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Your Brain on Porn
  • ineverknewineverknew
    Posts: 829
    I came along this video series and found it very interesting, thought I would share with you guys if your having arousal problems during aneros sessions like me.  This video explains the brain chemistry behind watching porn, and in my opinion why and how I have a hard time getting aroused during a session without it.  Watch the videos(about 60 min long altogether) and let me know what you think.  You can watch them here http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series.
  • rumelrumel
    Posts: 2,253
    ineverknew,

    Thanks for finding and bringing to our attention that video series on porn addiction. I have added it as a reference source in the Aneros WIKI. It also reinforces information I had previously found for the Aneros, Arousal & Abstinence thread.
    image Good Vibes to You ! image
  • Jspad
    Posts: 88
    Nice link, very informative. Thanks for the knowledge, might help me a whole lot with rewiring as well as getting aroused.
  • Wired
    Posts: 83
    Oh thanks for that link ineverknew, I will watch that in a couple of days when I get home!
  • Linum
    Posts: 185
    There is some very good information here. Thanks very much for drawing it to our attention ineverknew.

    There was only one problem I had - comparing human sexuality to that of a rat, or even a monkey (perhaps a bit too simplistic). There are at least 2 purposes to human sexuality - reproduction, and as a kind of "social glue". Hunter-gatherer societies are famously known to have more sexual connections between members, than modern-day heterosexual communities report. Many human sexual encounters could not be considered as having a solely reproductive purpose. Aneros use itself does not necessarily have any reproductive purpose. Sex for humans largely does not have a reproductive purpose, otherwise there would be a lot of frustrated people out there - only able to have sex a maximum of 10 or 11 times in one life. These comments though do not detract from the main point of the videos, which are very well explained.

    It is interesting as Rumel pointed out, that "the cure" for porn addiction does involve abstinence. Of course many of us who use abstinence in conjunction with aneros use, or Taoist practices, are doing so from the perspective of NOT being porn addicted, but the biochemical principles in the brain are much the same - increasing the dopamine receptors gives us greater arousal and pleasure responses.

    Whilst watching these videos, flashes of previous threads on this forum came to mind, especially ones dealing with aneros addiction. It would seem that too frequent use of an aneros could also operate under a similar law of diminishing returns. There is therefore, such a thing as over-use and over-stimulation, and spacing out one's sessions would seem to offer the greatest rewards in terms of quality of response.  I know Rumel and others have mentioned this before, but IT IS worth repeating.

    Another comment in the videos, was to concentrate on how sex or masturbation feels to you - focussing on those internal sensations, rather than relying on external stimulation alone.  How often has that been repeated as sage advice on this forum?
  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    I've given up porn because of reading this website. (though only on day 5).

    I'm seeing if regular aneros use and controlled ejaculation (eery week to 10 days) will help rewire the porn impulse.  If it works, I'll do a more thorough description of my process in the blogs.

    I mostly have agreement with this website, though I think it borders on puritanism in places. All in all, though, I think it's mostly good information, though very straight-specific. (which I realize for most of you guys is right up your alley). 
  • Linum
    Posts: 185
    Good luck on that LICNYCgay.  I will look forward to hearing how you get on.

    One of the things I have loved about this forum is that there are men of all sexual orientations on here.  As another gay man, it is certainly good to know there are others, but I am happy that I can converse with straight men and men of all ages about sexual pleasure too - it seems somewhat more rounded to me.

    "Bordering on puritanism" - perhaps - at times.  Don't be tempted to let scepticism get in the way however, I never thought that "ejaculatory abstinence" would ever be for me - but now I find it quite the most amazing thing.  7 - 10 days is fairly normal for me now.

    All the best

    Linum
  • Wired
    Posts: 83
    Linum - "Don't be tempted to let scepticism get in the way however, I never thought that "ejaculatory abstinence" would ever be for me - but now I find it quite the most amazing thing."

