Have you experience morphing porn tastes?

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Submitted by Marnia on
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As you know, Gary and I try to speak out to sexologists about the severe symptoms you guys are facing with today's ever-novel Internet porn at your fingertips. One of these symptoms is porn tastes that escalate into genres that were previously of no interest.

To this end, we put up a post on "Psychology Today" called "Rethinking Ogas and Gaddam's 'A Billion Wicked Thoughts.' Then Ogas himself took us to task in The Truth about 50 Shades of Grey and Futanari Porn. We think he misunderstood our point, so we wrote our latest post: 'A Billion Wicked Thoughts' Is Only A Snapshot.

If any of you have experienced this escalation phenomenon, could you visit our most recent post and tell your story? The experts are having trouble catching up with the reality of what you guys are going through Thanks.


**May contain triggers**

Hi Marnia,

"Only in the last five years have we been hearing self-reports of the severe symptoms we write about: sexual performance problems, morphing sexual tastes, uncharacteristic social anxiety, lack of attraction to 3-D potential mates, and so forth."

I totally agree with you that the research needs to catch up with the reality, the conditions described above are exactly my experience, despite being a user for over 10 years. My own personal history of escalation is definitely not one that I'm proud of, but I have understood so much better since I've found this community.

I remember when I first started looking at porn, I was a teenager (I'm 28 now) who was deftly able to outsmart my parents by simply erasing my Internet history on the family computer. At that time, high speed wasn't available yet and I remember waiting for still images to load so I could just look at them. I remember getting this terrific feeling, kind of tingly and anxious but in a good way, whenever I was able to sneak a peak. I know now that this was the dopamine rush, but at the time, I assumed it was a natural feeling you were supposed to get when getting aroused, which I guess in some ways, was true. I found myself starting to look forward to the times the house would be empty so I could look for more.

One thing to note is that at this point, in the beginning, a totally vanilla still image was more than enough for my adolescent brain to enjoy. The rush from a simple image of a woman posed suggestively in her underwear was simply fantastic, and I was able to store that in my mind for future use when I was alone. Around the time I turned 18, I developed a serious relationship with a girl and although we would sometimes look at porn during foreplay, it was very much a non-issue and nothing like the feeling I got from being with her.

A few years later, we broke up and I moved into my own place with high-speed internet and an awful lot of time to myself, not to mention I felt quite lonely after the breakup. I can say that this is when the problem of escalation really began for me. At first, I would look for short clips of basically vanilla porn, but these would be movies instead of images. As time went on, I found ways to download entire movies and stream short previews from websites, all the while still enjoying the rush I found and my new favorite pastime


I'm only writing this because of the anonymity - I'm really embarrassed and totally ashamed about the next phase I'm about to describe, but I recognize now what happened in me and people need to know so that it doesn't happen to them. It was during this time that I started to go through a period of change in myself. I was quite popular at University, and I partied a lot, but an ever-increasing amount of my time was spent online engaged in PMO. I even had a girlfriend, but when she wasn't around, that's what I did.

Around this time, I found that the regular stuff wasn't cutting it anymore, and that's when I started to explore some further regions of the Internet. I started to watch videos of sexual activities that included some rougher stuff, and only then did I start to get that feeling back that I used to get back when I was a teenager first looking at porn. At first, I just thought that I was more naturally inclined on a sexual level to just simply be turned on by that stuff, but I recognize now that my brain was becoming desensitized and needed more of a dopamine release to get me turned on.

I should mention that by that point, I started to feel that I didn't think I would like it if any of my friends were to find out about my little secret, so I took great care to cover my tracks. I was always nervous when a friend or girlfriend was using my computer. One time, a friend even commented to me that he had accidentally stumbled upon a porn video on my computer and he said that he was quite surprised at what I was watching, and he even mentioned it to my then-girlfriend. It was incredibly awkward- I played it off, but didn't stop there.

It was at this time that I began to notice I was developing ED. At first, I couldn't maintain an erection whenever I was using a condom, but I attributed that to mostly performance anxiety and/or being drunk. The thought of PMO and ED being related was non-existent, although it's painfully obvious now. As time went on and I continued to PMO to rougher stuff, though, the ED got worse and worse. It reached a point where I could no longer keep an erection with no condom, sober, and with a comfortable girlfriend, and it was at this point I got my first prescription to Viagra. Imagine how I felt then - walking out of a doctors office at 24 years old with that. It was secretly humiliating, and of course only masked the symptom of whatever the problem was, but it did let me be able to have sex again.

