STEPHEN MURNANE | EVERGREEN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
According to psychologists, interest in BDSM might be caused by the porn you watch.
Collin Hansen, a life and health counselor associate, has his own psychology practice in Vancouver, Washington. Hansen focuses his practice on pornography addiction in men. He said the brain isn’t fully formed until your 20s, so watching porn could change the way your brain develops.
“Your brain is plastic,” he said. “By having new experiences and evaluating [the experiences], you tend to solidify them.”
Pornography adds an unrealistic approach to sex, Hansen said. Pornography exposes you to certain things and makes you feel that you are expected to perform like the actors in the pornography video. This makes pornography in general an issue, he said.
Hansen said the internet allows anyone to search for anything. People watch whatever makes them happy. Though it could change your brain, pornography today is easily accessible and easy to hide.
“If you don’t want your family to see what you are into – you just clear the history,” Hansen said.
Hansen compared pornography and expectations during actual performance to Pavlov’s dogs.
In Pavlov’s experiment, the dogs saw food after hearing a bell. The dogs, in response to seeing the food, salivated as an automatic, unconditioned response. When they connected the sound of the bell to food, they began salivating to the sound of the bell – thinking food would follow – even when food was not there.
A similar process happens with pornography, Hansen said. As people watch sex on screens, they masturbate to the screen. This then makes the person horny when they see the screen and think about watching pornography on the electronic device.
“When people then have sex in general, they can have erectile dysfunction,” Hansen said. “They can’t perform, and then become frustrated.”
This frustration can become an act of violence. Which is why some people notice some form of psychopathic tendencies in relation to pornography, he said.
Porn is a flashier form of sex, it is super sex, Hansen said. It trains the body and mind to react to specific stimuli that might make real-life sex dull without the intense sensations of pain.
Hansen would recommend that people tone down their porn addiction to focus on human interaction instead.