Can Pornography Use Lead To Unwanted Sexual Fetishes?

Pornography and sexual fetishes..
Unwanted sexual fetishes can be a source of shame and/or relationship dissatisfaction.

According to Merriam-Webster, a sexual fetish is an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression (fetish). The human brain is extremely complex, and many kinds of associations can form between sexual arousal and objects or bodily parts that are generally “non-sexual.”

Why Might A Sexual Fetish Be A Problem?

Certain sexual fetishes can be a source of shame. After the fact, many people regret indulging in them. Unwanted sexual fetishes may involve degrading behavior or behavior, for whatever reason, that is inconsistent with one’s values. In addition, many sexual fetishes do not fly with partners in real romantic relationships. This can create relationship issues to the extent that an individual’s sexual gratification is dependent on them. In either case, an individual has an interest in getting rid of them.

Pornography has popularized many behaviors and acts that fall into the category of sexual fetish. A lot of them, unfortunately, are highly degrading and unethical for a variety of reasons.

What follows is a discussion of where sexual fetishes come from (it’s not just pornography), and, more importantly, what steps people can take to get rid of unwanted ones.

What Causes Sexual Fetishes?

Dr. Trish Leigh identifies two main causes of sexual fetishes: trauma and coupling. (Coupling, in fact, is involved in both cases.) Trauma may take the form of familial dysfunction or situations that exceeded one’s ability to cope, typically beginning in childhood or early teenage years. In these cases, according to Dr. Leigh, the trauma sufferer found refuge in a certain act or object or body part that became linked (“coupled”) to sexual activity. Trauma may also involve sexual abuse that someone suffered in which a certain act or object or body part was used. The trauma victim may return to these items in an attempt to take back control of the situation.

Dr. Leigh goes on to explain coupling in the context of pornography. When someone watches pornography, they are exposed to a “supernormal stimuli” that floods them with artificially high levels of dopamine and other pleasure chemicals. When a fetish is introduced in that environment, the brain begins to associate the fetish, be it an act or object or particular body part, with that supernormal stimuli and those pleasure chemicals. In other words, the fetish becomes coupled (“joined” or “associated”) with that sexual experience.

Dr. Leigh likens this process to a vacation in Ireland. You go to Ireland, have a great time, come back home, and the mere thought of Ireland makes you happy because it has become associated in your mind with positive memories. Fetishes can also come from sexual experiences where coupling took place in the absence of pornography.

Check out Dr. Leigh’s full description of “coupling” in the context of a pornography/masturbation habit.

Coupling is when the act or the item or the body part is coupled with that massive supernormal stimulus dump of dopamine and other neurochemicals that give you pleasure and reduce pain in your brain, and that act is coupled with all of that neurochemical release. So, we’ve talked about it in other videos. It’s a supernormal stimulus. If you’re watching pornography that has that act in it, it is just dumping massive amounts of chemicals in your brain, that you can’t possibly get in the world. And that what makes it supernormal.

So, if you keep doing it, over and over and over, especially if you’re coupling with masturbation, what happens is that is just giving your brain just this massive pleasure-and-pain reduction feeling that you can’t get elsewhere. And if you continue to groove those neural pathways, you are going to continue to hardwire in so that your brain needs that very thing, that act, that body part, that clothing, that, you know, whatever it might be. It needs that thing to get that hyper-aroused state with that huge dopamine dump that your brain has found in this coupling.

Dr. Trish Leigh On Pornography And Sexual Fetishes

The cure to pornography-induced sexual fetishes for Dr. Leigh? It’s not rocket science, you need to uncouple that. . . You need to stop watching it. You need to stop masturbating to watching it or thinking about it because that’s the coupling that’s creating the dopamine dump. This advice may apply to other sexual fetishes, as well, where ceasing to act them out, over time, can help to rewire the association (“uncoupling”) or (“decoupling”), thereby depriving them of their sexual association.

Dr. Leigh goes on to talk about techniques to reinforce healthy sexuality, which you can check out in the complete video What Causes Fetishes? (beginning at minute 12:00).

Can Quitting Pornography Cure Unwanted Sexual Fetishes?

The short answer is “Yes, it can,” as we read about in the last paragraph. Depriving oneself of the mechanism (PMO) that forms and fuels unwanted sexual fetishes is an established way to move the brain toward its pre-pornography state. In addition, there is a category of unwanted sexual fetishes that are “natural,” in the sense that they would have developed independent of pornography. However, in many cases, pornography plays a role in enlarging and embellishing them to outsized proportions. Under such circumstances, ceasing pornography use can help eliminate them or reduce their intensity, as can ceasing to act on them in any manner, which only serves to reinforce unwanted neural pathways.

