etc.

    17th. Sleep less

    18th. God is right next to you and is watching you. IMAGINE THAT !! Would u want to watch nasty porn in front of someone you respect?

    20th . Make Ghusl

  • This article is about “how the viewer acquires new tastes in sexual practice.” It is true and a warning to those married or soon to married to stay away from this addiction. To conclude that increasing number of views of that type of material causes an extremely high threshold of dopamine release is not scientific. It could be possibility but you would have to prove the cause and effect. To many factors come to play when making that type of conclusion. I would say new sexual practices are performed but that is about it. May Allah (swt) protect us and give us ability to fulfill our desires lawfully with our spouses.

  • @Scientist: Watch the link http://yourbrainonporn.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-porn and it will make sense. Difference is that person that watches internet/video pornography most likely masturbates with it. With repeated use a person will not be aroused by real people, and needs that pornography/hand stimulation to get aroused. That is why marriage counselors talk about how pornography addictions from the guys end ruins marriages.

    Here is an article that talks about how Erectile Dysfunction is on the rise among young people, http://www.icptreatment.com/resources/erectile-dysfunction-is-on-the-rise-in-young-men and in Malaysia as well, http://www.mmail.com.my/content/47493-erectile-dysfunction-among-msian-men-rise

    I read articles in the past of how ED is a rising problem in Middle Eastern countries and its no surprise after hearing a lot people say men watch a lot of pornography in those countries. It can’t just be a coincidence that this is becoming a problem for younger people, which in the past was unheard of.

    Ma’salama

    • Erectile dysfunction is on the rise, not because of watching porno, but because of diseases such as diabetes, dyslipdemia, hypertension, vasculitis, etc.

      I still do not see how watching a porno and getting aroused is different from seeing one’s 4 wives seduce a guy.

      • Oh now it’s four wive.

        How about no wives and 500 uniue pictures or scenes in one porn session. Not one scene, but 12 tabs open. Not just watching, but clicking and searching. Not your tired old wives, but genres you never imagined.

        Novelty, novelty, novelty…..dopamine, dopamine dopamine……

        You should really read those articles to understand how the reward circuitry responds to sexual novelty. If people can get addicted to the novelty of Facebook, what about Internet porn?

        Another apsect you may not get is that guys are starting daily Internet porn use at age 11, long before they wire to real feamles, and when the brain is most vulnerable to plastic changes.
        See – Sexual brain training matters—especially during adolescence.
        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201110/why-shouldn-t-johnny-watch-porn-if-he-likes

        Your comment about ED is silly. These are otherwise healthy young men, ages 16-35. They have been checked by urologists. It’s not anxiety as they no longer have erections to porn, let alone a female.

        These young men have nothing in common other than years of heavy porn use and increasing sexual dysfunction. When that one and only one variable was removed, they eventually regained erectile health. All experienced withdrawal symptoms when they stopped porn, and nearly all experienced similar time frame in healing.

        No other hypothesis is needed when changing a single variable (porn use) resulted in a change in condition (no more ED) for all subjects.

        A survey by the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS) confirmed porn-induced erectile dysfunction in young men. Italian urologists commissioned this survey when men in their early twenties arrived at urology clinics with unexplained ED. Upon questioning, doctors identified one common variable: heavy porn use starting in their teens. When that one variable was removed these young men slowly regained erectile function and libido.

        Italian men suffer ‘sexual anorexia’ after Internet porn use
        http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2011/02/24/visualizza_new.html_1583160579.html

        Scientists: Too Much Internet Porn May Cause Impotence
        http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/25/scientists-internet-porn-cause-impotence/

  • Recommend to talk with close friend (can be ur father/brother) and ask for real continuous support. Participating reliable person in ur problem really differs and may open the mind to more valuable aspects..

  • As’salamu Alykoum Everyone,

    Jazakum Allah khair for the encouraging remarks. I pray that this article will be a trigger for those afflicted with this problem to establish a strong intention to change.

    As for Pasha: thank you for your feedback. While I can appreciate your grievance with what I wrote, I do reject your judgement of it being “incomplete” and “useless”. The purpose of this article was simply to outline in accessible terms what takes place in the brain as one engages in pornography viewership. Furthermore, your equating pornography addiction to cocaine addiction is fallacious. Although the same system, for the most part, is being affected, they’re not acting in the same way. Cocaine is an external chemical substance that is being administered, which the brain becomes dependent on. Pornography is an activity that one engages in. Quitting cocaine requires a regimented program so as to not have adverse and life-threatening effects. Pornography on the other hand can in fact be stopped, cold-turkey, and the addict will not experience the DT’s. What I had mentioned at the end is in regards to brain activity-dependent circuitry. These types of neural connections will only be sustained with constant stimulation. If the stimulation stops they will eventually wither away, and if new activities are picked up the brain will speed this process in order to make new connections.

    @ Dhalia M.: The article was not about being biased or having subjective opinions. It wasn’t even to necessarily preach and condemn pornography per se. The point of it was to outline what happens in the brain as one watches pornography, and it’s based on a collection of findings in neuroscience. I took complex terms and tried to make it accessible for the general public. If you’re looking for controls, MRI images, behavioral tests, etc., you can consult scientific journals such as the Journal of Neuroscience, Neuron, Cognitive Neuroscience, PNAS, etc. and you’ll find all that you’re looking for.

    @scientist: Aside from what I’ve already mentioned about how pornography is different than reality with one’s wife, I just wanted to address your question about how certain acts are “detestable”. This wasn’t a baseless opinion of mine or some subjective comment added to the article. If you examine papers from science and psychology journals that deal with this subject, women have overwhelmingly rated many of the acts they’ve seen performed in pornographic videos as “demeaning”. While the Quran does say for husbands and wives to enjoy each other in any way they’d like, Allah also says that “We have ennobled the children of Adam”. Many women have reported engaging in acts as requested by their husbands that they wish they would stop doing, because they feel demoralized and humiliated while doing them.

    Again, jazakum Allah khair everyone for your feedback. I hope this article was of benefit and enlightenment.

    Wassalam
    Mohamed Ghilan
    UVic Neuroscience

    • Salaam and thank you for your intelligent response. It was refreshing given the previous comments.

      Firstly, I believe you proved my point.

      “The purpose of this article was simply to outline in accessible terms what takes place in the brain as one engages in pornography viewership.”

      When I said that the article was incomplete, it was exactly referring to this point. A more complete article, in my view, would address not just what takes place in the brain but also what can be done about it. Simply stating problems without providing remedies has no place in the medical profession.

      Secondly, likening cocaine addiction to pornographic addiction was your argument not mine. An addict is an addict is an addict. These were the words that were taught to us in med school. You are right in pointing out that cocaine is an external substance, but you are wrong in ignoring the similar emotional and physical responses it shares with porn. Though porn is not explicitly a substance, it is still an external stimulation.

      In treating addiction, physical harm from “cold turkeying” is taken into account. But so are retention rates. The retention rates from cold turkeying are so low, that it is essentially foolish. But you are right in stating there are far fewer dangers in treating cocaine addiction then pornographic addiction.

      As for your conclusion of neurological pathways withering away as a remedy, I couldn’t disagree enough. Pornographic addiction is classified as a behavioral addiction. These include addiction to: video games, gambling, shopping and even food. None of these addictions can be cured through cold turkeying, except in the rarest of cases.

      Case study after case study have been shown (and ones I am assuming you have read) how families have been destroyed by these addictions. Do you really believe that people who see their world falling apart around them are a simple step of “cold turkeying” as their solution.

