Addicted to Porn: Chasing the Cardboard Butterfly

Synopsis: Like it or not, porn is here and it is harmful. In this controversial film, award-winning filmmaker Justin Hunt dissects the impact of pornography on societies around the globe, from how it affects the brain of the individual, to how modern technology leads to greater exposure to youth, to watching it literally tear a family apart. In what may well be one of the most devastating issues in modern culture, this film will break down the damage that porn is doing to us a human race and leave you thinking that it's clearly time that we start taking porn addiction a bit more seriously.
Director(s): Justin Hunt
Production: Time & Tide Productions
82 min

In the beginning, there was man,

and there was woman.

From that moment on,

things have been tricky.

Going back to

Adam and Eve,

temptation has always been a third

party participant in human life.

From the time that cavemen

wrote on walls,

a struggle has ensued.

On down through time,

the tinge of desire

has pumped through

the veins of history.

In Asia, the Egyptians,

the Greeks, the Romans.

In 1748,

temptation and sexuality hit

a whole new level in England

with the publication of

"Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure",

a book better known

as "Fanny Hill".

Fast forward to 1896,

when Fatima did

her belly dance.

And we see sex now,

coming out of the shadows

and into

the cinematic mainstream.

In the 1960s, "I Am Curious"

hit the silver screen in Sweden,

and Pandora was given

a pretty little box to open.

Pornographic film erupted

in the 1970s,

and an IV of sexual material was injected

directly into the main vein of humanity.

As the appetite for sex and pornography

rumbled in the stomach of society,

along came an all-you-can-eat

buffet of porn,

the world wide web.

Because of that, we are now a planet

of technologically dependent beings

with our personal power cord plugged

directly into anything and everything,

and the current running

through our cables

is high voltage.

We are wired, sexual beings.

Sexuality is a fundamental part

of our basic human drives.

We're hardwired for sexuality.

It's a part of our structure,

cellular and DNA,

is to be sexual and to have sex.

And anything that activates

the sexual part of us

is already hitting

something innate with us.

It releases all these chemicals in

our body that make us feel good.

Why? 'Cause that's

the way we're made.

'Cause sex is supposed to make

you feel good, so you have more sex.

That's the way it works.

Um, that's human.

That's normal. That's healthy.

We have a almond-sized area

in the center of our brain,

the nucleus accumbens.

It's the I-want-it part of our brain.

It focuses on what we want,

and it's important because

it allows us to survive

by focusing on food and on reproduction,

for instance.

We survive as a species,

as an individual.

The chemical dopamine is produced

in an area called the mid-brain,

and there are wires that take this dopamine,

this chemical,

all the way to

the nucleus accumbens,

to a different

part of the brain.

It really powers

the brain with desire,

the mid-brain dopamine

factory does.

We call it

the ventral tegmental area.

The neurochemicals that exist

in the brain during sex

are the neurochemicals

that are supposed to be there.

Whether you're

masturbating to pornography

or having sex with a wife that

you've been married to for 30 years,

ain't no difference.

A fascinating study

has shown actual growth

in parts of the brain

that are used more

and atrophy in areas

that are used less.

It was first noticed

in a study of violin players

and further explored with brain

scans of medical students

both before and after an intense

three-month period of studying for exams.

Not only did the brain

grow and shrink,

but new neurological pathways

were formed as well.

In short, the brain is

actually reshaped.

That physical change

that we've scanned

with violin players

and medical students,

that is, um,

microscopic change that happens

in that we form, literally,

new brain connections

between brain cells

when we learn something new.

Particularly for powerful

reward learning.

Something as powerful

as pornography.

Here's a different analogy.

Imagine your brain

is a dense forest.

As your brain continues to

create new neurological pathways

through reward learning

as Hilton states,

it's as if we're wearing

a new pathway in the forest

by walking it again and again.

Over time, almost all thoughts can

begin to take that same pathway.

The trail can be forged

by a number of things,

including sex and pornography.

Obviously, you drink alcohol.

You snort cocaine.

You inject heroin.

So these are physical agents

that you take into your body.

What do they do to you?

What is the common mechanism

that these agents that are

coming into your body do?

Well, they turn on your

reward system in your brain.

That's the common mechanism.

We see that not only with drugs,

but we see that with pornography

and with sexual addictions.

We're not designed for alcohol,

for meth, for crystal,

for all these other drugs.

Our bodies will respond

to them pretty quickly,

but not as fast as we will to

something that's arousing sexually.

That is the ultimate high,

and it's innate and natural to us.

And so, we're gonna very commonly

seek something of a sexual nature

to medicate feelings of shame,

and pain, and guilt, and remorse,

and sorrow, and fear,

and loneliness.

And pornography is

the perfect solution for that,

if I'm looking for

something sexual,

because it's something

I can do it by myself,

it's pretty darn cheap or free,

and its relatively consequence-free,

at least in my mind,

because I don't

perceive in the moment

an immediate consequence to it.

Perhaps the trickiest part

of taking on a subject

like pornography

is the most simple part,

defining it.

Entrapping the true

meaning of "porn"

into a simplified group

of words is nearly impossible,

which is one of the reasons it's remained

such an elusive social issue for so long.

How does one define it?

Trying to define pornography is like

trying to describe air, sometimes.

I mean, the reality is it's gonna be a

different sensation for different people,

but at the end of the day, from a clinical

perspective, when I'm working with clients,

they're the ones that can articulate

pretty well to me what pornography is.

I'm simply just asking them

what they're looking at,

what they're

exposing themselves to.

"What makes

something pornographic

versus just sexually explicit

or sexually provocative"?

I think is also a debate

that needs to be had.

We are learning so much about

sexuality that we never knew before.

And we're having our ideas challenged

of what we think is normal

and what we think is healthy

by finding out that there are

a lot of people out there

who are interested in all kinds

of kinky sorts of things.

So how do you define something

so broad and so subjective?

In this case, you look

for a common denominator.

For the purpose

of this documentary,

that common denominator

is right here, the brain.

The spectrum of pornographic material

is infinitely wide at this point,

but the physiological and

neurological responses by individuals

seems to be the same,

regardless of the content.

In short, no matter what

a person looks at,

the mind and body seem to have a

similar reaction across the board.

To use a more simple analogy,

Bob likes football, Jim like baseball,

and Suzanne likes golf,

but they all like sports.

Just like everyone's brain releases

messages of pain when a person gets hurt,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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