Your brain’s real craving isn’t for porn, but dopamine. Porn just happens to provide a lot of that.
The over-stimulating nature of pornography overloads the dopamine receptors in your brain, dulling their sensitivity and reducing them in number. This is the cause of many of the porn-related symptoms that people deal with: erectile dysfunction, social anxiety, depression, preferring porn to real-live sex.
Detoxing your brain from porn brings all the dials down to normal and you’ll begin experiencing higher satisfaction in other areas of your life.
The reason you can’t stop looking at porn is because you’ve created a strong habit in the reward part of your brain. Whenever you encounter a porn-related cue, you go on auto-pilot and begin your routine of acting out in order to experience the rewarding effects of dopamine associated with your porn habit.
Charles Duhigg has done amazing research on how habits work. All of his research comes down to what he calls the Habit Loop.
We’ll spend multiple lessons looking at your cues (triggers is another common term) and what to do about them.
For now, what’s important to understand is that this circle is the thing that keeps you coming back to pornography again and again. Porn isn’t a sinister monster. It’s sexual junk food. We’ll go to work at hacking your habit loop and becoming “the kind of person that doesn’t look at porn.”