4 Reasons PORN can be DESTROYING your life

4 Reasons PORN can be DESTROYING your life

We’ve partnered with TotalMan and will be presenting regular video features from this comprehensive site!

In this video, TotalMan discusses porn use:

4 Reasons PORN can be DESTROYING your life.

Reason 1: Addiction
Reason 2: Less incentive to find or work on a relationship
Reason 3: unrealistic expectations for sex
Reason 4: Comparing penis size

Something to think long and hard about.

Still tweaking the audio in the new studio, apologies on the echo’ing sound effects. Hopefully will be on point for the next video.

Enjoy!

Why today’s young men are terrified of sex

Why today’s young men are terrified of sex

By Eric Spitznagel

This article is a repost which originally appeared on the NEW YORK POST

Boys will be boys, but how do they learn to be intimate with women? These days it’s often by watching porn, which can cause anxiety and insecurity.

Mason, a former college football player from suburban Milwaukee, was almost 20 years old when he lost his virginity.

It’s a story you don’t hear too often. Boys, we’re told, are having sex younger and more irresponsibly than ever. But as author Peggy Orenstein learned while doing research on her new book, “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity” (Harper), out now, the reality can be very different.

For Mason, the simple act of kissing was something he largely avoided in high school, afraid that without enough experience he would do it wrong.

“He thought he was just supposed to know,” writes Orenstein.

Even holding hands felt like it came with the risk of humiliation.

When he went to college he met a girl, Jeannie, who invited him back to her dorm room to fool around. He wasn’t able to perform, and blamed it on the weed he’d been smoking all night.

She texted him the next day, inviting him over to try again.

“But the more he thought about it,” Orenstein writes, “the more anxious he became.”

Once again, his attempts at intimacy fizzled.

For Orenstein, who’s spent two decades writing about the sexuality of girls — with bestsellers like “Girls & Sex” and “Don’t Call Me Princess” — Mason’s predicament was difficult to take seriously at first.

Like many of us, she bought into the cultural stereotypes “that all guys are sexually insatiable,” she writes. “Ever ready, incapable of refusal, regret, or injury” — an idea that just reinforced “the most retrograde idea of masculinity.”

Over the span of two years, Orenstein spoke to hundreds of boys across the United States, ranging in age from their early teens to mid-20s and spanning all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs and even sexual orientations. She learned that a surprising number of them don’t live up to gender cliches — meaning they aren’t hormone-driven Frankenstein’s monsters, obsessed with sex and unconcerned with the consequences. In fact, they’re pushing back against cultural expectations, and many are going so far as to avoid sex altogether.

According to the latest data by the General Social Survey, men between the ages of 18 and 29 are having less sex than ever; the number of abstinent men has nearly tripled in the last decade, from 10 percent in 2008 to 28 percent last year.

But as Orenstein discovered, it’s a movement that exists largely in secret. Rather than declare their abstinence, they come up with excuses for their lack of sexual interest — like the college sophomore Orenstein interviewed who frequently faked “whiskey d–k” to avoid hookups, or Mitchell in Los Angeles, who avoided sex with his high-school girlfriend for years because he was terrified that his sexual ability “would just be … sufficient.”

While girls struggle to find the magic middle ground between “prude” and “slut,” boys are “pushed to be as sexually active as possible,” Orenstein writes, “to knock out their firsts regardless of the circumstances or how they felt about their partners.”

Nate, a high-school junior from the San Francisco area, is terrified of sex because he’s certain the girls in his peer group already have more experience than him. “She’s going to know how to do things and you won’t,” he told Orenstein. “That’s a problem if she tells people you’ve got floppy lips or don’t know how to get her bra off.”

He wants to have a girlfriend someday, but for now, Nate says, “I’m afraid of intimacy.”

This paralyzing fear of sexual inadequacy begins for many boys with online pornography. Sexually explicit videos have never been so easy to find — a 2018 Bitdefender study found that 22 percent of online porn is watched by kids under the age of 10 — and it’s warping their formative ideas about sex.

Mason has been watching porn since he was 14, and he claims it convinced him that a “hot woman” would just magically appear and offer herself up to him.

“That was my whole perception of how it was supposed to go,” he said.

While the boys who spoke to Orenstein admit that porn “is about as authentic as pro-wrestling,” a 2016 study from London-based Middlesex University found that 53 percent of teen boys believe that the sex acts featured in porn are mostly realistic.

“Everyone watches porn and then gets super nervous about their [penis] size,” a college sophomore from Chicago told Orenstein. “I mean, it’s brutal. Like if you’re in the locker room, you’re going to turn around and try to hide yourself, or you’re not going to change in front of other guys.”

But it’s not always porn doing the most damage. Porn may offer the most ridiculous representations of sex, but mainstream media can spread just as much misinformation, and it’s more difficult for younger audiences to separate fact from fiction.

Mason had recently been watching the David Duchovny TV comedy “Californication,” about a womanizing novelist in Los Angeles. The sexual exploits are “just slightly unrealistic,” Mason says. “Like, the main character has sex with everyone wherever he goes. They made it seem so convincing. Whereas if you were to watch a porn video where a dude comes in with his [sexual organ] in a pizza box, it’s like, ‘All right, obviously that isn’t going to happen in real life.’ ”

Everyone watches porn and then gets super nervous about their size.