This was the beginning my a 3-4 year period that marks the worst in my life. Although I was succeeding academically and later, occupationally, my personal life was in total disarray. I hit a really difficult period of depression, shame, and worthlessness that felt like a trap I just couldn't escape. Being a chronic suffered of ED at such a young age was tearing me apart inside,and the worst part was that I had NO IDEA what was the problem. I thought it could be a testosterone deficiency, performance anxiety, poor diet, or a number of other things. I approached several doctors and counselors - none of them provided me an answer I couldn't already find on the Internet. I just felt so terrible inside, and I felt as though I wasn't able to have a relationship because sex was no longer an option for me without drugs.

I had developed some very unhealthy patterns by this point. I started smoking weed much, much more - at first daily, and then many times a day. I also started to PMO much more frequently, and to much more noticeably rougher stuff. In fact, I was spending most evenings at home alone engaged in PMO because I was so depressed, and the rougher stuff was no longer working for me. I then started looking at video that contained non-consensual/reluctance sexual activities, and although it was never anything illegal, I was so utterly and totally ashamed of it. I hated it. I could not believe that these situations that totally disgusted me and shamed me were getting me off. Worse yet, I couldn't stop looking for them. I would spend time at work thinking about more effective ways to get to them, and looked forward to getting home to find them. Disgusting.

This was probably the darkest stage of my own personal PMO addiction, and like it was written in the quote above, was within the last five years and therefore outside of the research. I was always known as being the life of the party and a very comfortable social person before, but by this point, I was totally the opposite. I could no longer even look women in the eye, much less talk to them at all. I always felt like a total creep, and I think they picked up on it. I was always very irritable, tired, and secretly depressed. I became very isolated, and my life consisted mostly of going to school/work, while less and less so socializing. When I did go out, I would binge drink until I became angry and eventually blacked out. Additionally, I was totally uninterested in developing any kind of romantic relationship, and my libido was non-existent. I really began to dislike women, and always held a condescending attitude toward them. I didn't want to have sex with any of them. In fact, I went through an uncharacteristically long dry spell of about 3 years before I even found someone I like. Girls didn't want me, and I didn't want them. It was at this point I was PMOing most frequently, and with escalating tastes. Dark times, indeed.

About two years ago, I met a girl and we began to date. One of the things that drew me to her was that I found out she was especially fond of the type of scenarios that I particularly enjoyed watching on the Internet. This would've been fantastic for my addiction-riddled brain if not for one problem - ED. At first, I was secretly taking pills to prevent it, but they eventually stopped working.

This was a major turning point in my PMO addiction. We became close, and I eventually confided in her that I suffered from ED, that I was secretly taking Viagra on a near-daily basis, and that I had no idea at all what was causing it or what to do. I was totally, utterly humiliated. At first she was understanding and wanted to help me, but she left me a week or two later. It was at this point that I discovered YBOP and this community while trying to find the cause of my ED that none of the doctors could explain.

Things are much, much better now because I've made a number of life changes. Most importantly, I've realized my PMO addiction and taken steps to overcome it. I no longer watch any porn at all, and MO as infrequently as I can manage. Exercise, dietary changes, plans for when I feel vulnerable to relapse, mediation, writing in my journal, and being active in this community have all been tremendous help in overcoming this addiction. I've found someone I love to be with, and last year after confiding in her, I stopped taking Viagra and eventually had successful sex without it. ED is still barely present sometimes, although always ever decreasing and what I attribute much of that to is leftover performance anxiety. I no longer feel this under-the-rug condescending attitude toward women, and I have absolutely no problem now looking them in the eye and smiling while I make jokes and keep a personable conversation. In fact, my problem now is that girls are trying to keep my attention and spend too much time with me (Sorry ladies, I'm taken Wink ), even girls I knew a couple of years ago who wanted nothing to do with me. I crack jokes with the best of them in social situations, and my phone is constantly buzzing with texts from people who want to hang out. Guys ask me for girl advice, and girls talk to me about personal stuff. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in, both mentally and physically, and the reason for so much of this is because I've given up my addiction. I wish I hadn't wasted to much of my valuable time and life staring at a computer screen, but looking forward, I feel so much more confident in myself knowing that I have overcome this (for the most part).

