All of these words directly correlate with what humans seek—pleasure out of something easily obtainable. Yes, satisfaction and thrill may be difficult to find, but with the improvements in technology and the power of the internet, finding these pleasures is easier than ever imagined. Pornography has taken the world by storm with a net worth that’s worth about $97 billion, according to Medium.com.
Believe it or not, Medium also stated that the porn industry makes more money than Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association combined. Even more staggering, porn sites get more viewers per month than Amazon, Netflix and Twitter combined.
Along with this popularity comes big paydays, but only for those pornography stars that make it big time. Women are the big attraction in this business for the most part due to the fact that, according to CNBC, most of the viewers are male. These women can make upwards of $1,000 per performance, according to CNBC. Top tier performers can make between $1,500 and $2,000 each time on set. On the other hand, those performers that don’t make it on the big stage end up working for lower wages to make a buck.
Now, where does all of this money come from? Advertisements are a larger portion of the business, but the greatest buyers for these pictures and videos are the viewers themselves. The issues arising from this more recent “epidemic” are really catching the eye of the public, with studies showing that porn observation can rewrite the brain, alter its structure and functions, and can cause addictive behavior to occur, according to MedicalDaily.com.
In 2014, Cambridge University did a study found that the ventral striatum of the brain lit up when an alcoholic saw an image of an alcoholic beverage. They did the same exact study on a porn addict as they viewed pornography, and they found the same activity in the brain. The interesting part was that the porn addict wanted the pornography more, but didn’t enjoy it more; rather they relied on having more and more pornography at their fingertips. The three regions of the brain that are activated when a drug addict sees the drug of their choice are the exact same three regions of the brain that go through a major activity change when a porn addict sees pornography, making pornography seem more like a drug rather than an entertainment source.
Just like the drama/romance movie “Don Jon,” where the main character gets so addicted to pornography that he can no longer get aroused by women in real life, only by pornography; In a Time Magazine story, Porn and the Threat to Virility, by Belinda Luscombe, Luscombe conducted an interview with a man that revealed his porn addiction and how it affected his life. He revealed how no matter what woman he was with, he could never become aroused. The only way he was able to become aroused was to the sight of pornography—directly correlating with the pornography addiction others studies have referenced. Yet, is this addiction something that is translated to the high school audience, or are high schoolers exempt as they are “too young” to legally view this content?
In a survey of 128 students at Antioch Community High School, 81.6 percent answered that a friend introduced them to pornography, and a little over 50 percent were introduced to pornography from ages 10 to 13 years old. According to Luscombe, these stats would be concerning because viewing pornography at that early of an age can more often lead to porn-induced erectile dysfunction, or a PIED for short.
A PIED is the sabotage of sexual responses due to the comfort and frequency that comes with the use of pornography at such a young age. Basically, the brain is so used to being aroused by viewing pornography that it’s all the brain knows, and all it wants to know. The ability for younger generations to reach content of this magnitude has become as easy as the touch of a screen, making a real porn addiction that much easier to obtain. For the students who took the same survey, this frequency again would cause concern.
From the survey, while 41 students said they never actually viewed pornography after their initial exposure, 32 of which were female, 38 of the respondents are visiting pornographic sites and viewing pornographic materials at least once a week. Of those 38, all of them identified as males. And of those 38, 26 of them are consuming pornographic materials at least once a day, if not multiple times a day. As time has gone on, and as technology has evolved, pornography is a lot simpler for anyone to access at any time for as much time as one would want.
From the internet to social media, searching one key word can bring anyone to thousands of pornographic photos and videos. On the contrary, rather than the internet and social media, pornography can also be found in movies, magazines, video games, rap videos and more. In the same survey, 75 percent of the respondents said they have viewed pornography on the internet, but it didn’t stop there. Forty-six percent responded that they have seen porn in movies, and another 26 percent said they’ve viewed porn in rap videos, making pornography more common than most people might think. Along with the great frequency of pornography in today’s society comes a common trend in porn addiction among its viewers.
According to the same studies noted in this story, porn addiction is not uncommon, and is not impossible to fix. And, porn addiction isn’t a simple problem, especially if one’s access continues to get younger and the frequency of viewing gets higher, the addiction will continue to spread wider. In an article on Yourbrainonporn.com, in order to fix a PIED, or a porn addiction, a process called “Rebooting” is a great option. Rebooting is basically a process by which an addict cuts off the use of pornography and masturbation in order to cleanse oneself and reset the brain and body to normal. Rebooting is not an impossible process, but may not be an easy one by any means. The control to steer away from something that can be so pleasurable to someone can be a difficult task for some and near medically impossible for others; however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
With the world moving faster than ever with technology comes even more ways for people to abuse it. The porn business is one of the largest in the world with no signs of slowing down, and that’s because of the exact reason that it was created for—to bring pleasure and satisfaction to its viewers. But, as the porn world grows more and more overt time, so does the amount of people that are addicted to its taboo content they can’t find anywhere else.
Everybody seeks pleasure.
Everybody seeks amusement.
Everybody seeks satisfaction.
Everybody seeks thrill.
Although pornography can satisfy all of these needs, the addictive finish is not one that viewers would hope to last a lifetime.