 – college sophomore

Dylan, 17, is a high-school junior in Northern California. He’s handsome, athletic, a straight-A student, and captain of the soccer team.

He was also, until recently, a virgin.

He had drank too much at a friend’s party and passed out on a couch. That’s where his friend Julia, who was sober, found him. She dragged Dylan, stumbling, to the bathroom and had sex with him on the floor.

The next morning, Dylan was horrified and asked Julia why she forced herself on him. “I didn’t want to do that,” he told her, insisting that he wanted his first time to be special.

“Oh, please,” she shot back. “Don’t give me that. All guys want it.”

It was a bias that even Orenstein admits to having. She was shocked by how often the boys shared stories of being on the receiving end of unwanted sex, “in which girls didn’t hear or didn’t respect ‘no,’ ” Orenstein writes.

Was it rape? The boys she interviewed weren’t sure. She recalls a college sophomore who told her of losing his virginity at 14 to a 17-year-old girl at his first high-school party.

He didn’t want to do it, he says, but was too drunk and too worried about rumors she might spread to leave.

“Like, if it’s the guy who didn’t consent,” he asked Orenstein, “what do you call that?”

According to a 2017 study at Columbia University, 80 percent of victims of sexual assault were women, but men were also being increasingly targeted, with one in eight male students reporting being coerced into non-consensual sex.

And in a 2017 study at New York University, sociologist Jessie Ford interviewed 40 straight male and female college students about their sexual experiences. Most men admitted that they would have sex even if they didn’t want to, because guys should always be “down to f–k.” Rejecting an invitation to sex was considered unmanly or “gay.”

When young men have sex forced upon them, it sends mixed signals — and makes it harder for them to understand the concept of consent altogether.

“If they can’t say no,” Orenstein writes, “how are they supposed to hear it?”

The solution for all this isn’t what most parents want to hear: They need to have a straightforward talk with their sons about sex.

“I know it’s awkward, I know it’s excruciating. I know it’s unclear where to begin,” Orenstein writes. “But this is your chance to do better.”

Mason agrees, and he can remember the exact moment where some parental intervention would’ve made a difference.

He was a teenager, sitting on the basement couch of his family’s home and browsing porn on his school-supplied iPad. His father walked in and saw what he was doing. “You shouldn’t be watching that,” his dad scolded him. “It’s bad for you.”

Mason was well aware that his father had a trove of bookmarked porn on his own computer, so he snapped back, “Don’t be a hypocrite. I’ve seen all the stuff you watch.”

His father didn’t say another word. He just turned on the TV, watched it silently with his son, and then went to bed.

“I feel he sort of failed me,” Mason told Orenstein. If he had used the opportunity to start a conversation, to tell his son, “This will skew the way you view women . . . it’s only going to keep you from interacting with girls in a healthy manner,” Mason thinks it could’ve made all the difference for him.

“But my parents were too fearful to actually deal with any of it,” he says.

Real conversations about what’s actually involved in a healthy sexual relationship can make all the difference. For Mason, it finally happened with his girlfriend Jeannie, who repeatedly tried (and failed) to seduce him.

After their third date together, in which Mason declined to have sex with her yet again, she asked him pointed questions about his anxiety, and why sex felt so scary to him.

“It felt like a storybook moment,” Mason recalled. Her openness to his insecurity and lack of sexual confidence allowed him to let his guard down. “Whatever nerves had affected me the previous times disappeared. And I realized: If I can’t be fully vulnerable, mentally and emotionally, it stops me from being able to be vulnerable physically.

“Because the naked body,” he adds, like an epiphany that’s taken his entire childhood to realize, “that’s a very vulnerable thing, you know?”

Pumping, Porn, & the Stop and Starts Exercise: Ask The Experts

Big Al, of MaleEnhancementCoach.com, answers questions about Pumping, Transitioning away from porn, and the Stop and Starts Exercise for the high EQ trainee in this Ask the Experts article.

If you have questions you’d like answered in an Ask the Experts article, please PM Big Al.

Q. I researched yesterday about pumping…

…and everyone on every forum recommends no more than 40 minutes per day, usually split into 2 sessions throughout the day.

What do you think about that? Isn’t the “extreme” pumping of 2+ hours maybe too extreme and dangerous? The last think I want is to permanently damage my penis.

Big Al: The “Extreme Pumping” guideline you’re referring to is for advanced pump training. It’s exceeding rare for anyone to work up to two hours of pumping, and you certainly wouldn’t start off at 40 minutes+ per day!

My initial recommendation (as seen HERE) is to start with FIVE minutes of pumping a day. That being said- as with any activity- you build conditioning with time and effort. As long as you progress with very small but regular increases to your training loads- and you’re monitoring your EQ and other PIs- there should be no reason why you wouldn’t be able to work up to 40+ minutes.

Q. I have read the three-part Detraining article. As I understand it…

…the transition period you mention consists of abstaining from porn as well as physical stimulation until I adapt the lack of porn stimulus and my EQ naturally improves again. At that time I can start the stamina routine once more.

Would you recommend still doing daily kegels? Not erect kegels due to the physical stimulus required but kegels in a flaccid state which can be performed anywhere and anytime throughout the day. Since the kegel exercise plays a prominent role in EQ as well I would like to continue a daily flaccid kegel regimen for continued PC muscle improvement. What are your thoughts regarding this?