    Theres more truth to this than i think you realise (perhaps im wrong, no offence intended). Well said.

  • RastaYogaRastaYoga
    Posts: 43
    I also try to ejaculate only once every 7 to 10 days, if possible. I think it is a great frequency for a man of my age (36).

    I have recently tried taking a break from porn & sexual fantasy... in hopes of rewiring my brain to have better odds at a successful relationship. It is very interesting & different to masturbate without porn OR fantasizing about sex... it works and it feels nice... but I never realized how 'addicted' to sexual imagery I was!
  • Badger
    Posts: 647
    I wouldn't use the word "puritanical" to define sexual frigidity and sexual self-denial.  The Puritans, once they became married, were the horniest, lustful, wild, swinging-from-the-chandliers sex pots, that had sexual exploits you probably couldn't begin to imagine.  A more accurate term is probably Gnostic, based on the Greek philosophy of sexual self-denial, and physical self-denial as well.  Some Christian churches fell into that well, like the Shakers, who completely denied themselves any sexual gratification.  As a result, they never had any children, so the sect died out in the early 20th century.
  • Jspad
    Posts: 88
    I'm about 5 days in as well, to see how things turn out. Normally, I'd look at porn and ejaculate almost every day, before I'd take a shower. Since starting practice with the aneros, however, I've been changing my habits to see what works best.
  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    Yeah I was a daily user of porn too.  And even after... what has it been? 7 days? I'm clearing.

    My problem with the website has nothing to do with the main premise. Those 6 videos really hit home for me. The part where they list 7 signs, and if you can say yes to three of them you might have a porn problem?  Well I could answer yes to 6 of the 7, and even the 7th one was a qualified "yes."

    There was something about seeing this information laid out the way it is.

    Badger, okay, good point about Puritanical.  Maybe sex-phobic is more accurate.  These testimonials from guys that have gone off porn but are still masturbating.  To me that's at least part of the point, being able to be alone with your body and enjoy the pleasure it can give you. Those initial 6 videos, though? I think I raised my eyebrows only once in skepticism, and now I can't even remember what point caused it.  Most of the time I was going "holy f**k this makes so much sense, and this is me.

    So the plan for me is no porn over the summer, and as much as possible, aneros every other day, ejaculation every 10 days or so.  Big plan.  We'll see how it goes.


  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    Actually, from my understanding, Linum the way the video describes the similarities between human brains and mice and monkeys is pretty accurate. We all have the vestige parts of the brain developed by our ancestors (often referred to as the "reptile" brain), and the only difference is that we as humans have added a lot of stuff (frontal lobes, for example) onto it.  But the same reptilian brain is still there controlling a lot of our primal instincts.
  • Wired
    Posts: 83
    "So the plan for me is no porn over the summer, and as much as possible,
    aneros every other day, ejaculation every 10 days or so.  Big plan.
     We'll see how it goes."  -  @LICNYCgay

    Thats a great plan. Your ejac can be well placed by listening to your body, when the time comes that you have incredibly strong urges you cant fight anymore, go for gold. count the number of days and you can use them to reference your biological age. For example someone who is 25 will last 8 days maybe, whilst someone who is 65 will last 14-15 days? possibly even longer. If someone who is 65 has taken incredibly good care of themself (Living a truely healthy lifestyle) may find that they have a biological age of say 30. At the end of the day it really doesnt matter how many times youve circled the Sun, your lifespan is dependent on you and what youve put yourself through.  

    Im yet to watch all of these videos (only had time for the first 2 yesterday), But i have felt the effects of not having porn before. I work on an oil rig and i do a 2 on 2 off roster. This means whilst im at work for 2 weeks i have no access to porn. When i get home my sensitivity to porn is amazingly high. Every girl i see is amazing beautiful and every video possible gets my attention/interest. After just 3-4 days that changes drastically and i find that im Much more selective about girls and videos i watch.
  • Linum
    Posts: 185
    LICNYCgay - yes - you are right when it comes to brain physiology.  However, I was talking about the assumption that rats and monkeys have similar motivation to have sex (animal behaviour).  When was the last time you heard of rat having sex for pleasure and not reproduction?  Even monkey sexuality does not resemble human sexuality - for a start females are usually only receptive to males once per oestrous cycle - very unlike human females.

