The "4 A's" of the Internet--A Porn Marketer's Dream Come True

Jun 01, 2009

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Little more than a decade ago, pornography addiction rates were a tiny fraction of what they are today. With the advent and spread of the Internet, addiction rates have skyrocketed. Why? What is it about the Internet that has pulled tens of millions into the pornography trap? The answer lies in The Four A’s of the Internet.

 
The Four A’s of the Internet
 
Accessible

It is estimated that splattered throughout the Internet there are over 4.2 million known separate and distinct porn websites, with another 2,500 brand new sites coming online every week.How has this accessibility contributed to soaring pornography addiction rates? Consider the following:

1.      Removing a Deterrent: Before the Internet, for someone to have access to a tiny fraction of the hard-core pornography available today online, they had to slink down to the seedy part of town, stealthily slip into the pornography bookstore or theater, and hope they weren’t seen by any family member, friend or acquaintance. That was enough of a deterrent for many who weren’t willing to risk their reputation. Now, in the privacy of home or office, at the push of a button, hundreds of millions of images are instantly viewable. Many of these images are of such a perverted nature that they cannot be legally sold in adult bookstores.

2.      Every Fetish or Fancy: Before the Internet, the variety of pornography most people could easily and anonymously obtain was extremely limited. They might sneak a peek at a Playboy magazine at the corner drugstore, but that was about it. There wasn’t enough exposure or variety to get a lot of people “hooked. In addition, many just weren’t that interested in the handful of magazines available. Now, however, there exists on the Internet every form of pornography imaginable, and much that is so twisted, dark and perverted that it is unimaginable. The point is, any person who surfs the Internet long enough will eventually be exposed to some kind of pornographic image that catches his or her attention.

Remember, the brain is highly attracted to anything that is novel or abnormal—the bizarre, shocking, interesting or arousing. Internet pornographers are adept at mixing and matching porn with everything else possible. Their objective is to link or piggyback on existing mental models and memories. Given a chance, every person’s unique fetish or fancy is eventually triggered and they get “sucked in. This has trapped many who never would have become addicted to pornography.

3.      Desensitization and Habituation: The brain quickly becomes habituated or desensitized to the same pornographic images. Simply, it gets bored. Before the Internet, pornographers had a difficult time providing addicts with progressively harder materials while remaining within the confines of the law. Now that barrier has been almost completely erased. As the porn user becomes desensitized, he needs more extreme images for the brain to release the same level of endorphins and other neuro-chemicals. And he is not disappointed. At the push of a button he has an endless supply of the extreme, the bizarre and the twisted—like a drug addict having access to an infinite supply of increasingly harder drugs.

It‘s the conflicting messages in pornography that causes the brain and other parts of the body to release the highest quantity and variety of neuro-chemicals. This is why pornographers mix nudity and sex with aggression, submission, violence, incest, molestation, rape, etc. (One form of pornography that has become increasingly popular for its ability to produce an extreme brain reaction is child pornography.) The viewer feels arousal and fear, lust and shock, excitement and shame, a confusing blend of sensations all thrown together into an emotional-chemical cocktail. Internet access to an unlimited supply of increasingly extreme pornographic material has produced an unprecedented depth and severity of addiction.

Tragically, the Internet is fueling what is known as copy-cat crime, where some porn viewers are acting out with and against real people what they see on the Internet. Images of acts that are so horrific they can only be described as “demonic are regularly portrayed. These are things no one should ever be exposed to. Now people are not only seeing these images, but some are acting them out. It took Ted Bundy decades to go from a level 1 of desensitization, where as a kid he was checking out Playboy magazines at the corner drugstore, to a level 10, where he was brutally murdering young women. How long does it take an individual to go from level 1 images to level 10 on the Internet?