Mark Queppet addressing porn and sexual fetishes..
Mark Queppet Addressing Pornography And Sexual Fetishes

Founder of Universal Man, Mark Queppet, published a video in which he addresses the question of pornography and unwanted sexual fetishes (Pornography And Fetishes). Queppet speaks in very practical and illustrative terms about the role pornography plays in creating and fueling sexual fetishes. It is Queppet’s belief that stopping pornography use can help reverse a lot of these patterns, even in cases where the fetish was “natural” and preceded a pornography habit. As for porn-induced sexual fetishes, upon reboot, they “almost always disappear. Often, they outright disappear, and almost every case, the intensity of them decreases significantly.”

I’ve transcribed the fascinating video below. Check it out!

Bottom line from the analysis of this article? If someone wants to get rid of an unwanted sexual fetish, they need to stop fueling it via porn, masturbation, orgasm, fantasy, and real-life sexual experiences.

Transcript Of Will Quitting Porn Cure Unwanted Sexual Fetishes? (Mark Queppet):

Welcome to another porn-free FAQ, and in this one we are tackling the topic of “Will quitting porn cure my unwanted fetish?”

The short answer is “Yeah, probably.” Good chance it’ll either cure it or at least significantly reduce the intensity of it. Now, in order to get a little bit more in-depth answer, we have to make some distinctions here. There is a distinction between a natural fetish and a porn-induced fetish, alright?

A natural fetish is something that even without porn you would be attracted to. For example, that could be—for guys it could be breasts. You could argue that the majority of men have some of a breast “fetish,” meaning like they find breasts attractive, and that’s relatively normal. And for other guys, maybe it’s like a foot thing or whatever. It’s something that you’ve had since you were a little kid, and whether it’s from, due to your genetics or some part of your early upbringing, you’ve got this kind of thing. That’s what I would call a “natural fetish.”

But on the other end of the spectrum, you have porn-induced fetishes, and these are things—fetishes—that you would not have had without exposure to porn. So if you’re hooked on some kind of niche form of pornography, then that’s a porn-induced fetish, because without porn, you won’t know that crap existed, let alone be completely hooked on it.

But in both cases, quitting porn can heal. It’s more obvious in the porn-induced fetish, why that would be so. Because, it’s like alright, you stop exposing yourself to that stuff, you start living in a world without it, then all of a sudden your brain’s attachment to that thing will fade. Do the work, go through the reboot. Porn-induced fetishes almost always disappear. Often, they outright disappear, and almost every case, the intensity of them decreases significantly.

Now, for the natural fetish, you may be like, “Well, you know, that won’t go away. That’s just a part of who I am.” Well, kind of, because porn seriously exacerbates those kinds of natural fetishes.

So let’s see how this might work. Imagine that you’re a guy and you like boobs. Before porn, any boob would do. They’re all exciting. They’re all great. But as you start watching porn, you start to build a preference, a taste. Your brain starts to build a hierarchy of the best boob, and so instead of just any boob doing it for you, now you need to like zero in on certain sizes and shapes and things like that. After you masturbate to that kind of stuff, to those thousands of images, your tastes becomes even more refined, and all of a sudden now you need to have the perfect boob all the time, and you can’t even look at anything else.

So you’ve taken a natural attraction to breasts, and you’ve morphed it into this super, you know, specific, you know, kind of attraction. It needs to be perfect, and if it’s not, it’s like not even interesting to you. And that would be what I would call a porn-induced inflation of a natural fetish. You take out the porn, and all of a sudden that obsession is going to go down.

And this can happen with sexual acts, you know, where maybe any sexual act was exciting to do at first, but now you need this hyper-specific thing of like, you know, a midget riding a pony and smacking you with a  diaper pale or something like that. I don’t know, there’s some crazy sh*t out there, and people get hooked on it. And it doesn’t mean that you’re screwed up or anything. It just means that that was the path of escalation that you took. I don’t know, maybe you are a little screwed up.

You can’t look at what you’re hooked on in porn and draw crazy conclusions about who you are as a person, because sometimes your brain—you can’t control what you find exciting, and sometimes the shocking taboo stuff that your brain finds exciting. So you can end up actually becoming attracted to things that you kind of abhor, and that’s the truth. You really don’t like it, it’s just that it creates a neuro-chemical cocktail of excitement when you do something taboo sometimes. So that’s why sexual preferences can morph and change and go down crazy routes.

And so if you cut out the porn, and you let your brain and your sexual circuits go through a healing period, almost always this is going to cause a complete cure for the problem or at least a significant decrease in the intensity of it.

Leave a Reply