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Online Sex More Desirable Than the Real Thing to Porn Addicts in Study

Over time, a sexual interaction behind the glassy screen of a computer is more desired by people with pornography addictions than the real thing.

A study led by the University of Sydney suggests as many as 20 percent of people who are addicted to porn not only choose online sexual encounters or images to real sex, but they also start to deliberately pursue online sex and even attempt to avoid sex with a partner. Reasons include the progressive and obsessive nature of pornography addiction, which researchers believe causes changes at the brain’s pleasure center levels over time.

People who are addicted to pornography may also crave online intimacy because they believe there is a sense of anonymity and escape with online partners that they’ll likely never meet. There is also an opportunity to avoid forming a close, intimate human connection – especially appealing in light of deep-seeded emotional intimacy problems many people with pornography addiction may harbor.

30 percent of the participants said they had either lost their job or seen marked decreases in their ability to be successful on the job because of their addiction. Others said their personal relationships had experienced damage due to the addiction.

The researchers also noted that the widespread, around-the-clock availability of pornography today is making an impact on porn addiction and the severity of the cases. As a result, it is believed more young teens and adults are viewing porn regularly, with the study suggesting that around 43 percent of the participants began their pornography usage as early as ages 11or 13.

Also alarming are study findings that people are using more bizarre and intense forms of pornography as the addiction progresses, and that many pornography addicts are involved in a marriage or a serious, committed relationship. Researchers continue to call for more evidence-backed information about the effects and consequences of porn, and say that more than 80 percent of participants in the study were willing to look for professional help.

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