    If you haven't read it before take a look at "Sex at Dawn -  The Prehistory of Modern Sexuality".

    Good luck with the abstinence
  • isvara
    Posts: 570
    @linum, you are probably correct but when I worked on a sheep station it was quite common to see the rams try it on each other (no estrous cycle). If one of the rams " went down" my term he was a target for the rest to have ago. There may be need as well as pleasure to consider. The bono monkeys have random gender sex with each other to celebrate an abundant supply of food. Gender does not seem to matter! Also dolphins have celebratory sex after an abundant feed. They seem to want to celebrate. I just wonder if we over simplify the sex drive to reproduction as some of of our religions seem to want to do.
    The sheep dogs had a very human like expression on their faces when they were cumming!
    Well what I want to say is that this thread is very interesting and very helpful. I have been able to print the transcripts so I can work through them carefully. I especially like the fact is not moralizing. It is looking at moderation in a particularly helpful way that does not demonized masturbation or sexual enjoyment. In fact the reverse.
  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    Why do you assume that animals don't have sex for pleasure? Pleasure is nature's guarantee that species will reproduce. Of course they have sex for pleasure.
  • Linum
    Posts: 185
    I don't know about dolphins, but continual sexual receptivity is one of the primary hallmarks of what it is to be human, and bonobos.  It is no accident that bonobos are also our closest living relative.

    LICNYCgay - why do you assume that I assume that sex for other animals doesn't involve pleasure?

    "When was the last time you heard of rat having sex for pleasure and not reproduction"?

    I suspect that since non-reproductive sex is a defining characteristic of what is to be human, there is a strong likelihood that our reactions to porn are at least as much a function of our enhanced need for more or less continual sexual stimulation, as it is for the our "need" to spread our genes around.  Of course, there is plenty of human sex that has no reproductive benefits, and that was why I didn't like the parts of the video where gene replication was highlighted as the primary cause of sex.  I don't think it was central to the main points of the video however, which is why I thought them very interesting overall.
  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    well, not sure that proves that they don't enjoy sex. just because reproduction is attached to it doesn't mean they don't enjoy it.

    My sister has 2 rather large male dogs.  They're always mounting each other, and licking each other's and their own genitals. It's obviously they enjoy sexual stimulation.

    And your suspicions are correct about dolphins too.  My husband worked for a dolphin facility for a time, as a guide. They were always sexing each other, mostly the 2 males sexing each other.

    It may be a very human-centric interpretation to believe that because other mammals have smaller brains, they don't seek pleasure.
  • Linum
    Posts: 185
    "well, not sure that proves that they don't enjoy sex. just because reproduction is attached to it doesn't mean they don't enjoy it"

    I wasn't trying to prove that.  All I said in my original post was that it was "perhaps a bit too simplistic" to compare rat and monkey sex to human sex.  You disagreed - that is your prerogative.

    Have a good day LICNYCgay
  • isvara
    Posts: 570
    There seems to be a fine line between the beginning of addiction and healthily helpful curiosity. In some ways written porn can be more subtly damaging because it engages the imagination which extends the printed word. Unrequited curiosity may create dysfunction particularly if it centers around the powerful sexual energy. The above mentioned talks I think are very useful. They act as a check on dependency and give a restorative program. I suppose each if us has to do a personal check to see if our sex habits are positive towards our daily life or not and whether we need explicit sexual videos to "get off" or whether we like erotic videos reminding us of what we once did, keeping us alive and interested in each other as the sun slowly sets. (A bit melodramatic)
    I appreciate the thread-still working on it.
  • LICNYCgay
    Posts: 12
    just reread what I wrote.  I befuddled it.  What I meant to say before my fingers went ahead of my brain or whatever, is that it may be human- centric to assume that because other mammals don't have the same brain, they don't seek pleasure.

