Pornography: The Salted Caramel Ice Cream of Sex (Opinion)

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Addiction, Brain Science, Pornography Laws

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Ethlie Ann Vare

October 22, 2012

Find original article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethlie-ann-vare/porn-addiction_b_2001888.html

David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, posits in his book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, that the modern food industry intentionally layers fat, sugar and salt in its products to trigger our craving for more food. “They aren’t selling just any commodity,” says Kessler. “They’ve designed highly stimulating products, substances that excessively activate the reward circuits of the brain, and consumers come back for more.” The end result is a population in a desperate, lifelong battle to control its ballooning weight — much like Kessler himself.

This is the scientific basis for banning 64-ounce sodas in New York City movie theaters. Junk food doesn’t just take advantage of the food addict. It turns us into food addicts. Well, sugary food isn’t the only easily available, highly-stimulating product on the market with a risk of triggering obsessive and destructive behavior. Internet pornography is the junk food of sex and love addiction. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should google “free streaming porn” next time he enjoys his 8-ounce glass of unsweetened iced tea.

Internet porn is to monogamous sex as salted caramel ice cream is to baked chicken and a green salad.

Now, I am no more anti-sex — or anti-porn — than I am anti-food. Food and sex are both vital to human survival, and curiosity about human sexuality (e.g., images of people having sex) is normal and healthy. The question I propose is this: Is salted caramel ice cream really food? And is Live Cam Teen Asian Double Penetration Party really sex?

It used to be that sex outside of marriage and French fried potatoes were both rare and special treats. One involved ruining a pot and wasting a load of cooking oil. The other involved spending cash and risking public exposure, if not actual arrest. Today, you can get both fries at McDonald’s and sexual fantasies on your smartphone 24/7. No wasted oil, no being rousted by the Vice Squad. For most teenage boys, access to pornography 24/7 generally means pornography, 24/7.

But there’s a larger problem: the nature of the sexual fantasies themselves. Like the complex, supercharged flavors of pretzel M&M’s or chocolate-covered bacon, the intensity and variety of pornographic images available online go right for the brain’s reward circuits, creating that instant gratification feedback loop that easily turns into an addictive groove.

Find original article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethlie-ann-vare/porn-addiction_b_2001888.html

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