Big Al: The tough part is the (usually) weeks long process of going from a lack of porn and poor adaptation to turning the corner on it. This demands you approach your training objectively- see it as a tool towards improved gains and not as something to get stressed about. Accept the fact that there’s going to be that necessary period of transition, and it’ll make it much easier for you to adapt.

You can perform flaccid Kegels but they should be part of a structured regimen. You do NOT want to overtrain the pelvic floor! That being said, you should strive to do your best to perform kegels with an erection.

You should also strive to develop the capacity to perform Erect Kegels- AND you should include the Stop and Starts exercise in your training repertoire to speed up the conditioning process.

Q. You recommended doing Stop and Starts. On your website…

…I’ve read that this exercise is for building endurance.

I don’t have any stamina problems – quite the opposite: sometimes it takes me quite a while to finish. And if I have sex for a long period of time, I tend to lose my erection a bit I don’t think I need to build more endurance in terms of “lasting longer” but “lasting harder”. Also if I go for a second round, it’s a lot harder to get an erection and more common to lose it.

Big Al: The Stop and Starts is the most inclusive exercise you can perform in that it aids in ALL aspects of male enhancement development. If one had time to perform only one male enhancement exercise it should be the Stop and Starts.

For the purposes of enlargement training, having as high a level of EQ as you can develop will be vital to maximizing gains. You’ll need to aim for an even higher level of EQ than you’d expect for unencumbered sexual performance.

In your case, you might consider performing the “Reverse” Stop and Starts to decrease your sensory threshold.

Men and Porn: Why Is the Pull of Porn So Strong?

Why Is the Pull of Porn So Strong?

By Brett

* This article is a repost which originally appeared on The Art Of Manliness

This week we’re running a four-part series about the effects of pornography on the brain. The first step in understanding these effects is to understand the relationship between your noodle and dopamine, and how this interplay makes the pull of porn so strong. I truly feel that understanding this dynamic is the crucial foundation to making a decision about what role you want porn to play in your life, and also to ultimately quitting this habit. So I’ve made this and tomorrow’s post fairly in-depth. But I have also kept the info very accessible, and I think those who read the articles in their entirety will find them worthwhile. But if that’s simply not for you, feel free to skip to the recap at the end. 

Dopamine and Your Brain 

Our brains are composed of billions of cells called neurons that send messages to each other through an electrical-chemical process. Without getting too technical about how this works, the important thing to understand for this discussion is that the neuron delivering the message releases a chemical called a neurotransmitter into the synapse – the space between the neurons — and over to a receiving neuron. The receiving neuron catches the neurotransmitter with its receptors and then generates electricity so it can communicate to another neuron. This process repeats itself a bajillion (that’s a scientific term) times a day.

Different neurotransmitters communicate different things. What they all have in common is that their primary purpose isn’t to make you “happy” or fulfilled, but to ensure that your carcass survives so that you can pass on your genes.

An integral part of our brain’s system for increasing our chances of survival and reproduction is creating the strong desire and drive to do or seek out those things that will help us fulfill those aims. We have to want to eat, we have to want to seek shelter, and we have to want to have sex. The neurotransmitter that gives us our drive to fulfill these impulses is dopamine.

Dopamine is released whenever we encounter rewards, or “natural reinforcers,” that help us survive. Things like food, sex, novelty (new things may lead to new survival-boosting benefits), and friendship (you’re more likely to survive in a group) sit at the top of the natural reinforcer hierarchy. Once we encounter one of these potent rewards/reinforcers, a neural pathway is created (more on neural pathways below). Dopamine keys in on the reward system in our brain, and drives us to repeat the same behaviors that helped us attain those rewards previously.

The more something helps with our survival and reproduction, the bigger the “squirt” of dopamine our neurons experience, and the stronger the drive to repeat the behavior. For example, different types of food release different levels of dopamine. Because our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in feast and famine mode, it made evolutionary sense to load up on as many calories as possible while the getting was good. Foods high in fat and sugar provided the most energy benefits, so our ancestors’ brains evolved to release a lot of dopamine when they encountered high fat and high sugar foods. Our brains continue to do the same thing in the modern word, which explains why when given the choice between a Five Guys burger and a dry salad, our gut instinct is to go with the burger and shake. Dopamine drives us towards sweet, carby, and high fat foods.

Sexual stimulation and orgasm give our brain’s reward system the biggest natural shot of dopamine of all. Which makes sense. From an evolutionary perspective, the entire measure of our creation is to reproduce and pass on our genes. So seeking for and wanting sex should be our primary evolutionary drive. That big dopamine shot that results from orgasm then goes on to wire our brain’s reward system to repeat whatever behavior we did to get sex so we can continue to get sex in the future.

Isn’t Testosterone Responsible For My Sex Drive?

Contrary to popular belief and cheesy internet ads, it isn’t testosterone that plays a central role in a man’s sexual libido and ability to get an erection, it’s dopamine. Testosterone plays more of a supportive role in our sex drive by stimulating the brain to produce more dopamine. So while low T can result in low libido, it’s because there isn’t enough T to stimulate sufficient dopamine for a healthy sex drive. It is therefore possible for a man to have high total and free testosterone levels, but low dopamine (or blunted dopamine sensitivity – more on that later), and thus a low or absent sex drive. Testosterone’s dopamine-stimulating abilities also explain why testosterone replacement therapy companies advertise that increasing your T can give you more energy and drive to do other stuff in life. It’s not the T itself, but rather the dopamine that T triggers in the brain that gives you that boost. The more you know.