      Furthermore, my expertize is not in the mechanics of the brain or the neurological processes that take place within them. But from speaking to my colleagues, the lack of peer review in your research leads me to doubt the soundness of your findings. Professionally speaking, this is shoddy work.

      Having said that, I do believe that pornographic addiction is a very serious phenomenon, and one that has particularly hit muslims and muslims countries in particular. But the solution requires a comprehensive approach from the scientific community and not various degrees of what can be only described as pop-science.

      There is enough bad literature out there, and ignorance is a big part of the problem. As a professional you should have recognized this and at least referenced some of the established approaches in treating this addiction. And since you have failed to do so, I am doing it for you.

      http://www.addictionrecov.org/index.aspx

      I hope you find my criticism more constructive than vindictive.

      • Why are you so vehemently opposed to the author’s choice of thesis? He CHOSE NOT to include solutions to the problem because that was not the point of his article. He’s just showing the physiological/psychological mechanisms that result in viewing pornographic material.

        Perhaps another author will specifically choose a thesis to your liking and address the issue (of a solution) that you so desire.

        • He specifically said “I hope you find my criticism more constructive than vindictive.”
          He is not vehemently opposed to the author’s original intent in writing this. He offered constructive criticism in an attempt to move forward with a solution. ¬_¬

  • Salam Pasha,

    It seems that you’re imposing your own criteria for what would constitute a complete article in your opinion. I’ve set my goal in this article to just outline changes, and that was it. There are plenty of experts in the addiction treatment field, and as some of the comments above have already pointed out there are reputable people that pornography addicts can get in touch with.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen the tweet from the website about this article. It started with “Check yourself before your wreck yourself” followed by the link to the article. Showing how an addict becomes and addict and the changes that take place in their brain doesn’t mean that it’s an incomplete article because I haven’t offered solutions. Giving solutions was not my intention from the start. Consider the article more along the lines of an anatomy and physiology textbook.

    You’re seeking an article that talks about treatment strategies and possibly counselling approaches, which mine is most certainly not. I apologize if that has disappointed you.

    Regarding the referencing and breaking things down in a professional scientific way, I think you’re also on the wrong website for that. I’m sure you realize that if I were submitting an article to Neurobiology of Disease or Brain Research I would have a very different writing style. Moreover, citations would be overflowing throughout and a long list of references would follow. I hope you can appreciate that the layperson, a non-specialist, would find such writing style tedious, boring, too technical, and therefore wouldn’t bother reading the article at all.

    When I write I try to put myself in the non-specialist’s shoes. As you’ve mentioned, you’re a medical practitioner. It seems the problem is that you’re upset that I didn’t write it how you would like it for you. Please don’t take offence when I tell you that you were not the target audience here.

    I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here. But I think I’ll conclude by repeating what the goal of this article was and what I did not seek to do. I was attempting to make the brain physiology in the case of pornography addiction and acquired sexual tastes more accessible to they non-specialists. With that I hoped it would raise another alarm for those afflicted with this problem, as well as warn others, about what happens in the brain as a result of viewing pornography. It seems from the majority of comments that alhamdulillah I was successful in achieving my goal. My article was not about offering treatments, counseling, or possible ways out. I touched on that very briefly towards the end, but kept it about connections in the brain and what happens if they’re not utilized.

    Jazak Allah khair for your input Pasha. It was greatly appreciated.

    Wassalam
    Mohamed Ghilan
    UVic Neuroscience

    • Salaam brother, just wanted to say that I read the title of the article, then the article, and I felt that the article satisfied exactly what the title led me to expect, and I thank you for that. :)

  • Salam,

    I would like to point out that it seems some people didn’t catch on to that this article is written in *editorial* style. You did not walk into your university’s library proceeded to the 5th floor, passed the F-L section to stop and turn into the M-Q section and searched the 3rd shelf to pick up “Neuroscience: The Brain and Pornography” Vol. 31, Spring 2011 – the academically, peer-reviewed journal.

    It’s rather clear the intention of this article was to explain, in “everyday language” an “everyday issue”.

    You have every capacity to research experiments and methods for studies like this. But recognize that this is not the place to present it – an editorial style platform.

    Remember, you’re not on neuroscienceacademicjournals.com/show-me/all/your/methods/otherwise/this-is/useless

  • For everyone:

    The article was written to highlight a problem many people (including Muslims) face and it also gives a solution. Rather than discussing whether or not it has sufficient information, we can add on extra thoughts here in the comments. We are not here to criticize, but to learn. Please just share your thoughts with additional advice you may have and use it to better your eeman. Jazakallah khayr.

  • ASalam all,

    Great article brother Mohamed Ghilan. It was very interesting. Not knowing ANYTHING about the brain, I was able to follow the article with very little problem. I hope you can enlighten us on other topics as well.

    Brother Pasha I think if you have other information that you feel is pertinent then perhaps you should also write an article on this topic.

    I have to object though to the negative vibe of the comments. If you need more references or are interested in a deeper conversation on the topic, you can contact the author directly. Certainly a majority of us on this site will not be able to follow your discussion anyways.

    Salam

  • While I am a physician, I prefer to hold this conversation on a layperson level. I admit I have not [yet] followed the links given in the comments. Perhaps someone else has the time or access to articles readers can access for more detailed and scientific information about my comment. Isn’t it true that viewing media (rapidly changing images, sounds, music, etc.) puts our brain into a very passive receptive learning mode that is quite different than the active, critical, filtering mode that occurs with reading or interacting with to a live teacher? Can this additional explanation not be extrapolated in some way to the question about why porn is not as stimulating as interacting with a live wife?

  • Assalamualaikum,

    Jazakallahu khairan katheera to the author for the invaluable info! I’m sure the suggestions presented must have been taken as positive criticism for improvement ^^. None of us are perfect, no? Lets all take the best from the article and learn lessons from the suggestions provided to improve our own writing too. May Allah bless us all, guide us to His path and keep us united!

  • That’s it. I’m gonna give it a real honest try. No more pornography. NO MORE!!! Ok.. Actually.. I’ve tried to do this.. but what ends up happening is that there is always some questionable image,etc that I run across.. whether it’s in an advertisement, TV, YouTube.. that kind of rekindles those connections..and MAN…i’m back at square one.. alright here goes attempt #6426

  • Dear someone, I am really happy with your positive attitude. And I pray to God to make it easy for you, just as long you have the intention, the willingness, the sincerity that it is for God, and you pray that He gives you the strength midst this corrupt time of temptation.. I believe it can happen.. God will give you that strength.. Just believe.

    Just for a few minutes, take a time out, and think of death, the grave, the day of judgement, when you stand before God, when you receive the book…. hell fire.. the mercy of God, his severe torment. The think of this worldly desire, And you take the initiative!

    But please, brother/sister, don’t take the easier option. You are in my prayers.

  • Also, please note, the fact that you are saying that you have tried many times, and you still return to square one…. this means that there is an error… there’s something missing. So, in order for a different outcome this time, you need to take a different approach. The correct approach… This begins by acknowledging the error.

    Fee aman Allah.

  • For all who have quit and failed…each failure can be viewed as a positive in that it is clear proof that it is an addiction. It can be motivation to redouble efforts. So many people deceive themselves that they can quit any time, that it is not really an addiction. When you have tried and failed, then you have gone up one level and you now know that it really is an addiction. It may feel like failure, but paradoxically it is actually the beginning of success.

