Science explains why we can’t stop watching porn

All right, Internet. Time for some #RealTalk. It’s time to get a little lesson in our love of all things porn—or, more importantly, why we can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.

Thanks to the whip-smart biological scholars at asapSCIENCE, the world can finally revel in an informative, digestible, entirely safe-for-work tutorial in what exactly is going through a person’s brain when he or she watches Internet pornography. You’ll also learn why the adult-entertainment industry’s unbelievable excess, and our addiction to it—porn-related queries account for 25 percent of our online searches—has made it such that certain people in this world are now finding their mates less attractive.

The whole quandary comes down to the tolerances and the release of dopamine, which the duo of Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown detail rather scientifically midway through the clip. As for the tolerance, the two spell it out quite clearly.

“With prolonged exposure, your tolerance is increased, and many find themselves addicted. Though it’s not a physical substance, it leads to the same general loss of control, the compulsiveness to seek out activity despite negative consequences, and withdrawal when it goes away—much like that of gambling or running.” 

“The issue,” the two explain, is that “continued exposure can cause longterm or lifelong neural-plastic change in the brain.”

And so we’re left thinking that the only sex that’s legitimately enticing anymore is the kind that involves whips and chains.

Fortunately, there’s a remedy for this affliction, one that exercises the idea that the brain operates on a “use it or lose it” system.

“The neural connections you stimulate grow stronger and desire to be activated while the ones you ignore become weakened, much like your muscles, which, if sitting still all day, itch for activity, but after prolonged non-use become complacent,” Moffit explains.

“The same neural-plastic system that proliferates these habits can also be used to acquire healthier ones.”

Which is to say that the brain you use to make sense of that weird porn you’re watching can be the same one that helps you tune out. 

Photo via Jenna Jameson/Facebook