The release of dopamine starts amping up your sex drive when you see someone attractive. This increase will motivate you to do whatever your culture says you need to do to woo that person and eventually get them into bed. If you’re the old-fashioned type, that process can take a while. If you’re a Don Juan and the gal is open to casual sex, maybe a few hours is all you’ll need. Whatever the timetable, dopamine levels and hence sex drive will continue to increase as you move towards consummating your desire. The powerful urge to copulate created by spiking levels of dopamine as you get closer and closer to actually having sex partly explains those moments when people say, “I don’t know what happened. One moment we were on the couch watching Louie and the next minute we were making the beast with two backs.”

Once we achieve whatever reward dopamine was driving us towards, the levels of this neurotransmitter drop off. With sex, dopamine levels peak right around the moment of orgasm (to help wire our brains to seek out sex again in the future), but then decrease afterwards because we’ve accomplished our biological imperative to spread our seed. (Your brain doesn’t know if your seed never made it past the end of your condom. As far as your neurons are concerned, it’s “mission accomplished.”) The post-coitus drop in dopamine partly explains the male “refractory period” after sex. (In case you didn’t know, after a man orgasms, it’s physiologically impossible for him to have another orgasm for a period of time. Could be minutes, could be days. Depends on the guy.) When we orgasm, a hormone called prolactin is released which represses dopamine. No dopamine, no sex drive, no boner.

Porn, Novelty, and the Coolidge Effect

Remember when I mentioned above that one of our evolved natural reinforcers is novelty? Our brains are hardwired to seek out novelty because new things can provide survival and reproductive advantages. Whenever we encounter anything new — a new email, a new gadget, a new food — we get a shot of dopamine, which makes us want to look for more new things. We’ve all got an irrepressible treasure hunter streak in us. Thanks to a process called habituation, the familiar just doesn’t provide the same kind of dopamine hit as the novel. Habituation explains why the new car that we were so motivated to get for months and months doesn’t excite us nearly as much after just a few weeks of driving it around town.

We also get that shot of dopamine whenever we encounter a new attractive woman other than our current partner. Our brains are hardwired to seek out as many different (novel) sexual partners as possible. Again, from a reproductive perspective it makes sense that being exposed to a variety of attractive sex partners would jack up dopamine in our sexual reward circuitry, particularly in men. For males, the goal is to reproduce with as many different females as possible to create as many progeny as possible, with as much genetic variation as possible to increase our possible blood lines.

This drive for multiple new sex partners even when you already have an available and willing one is often called the “Coolidge Effect” after a conversation the president supposedly had with his wife:

The President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown [separately] around an experimental government farm. When [Mrs. Coolidge] came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” Upon being told, President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” To which the president replied, “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

To understand the power the Coolidge Effect has in increasing dopamine levels let’s take a look at two experiments.

In the first, a lucky male rat was placed in a cage with four or five female rats. He immediately had sex with all of them until exhaustion. Panting and rolled over in a sexual stupor, the male rat was nudged and licked by the female rats to keep going, but he didn’t respond. The tuckered-out rodent was no longer interested in doing the deed. But as soon as the researchers put a new female rat in the cage, old Mr. I’m Too Tired became alert and sarged over to have sex with the new female, while still ignoring his old harem. This rat’s ability to have sex with a new female despite having been previously sexually satiated all came down to dopamine. The first crew no longer gave him those potent dopamine squirts because, well, they were now boring. Been there, done that. But the new female caused an uptick in dopamine due to novelty and bam! the male rat’s sex drive was back. The Coolidge Effect explains why people are tempted to cheat, even with someone significantly less attractive that their long-term partner; the pull of novelty, any novelty, can be quite strong.

A similar experiment was done to show the Coolidge Effect in humans. Instead of putting a lone man in a room with four or five different women to have sex with (there likely would have been plenty of volunteers, but the ethicality would have been questionable), researchers showed test subjects an erotic film while their penises were attached to monitors to measure arousal. After 18 viewings of the same film, arousal had decreased dramatically. These guys had gotten used to seeing the same woman having sex with the same dude, so dopamine levels dropped. But on the 19th and 20th viewings, researchers showed a new clip and atten-hut! arousal skyrocketed once again. Sexual novelty increased dopamine levels, which increased sexual arousal.

How Online Porn Has Changed Your Brain

Alright. So what does all of the above have to do with internet porn?

Well, dopamine plays a central role in why you want to look at porn. Understand how dopamine works, and you understand why you are attracted to porn.

Porn is a substitute for actual sex, but your brain doesn’t know that. It reacts to a picture of a naked woman or a video of people having sex the same way it does a real life naked woman or you actually having sex. When encountering sexual images, your brain is going to ramp up dopamine levels, driving you to orgasm — whether that climax is fostered with another human being or is self-induced.

Dopamine also explains why certain types of porn are more compelling than others, and how in extreme cases men prefer porn to actual sex.

A still picture of a naked woman will jack up dopamine levels the first time you see it, but after a while that same picture just won’t do it for you any more. Your brain has become habituated to that stimulus. In order to be aroused again, you’d need to increase dopamine levels by injecting more novelty into your sexual fantasies with a new picture of a different naked woman.

