Internet sex can be a powerful accelerant to further self-destructive behavior. Viewing online porn, GPS hook-up apps, excessive chatting, or “sexting” produces chemical changes in the brain, much in the same way that using drugs like cocaine does. When engaged in the various forms of cybersex, a powerful cocktail of endorphins and neurochemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin and serotonin surge through the brain affecting the addict’s judgment and actions. This can lead to dangerous, unhealthy risk-taking behaviors. Depending on an addict’s age excessive viewing of online pornography can lead to long-term structural changes in neural pathways.
What started as a desire to spend a few minutes watching online porn or chatting on a hook-up site can turn into hours seeking sex in compromising or exploitive ways. This escalation can lead to behaviors an addict has never engaged in or knew existed. Online sex is one of the leading causes of sex addiction relapse.
If you are concerned that you meet the criteria for internet sex addiction you can take the following assessment: Internet Sex Screening Test.