    I’m speaking as someone who quit a long-standing, heavy smoking habit. I quit many times and it used to be discouraging. Once I quit for several years and it was inconceivable to me that I could ever go back, but got tempted back in at a moment of weakness. That happened another time too!

    What that taught me was that I would never be completely free from the addiction, even after I had quit for years I had to watch myself. But this actually gave me more strength to hate my addiction, and see it as separate from me, and it made me keep persisting on quitting. When I was smoking I would use that time to analyze what I disliked about it, I would try to disrupt all my habits around it, I would use brands I hated, I would smoke with the other hand or in uncomfortable positions. Whatever disrupted what was pleasurable about it.

    Then I would finally get a new momentum going. Every time I would quit smoking again I would be re-energized by how many failures were behind me, because I knew, statistically, I was that much closer to quitting for good.

    I finally have quit for over 10 years, alhamdulillah, but I am always on guard. For example, if I ever pass by people smoking I pass by holding my breath, if I catch myself holding a pretzel, pen or any other object like a cigarette, I immediately change my grip and switch hands or put the object down…

    It is not exactly the same as a porn addiction, but I hope this gives some encouragement. Never give up, separate who you are from what the addiction is, and never think you’ve got it completely beaten.

  • I want to thank brother Ghilan for such a great article.I lead Muslims halaqas and I shared this article with them. It was a good scientific evidence to why we should stay away from watching porn.
    Here’s some comments we had:
    “I watched porn and I knew it was haraam, but I was weak, and I thought I am not hurting anyone. Understanding its impact on my brain, makes me want to stay away from it completely, just as eating pork, smoking,etc”.
    “It strengthened my faith every time i discover a new thing about that everything that God forbids is for our own good”.
    I think this article made its point and reached the people who needs it, whether it is complete or not, Al-Kamal is for Allah only.
    Thank you very much and jazakallah khair

  • Porn is portraying devils in haram action. Watching is like receiving poisoned arrows that affect your heart. If it affects your soulheart then we can consider that it affects our thougts (brain, if u want). People think it looks nice – making things appear beautiful is a weappon of shaytan. Why stopping it if u feel good..The problem is only that the more u do watch the more u are not satisfied after watching such..In another words: Zina of the Eyes never leads to good outcome.

    salam

  • I was addicted to porn for 18 yrs but alhamdulillah i havent been browsing, watching or see any for almost 5 yrs now. Its like addiction to music, sometimes you just turn on the radio because youre used to having it on. Its not about urge, i was like a programmed robot. The article is so true. As for the solution, i think it will be different for each person but start with a sincere niat that you want to do that for the sake of Allah. Please make dua for me to be firm.

  • As-salamu Alaikum!

    The best way to break free from Porn Addiction or Any Other Addiction is by following the Candeo Program.

    Read more about it here:

    Candeocan.com

  • Man… I read the article.. even though I didn’t fully understood it.. but I can tell you this.. I have been wathching porn for quite some time.. and I somehow developed a sexual excitement on certain porn actors on certian scenes…. sadly

    I am engaged now and will marry in 1 year, and the crazy thing about this is that I do not feel that sexually attracted to my future wife and have doubts wether I will be satisfied with her sexually and I dont look forward to the marriage with that an excitement… feels like nothing special

    All because of that freaking porno I have watched over the months :(……….. damit… it has ruined my brain and damaged me.. seriously…

    What should I do????

  • First, please please please please DON’T get married until you’ve overcome your porn problem! That’s what my ex-husband did to me, and it was like living in hell.

    Second, make plenty of dua! These types of things do take a whole lot of effort and hardwork to get rid of, but it CAN be done.

    Third, you can start by getting rid of any private access to a computer (meaning if you need to check your email, do it at the library if necessary, or on a public access computer in your house).

  • AssalamoAlykum…

    Hope this helps…
    My addiction ended some what spontaneously…

    I got interested into karate…joined a dojo…
    and in the morning ran atleast 2-3 km for a week. I would be so tired and realized that I was channelling my extra energy that i wasted on porn into productive physical fitness.

    Now I read Quran on daily basis… wake up 5am in the morning…offer regular prayers….read the Quran with english translations… research on religion…and took up reading as a hobby.

    I still sometimes have the urge, but Allhamdulilah I can hold my nerves now…
    I wish this could be benificial and serve as encouragement.

    Seriously, If you saw me now and what I was before…

    I bcuz of porn was 45Kg about 18 months ago and failed 4 of my business papers(exams) bcuz of 0 concentration…Now I am 70Kg, my BMI is an amazing 22.4… I can jog for 4-5 km with out rest…my stamina is off the charts…

    Thank you Dear Allah! May you have mercy on those who are still afflicted by this disease.

  • Watching Porn not only damages the brain, but in my case also triggered Sleep Sex where a person engages in sex during the sleep. This is very dangerous and might lead to impotency.

  • All I can say, is thank you, and cuz these acts are what causes us to be cursed by Allah(swt) and the prophets, we should pray for each other to refrain from these acts, and hope to better ourselves so that we’re not guilty on the Day of Judgement InshA… Thank you, and please remember in Duas (:

  • well, the article is well-based and simple at some extent but I think its not sufficient because it will hardly avoid an addicted person from watching pornography. If you want to help someone or avoid someone from watching such things, you need to mention more adequate evidences. thus the sameness, moreover, between cocaine and pornography will be accepted.

  • Nice article mate. It takes a lot of willpower to beat this porn addiction. But eventually one can overpower this addiction with his willpower. The porn industry is the work of the evil, they should be destroyed but since it is almost impossible all we can do is stop it from infecting our brain.

    I am somewhat of a good person so this was how I fought this addiction. Since I am an honest man I can’t think of cheating my wife (when I will marry), only one woman for me who will always be beautiful in my eyes.

    Also try falling in love with a real girl. Or imagine you falling in love or maybe even remember the time when you were in love with some one. Everyone has fallen in love at least once in their life try to remember that feeling, do not think how you didn’t get the girl or something :), just remember the time you were lovestruck those memories will help a porn addict extremely. Love and Lust are different. Know the difference

  • i was free of addiction for 1 and hailf year suddenly i had to sit with couple of old friends that were into the habit and now again some how it got back to me and made my life a living hell..

  • Porn is indeed bad. I’ve been through every kind of porn you can imagine for 15 years. It has been a struggle. Collect porn for years. Throw it away. Collect it again. Throw it away. You literally go years, absorbing it and not realizing what you are doing. It’s not until a moment of strength hits you and that may or may not take place.

    I have seen the way it affects a person on the inside, how it affects a marriage. And because one thing leads to another, porn is merely a doorway that leads you to a cancer that spreads more and more. It might begin with watching a naked woman. Then it goes to two women. Then to women with animals. Then to animals with children on webcam. Then to children altogether.

    There is no such thing as “healthy” porn. The only ones who take up for it are the ones who are whacking off to it and feel like they have nothing to lose. But porn does affect everyone. And it needs to be stomped into the ground. But I think the only way that will happen is to finally ban it. There are too many people for and against. It would require regulation to force people into compliance. And I’m all for it.

