My news alerts usually consist of a seemingly endless stream of stories about people being arrested on porn charges or other scintillating stories relating to sex and sex addiction such as: “New Brunswick Nearly Leads Canada for the Crime of Stalking” or “Sex Offenders go AWOL in Scotland”.
Today, however there were a few that were both sensational and in some way relevant. Here they are in no particular order with my comments.
1. Internet pornography ‘destroying men’s ability to perform with real women’
London, Oct 22 (ANI): Internet pornography is destroying men’s ability to perform with real women and creating a generation of young men who are hopeless in the bedroom, according to a new research. Exposure to lurid images and films in the new media is de-sensitising so many young people that they are increasingly unable to become excited by ordinary sexual encounters, the report said.
The result of this over exposure is that impotence is no longer a problem associated with middle-aged men of poor health but is afflicting men in the prime of their lives. The report explains that the loss of libido 30 years early is caused by continuous over-stimulation of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that activates the body’s reaction to sexual pleasure, by repeatedly viewing pornography on the Internet.
A ‘paradoxical effect’ is created whereby with each new thrill, or “dopamine spike”, the brain loses its ability to respond to dopamine signals, meaning that porn-users demand increasingly extreme experiences to become sexually aroused.
“Erotic words, pictures, and videos have been around a long while, but the Internet makes possible a never-ending stream of dopamine spikes,” the Daily Mail quoted Marnia Robinson, the author of the report as saying. “Today’s users can force its release by watching porn in multiple windows, searching endlessly, fast-forwarding to the bits they find hottest, switching to live sex chat, viewing constant novelty, firing up their mirror neurons with video action and cam-2-cam, or escalating to extreme genres and anxiety-producing material.
“It’s all free, easy to access, available within seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“In some porn users, the response to dopamine is dropping so low that they can’t achieve an erection without constant hits of dopamine via the internet,” she added. (ANI)
My Take: This is a really important report and suggests the need for further study. It is important for two reasons:
(1) Because it deals with the brain chemistry associated with bombarding oneself with internet pornography and sexualized imagery in general
(2) Because it points to the fact that use of sexual or pornographic imagery as a drug is creating a “tolerance” for the experience, much like the tolerance for narcotics, such that we require greater and greater amounts (or greater intensity of experience)
2. Gwyneth Paltrow rolls in the hay at former N.Y. stables for sex-freak role in ‘Thanks for Sharing’
Gwyneth Paltrow appears to be taking it off for the cameras again. A source tells us the actress shot some racy scenes for the film “Thanks for Sharing” on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Carriage House, a former stable at 159 W. 24th St. that’s been converted into condominium apartments. The movie is reportedly about three people who undergo a 12-step treatment for sex addiction. An insider tells us that in one of the scenes, Paltrow performs a “striptease via Skype” for co-star Mark Ruffalo, who wasn’t on the set. Hubba hubba. We wonder if Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, ever engage in similar video chats. A spokesman for Paltrow didn’t get back to us by deadline.
My Take: So I confess that I think it’s great that there are movies being made about sex addiction. Even bad movies, movies that glamorize it, or portray the sufferers or their treatment in misleading ways. As long as the film does not use the concept as exploitation and makes a stab at some kind of relevance, it will at least get the problem out there into the public dialogue more. A great example was the movie “Choke” with Sam Rockwell which came out a few years ago. I have not seen “Shame” yet…
3. Anonymous Takes Down Massive Child Pornography Server, Leaks Usernames
by Max Eddy | 11:00 am, October 23rd, 2011
In a move that we can all get behind, hacker group Anonymous has announced that they have taken down a huge cache of child pornography and released 1,589 usernames of the website’s patrons. The action came as part of Operation Darknet, which targets illicit websites that are part of an unindexed and therefore unsearchable corner of the Internet.
The server in question is owned by Freedom Hosting, and apparently services over 40 child pornography websites. The largest of these, disturbingly called Lolita City, was said to contain over 100gb of child pornography.
Interestingly, the Anonymous hack is extremely well documented. In two separate Pastebin posts, the hackers involved provide a timeline of events, as well as some of the methodologies they used in tracking and taking down the servers…
My Take: Hackers doing what they do best and judging by the comments, people are cheering. However, what everyone seems to want to know is now what? Will law enforcement actually do something with the information? And for those of us on the treatment end of things, what will happen to the suspects, when they are finally run to ground? Maybe the next hacking enterprise could deal with collecting some data that would help with addiction research. Call me, we’ll talk.