4.      Our Children Are at Risk Like Never Before: Prior to the Internet, pornographers were almost entirely barred from a highly profitable market they desperately wanted: testosterone-saturated teenagers. Today, the largest consumers of Internet pornography are teenage boys between the ages of 12 and 17. “But wait a minute you might argue. “Most of these kids aren’t purchasing porn on the Internet. They have to have a credit card. I would respond, “Yes and no. . . . Credit card companies are aggressively marketing to teens and some teens are making Internet porn purchases. But let’s leave them out of the equation. Why would pornographers be keenly interested in exposing teens to their wares, primarily by providing teaser images for free? You’re right! Pornographers are drug dealers, and they’re no different than the crack dealer on the street. They’re willing to give away some merchandise for free to “hook a customer for life. The vast majority of adult pornography addicts I work with were first exposed and hooked as teenagers. In a later chapter I will talk about what is being called the Cyber-Porn Generation—the teens of today who are the first generation to have grown up with the Internet. Many of this generation are using Internet porn as their main source of “sex education and acting out much of what they see.

Be aware that pornographers don’t limit their marketing efforts to teens. Everyday, increasing numbers of grade school children are being exposed to Internet pornography. In an effort to appear “cool, some of these kids print the images and show them around on the schoolyard. Others are acting out what they have seen on the Internet against other children.

Special Note: The Adolescent Brain Is More Susceptible to Porn

The latest research clearly shows that children and teens are especially susceptible to pornographic images due to the immature structure of their brains.1 Within the brain are the frontal lobes, or logic center, where reasoning and discernment take place; and what is called the limbic system, where the emotional, pleasure and “gut-reaction responses take place. The immature adolescent brain connection between these two centers is extremely underdeveloped, a clue to why children and teens often “act without thinking. They can behave illogically because the emotional gut-reaction part of the brain is in control at the expense of the logical. Imagine what happens when pornographic visual images that already bypass the logic centers enter and are stored in the highly emotional, illogical adolescent brain! This creates confusion, stress and behaviors in children and teens that are only now beginning to be understood.

Truly, easy and instant accessibility to pornography through the Internet is wreaking havoc on our society. It is a primary factor in skyrocketing addiction rates.

 
Affordable

The second of The Four A’s of the Internet is Affordable. Before the Internet, even if an individual could find access to a variety of hard-core pornography, it was very expensive. This constituted a deterrent for many. Now through the Internet, millions of pornographic images from across the globe can be viewed for free. At this point you’re probably thinking, “I thought you said that pornography is the biggest money-maker on the Internet, in the billions of dollars every year. How can that be if it’s given away for free?

Consider the following insights about the affordability of Internet pornography:

1.      Pay Sites: Of course there are pornographic websites that require payment for access. But these also offer teaser photos: an opportunity for Internet surfers to “sample the product before they buy. Most sites provide enough of these teaser photos to keep an individual busy for hundreds of hours on the Internet without ever paying a single dime (other than the cost of their basic Internet connection). Why are pornographers willing to give these images away for free? They understand two fundamental marketing principles:

A. Samples for Free: Like the drug dealer on the street, the pornographer knows that if he gives away a “taste for free, a certain number will get hooked and become customers for life. The brain habituates or desensitizes to the same pornographic images very quickly. Pornographers lure the viewer in with tantalizing marquees: “Like what you see? Want to get to the really hard stuff? For only $6.95 you can have unlimited access to thousands of images for an entire month! Having tasted the “drug, many viewers can’t resist an unlimited supply. How can pornographers make so much money at such a low price? Volume. They only need a fractional percentage of the 60-plus million Americans accessing their wares to make huge profits.

B. Fetish and Fancy: A lot of people like to browse the Internet out of curiosity, some actively looking for pornography, and others, not. Pornographers know that if they can expose their images to as many as possible, eventually they will catch someone’s interest. Like trolling for fish, they now if they just keep putting out their lure, their particular brand of porn will “trigger in certain viewers a specific fetish or fancy. Oft times, the trapped individual doesn’t even realize that he had an attraction to the particular pornographic theme. But mental models are vast, with myriad connections that can be activated by just the right stimulus. If a web surfer begins sampling images that he is especially attracted to, he likely will be highly motivated—even desperate—to get his hands on more of the same. In fact, after exhausting the sample images and then suddenly being denied from seeing more, many users become obsessed and compulsive about it. They just can’t get it out of their minds. Usually they give in and pay to gain access to the full site.

