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Preferring porn over IRL sex is now a sexual orientation

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Pornosexuality is a thing, apparently.

Exclusively prefer pornography over sex? Medical Daily has a term for you: Pornosexual.

Medical Daily, part of the Newsweek brand, explains that pornosexuality “differs from other sexual orientations because it’s a learned behavior that is void of human-to-human attachment bonding and connection.” Sex addiction therapist Christene Lozano says that frequent porn viewing can turn people into a pornosexual because their brain and body become overstimulated by pornography. As a result, porn becomes an instant gratification that provides stress relief and enjoyment.

“Turning people” into a sexual orientation is a little dicey of a theory—so is the the idea that a particular sexual orientation is something to overcome. Obviously, not everyone who watches porn will exclusively only want to watch porn and never have sex again, so how does “pornosexuality” come about?

Well, Medical Daily cites a 2014 study published in JAMA Psychiatry, in which researchers found that viewers’ dopamine levels rise significantly while accessing porn, especially during those first few times watching a clip. But excessive porn usage causes those dopamine levels to gradually decrease; the more porn, the less active the brain becomes while on porn. This not just leads to viewers conflating sexual pleasure with pornography, but it means pornosexuals are constantly craving that next hit that will raise their dopamine levels.

Others believe that people who identify as pornosexuals are just “masking insecurities,” which cause them to choose porn over IRL connections. They fear the hard work that goes into building an intimate relationship with another person, and they don’t want to experience rejection. Instead, it’s easier to get off to porn than to do all the work to create a real-world connection with someone else.

“[P]ornsexuals experience all of their sexual pleasure in isolation instead of shared,” sex therapist Amanda Pasciucco told Medical Daily. “Unfortunately, in my years of practicing sex therapy, anxiety and fear of rejection has led to people identifying as pornosexuals.”

Pasciucco says to the key to a healthy relationship with porn is for viewers to still use their imagination to create their own fantasies. She says talk therapy can also help pornosexuals overcome their reliance on porn, giving them the tools they need to build happy and healthy relationships with other people.

“I have been fortunate that everyone that has come through my door wanted something other than continuing being a pornosexual,” Pasciucco told Medical Daily.

So is “pornosexuality” a sexual orientation, an addiction, or just a badly coined term? Guess we’ll find out when it starts trending on Twitter.

H/T Daily Mail

 

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.