In summary, for me this escalation phenomenon has been very much real, and I feel as though the effects of such mentioned at the start of this post are totally a consequence of that escalation. My problems seemed to get much worse over the years as the escalation increased, and those same problems have all but disappeared once I realized PMO was the problem and started making the lifestyle changes to fix it. I would encourage anyone who recognizes those same symptoms of escalation I've written about in themselves to start taking steps to stop it before things get worse, because they will only get harder to fix the longer you put it off.

Marnia, this post was much longer than I intended it to be, however, I hope some or all of it is what you were looking for. Best of luck to anyone else out there struggling with the same problems.

"All progress through struggle"


Thanks for taking the time

I'll be sure to post it where it can do the most good. I'll also make it into a rebooting account. I had you on my list already for one of those. Good

I'm not expecting the "debate" with Ogas to be resolved. Who knows how many guys are experiencing this and for how long the phenomenon has been severe enough to be detectable? I just know that to continue to rely on O&G's analysis as evidence that porn tastes remain unchanging is very unwise for us humans. That's precisely what Seltzer did, without realizing that things have changed "out there."

What's even scarier is that we think we're seeing another trend: The earlier a guy starts on highspeed, the faster he develops severe symptoms. As you point out, you couldn't start with highspeed because it wasn't available. This is no longer the case. Those kids never get a taste of "normal" or "real girlfriend highs." So they don't even know what they're trying to get back to. And that's one reason their reboots take so long. Their brains didn't develop those pathways. *sigh* This is not fair to them, and O&G's book is a loud voice helping to block out their experience and make them feel like rare freaks. How rare are they? Thousands of guys are reporting the same problems across the Web.

The "immutability of sexual tastes" is one of the cornerstones of the sexologists' bible. If it were true, porn could never hurt anyone because their tastes would have been estabished in utero and be set in stone.  It's also a convenient cornerstone for pedophiles, because they can argue that kids aren't being harmed by their...(non-violent) attentions. And, of course, it's great for quieting the religious extremist views of homosexuality.

I will soon  be putting up another post about this "sacred cow" (sexual immutability), which is starting to look a little wobbly. There's a new review out by a gay researcher who is strongly making the point that sexual conditioning is real because of brain plasticity. He's careful to carve out a safety zone for rainbow folk, of course, but some of his review definitely points to tastes being affected by external events, especially during key developmental periods. Pfaus_Sexual_Reward_2012.pdf

In short, cattle-tipping time is on the way - but will first meet with a lot of resistance from those who have invested their reputations in the wobbly cornerstone. Hopefully, now that humanity has the "let's be more tolerant of each other" piece down  (because everyone has been watching the same extreme porn...), it's time to take a more objective look at the factors that can condition human sexuality and educate everyone how vulnerable our brains are.

Guess this is a bit of a tangent. Anyway, thanks a lot for your time and effort. It's so great to hear that you're so much better.

*big hug*


Thanks so much

BrittleB, thanks for putting your journey into words. And so well. We can all learn from each other.

Isn't it amazing how when you are most willing to go to that most vulnerable place, as a guy, that things really start to look up? It's contrary to everything that we are taught.

I've actually read this book

One of the things that struck me was that, according to the book, the most widely searched age group for men was 16-year-olds.

I definitely found that porn caused me to be attracted to younger and younger women. When I was in my early twenties, I didn't have this kind of youthful focus; I was just attracted to attractive women. But with the internet porn escalating, I found I almost exclusively looked at teen porn. And while I avoided any underaged pornography, in my daily life, I often would look at underaged teenage girls with a lot of desire. This brings with it a lot of shame and feelings of being a pervert. I haven't really overcome those feelings entirely, but it helps being PMO free.

Thanks for sharing your experience

Porn use is truly a form of roulette. Ya just never know where you might end up. One thing is certain: the more a particular brain "wires up" to things, the more work to do unwiring.

Remember, the part of the brain that drives this type of wiring doesn't care about "appropriateness of content." It only cares about magnitude of neurochemical buzz. So be gentle with yourself. It might just as easily have been tranny-granny porn. Wink

It's great that you're steering for your freedom.


I would suggest that the

I would suggest that the narrowing of tastes is a sign on "escalation" and "novelty seeking." In my porn watching days, I never did get into anything too extreme. But I do remember going through different phase, such as only asian porn, which escalated into only japanese porn. Or only 70's porn, to zeroing in on a particular actress, and watching only videos by her.