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Abby had been married to John for 12 years before discovering how deeply pornography had changed their relationship. “When we were dating, I knew John used porn, but I always figured it was something that men do,” she explains. John’s porn usage continued into their marriage, but Abigail still gave it no thought, explaining, “It was something he did in private. I never thought it had any effect on me.” It was not until 10 years later that Abigail discovered John’s “stash.” Instead of the “chaste” Playboys and pin-ups she had expected, she found that hardcore, fetish, and “barely legal” titles comprised the majority of his collection. "It hit me in the stomach; I never thought John would be into this kind of stuff,” Abby says. “I began thinking about our sex life for the past 10 plus years, wondering how many times he was actually with me, or just using my body and thinking of all of pictures."
Neuroscientists are beginning to map the biological substrate of pornography addiction. Habitual users tend to become desensitized to the type of pornography they use, become bored with it, and then seek 'harder' forms of pornography. Men who regularly use pornography have a higher tolerance sexual aggression. Prolonged consumption of pornography by men produces stronger notions of women as commodities or “sex objects." Those who commit sexual abuse of children are more likely to view pornography regularly or to be involved in its distribution.