In men, there are five primary chemicals involved in sexual arousal and response. The one that likely plays the most significant role in pornography addiction is dopamine, your brain’s primary reward and pleasure neurotransmitter. Every reward you get increases the level of dopamine transmission in your brain, and a variety of addictive drugs and stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, act directly on dopamine transmission.
Dopamine surges when you get exposed to novel stimuli, particularly of a sexual nature. Since erotic imagery like porn triggers more dopamine than sex with a familiar partner, exposure to pornography leads to something called “arousal addiction” and teaches the brain to prefer the image and become less satisfied with real-life sexual partners.
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