But as time goes on, simply looking at any picture of a naked woman won’t get you aroused. You need something more. Well, you get a bigger squirt of dopamine whenever you watch others have sex in a porn video because the live action activates your mirror neurons, making you feel like you’re the one having sex. The stronger the stimulation, the bigger the shot of dopamine to the reward system, and hence the greater desire you have to watch that porn video.

But as the study above showed, after repeated viewings, even an erotic film can become like watching a boring documentary. It just won’t offer the same kind of dopamine hit you got the first time you watched it, and will eventually fail to arouse you. Again, this is due to habituation. To become sexually aroused again, you need to increase dopamine levels by watching something new, be it a video with a new woman or a video with some new sex practice you’ve never seen before. Add the novelty, increase the dopamine, and sexual arousal returns.

You’re probably seeing a common theme here: novelty. Porn offers the sexual novelty that dopamine has hardwired you to seek. The more you successfully find new sexual experiences, the more dopamine you get, which reinforces the desire to look for even more sexual novelty. Porn’s easy access to new “experiences” is part of what makes it so alluring.

Now before the internet, this wasn’t much of a problem. Once a man in the pre-internet porn years got habituated to his “girly” magazine, he had to trek over to the adult bookshop or the convenience store in the seedy part of town to get a new one. If he wanted to watch a pornographic film, he’d have to go to a XXX theatre or maybe a porno booth in that bookstore where he got his mags. Whether getting magazines or seeing films, it was a lot of rigmarole to get porn, plus there was the risk of getting caught and experiencing social shame. So, many men just didn’t bother. Even when he could have the magazines or videos delivered to his home, that happened maybe once or twice a month. If he had kids, he had to find a place to stash his porn and then find time when his family wasn’t around so he could exhume his collection and view it in privacy. Again, a lot of rigmarole.

So while porn offered some sexual novelty back in the day, there were barriers put in place due to technology (or the lack thereof) and social mores that made access to new and novel porn difficult and time-consuming. Because the dopamine hits from the new and novel didn’t come easy, getting hooked on porn was difficult and most men didn’t experience the many problems that modern porn users report.

Fast-forward to today. Thanks to the internet, you now have an infinite variety of porn on tap 24/7. Dopamine spikes due to sexual novelty have never been easier to achieve. No more trudging to the adult bookstore, no more going to great lengths to hide your porn. Just bring it up on your laptop or mobile device in the privacy of your home or at the bathroom at work. You can have multiple tabs open in your browser for different porn sites featuring a whole host of different virtual sex partners. As Gary Wilson notes in Your Brain on Porn, in “ten minutes, you can ‘experience’ more novel sex partners than your hunter-gatherer ancestors experienced in a lifetime.”

Internet porn doesn’t just provide access to novel sex “partners,” but to novel sexual experiences as well. You’re not just limited to watching a couple have sex missionary style, but can watch a wide variety of sexual acts. Just as novel sex partners will jack up dopamine levels, so will observing different sex acts. And as we’ll discuss tomorrow, dopamine levels also spike when we encounter things that shock us or gross us out. The more intense the emotional experience we have when we encounter porn, the more dopamine is released into our brain’s reward system. Which is why you may find yourself searching for kinkier and kinkier porn even though part of you finds it repulsive. All of this novelty is just a click away. As you experience more and more dopamine squirts to your reward system with new types of porn, connections in your brain’s reward circuitry strengthen, increasing your drive to seek even more sexual novelty. On and on the cycle goes.

Neuroplasticity, or, Why You Have the Urge to Look at Porn Whenever You Get Bored or Open Up Your Web Browser

So dopamine is what drives you to want to look at porn. And thanks to the internet, you have access to an unlimited variety of sexual “experiences” that when viewed, send out squirt after squirt of dopamine in your brain, which drives you to search for more and more porn.

At the same time, without you even knowing it, those dopamine squirts are also strengthening neural connections that are responsible for the behavior that keeps those neurotransmitter hits coming.

Porn is literally rewiring your brain.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “neurons that fire together, wire together.” It aptly describes the way we learn things. Everything you know – how to walk, how to throw a football, who won the World Series in 1989 — is made up of connected neurons firing in sync with one another. The stronger the connection, the less you have to think about doing or remembering the thing you’re trying to recall. You don’t have to think about walking, for instance, because the neurons involved in walking have a strong connection that began being formed as toddler. However, trying to remember information for a history test that you just crammed for the previous night might be more difficult because the neurons involved in that memory haven’t fired enough together to create a strong connection.

Neurons firing and wiring together is also how our habits are formed. When you receive a shot of dopamine after receiving some reward, be it food or sex or novelty, your brain is strengthening the neurons that fired and wired together to achieve the reward so that you will repeat the process and can get it again in the future. This rewiring involves connecting the cues and behavior that led to a respective reward.

This cue-behavior-reward connection is what author Charles Duhigg calls “The Habit Loop,” and understanding it can go a long way in helping you understand your porn habit (and break it).

Habit researchers have shown that almost all cues (the thing that reminds or triggers your brain to seek a reward through a certain behavior) fall into one of five categories:

  • Location
  • Time
  • Emotional State
  • Other People
  • Immediately-preceding Action

Again, your brain is paying attention to cues that are connected with the reward. Once it recognizes the cue, dopamine is released to get you craving and wanting to do whatever it takes to get the reward. Think Pavlov’s dogs here. At the beginning of that experiment, it was just food that got the dogs salivating. But then they were introduced to the cue of a metronome, and after a while just that sound would get them salivating for their reward.