2. File Sharing: In addition to the pay sites, many people post pornographic images on the Internet at no cost. Their motives be one of many:

§  To feed their addiction: The brain is constantly desensitizing to the same types of pornographic images. Thus porn addicts find it necessary to constantly change the theme and up the variety and level of the images. In order to heighten the “rush, some display images, video or live camera of themselves, exhibitionism that elevates the chemical release in their systems.

§  To share with a private group: Many use the Internet to distribute a specific kind of pornography among their own private group. This often involves extreme or illegal material such as child pornography. Unfortunately, the unwary Internet surfer can inadvertently stumble onto some of these sites.

§  To share with friends: A growing trend is amateur pornographers sharing images and video clips among friends, either by passing them a CD or via e-mail. Sadly, this sort of activity has become popular among teenagers, and even in growing numbers among some grade school children. And as impossible as it may seem, a recent trend has some teens utilizing digital photography and video technology through computers, cell phones and hand-held cameras to create and share their own pornography.

The bottom line is that hundreds of millions of pornographic images of every kind are instantly available on the Internet at little or no cost, a condition that has never existed in the history of the world. Affordability is a primary factor in soaring porn addiction rates.

 
Anonymous

The third of the four A’s stands for Anonymous. The greatest fear a porn user has is discovery—getting caught. Many fear this worse than death, often going to great lengths and elaborate means to hide their addiction. Before the Internet, many were unwilling to “risk discovery, so their viewing of pornography was held in check, acted on intermittently and on a limited basis. Now with the Internet, porn users have escaped this deterrent. Now they have access to the stealth drug.

Simply by logging onto the Internet, the user can self-medicate in complete privacy and secrecy. And when he achieves his high through Internet porn, he doesn’t stagger around, slur his words or pass out; after an Internet porn fix he won’t be pulled over and cited for DUI. The individual is able to self-medicate while still maintaining his reputation and outward appearance of propriety in his family, church and community.

This secret addiction has become a serious problem in religious communities. Most religious people are working hard to do what’s right: love and serve their mate; raise their children in righteousness; succeed in their profession; serve in the community; exercise and eat right; serve in their church. And on top of all this they are dealing with the constant onslaught of evil in the world and the trials of daily living. Many get to the point where they have exceeded their limits, their ability to cope. They’re stressed out of their minds! But, being religious and wanting to do right and be well thought of, they wouldn’t dream of being seen staggering out of the local bar, caught smoking marijuana, or taking illicit drugs.

Then one day while checking their e-mail, they stumble onto a porn site. Curiosity turns to arousal, then to lust, and before they realize what has happened, they get pulled in. Suddenly they discover an easy way to escape the pressures of life: self-medication. All they have to do is push a button and, at no cost, they have access to an endless supply of this incredibly potent drug. And no one knows they’re doing it! They can self-medicate daily and still retain their reputation and standing in their family, church and community.  

 
Aggressive

The final “A is Aggressive. As an expression of their disdain and disgust for pornography, I have heard people declare, “I would never look at that filth! Here’s the news flash: “IT’S LOOKING FOR YOU! What many still don’t understand is that pornographers are predators—they are aggressively pursuing each one of us! Later in this chapter I will point out some of the dastardly techniques pornographers use to expose the innocent and unsuspecting to their material. Internet pornographers will stop at nothing—even pushing, stretching and sidestepping the law—to expose as many as possible to their wares. Like the street dealer peddling dope behind the grade school playground, these drug pushers are shameless. Make no mistake about it, the fourth “A is Aggressive to the max!

The Four A’s Template: Consider carefully each of the four A’s: Accessible, Affordable, Anonymous and Aggressive. This is what I call the Four A’s Template. Apply this template to any other addictive substance on earth—instant access and unlimited supply, little or no cost, totally secret, and a supplier who is always nearby, aggressively pursuing his existing and potential clients—and you tell me what would happen to addiction rates? What can possibly compete with the Four A’s and this super-drug?

Now can you understand why overwhelming numbers of Americans are getting caught up in the pornography trap?

For More Information:
If you want to learn more about the Brain Science of Porn Addiction, and how to protect your marriage and family from this addiction, get Mark Kastleman’s acclaimed book, “The Drug of the New Millennium. You can purchase it online at Amazon.com.

If you or someone you love is trapped in pornography use, please visitwww.candeocan.com to learn how to break free.