Why Do I Find Porn More Exciting Than A Partner? (our latest Psychology Today post)

Submitted by gary on



That's where "wiring" to healthy natural rewards come in. Wheter it's socializing, sports, bowling, dancing. Same loop is formed. Healthy addictions is the lay term, but not exactly accurate.

The problem is not porn, it

The problem is not porn, it is (excessive) masturbation.

I am sure of this because I suffer from same problem despite never being into porn. On the other hand I have been masturbating on a daily basis for over 15 years.

I keep emphasizing this because there are many who quit porn but masturbate regularly - and then get disappointed when they do no see the results they expect.

Do you think it is the same

Do you think it is the same problem to a lesser extent or just a problem period? The world would be very different if no one masturbated and instead sought out partners. Animals masturbate sometimes, though perhaps for different reasons.

I think masturbation is a

I think masturbation is a problem of its own . Although I have no proof to justify this - I believe we(humans) are masturbating at a very high frequency in the last 20-30 years compared to the years before that. The reasons for this are numerous - easier access to porn, social acceptance of masturbation as a necessity as opposed to being a religious taboo, studies funded by pharmaceuticals (which just want to increase drug sales ) claiming masturbation is a healthy habit though there's no real proof etc. Also our social structure has changed over the years/decades which I believe has contributed to this. In the past, one typically started looking for a mate/relationship in teenage years and got married around the age of 20-25, so not much time after puberty to be single unlike today.

You brought about any interesting point about animal masturbation. I did a quick google and it seems even though some animals do masturbate -
1. Their frequency is no where as close to humans (in one case it was 2 in 2 years and even that was in the presence of female)
2. Masturbation was observed more in animals in captivity (pets,zoo etc ) than those in the wild.
So it would seem that animals tend to masturbate when you take them out of natural setting - but disclaimer, I need to do more research on this point before I can come to a convincing conclusion.

The only time I've seen this

The only time I've seen this was a Barbary Macaque monkey in Gibraltar. Those humans make them anxious. I wasn't quick enough with the camera. He was looking at me queer (humor folks...no offense meant). He gave up seemingly out of boredom and moved on.

The problem is

whatever the problem is for you. Sensitization occurs with all addictions, so if you have a masturbation addiction, or a sex addiction, or a food addiction, or drug addiction it's the same process. Our article focused on porn addiction.

Agreed Gary. However porn

Agreed Gary. However porn addiction is almost always accompanied by masturbation addiction. Overcoming porn addiction while still masturbating regularly to fantasies will not solve the problem IMO as the brain is still desensitized.

Most guys

have to cut out masturbation too for a while to reboot, so you make a good point.

More on the excessive frequency of masturbation today below. We were amazed to discover that current assumptions are pretty shaky actually:

Ejaculation: How Often for Good Health?

Masturbation, Fantasy and Captivity

WEIRD Masturbation Habits

Today’s ejaculation advice may be wrong for our species


And well written. Thanks Gary. Especially the bit about the PFC and glutamate. I thought the PFC was on my side, but during my last relapse, I could have sworn my PFC was against me... and it turns out it was. What part of our brain is the desire to quit the addiction coming from... PFC or more holistic?

the brain will never

understand the brain. It's too complex. And many of the old models are dying. For example memories are nowhere specific, yet everywhere, and can change location. Does that sentence even make sense? No. Don't ask me to explain.

To answer your question, the desire to quit involves both the PFC and the reward circuit.

The PFC is the seat of willpower, planning, ability to foresee consequences, long range goals. But the reward circuit supplies the dopamine to reward you as you envision the goal – no ED, great sex, free of addiction, more mojo.

Addiction leads to
1) Less dopamine – whose job it is to keep you focused on your ultimate goal. Less dopamine, means less motivation to quit.
2) Hypofrontality, a weakened frontal cortex. Which makes it hard to resist cravings.