  • I would just like to say a little bit about this amazing discussion I stumbled upon. First a little about myself. Im 24 years old and I have to children with my girlfriend of seven years. For as long as I can remember I have felt as if everything in this world is unnatural . Im what i would consider un educated. I’ve always naturally opposed direction from the rest of the world. I have always and still live my life instinctively. breaking everything including my thoughts down as much as possible in order to try and understand better the things of this world.Now i am shocked to find such an article being discussed by Muslims. In my many dead end quests for any real knowledge in life i have come to a few conclusions. 1st there is definitely some form of higher power. sciences unsolved mysteries led me to that. 2nd is that all that is bad is man. everything else is a naturally occuring event that has a positive impact on something else. I’ve always respected the muslim religion because of its number of followers that pursue knowledge in sciences and history. I was wondering if someone could tell me why all religions that believe in a “creator” all base their lives around a book that even if it had originally been passed on directly from the”creator”, has been in the control of flawed mankind since? I truly mean no disrespect. I am only instinctively following my train of thought led by this very valid discussion. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I apologize for straying from the topic but i had a feeling that this could be a good opportunity to collect some thoughts and opinions on a question that troubled my mind repeatedly.

    • P.S .. I believe the article has very valid points. what we see and hear effects us directly. Also the comparison between sex addiction and drug addiction was a very spot on call. and truly in my opinion the advice to overcome both addictions mentally is logical . Your mind controls the body so control it. Its hard, yes. is that not the meaning of temptation? And as long as you continue fighting a battle not yet won is still a battle not yet lost. surely ppl that believe in a creator should have faith that they would not be put in a situation that can’t be won. trials and temptations force one to strengthen their beliefs and their physical being as well.

      • Dear Mike

        Great to read your comments. Hopefully those with more knowledge will pick up on your question, but for now, here are my humble thoughts:

        It’s an interesting point that you make with regards to human imperfection. This world is finite and everyone will die – we all know that. The Muslim doctrine holds that this world is imperfect because it is not the destination we should be striving for; it is merely an intermediary to test us on where our ultimate destination will be in the next, eternal world. Understanding this is the basis of what I am about to discuss.

        In Islam, our belief is that the Quran has been and will continue to be preserved by God. It is unchanged and comes as His direct speech to us. The consequence of this is that we believe the faith is also perfectly designed to last till the end of time. How else would man be accountable if the message of the final prophet ﷺ has been corrupted?

        Now, to answer your question; why entrust this faith to man? Our belief is that the Qur’anic scripture is preserved by God designed to last till the end of time. Previous divine scriptures were revealed and lost when they were entrusted to man who changed it to suit their own worldly needs. The Qur’an and the core tenants of the Islamic faith will remain preserved and unchanged until the final days on earth. What has been entrusted to man is the implementation of this faith on this earth, largely as a test from our creator to see whether we acknowledge or reject His guidance. This is the basis by which we are judged – how well can we uphold the teachings of God upon this earth.

        This world is temporary and its imperfection enables us to realise its true purpose. All our joys and sorrows are given to us to humbly recognise it all comes by the grace of God and to realise that human beings are helpless without Him. The imperfection of this world is in fact its perfection because it precisely serves the purpose it was created for; to guide us to the best outcome in the next world and lead us back to our creator.

        I hope that helps answer your question and pray that you are guided to the truth wherever you find it to be.

        Talha

        • Mike…
          The reason we muslims have ‘stuck’ with the Qu’ran for 1400 years is because it has remained unchanged since the moment it was revealed. The Qu’ran itself is a miracle. When it was revealed, it was done so in such a way that it is memorable. Even in this day and age, kids aged 5 have memorised the whole Qu’ran, and this is down to the way God has revealed it. It is poetic and the greatest form of literature on earth (in the eyes of a muslim, and even in non muslims) and guides humans to how they should live.
          Do some more research on the Qu’ran and islam, you will be shocked.

        • So if these scriptures are “Preserved” by god, how does man get access? The simple fact that we were born in an imperfect world AND us as regular humans following suit in out our imperfection still lying, stealing, killing and other detestable acts such as our predecessors, whom can really be trusted with access with this knowledge preserved by God? Fortunately as illustrated in this article people can change if you “renew your mind” or change the way you think and what you choose to participate in. No sleight to your religion, but whom has led by example showing that this can be done? I personally believe in Jesus being the son of God who lived this perfect life and died so that we did have to be stuck in out filth. Why would a god who cares about us withhold good knowledge from us? That rebuttals the characteristic of what GOD(singular) would do. What do you think -Ben

      • It’s just like a human to hold on to the simple yet so imperfect believe that this sweet passage of time we call life can be over in a blink and that’s that. So I tell you guys if you study your history as much as you both claimed you have, you will discover that if there is a creator then that is us “Man Kind”. so simple is the cruelty that we find in our thoughts when we think of the questions “Is there something else, is this it?” For we our in our ignorance and our never-ending pursue for immortality and control of it all we have a created that of what you speak “God, creator and almighty is our believe in one form or another it all points to the inevitable conclusion that every form of human being that ever existed in every culture has created their own believe systems which always include a higher power, for such power would shine light on all that we don’t understand. To this notion i called the lazy human syndrome = to human lack of creativity and conning ability to make themself believe that if we can’t do it there has to be someone else who could. so let’s just leave to it the “All mighty higher power” the solution to all of our natural and human created problems. God will take care of it all.

        With this I leave you to engage in the inevitable question. What would you do if today or any day comes a higher power and introduce himself/herself to you as your savior? Would you believe such being to be who it claims and if so why? After all it’s human nature to pretend to believe in something when no one can actually prove its existence. Once it can be proven we all doubt it to be real and that’s that. There is no higher power you know it, the pope knows it, the leaders of all religion know it and we all know it. But it’s just to hard for some of us to cope with the idea that there is no one to save us from ourselves and yet why, we have always manage to save our-self from everything nature has thrown at us and from everything we throw at our-self, if you want a savior just look into the mirror.

        • I grew up in a Christian family and as I left home I wrestled with all that you mention here. Is this just a game that we’re all playing? As a child I could feel truth from scripture…or so I thought…but I have to admit I never experienced God in any real way. However, just b/c you do not believe in God doesn’t mean that you cease to ask the big questions. Where did we come from? Is there a purpose? At some point in time every human simply has to ask…if you do not, you’re a simpleton. Its that question that led me back to God. Not b/c I wanted to feel something or wanted life after death. Not b/c I was scared or needed a higher purpose. God and creationism is the most logical and yes, even most scientifically explainable explanation of our existence that exists. Logically, scientifically, and emotionally, it fits. I would ask you what you believe as far as creation but I already know the answer…you don’t know. You don’t believe in anything. Nothing makes sense to you so you don’t choose a path. That’s fine…but I wouldn’t doubt the people who have asked the question and put in the effort to find out for themselves…just b/c you haven’t.

      • While I’m not a Muslim, I will tell you my theory on the reason why we should focus on a book, whether it be the Quran, the Holy Bible, the Tanakh, the Vedas, or whatever book corresponds to your belief(s). If there is a supreme creator (which I’m, absolutely certain there is), then why would He let His instructions become defunct due to mankind’s immorality? Kinda self defeating, if you ask me. Therefore, God has to have a fail-safe in place His sayings and words. People have tried to change sacred texts before, look at Christianity for a moment and what Joseph Smith did to it with the Book of Mormon. It didn’t really take off, except in modern-day Utah. Another good example is the Buddhist denomination called Mahayana. They took the teachings of Siddharta Gautama (Buddha) and began to worship Buddha as a god, as opposed to what he really said.
        Here’s the point: Religious texts are going to be tampered with. It’s up to you and your spirit to discern which one calls to you. Just my two cents.
        I pray you find your way, Mike!
        By the way, that’s my son’s name. :)

        • Why do we need traffic signals if we have eyes,why cant we just move along?….well its because human beings are forgetful and they need reminders…in similar way God send us the scripture as a reminder for the whole mankind, so that mankind can have conciousness and ease in this life and hereafter…just like when traffic rules are followed we will have a smooth traffic..hope you understood the logic..may Allah guide you… :)

    • Dear Mike…You have raised some interesting insights that may never be fully understood. I am touched by your honesty. The capacity for what you call simplicity is a sign of a great mind. I have often contemplated the reason for flawed humans. It seems to me that any interest we have from a Divine Creator who resides far beyond our understanding mind, is quite miraculous. I have often read that this is the world where things get fixed. If God were revealed and we were perfect, then there would be no opportunity for change…and change is the very nature of life itself.