With porn, the associated cue could be sitting down at your computer late at night when everyone else is asleep. If you’re John Mayer, the cue would be being in bed when you first get up in the morning. For many guys, being in bed right before they go to sleep is a cue. Coming across a porn image by accident while surfing Tumblr could be a cue to start looking for more porn. Heck, just visiting Tumblr might be a cue to start looking for more porn.

Cues don’t even have to be external. The most common porn surfing cues are emotional states. Many men find themselves surfing for porn when they’re depressed or bored or even distracted. For them, the pleasure of porn offers relief from these unpleasant emotions.

Once the cue triggers the dopamine production that ramps up your motivation to view porn, a behavioral routine is automatically set in motion. A routine is a behavior or set of behaviors that get you to the reward of orgasm. So let’s say your cue to look for porn is when you’re at your computer late at night after everyone has gone to bed. Once that happens, without even really thinking about it, you open up your web browser (in incognito mode, of course) and go right to PornHub to commence a session of porn browsing and masturbating. The cue-behavior/routine-reward circuit is complete. Your brain releases a huge squirt of dopamine right around orgasm, reinforcing the neural connections associated with the cue, routine, and reward so that next time you have the same cue (at your computer late at night), you’ll get that itch to start your routine to get more porn. Repeat this circuit over a period of a few days or weeks, and you’ve got yourself a strong neural connection that leads to you checking out porn without even really thinking about it. That’s how porn can become a strong habit or even an addiction (we’ll talk more about the habit vs. addiction distinction in the next post).

Recap

Let’s review what we’ve covered today.

The reason porn is so alluring is because of dopamine. Dopamine is what makes us crave or seek out evolutionarily advantageous rewards. Sex is the strongest natural reinforcer of behavior and releases the most amount of dopamine in our brain when we successfully orgasm. Our brain doesn’t differentiate between porn-induced sex fantasies and actual sex, so we get the same big squirt of dopamine, and the same incredibly strong drive to orgasm, with porn as we do with real life sex. Basically, when you look at porn, your brain thinks you’re a heroic tribesman out on the savanna, and is shouting “Atta boy! Spread that seed! Spread that seed!” when in reality you’re hunched over your laptop, the light of the screen illuminating your dead-eyed gaze, as you clench a wad of tissues.

The more habituated we get to a stimulus, the less dopamine our brains release in conjunction with it. Getting the same hit as before necessitates seeking out sexual novelty, and high-speed internet porn provides this in spades. This easy access to a wide variety of new sexual scenes and practices makes internet porn all the more alluring and desirable thanks to the dopamine hits your brain gets every time you click over to a new porn clip or picture.

Not only does dopamine create the craving to surf for porn, it’s also strengthening the neural connections in your reward circuitry that are responsible for the behaviors that lead to you actually looking at and masturbating to porn. Your brain comes to associate certain environmental or internal cues with the reward of orgasm so that whenever you encounter these cues, a behavioral routine is initiated that leads you to your favorite porn site. Your brain releases more dopamine in response to successfully getting porn, and orgasming from it, which strengthens this neural cue-routine-reward circuit, making porn surfing a habit that’s extremely difficult to shake.

And there you have the brain science of why internet porn is so incredibly alluring and habit-forming.

But, the question remains…should you even care? Why not just give the old brain what it craves and not worry about it? To the possible negative effects of this course, is where we will turn in part 3.

The Rise of Impotence and Erectile Dysfunction in India

The Rise of Impotence and Erectile Dysfunction in India

An increase in impotence and erectile dysfunction is becoming a concern for men in India. We take a look at causes, the impact and helpful treatments.

By Prem Solanki

* This article is a repost which originally appeared on DESIblitz



In an age where sexual satisfaction is becoming a growing need in India, the issue of rising impotence and erectile dysfunction is being highlighted as a concern.

Impotence and erectile dysfunction are a condition where a man finds it difficult to maintain an erection to have sexual intercourse.

Thus, Indian men are not likely to openly get help for issues related to their manhood of this nature openly. Therefore, this is developing into an unhealthy growth of such men who are in need of help.

India has been dubbed the ‘impotence capital of the world’, not just in numbers but also in prevalence rates.

According to Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti who set up the first andrology centre in India in 1989, impotence is affecting over 50% of Indian men over 40 and 10% of those aged below 40.

Another report has concluded that 1 out of every 10 men in India could be impotent, which is a very alarming figure.

The rise in impotence is beginning to affect relationships and marriages. It is taking its toll both on the suffering men and women partners.

We take a look at the impact of the rise of impotence and erectile dysfunction in India, causes and treatments available.

Health and Lifestyle Causes

There are a number of issues related to the health and lifestyle of Indian men being seen as contributors to impotence and erectile dysfunction.

Medical research has found that obesity, excessive smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse amongst men are examples of contributors towards impotence.

Heart ailments in India are on the rise and there is a direct correlation to the increase in levels of impotence.

However, the highest contributors are seen as diabetes, high lipids, hypertension, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, especially in men over 40.

Diabetes, in particular, is seen as a disease which is aiding the growth of impotence in India.

According to Dr Deepak Jumani, the most common complication of diabetes is erectile dysfunction (ED).

