This section is concerned with the power of strong emotions such as fear, stress, memory and reward to:
1) create stronger memories or linkages,
2) stimulate the reward circuitry.
Porn users often escalate by moving into varieties of porn that create strong emotions, such as fear, shame, disgust, shock, etc. They do so to stimulate their reward circuitry, which is adapting to previous stimuli. This is called tolerance: needing more to maintain the same levels of stimulation.
This section may contain both lay articles for the general public, and research articles. If you are not an expert in addiction, I suggest starting with the lay articles. They are marked with an “L.”