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Submitted by Marnia Robinson on Fri, 12/17/2010 - 13:15
Every now and then one of the visitors here recovering from heavy porn use says something like, "Last night, instead of fantasizing about porn scenarios, I visualized holding a woman. It felt good and I fell asleep easily." It makes sense that if focus on "wanting" revs up dopamine and restlessness, that focus on satiety feelings could help produce soothing neurochemicals related to satiety. That's what the research suggests is possible.
It could indirectly explain the natural grounding concept, too, where men view videos of women that are not erotic, and find it very soothing and balancing.
Trouble is, fantasizing all the way to climax is like actually drinking the coke [read article below]. It's likely to set off the body's dopamine roller coaster. Then, during the return to homeostasis, the neurochemical fluctuations can create nasty cravings...at least in brains that are somewhat dopamine-dysregulated for the moment.
And of course, Internet porn and porn flashbacks never promote satiety, because they're designed to overstimulate—not to mention the fact that there's always something kinkier around the corner to override any natural feelings of satiety.
Moreover, brains starved for dopamine are not able to register normal satiety feelings very well. As researcher Paul Kenny explains:
Too much pleasure skews the brain's reward pathways by overstimulating the D2 receptor and causing it to shut down. For the rats addicted to junk food, the only way to stimulate their pleasure centers was to eat more high-fat, high-calorie food. They're not experiencing rewards the way they should. When you experience that, one way of feeling better is to go back to the junk food.
So there's more to this concept than meets the eye, but visualizing satiety seems very promising—at least for those who are already returning to balance.