In research conducted by Dr Jumani, he compared diabetes results in India and those of China and other countries and concluded:

“We compared all these results with data from China and other countries.

“Conclusions: India ranks highest in the prevalence of Diabetes.

“In men, ED is the commonest complication, hence, India is Erectile Dysfunction capital of the world.”

Increases in stress, hypertension and sedentary lifestyles are also seen major contributing factor to the impotence in Indian men in all age groups.

Therefore, these health and lifestyles issues need serious attention when it comes to Indian men’s health in order to combat the growing problem of impotence and erectile dysfunction.

Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can contribute to impotence as well. Some medications prescribed for mental health problems can have an impact on sexual abilities like not being able to maintain erections.

There is also a myth associated with masturbation being a cause of impotence and erectile dysfunction.

There is no medical evidence that proves masturbation can cause erectile dysfunction in men. However, anything extremely excessive can lead to problems like any other habit.

In the majority of cases, it is an unhealthy lifestyle which can be the culprit.

Impact on Marriage and Relationships

Figures say about 20-30% of Indian marriages are failing due to lack of sexual satisfaction.

This figure is not just referring to newlyweds but those even who are middle-aged and with grown-up families.

Then there are those who continue to suffer in silence without getting any help.

Issues with sexual communication, acceptance, expectations are all part of the equation in India that needs to be solved with impotence being a key variable.

Indian men tend to correlate their masculinity with their sexual prowess and ability to perform. Their ego can lay in their genitals.

Therefore, men having to deal with the onset of impotence and erectile dysfunction can take on a huge toll on expectations of them.

Being the man, they should be able to perform sexually but when they cannot the strain on their relationships can be huge.

Especially, in a marriage. Where traditionally, Indian men are seen to be pivotal in a sexual relationship.

In addition, Indian women are now a lot more educated about sex and more open to their needs in the bedroom.

Dr. Krisnamurti expands on this and says:

“There is a whole new openness about things. People are more willing to talk about sex; it isn’t a taboo subject.

“Before you couldn’t talk about oral sex, now it isn’t a big deal, and people are increasingly experimental.

“You have missionary position aunties trying out garters and whips to rekindle the spark in their sex lives.”

Hence, adding more pressure on Indian men to meet the needs of partners.

To hide the issue, men tend to blame the partner in the relationship for being obsessed with sex, being too demanding or for not turning him on.

This results in a gradual distance sexually in the relationship rather than dealing with the problem.

Sheena Kumari, a housewife says:

“Our sex life is over very quick and over within minutes.”

“Due to my husband not accepting that he has an impotence issue, I end up masturbating secretly and using ‘other things’ to satisfy myself.

“He provides me with material comforts and in his mind, our sex life is great without realising I too have sexual needs.

“So, our marriage is a façade of happiness which is a big lie when it comes to our sex life.”

Ameena Javed, who is in a relationship, says:

“My boyfriend has only started to have issues with impotence over the last year.

“At start, we thought it was nothing but gradually it became worse and I saw the effect it had on him. It was not good. Our sex life was impacted.

“So, I told him we have to get medical help. At first, he was very reluctant but as I was supporting him I went with him.

“Now, he is getting treatment, it has made a huge difference to him and us.”

Problems Having a Family

While impotence and erectile dysfunction have a major impact on the sex life in relationships and marriage, it also impacts a couple when it comes to having a family.

Once a couple gets married, the Indian pressure put on them to start a family increases tenfold.

This pressure can become a strain on a couple trying to conceive if the man is suffering from impotence and is finding it very difficult to have sexual intercourse.

Meera Khan, a recently married woman, revealed her anguish, saying:

“When I met my husband, he boasted about the many ex-girlfriends he had in the past.”

“So, I assumed he was sexually experienced.”

“He showed me tremendous affection, respect and love which led us to get married fairly quickly.

“But I only found out about his issue after our marriage and to save our marriage I have tried to conceive, to keep face to my relatives and my in-laws.

“When it comes to me he portrays himself as a caring and loving husband. But in reality, our intimacy is non-existent.

“It gets awkward, he even says he has a ‘headache’ or ‘not feeling well’ to avoid the issue of his impotence.”

“To help, I even collected his semen in a syringe and tried to inseminate myself with it.”

Porn and Impotence

India is touted as a nation growing in its use of porn. Research by popular porn website Pornhub has widely documented the increase.

This in return raises the question as to whether there is a connection between the excessive use of pornography and impotence.

The correlation between porn and impotence is being raised as a possible concern more amongst younger men.

Research is revealing that there is a possible link between porn and erectile dysfunction, where the use of porn in isolated environments by young men can desensitise sexual responses in them when it comes to sex with a partner.

An article published in 2016, highlights that more and more young men are seeking help for erectile dysfunction, and this could be due to the use of ‘hardcore’ pornography.

Research in the article suggests that porn decreases the satisfaction of men with their own bodies, therefore, triggering anxiety about their performance during sex.

Thus, indicating that sex with a real partner is a less arousing experience compared to the porn equivalent, which is something they have got their brain used to.

With porn being a scenario where women are always ready for sex and men are constantly hard, men using porn may need a lot more sexual stimulation to remain and feel aroused during sex with a partner.

With sex education being very limited in India, there is no doubt that porn is being used as a substitute and providing a very misconstrued picture of sexual performance expectations to young men.

