For Boston Bruins Fans, Porn Heals All Wounds

The statistical analysts at PornHub (that's NSFW, so find it yourself) noticed some unusual patterns in the traffic to their XXX adult website last Monday. After the NHL Boston Bruins' loss in the final game, their fans consoled themselves by turning to porn, and in a pretty big way. An hourly check of site traffic throughout the game in the two cities in the playoff, Boston and Chicago, revealed that traffic was well below normal levels for both cities until after the game. At the 11:00 p.m. traffic check, while traffic was still down 19% for the Chicagoans, who were probably busy celebrating, traffic was up 21% in Boston, as fans there were busy with something else altogether.


All kidding aside, many view the explosion in internet pornography as a societal ill, not just in moral terms, but also for its effects on mental health. While psychiatry does not classify porn addiction as a disorder per se, a quick online search indicates that many therapists and porn abusers think otherwise. Some are even going public in their cries for help, as Isaac Abel did in his articles for Salon and the Atlantic. The statistics are impressive: Every second, over 28,000 users are watching internet porn. 35% of all internet downloads are pornography. Forty million Americans regularly visit porn sites and 200,000 of them self-identify as porn addicts. This comes as no surprise to brain scientists, as the brain chemistry of sex addicts in many ways parallels that of other addicts; sex stimulates the brain to release dopamine, the chemical responsible for feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. Pornography, being more readily available, more extreme, and (most importantly) more novel than the real thing (thus providing a bigger "rush"), can easily lead to addictive behavior and relationship problems. In extreme cases, addicts' work performance suffers.

As is the case for all addicts or anyone trying to break a bad habit, stress can cause a relapse. It apparently does not have to be a major stress either; according to addiction therapists, relapses can be triggered by something as minor as the annoyance of heavy traffic. Or your hockey team losing the Stanley Cup.