    I think we're uncomfortable as a species thinking we still have much in common with other mammals. That's all I'm saying, in my clumsy way.  Sorry if I've offended anyone in saying it.
  • @LICNYCgay - how are you getting on with your experiment?

    Agree we are animals - do a google on "dolphins puffer fish"

    @ineverknew - great link, very useful and informative video presentation - like the way the argument is built to allow the foundation to see the importance of the rat and the lever experiment discussed in part 2.

    First reaction - between us, we need to demonstrate more intelligence than the rat!

    By part 4, I was beginning to think, but something else must be happening in Aneros usage as we experience it because the pleasure does not decrease, there doesn't seem to be a numbing of the pleasure response - there's a point where you don't need visual stimulation anymore (seem to get past the need for novelty, could / do use Aneros in the dark) - like you leap into the opiate circuit he mentioned earlier (part 1) and can stay there, extracting more and more pleasure without necessarily dulling the dopamine circuit as in the addictions he is referring to.

    Part 6 - is he recommending masturbation in the dark? LOL

    Interestingly for me from what is expressed in this video overall - Aneros usage does not seem to fit neatly into an addictive scenario - eventually all users seem to end up experiencing an auto-masturbation of their anal canal and prostate Aneroslessly and it is life affirming and makes the whole of sensory experience more rewarding and engaging.
  • ineverknewineverknew
    Posts: 829
    @hapticbear, I posted the your brain on porn thing not for people who are addicted to aneros use,though that could happen, but more for people who get desensitized to porn and end up getting addicted to that in general.  I think the video series also points out how an addiction to porn can change your brain chemistry and eventually what you find arousing in strange ways.  For example most start out watching soft core porn and then move up to hard core, then on into stranger kinks and all because your feeding that dopamine rush.  Its kinda scary when you read of adults in their twenties who have ED because they can only masturbate to internet porn.  Its obviously a growing problem but most dont realize that they are actually addicted.
  • @ineverknew, yes fully appreciate your original motive, it just struck me that given the arguments he makes it would be difficult to frame Aneros usage as addictive - I guess it's part of my personal acceptance of Aneros usage to place it in an 'adaptive' rather than 'addictive' framing - this video put me more at ease with that position.
  • Jspad
    Posts: 88
    Maybe part of the reason aneros use doesn't dull our pleasure center so much is because of the brain making new paths throughout the journey? While porn is the same thing over and over: visual stimulation with every single picture, but with perhaps a hundred or more pictures per session, and thus a hundred or more hits on the same neural path way, I can see how people can numb their sexual response. With aneros use, at least we limit ourselves to an extent, maybe once every couple of days, more or less depending on the person.

    On the subject of porn addiction/recovery though, I quit months ago, but ended up trying to use it again in limited amounts, like once a month. I ended up doing once every two weeks, then once a week, but now I'm quitting for good... no more at all. I think if you put a limit on it, you keep thinking about the next time you get to do it. I heard something about how the brain works, "it uses it or loses it." I think even spaced repetition still keeps the addiction alive.

    I remember one time after quitting the first time, masturbating to porn, I got to orgasm and closed my eyes and focused on the feelings before realizing I wasn't looking at the picture. When I look at porn, sometimes I get hung on looking for the right picture to finish to for several minutes. I want to get back to that point, just focusing on the feelings and not worrying about pictures. And besides, last time I masturbated to porn was pretty underwhelming. I figure it was because my brain just wanted to look at the pictures, and I wasn't ready to masturbate yet. Now if I ever feel the urge to look at porn, I just remember how lackluster that last session was, and now I haven't had the urge lately at all.