      • Dear Mike,

        I came on this website for the article about how porn can rewire your brain. As one who tries to follow the Christian faith, I logged on to get an understanding about why it’s been so difficult for me to break this habit that really goes against my faith. I came away witht he conviction that I it much more pernicious than I thought, but that it’s also beatable. So, I must dig in deeper. Even as I sit now and type this note, my thoughts floated momentarily to going on a porn site.

        In terms of your comment about your concern that some holy books which have been written by men but have been claimed to be God’s holy word without any human interpretation, I believe that all men can receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, whose only mission is to guide each one of us. Some people call it the rhema word or revelation knowledge.knowledge. I subscribe to the explanation below from the Holy Bible. “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Timothy 1:20-21. Another application of the Holy Spirit is as guide or counselor. Some secular people call it intuition, or a gut feeling or a hunch. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17 I’ll stop here and hope that this has been helpful to you.

        • To All,

          I realized later that this was a Muslim website and it was too late to remove my posting. I do not wish, nor meant, any disrespect by my posting. I am not proselytizing nor evangelizing. I just thought that Mike’s posting was referring to all holy books, and so I responded from my viewpoint.Peace to all.

        • Since my first job, i encountered some cases of porn addiction with some of the relative or friends of the special prople I handled. I have so much time talking through sessions.

    • Brother, May Allah be with you. in respect to ur question. I appriacite it bcos it is reasonable. But reply is all divine books are revealed in order to guide human being for a successful and morally guided life in this world and also achieve eternal bliss in the next world. As u rightly said many so called divine books in the hands of men are alterred but except QURAN It is still guided by it sender but pla read it.

  • I have been in a relationship for a good period of time.
    Me and My Gf would have sex occasionally and everything was great.
    In between our relationship, i bought a laptop and then began watching porn.
    i became addicted to porn as i thought it was nothing serious.

    but after maybe 2 or 3 months when the porn watching began, i tried to have sex with my girlfriend and i could not keep an erection during intercourse.

    Just like this article stated, “the man will often attempt to create his own re-enactments with his wife, which leads to a great disappointment.”

    i built up this crazy standard of what sex should be like in my head and since my sex life was not as what i was watching, i could not function properly.

    This article is very much helpful(( i had no idea what was going on with me, i thought something was going terribly wrong with me, its good to know the science behind the situation)) and should be considered when tempted to watch pornography

    • My friend told me about this website I am stunned to relieze that it is everything I have been going through in my marriage. I wanted sex more than my husband. I would talk about it and this would make him angrier only putting the blame on me more, because my wanting more sex was causing the disinterest. We went to a marriage councilor where there proceeded to be something wrong with me, that I was searching for some emotional connection and focusing too much on sex. When we were intimate sometimes he was unable to complete. We even went as far as testing his testosterone. I continued to blame myself, feel unattractive. Which brings me to last week when I found a porn tape in his brief case, he lied and told me he was using it from a friend. That night was the worst most disconnected intercourse we have ever had. I openly asked him what was wrong. He again told me he was stressed about his new job. Which takes us to the following night when my whole like changed. The momment he told me he was not in love with me, that things where not fun anymore that I am not the same person I used to be. Prior to this we were talking about a dream house and where we wanted to live and how good this new job was for our family. Now I am sitting here wandering who this man is. I also found that the porn did not start 1-2 weeks ago it has be going on for months maybe even years

      • Dear Kartz,

        I’m sorry to hear this, but this way in Islam it says women should cover up and protect their private part except for your husband, In other way yes your husband was cheating on you by watching other women performing sex, this alone means he did have sex with other women indirectly and that’s why he demands a lot from you. I totally feel sick about his act and I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with you ate all, You are wonderful person don’t listen to what he says to you. I will recommend you to learn more about Islam.

    • James, your experience is normally being experienced also by other males. You would even think you regret having started watching with or without the consent of your partner. If she consented about it. You are not the only one having problem. Beside her unsatisfaction, she is being torn apart just holding on to his sincerity of love then in the long run you never know where the relationship will lead too. Although I know a couple who started solving the problem by first communicating with each other, nothing hidden and all with honesty. I have handled cases like yours as a moderator but still the best is the two of you talking about it.

  • Pornography is fantasy. Different scenes present with different women give the illusion of the watcher having a relationship with a new person every time.

    Rather than going into short term memory, where these images can be forgotten after the screen is turned off, the dopamine reinforcement ensures they’re moved into the long-term memory stores where they can be stuck in replay mode in the person’s mind. The troublesome fact about this is that the more something is recalled, the more it solidifies it in the brain.

    On point, best article ever on this topic. And when the person does try to quit, just like a cocaine fiend or an addict of another substance the images and the scenes that were stored in the persons brain are suddenly replayed when they are craving their addiction and have stayed away for some time. Unbelievable..

    • You say its the dopamine. Probable. Some gets bored also and will look for more new that will result to perversion. Thats when the problem starts or ends.l Some because of guilt or other reasons will try to stop, to find out she has to open the favourite site, and every time you say “I will not do it again I promise.” Some say that their consolation is that the intervals became far apart longer. If its chemical, you have to consult a therapist or licensed psychiatrist.

  • asalaam alaikum..

    subhanAllah, this article was such an eye-opener for me in so many ways, mashaAllah! i think it should be said that the word “pornography” in this article can be substituted with a great many other attachments that we humans get hung up on (Facebook, eating, even music, for example).

    Alhamdlillah, it’s a blessing that our Lord’s Mercy overcomes His anger!

    may He help us to overcome our weaknesses and our attachments to other than Him, and give us the strength and determination to defeat out addictions. Ameen.

    • May God bless you sister, for including the “nonsentity” of facebook & these other so called technological in lieu of the addiction problem.

  • This is such a wonderful site indeed. It explains in great detail the process of how porn ensnares the viewer’s thoughts. Truly, one can escape the negative effects of porn if only we turn to Almighty God & choose a life of sobriety over such disruptive fantasies.

  • Great article! Although I am fairly in control, sometimes I do stumble down to addiction and watch porn… If I’m able to go without watching porn, how long do you think it would take before my brain is altered back to a blissful state where I do not lust for pornography? Thanks…

  • I need to get rid of this bad habit.I tried many times and same things happened with me porns starts playing in flashbacks.pics.scenes al sorts of nude stuff in my brain and if i even succeed to stop for couple of days i get depressed frustrated angrily talk with people.really need some good advice .It affects me to focus on my studies.

    • Block all the sites and whenever you get the urge to watch it go for a walk, jog, work out, do something that would keep u busy from thinking about it. At first it’ll be hard but after awhile u’ll be able to come out of it. It worked for my boyfriend, it could work with you too. Give it a try cause these are really just fantasies,they act cos they get paid for it. But what do u get by watching it? Think about it… I hope u’ll be ale to get out of it and focus on ur studies. Good luck!

