Porn rehab

by Theresa Marie Abec, FLT Columnist

In our culture of overindulgence and sexual saturation a silent killer of marriages has emerged and its name is pornography. Pornography has been around for years but in the last generation it has changed its face, being accessible digitally from any phone or computer. This development has led to some problems in the bedroom: Pornography creates an inability to be intimate in a marriage.
The biology of an orgasm is as follows: Our pleasure system, which is located in our prefrontal cortex, stimulates the release of opiate-like compounds when activated. So now the brain learns that orgasm leads to release of these chemicals which feels good. Now an individual who watches pornography gets this release of chemicals that are paired to a pornographic image (an object), not their spouse. Now this individual does this more and more and if repeated on a regular basis, it leads to a high jacking of the brain chemistry – the hallmark of addiction.
Pornography leads to object sex, the goal being to get a release of reward system not necessarily connecting with spouse. Contrary to object sex is relational sex. Of course the same biology of orgasm is in effect in a marital context, but the images are with your spouse and there is not only a physical release but an emotional and spiritual connection also. Relational sex is intimate and personal, a connection between spouses. Relational sex behaviors involve looking into each other’s eyes, sex with lights on with nurturing personal conversation during sex.
Pornography is a fantasy; that means it is not real. The porn world is based on object sex. So an individual who watches pornography in fantasy then comes to reality in one’s own bedroom will see a difference. The biggest difference is that in the porn world everything is centered around YOU, where all your wishes, desires and preferences are fulfilled. In a marital relationship it is not all about you.
A component of a healthy marriage is sexual fulfillment with your spouse. Pornography does not create connection in a marriage. Have you found your partner secretly masturbating, or have you found porn on their electronic devices? Have you noticed a disconnect during sex? One’s brain can be retrained to connect sexually with their spouse if there is a willingness to consider porn rehab.
Theresa Abec is a Board Certified Clinical Counselor and welcomes new patients looking for assistance with adults with mental health issues specializing in sex addiction recovery therapy. Currently under direct clinical supervision with Dr. Doug Weiss through the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy (AASAT). To schedule an appointment with Theresa, call Serenity Health & Wellness Center at 419-891-2181.