Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Our Eyes Are Seeing

Something that I have been looking over recently has been the CD/Book "The Drug of the New Millennium," by Mark B. Kastleman. Although I have not completed the series, the information that he provides is nothing less than eye-opening. His claim is that internet pornography is this drug. Simply looking at my own experiences and those of countless men, this is a drug addiction that is on the rise at an alarming rate, and there seems to be no end in sight. He speaks a great deal about brain chemistry, revealing how very easy it is for us to become addicted (women included).

When one thinks of a drug addiction, the first objection that is brought to mind about pornography goes something like this: "How can this become a drug addiction? There is no physical drug taken into the body." (I've actually received this statement from a family member). When this issue is raised, many of those who do so come from an older generation, where a person who wanted porn had to go down to a seedy little shop and get the magazine from behind the counter from a real, live person. Now all that has to happen is for a person to simply open their e-mail box and bam! they are hit with a woman dressed in little less than her underwear.

What makes this such an addictive "substance" is that when an image enters a brain (not simply porn), it zooms in at 3/10s of a second. That's not just fast; that's nearly blinding. And in fact, when we deal with pornography, it is making us blind. The solicitations are not wanted, but pornographers are some of the most genius marketers of all, playing on the difference in which the male and female brains are wired, marketing images that are focused on particular body parts of women and hardcore sex for male viewers, and images of couples coupling and videos with a romantic story to lure women into this spiders web of trouble.

Why we can call it a drug is that the whole point of pornography, the goal that pornographers are shooting for, is that they want the viewer to reach climax (orgasm). What happens in the brain is that the chemical "oxytocin" is released, also known as the cuddle chemical, which is what enables couples to bond together. The problem is that when a person watches pornography and achieves climax, he is "bonding" himself to that image, or rather, the image becomes bonded to him. Yet because it is not a real person in the act with them (yes, a real person may be represented, but they are not physically present, and it is the real presence that those who look at porn are really looking for), and because they are not living out the full truth of their sexuality, they experience this deep shame and emptiness. But because there is glimmer of what they are looking for in the images, and because they become embedded in the brain, when the sexual desire hits, they are drawn into the desire to self-medicate. Thus it becomes a pattern of temptation, release, shame, and self-medication. And the addiction soon follows.

And this whole column was inspired by the various ads that are being shown everywhere, most recently as displayed on Facebook. The ads hook a viewer into thinking they are clicking on an innocent singles site (of which they guys are already lonely), and upon open the link, they discover a woman who is completely not the type that you would take home to mother. Because the lustful appetite is being played upon, a man who does not know how to see, will be blinded by their desires and lost in a sea of passion that will sweep them into darker realms of images.

What's the solution? Stay tuned....