    • dear barry !!!!

      u just try to control ur self just for 40 days things will be alright then this will need your strong will power that will surely help u to overcome this hazardous problem !!! keep ur mind set for things against this practice !!! whenever u feel need for doing this thing !!! get up and go outside or make ur self busier in other good things

  • My husband and I have been married for three years now, and the 2nd week into marriage I found where he had looked at porn on our computer. It is now 3 years later, and it’s still going on. He said that it is a sin just like me smoking or gambling. I said that no it is different. With smoking and gambling that is hurting myself, but with the porn, he is hurting me. My marriage is over because of porn. He truly makes me sick to my stomach. It ashame that morals are completely gone this day and time.

    • Jennifer,
      I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I have been with my boyfriend for three years and he is also addicted to porn. It has completely ruined our relationship. I no longer have an self confidence or self esteem. He can’t have sex with me because he looses his erection. I know what you mean about being sick to your stomach because when I look at him now that is all that I feel.

    • Jennifer,

      I am sorry to hear this but I still think he will regret one day, again this is what is Islam teaches us moral. Media is the problem everything is available to any one, the society have lost respect for women. Too much watching TV can also cause problem into your marriage live. And this is what is available for our kids. One advice I will give please try it cover your head and go out for a day and see how peaceful you are, try the following day not wearing it add tight jeans which shows your flash, and see how many guys are staring at you.

      I a

  • This article has been somewhat unsettling to me. There are some things that I am believing and other things that I am having a hard time agreeing with. For instance, I find it very interesting and very true that when the images are committed to long term memory it gives a fantasy of having a different woman/man(I would like to hear more about the effects on women) every time. I think that could cause some problems and I think it might have even caused some commitment problems with myself. What I am not agreeing with is how bias this article seems to me. Yes, pornography is fantasy acted out by sexually appealing porn stars, however; the things that they do should not be called unnatural. Regardless of whether or not one watches porn I would think that they would still have their own sexual fantasies locked up inside of their minds only because society says that expressing your sexuality is not okay. What may seem demeaning to one person may be completely satisfying to another “mentally healthy” person. I am offended by your use of that term to be honest. Who are you to say what is Mentally Healthy and what is not especially when it comes to someones very personal sexuality. That’s just my opinion though.
    Thank you for your time and insight.

    • Most porn trains, for lack of a better word, men to believe that women enjoy being degraded. Porn users believe “normal/routine/everyday intercourse” with a wife should be like that seen in the porn. Men who watch porn on a regular basis begin to think it is normal. I think most people would agree that the acts seen in porn are unnatural. The women begging for more and faking orgasm as they are degraded by multiple men? When a man believes that the women in the movies are enjoying themselves and actually reaching orgasm he begins to believe that his partner should enjoy those things as well. He may think that she is lacking when she doesn’t act and react like the women in the movies. That is unnatural. Not the act in the movie, but the expectation that it is the norm. The expectation that every woman does or should do the things seen in porn, and like it. The expectation that every sexual encounter with ones wife needs to be “porn movie worthy” That is unnatural. Is it good to act out a fantasy? Sure, provided that it is done with a consenting partner. Mentally healthy people can tell the difference between a fantasy and real life. In real life you don’t get off every time. In real life sometimes you are tired. In real life you snore. In real life you get interrupted four times because the baby will not stay in bed. In real life women are on their cycle. In real life you don’t answer the door for the pizza man naked and have sex with him. In real life you don’t have sex with your boss at work with his secretary joining in. Come on…. Of course porn is unnatural. If your life is such that a porn seems natural, then quite honestly I feel sorry for you.

    • There is a level of attraction and intimacy that two truly committed people who have never shared the sacred act with anyone else can find that is completely unavailable to those how have. And because they are careful about sharing that part of themselves publicly, it is not talked about. As one wise leader said of premarital sex, (and pornography is certain a form of that, at least virtually):

      “You may come to that truer moment of ordained love, of real union, only to discover to your horror that what you should have saved you have spent, and that only God’s grace can recover the piecemeal dissipation of the virtue you so casually gave away. On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self—clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return.”

  • […] How to Reverse the Way Pornography Changes The Brain by Mohamed Ghilan (Guest Author) Although consuming porn targets the same system in the brain that cocaine addiction does – because the substance is different – the same brain that went through a rewiring due to viewing pornography can also be rewired again. […]

  • I thank you for this article. It helped me in many ways. Should add to this that even though men are targeted in most of these articles as the ones who watch pornography, there are many women who silently do it as well, they are just not open about it. I believe pornography is an addiction and in order to come out of it religion does help a lot. Thank u once again.

  • I’m a stdnt. Evnthoh i gt a lot of advices frm my parnts & othrs, i’m nt able 2 stp ths habit of wuchin porn. I cud cntrl it 4 a day or tu. Aftr tht i go crazy. Ps give any advice tht really helps!

  • Good article! But first I’d like to say, dont’t think it’s an mental illness. Watching porn is very much comparable to smoking, eating crap food, doing drugs or any other addiction offered by society. I’m 34, I have 2 kids and very attractive wife. I got this addiction for time to time over last 10 years. But recently, couple of years ago I had major changes in my life… which lead me to learning more about brain, our preconditions, prefrontal cortex. I found neuroscience fascinating and I’ve finally starting to figure out how we are driven and how our brains function. And then one day I just felt so sorry about what I did over the years. I took away something from my wife… that was the time I was suppose to fill her needs. Sex has been always to me like a primitive need I had to get rid of, like eating or taking crap. What happened was, I got rid of seducing part. All I waned was to get into her pants asap, without any effort. I love my wife but I never really thought about it too much. It was just a sex! She loves and understands me and never said anything about it but now I’m starting to understand what she went through. And I didn’t even saw it’s a problem! Actually I even felt it even helpful in bed, I just didn’t know the reasons back then.
    Like I said, porn is just another bad habit… which eventually might mess up any relationship. It’s like a quick shortcut, skipping erotic and sensual part… giving only the end result. Both sides actually need more than that and without it, it just makes porn addicts searching for new, different stuff to keep up the sexual excitement like any other addiction. That is also why porn is so overabundant in different “tastes”, totally created by audience. Porn producers are looking only for the statistics, pushing women further and further, way past their physical and mental limits. I also think, porn might be only solution for some and in that case I wish them good luck with it. I think it also might help to lower the prostitution little bit, which is way worse in every aspect. Personally I’m glad I got rid of that problem, had enough wasting my life on that. Thanks for the article, it makes sense to me! Wouldn’t call porn addicts mentally ill, though… what makes me understanding today might not be the case on many. Who am I telling them how to live their life. Nothing in this life is addictive, if you don’t want it to be addictive.

  • Insightful comments Doug. By reading this article I realise that I have a problem and that I should do something about it before I lose my girlfriend and loved ones. I also never thought watching Porn would do something to me, but when In got involved in a relationship my girlfriend highlighted this to me and made me realise that I have been de-sensitised to porn and that I cannot go a day without watching at least a bit of porn… This is not healthy! I don’t want to end up in a failed marriage where I have hurt my partner and hurt myself even more. I am going to stop, immediately. Wish me luck, and those of you who want, say a prayer for me!

  • Gary:

    Good luck. I applaud you for your decision, and I am praying for you to succeed in your efforts to stop this destructive and damaging habit. I can only wish my partner had the same motivation as you, but he does not see anything wrong with it.

