About the author, Chris McKenna

Chris is the Covenant Eyes Educational Resource Manager. Chris has a BA in Accountancy and Spanish from Western Michigan University. After 12 years in business advising with Ernst & Young, God led Chris to a full-time student ministry role. He started protectyoungeyes.com in 2015  as a ministry to equip and educate parents and teens on the latest gadgets, apps, and how to use the Internet well, which led him to Covenant Eyes. God works in unexpected ways!

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The Porn Circuit

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Science shows us why porn is highly addictive. Learn how our neurochemistry is easily hijacked by porn to create compulsive behaviors, and discover how the brain can be rewired to escape porn's allure.

9 thoughts on “How Science Helped Me Understand My Porn Use

  1. Thanks Chris, I totally get it! Being alone inside my head, alone with my thoughts was not a good place to be. I learned much about myself in my Christian and secular recovery groups, including that I enjoy the approval of women, even just a smile of approval. On the other hand I did not need the approval of men and often was angry or jealous of men who seemed confident or seemed to have it all together. Alone with my thoughts was not a good place to be. In my recovery groups I was able to talk about my thoughts inside my head and found I was not alone. I no longer felt like a freak. I was accepted and my thoughts were validated and I was sane. Stay with it, bro! Steve

  2. As a wife of a porn addict who also experienced sexual abuse during his acting out years, I would like to know how one’s brain can be reprogrammed to stop the negative thought patterns toward your wife?? The behavior may have changed, but the attitude and lack of empathy and compassion and loyalty and love remains, especially the “Master of the Universe” attitude that makes him believe that rules don’t apply to him because he’s better than everyone else. He lies but can’t stand being called a liar, etc. so how and when do the negative thought patterns change? Because I’m still getting hurt often and I was just told that he sometimes hates me, that I’m a bad wife and that he avoids me because he can’t stand the way I talk to him (I’m now disabled due to dealing with the stress of all of this for more than 20 years!!)

    • Hey Lori. This is SUCH an important issue. Thank you for bringing it up. In the 12-step recovery world, there’s a term called “dry drunk.” The person is “sober”–as in, they don’t drink anymore–but they haven’t managed to work on any of their underlying issues. I think you might be experiencing that kind of situation here. You’ve seen some behavioral changes, but there’s a lack of capacity in empathy and emotional trustworthiness. You might appreciate this article which includes a short video clip from Dr. John Gottman regarding emotional trust. You might also appreciate this article from Luke Gilkerson which examines how ongoing relationship difficulties like this may end in divorce. I hope you’re finding help with a counselor, and perhaps a support group. Whatever your husband chooses, I hope you will choose good boundaries and good health for you. Blessings, Kay

  3. The heart ALWAYS influences the brain! Oh, I forgot, Christ was wrong, science got it right: it is a chemical. Our Lord, the creator didn’t understand modern science, after all, he was a carpenter. Now everything is chemically explained. Science also tells us that you pick a spouse through chemicals, so why not porn too? Give me a break!! Why not take it to the next level: try a Christ perspective: Sexual sin comes from the heart!

    • Hello, Harry. Our approach at Covenant Eyes when it comes to our blog content is to engage all kinds of people in conversation, sometimes at their level. There are some who come at the issue of addiction from a biblical perspective, while others from a scientific perspective. The goal of my post was to create conversation with those who may not have a Biblical perspective. God is the God of science, logic, chemicals, and reason, too. I understand the source of sin and the power of Christ to overcome. Please read here before you judge too harshly: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2016/07/01/stop-looking-at-porn-you-sicko-part-2/

      Peace, Chris

  4. The porn brain connection is a small part of how the brain works sexually and relationally. Did you know that holding someone for 20 seconds the brain creates a bond between you and that person? It is high time that we see the whole picture of how the brain works relationally and sexually, not just in the use of porn. For a comprehensive understanding, read Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children,
    by Joe S. McIlhaney Jr.,MD,‎ Freda McKissic Bush, MD

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