Thus, this may be a contributing factor to impotence amongst younger Indian men not being able to get erections quickly as well, due to their excessive use of porn.

Getting Help and Treatment

Impotence is poorly understood and needs much more awareness in India to help men get treatment.

In an age of progressive sexual science, treatment for impotence and erectile dysfunction comes essentially in two forms in India.

Psychological and counselling support is one key method of help, which is proven to with good results.

This is because impotence can be related to psychological issues from a trauma in the past or childhood such as a bad sexual experience, poor relationships or a specific mental block.

Baljit, who has been married for over twenty years, says:

“Our sex life was starting to get affected by my husband erectile issues which started after he was 45.

“A friend of mine suggested we first see a psychologist who specialised in sexual issues.

“After a few discussions with my husband, he agreed. We found that the issue was related to his stress and workload in his job.

“He was not relaxing and had too much tension. The doctor told us to do some intimate exercises together which we followed.

“The doctor then suggested we go on holiday to try a different environment and get some quality time together.

“The holiday made such a difference, it was like a second honeymoon! We found ourselves re-engaging with sex and being intimate once again.”

The second form of treatment is medication. There are many forms of medication available to help impotence and erectile dysfunction including the popular ‘blue pill’ Viagra.

Other treatments include surgical procedures as well, including penile implants, which provide a mechanism to help a man to achieve an erection.

Medication, counselling and possibly surgery, would be treatments considered and offered by a medical professional to help Indian men.

Therefore, it is important for a man who is being affected by impotence and erectile dysfunction to seek medical help.

The more the matter of impotence is prolonged without medical support, the more impact it will have on the man, his partner and even family.

Indian women are now being seen to support their men when it comes to sexual issues and they are openly seeking help for them.

Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti says:

“A quarter of the cases that I see are brought in by women.

“This is often because men and women are educated at different levels, and women are much more assertive if they are better educated; and if there is a problem they are willing to bring their husbands to the clinic.

“Sometimes the husbands are busy, or unwilling to face the issue, and in the much more open atmosphere that we live in, wives are willing to schedule the appointments.”

Seema Tiwari, a young housewife, says:

“After a lot of convincing, my husband finally agreed to see a specialist doctor.

“First we tried a lot of Desi remedies for his problem but nothing really worked.

“After three consultations and tests, the doctor provided treatment with medication which definitely helped.

“Since then, our sex life has got much better and above all, he is much happier.”

New methods and techniques are continuously being researched to help men with the issue in India.

Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti says that rigidity levels of erections can decrease in men too:

“Even if a person isn’t completely impotent they might not be able to perform. Now we have machines that can measure rigidity, and we have moved beyond early thinking on the subject.”

Removing the taboo around sexual problems such as impotence is much needed in India and better sex education is a must.

With the internet providing a plethora of information on the issue, it is important to not get misinformed and get misled by ‘quick fixes’ to the problem with potions and pills.

Therefore, seeking professional medical help for an Indian man suffering from impotence and erectile dysfunction should be mandatory.

NoFap and Stamina Training without Porn: Ask the Experts

stamina cartoon

Big Al, of MaleEnhancementCoach.com, answers questions about NoFap and how to do stamina training without porn, in this Ask the Experts article.

If you have questions you’d like answered in an Ask the Experts article, please PM Big Al.

Q.  I did a NoFap for 3 months….

… After a couple of weeks my libido really peaked, then at about the 3 week mark it subsided and it became a lot easier to get through my day without thinking about porn or masturbating.  The problem now that I’ve stopped is my EQ and sex drive are low.  I’ll be starting on your stamina program to kick start myself back into shape, but did I do something wrong?

Big Al: The thing about NoFap- if the goal is to optimize sexual function then months on end without any stimuli can have the reverse effect due to atrophy.  As you noted, you recovered and “peaked” about a couple of weeks into the phase- and a decline afterwards as the body adapts to a lack of sexual activity should have been expected.

Keeping the above in mind- extremes at either end don’t work for long periods.  The Stop and Starts exercise offers a manageable outlet for libido and also trains you towards greater EQ- something with isn’t possible after a period with no training.

Q. I don’t understand what I should be doing with stamina training….

…If I can’t look at porn and shouldn’t picture sex in my mind then how do I train? Would using porn or sexy thoughts be better?

Big Al: The kegels and Stop and Starts should be done with paying maximum attention to your “visualizations”.  This is NOT a reference to sexual fantasizing, but to projecting the type of emotions you wish to have during actual sexual encounters.  You’ll want to project a feeling of utmost confidence and being completely unencumbered.  That way, you can focus on all of the sensations of the exercise.  By doing this, when you do have live sexual encounters your emotions will be “trained”, and the stimulus of a live environment will help you enjoy the experience even more.

To elaborate on this, the process is all about conditioning (as is ALL training).  First, you make sure to clear your mind of any thoughts- especially those related to performance anxiety.  When you begin the exercise focus solely on the tactile sensations only while attempting to induce feeling of confidence and being unencumbered.  The best way to describe the feeling I’m referring to is if you’ve ever had a sexual encounter where you felt so empowered you were able to fully “let go” and enjoy the experience.

By not focusing on any external stimuli except for your tactile sensations and not inducing mental erotic imagery you train yourself to become fully
receptive for future sexual encounters.  A good analogy would be like going from a near fasting level of subsistence to a buffet style feast for the
senses.