    I just discovered the extent of his “porn addiction” recently, and am learning what I can about it. It has been absolutely traumatizing for me. Please get your girlfriend involved in your recovery, if you can, and trust her with your fears and your hopes. That is the stuff of which intimacy is made.

    Amy

    • Thanks Amy. My girlfriend is involved and she was the one that brought the problem to my attention. I also didn’t think their was anything wrong with porn, but the problem comes that you get completely entranced by it, you get excited by the eroticism and it breeds in your mind long after you have watched it. If the fantasy becomes more exciting than the reality then it becomes a problem long term and will influence your relationship. I am probably lucky in that I have someone that understands my problem, but trust me it is not easy. Whenever she brought it up, I felt angry and went on the defensive, but I have realise that she only wants what is good for me and whether I stay with her long term or not, I have to sort this out for myself in order to live a happy life :)

      I am sorry to hear about your partner, I think this issue effects a lot more men in the world then people believe. My advise to you is to try and be understanding and forgiving to your partner. Try to make him understand what this does to you and how it effects him, try and say these things in as kind a way as possible. Try your best, but if he still doesn’t wan’t to understand or at least try, then you should move on…

      Best of luck, I will say a prayer for you too.

        • O I am sorry but what if the partner is being an addict to this porn evil since childhood, and for him it doesnt matter how much he is intentionally and unintentionally causing to the spouse!

  • I love this article. Indeed, Allah has mentioned in al Quran in surah an Nuur(24):30 “Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.’ and it is all depends on our attitude. The will of change is on ourselves. In surah al Anfal:53 “For Allah will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in themselves: and verily Allah is He Who hears and knows (all things).” Truly, al Quran contains all the guidance to all of us. Subhanallah.

  • SUBAHANAALLAH !
    JAZAKUMULLAH !

    this should be brought to mainstream..imagine our kids going through this..May ALLAH SWT save us all..Ameen Ya Rabb !

    I mean..i have not come across this topic discuss on the television yet..this is sad..my first porn is way back 1981 huhuhu.

  • As we have identified the problem , we need to find how to cure this problem.

    I think following consideration should help both believers and non -believers in God to control their addiction.

    1. Lowering your gaze at opposite sexes.
    2. Avoid mingling with opposite sexes.
    3. Avoiding unnecessary chats with opposite sexes.
    4. Avoid going nights clubs where hitting on women is socially acceptable in western countries.

    Thanks for the wonderful article. It was like a direct revelation on me from GOD.

    Thanks

  • Exactly what’s been happening in my life.. Am an 18 year old studying A very tough course in commerce and all I could think off before exams was porn..
    I tried blocking porn fully
    But then it was as if all the porn in the world was in my mind..
    I didn’t need Internet porn anymore coz its all in my mind..
    Excellent article may god help me

  • I have a friend who is trying to stop porn addiction. Although I was unaware, porn contributes to problems with sexual performance and is now considered to be a cause of ED in men in their twenties and thirties.
    My friend is now trying a few websites to block porn so that he cannot get around them. A few useful sites are coldturkey.com, using the timer as it cannot be undone, and selfcontrol is one for mac (has a few more challenges though) I am looking at some alternatives such as netnanny.com as well.
    Although the article does an excellent job of explaining the issue, how to resolve this type of addiction is left a little by the wayside. I hope someone can find use of these sites to help them “reboot” their brain. If anyone else has better suggestions on ways a single man can block this on his computer so that it cannot be undone, esp for a MAC, please respond. Thanks

    • There is also something like DNS server block that you can put straight on your modem so that no matter what device uses that internet it will block porn sites.

  • thks for this article. am a young lady who is beginning to get addicted to porn. from this article i know the long time effects and how it all really works and since am reading biochemistry in school i can really understand what exactly goes on in our minds when we watch porn. am working hard on breaking this new found habit of mine and by GOD’s grace i know i can stop it.
    AMEN.

    • Hi Lisa, I totally understand you (been there type of deal). All I can say is that it doesn’t get better, it does start feeling hallow and empty. And when we get a real guy… not nice at all..

  • As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

    I am so happy this subject has been discussed. One of the biggest reasons why this has literally grown into a worldwide epidemic is because it is never discussed seriously and it is played off as a phase in your life. That is not the reality. This is especially a huge problem for the Muslim community because these particular matters are never discussed and addressed openly or even privately, leaving individuals isolated like lost sheep from their herd, and you know who’s waiting for them like a ravage wolf–shaytan.

    I really appreciate the article but I think it leaves people with a very scary reality. For those addicted to pornography, I would not be surprised if this article really scared and you ended up watching pornography right afterwards.

    VERY IMPORTANT: If you are addicted to pornography, then you have to seek help. You cannot deal with this alone. There are millions of people in the same boat as you. They are stuck in the belly of the whale, lost and confused, in many layers of darkness. There are many resources available online alhamdulillah. The first one is the first Muslim-based program founded by Zeyad Ramadan called Purify Your Gaze, and the next website to visit is Fight the New Drug, which is a movement aimed to raise awareness on porn and help people recover.

    Please, from the bottom of my heart, I implore my beloved brothers and sisters who are suffering from this addiction to utilize these resources. Ask Allah (SWT) for guidance first and foremost and then step out of your comfort zone and check out these resources. The journey to recovery will not be easy but you will learn so many valuable gems about yourself, and inshaAllah, you will become the beautiful person you are meant to be.

    May Allah (SWT) guide all of us to what is best for us. Ameen.

  • This problem contributes to dysfunction in men, so its not unusual for men in their twenties and thirties to now have issues and to seek medical help, but not all of the medical community or urologists ask the right questions. For any man who has tried to quit porn and has not been able, it is an addiction.

  • This is an interesting topic. Well, actually I am one of porn’s victim. But luckily I never having a sex until now. What I feel of porn effect, as you said, decreasing brain performance. I was brilliant’s once, but now I feel like a pathetic pervert. Do you have any suggestion to recover and regain brain’s performance ? Or is there a therapy for it ? Or recommended food ? Please give your help. Thank you

  • Hello,
    It was quite beneficial text for whole humanity if we consider that the porn industry is even bigger than music’s. But for the Muslim young people, The order of living in this century is somehow really hard. According to Hadith of Prophet Mohammed as i know, getting married as soon as possible is good after we get enough aged. This period was age of 18 during my dad and maybe less on previous descents. But for us now studying university, finding job, making money to get married makes us 30 years old to get married so there is big vain for this generation on this subject. I think it’s one of the biggest problems of muslim youth now. Well order of this century neither complies with Muslim perception and order of sexlife nor with orderly biological healthy sexlife if we consider not getting married till 30. so what must be done about this big problem? what are your thoughts to make this problem clear for muslim community?

  • A great article. I myself have consumed porn for years without even realizing the destructive effects it has over the short and long term, or realizing that I was addicted to it. The culture of the west in particular has such a casual attitude towards it it’s almost regarded as normal. Imagine having access to literally any type of sexual scene played out in virtually unlimited quantities at the click of a button. At no time in human history has this occurred. What a dreadful allure for millions even billions of men around the world, aided in many countries by the almost complete acceptance of it by the prevailing culture. Many poor men simply don’t stand a chance against it. And since it is still a relatively recent phenomenon the full impact on society has not yet been felt. Research has suggested that the average age that children start viewing porn is now 11 or 12 years

    I was at least fortunate enough to start much later than this since the internet was not available to me until I was older. What a blessing and curse the internet been. Pornography basically needs to be made illegal. But there is far to much money in it for that to happen in most countries. The UK are now considering automatically blocking porn at the ISP by default, unless specifically ask to unblock by individual users.

    • I would like to add of course some women suffer from this too, but I think most are in agreement that it affects men to a greater extent.

  • Watching porn or being a part of it in any way is indeed the most traumatic reality. It not only leaves the watcher in heavy losses but also adds a great deal of misery and distraught in the lives of the people they are living with especially the wives of such men have to pay huge losses in terms of disgrace, distrust, distress and much more at every fraction of the second. But sadly they are left with no room to rebuilt themselves because their pornographic partner has nothing good in store for them. Such men most of the time treat their wives as if they were married only to get abused by their husband’s pornographic lust. My sympathies are with every such person who no matter belongs to any religion and are living a life more like hell because of their partner’s dirty choices as such people are not have not lost their sanity yet and still say a clear no to what their porn addicted partner claims and believes as naturally their due right.

    May ALLAH ALMIGHTY Guide all of us towards what is really pure, legal and upright in every walk of life. Amen

  • This entire article needs an entire giant [Needs citation] stamped over it. There are so many horribly inaccurate and uncited “facts” in this blog post, it is cringe-worthy to an actual scientist.

  • I have lot of things that I want to accomplish, which requires everyday effort. I can hardly try to work on them for 3-4 days and nothing but this thing comes to my mind and pushes me to turn it on. I think my mind is not as focused as it used to be. I am ruining myself, literally. But as this article suggests, if I can stay away from it for a period of time I can start to hate it again, I will work on it from now on. I see too many religious people commenting here, I ask all of you to pray for me.

  • Yes, all will pray for you, He hears the prayers of whoever prays in earnest, regardless of the faith they profess and claim to be the only real truth. We pray and He hears. Then the angels of the One Supreme Being can utilise the very prayers for you because they are real targeted prayers of vital force, and also because your desire to rise and be free is also very real.

    You fight a force, living and yet not living, which seeks to keep you in misery, it seeks to make you ashamed, it seeks moreso if possible to destroy you, to take you down lower and lower, like a gruesome vile degenerated gremlin filled with hatred and loathing, desiring only to bring others down because of its own depraved nature.

    So how will you shake this off, this creature which seeks to strangle you? You have accomplishments in mind, so seek higher things for those accomplishments, even more worthy aspirations, raising those meaningful achievements.

    This power has mesmerised you, it holds you for hours and it fools you to think that you were only going to think about it once for a short while, but you lost every time. And it left you worse off than before you started, worse even yet because it has beaten you again.

    So relax, think with your mind only and not with your eyes, the exact condition and time it starts.

    Then in your mind speed through the treacherous waste of good time to the end where you find yourself dejected, even frightened to have spent hours of precious time powerless to stop the final misery.

    Then do this practice again, and a third time, each time speeding up from beginning to end.

    Then the fourth time, remember where the episode starts and go straight to the end without passing through the middle – in your mind.

    Then the fifth time as soon as the feeling starts, stamp your foot down, you have had enough! Instead, do something constructive, something you can feel good about, something progressive.

    At set times and at random times, use this type of learning practice of the mind which informs you about the process which is used by the foul fiend to ruin your future.

    If you do this enough you will find that your will to shake off the monster is strong enough after all, and he will be gone. You can do it, you need to do it, you need to learn how you are used by malevolence to take you through the process of self-deprecation which leaves you loathing yourself. You have had enough of this behaviour, have you? Do you want to win sweet freedom enough?

    So once you have defeated the monster, be aware that after a time he will be waiting for you to lower your defences, and if you are not careful he will creep onto your back and entwine his tendrils into your soul again. But this time you know you can throw him away. In time he will know he is beaten, he cannot have your soul any more. With your desire for freedom, with God and with His angels, your strength is too powerful for any ghoul – the phantom shall have you no more!

    Be strong…

    • I appreciate your effort of counselling me. I have read your comment today (6th January, 2014). But I was able to stay away from it for over a month now. May be because of you guy’s prayers. I think your steps of fighting the evil being could really help. I will keep them in mind for next attack. :)
      Please continue your prayers for me.

      • Hey Sam we really are with you, praying and wanting your victory. There is a site that was mentioned, http://www.fightthenewdrug.org and they have an amzing (and totally clean) video, it’s good cause there are no porn triggers in it and it puts it in a new light, lots of young people, saying this is my body, I can do what I want to it and I’m not going to make it watch that.

  • well iam glad that such aweb site belong to muslim and i think this article showing truth to people from all world the nature of pornography and addiction and great dicussion that i read from all persons here was so great.i think that this is the true jihad(struggling yourself to be better) leaving poronography and be better man ,engaging in activites benefit humanities.lastly thanks and allah make u better

  • I m having a long distance relationship, So I used to share talks about porn,later on we found its an evil so we no more do that.

  • Quoted from early in the article

    “Different scenes present with different women give the illusion of the watcher having a relationship with a new person every time. These “stars” subject themselves to different demeaning sexual practices by the men in the scenes. The acts in their totality are detestable to most mentally healthy people”

    First; fantasy does not necessarily mean “relationship”. Not in the sense I get from the author. Sexual relationship, yes, but not a human interaction of a love and life.

    Second; The acts assumed by the author are demeaning and detestable. To what acts may the author be referring? Pornography that depicts two people having intercourse seems pretty ‘normal’ to me. But that is probably not what Mohammed is referring to.

    His remarks seem to be religiously biased from early in the article and base the rest of the article on the two points listed above. I can see his point of view if I keep in mind that any sexual act portrayed in any medium represents a relationship and is a detestable act. If not, the entire article is biased and less than factual.

  • Solid article! I’ve mostly managed to beat my porn addiction but I’ve developed a pretty low mood as a result. I think it’s from all the porn that I downloaded into my brain growing up. I should probably do more to fill up my senses with more positive experiences such as going to the beach, playing sports, etc. Or maybe I just need to get married! Does anyone else have this problem, where they’ve managed to quit but have a low mood as a result?

  • This is terrible. You are saying the harm in pornography is in the creation of unrealistic expectations while introducing sexual variation with one’s wife. But variation is healthy. Unrealistic expectations are what is harmful, whether in the bedroom or out.

    It is true that some people have a hard time distinguishing fantasy from reality. Such people lead unhappy lives of continual disappointment, whether from expecting their wife to be many women, or expecting a prophet or messiah to save them from themselves. The answer is to strive to mental health. Pornography by itself has no role in such self-improvement, and does no harm to those who are well-balanced.

  • Those who are addicted to porn, please read this
    If you can fight the evil who is within yourself,
    then you are the true hero.
    Things will be hard only for few days or a month
    then you are successful, I swear this
    Seek protection from that from your one & only God who is
    always with you.

  • I think this is an excellent and interesting article with the exception of the religious connotations. Neuroplasticity means that if we stop doing something negative then we can avoid negative issues

    • Dave,
      I’m not asking this bc of what I believe. Your comment just brought up this question in my head. Aside from religious reasons (morality), why would watching porn be negative?

  • […] 1.) Assuming porn addiction is just how men are wired: Normalizing problems of a certain part of the Western population in a very peculiar time and culture as ‘this is how men are wired. Get used to it.’ is not the way to go. Men are not wired into being addicted to what is called ‘porn’ in our time and culture and in the very myopic way a certain subculture frames our human sexuality in a very narrow and unhealthy way. Porn addiction means that persons (male or female) are conditioned to like it and neuroplastically deformed into it. […]

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