Time to Break Your Computer Screen (not really)

Don’t actually break your computer. Yes, that’s tissue and lotion.

During this year, I’ve been redefining what “sexuality” actually means to me. Of course, I’ve discovered a number of meanings and each one always poses a difficult question(s). Some meanings I can share on this page. Other meanings I’ll keep privately.

The first and foremost meaning of my sexuality is identity. Who am I attracted to? What am I attracted to? Why I am attracted to?

I have always known who I am attracted to since I was three years old. Primary mother figures — teachers, teacher aids, older women in general. Then I started noticing cute girls who were about my age. Over time, as I hit puberty, my attractions morphed and changed depending on the experiences I had with women. This sexual trajectory is the case for a lot healthy men.

But then…

High-speed internet and porn — the big 21st Century variables — intertwines during a man’s sexual life. It definitely intertwined during my life, and the lives of my peers. It’s after my dependent tango with pornography that I realized the questions: what am I attracted to?And why?

As men and women of the internet age, we are constantly engrossed in an optimal sexual world. We get to select — so easily — who we choose to “mate” with on a daily basis. For men who are single and not socially active with women (or men), this might be a primary option for sexual release. For men who are in relationships, this might be a sexual outlet in case their partners are not available for sex. For whatever reason, porn is readily available for us.

There are people who use porn in positive ways in their lives. Or there are people who are just plain happy with porn. So, I’m not interested in “converting” or “condemning” anyone who enjoys porn to not enjoy it. Porn, in my opinion, is crazy stimulating. Like a Big Mac and Fries from McDonald's is crazy tasty.

A Seductive Brain

So Why The Hell Would You Abstain?

There are many reasons why a person would give up porn or take a break from it. All reasons are valid, and not one has a particular edge over the other.

People abstain to help reverse sexual dysfunctions.

According to certain studies, there is an alarming rate in sexual dysfunction in young healthy men in their early twenties to thirties. Some are discovering dysfunctions in their teens. The following acronyms were circulating in online communities — YBOP, NoFap, Reboot Nation, Fight The New Drug — and then on academic studies.

PIED: Porn-induced Erectile Dysfunction

This is one of the biggest problems, if not THE biggest problem, that has and will affect men who indulge in too much porn. High speed internet porn doesn’t affect our blood circulation or penis health, rather it affects the dopamine receptors in our brains. A healthy erection is caused by the amount of dopamine we receive when presented with a sexual situation or cue (ex. a real, willing naked girl in your bed). An over stimulation of our dopamine wears out our receptors. Since we can click and click and click to novelty women or men, a real life mate wouldn’t do the trick as well.

PIDE or PIPE: Porn-induced Delayed or Premature Ejaculation

Depending on the type of masturbatory habits, a man can develop one or the other symptom. A man who masturbates to porn very quickly — in order not to get caught by parents/roommates/etc — may develop premature ejaculating habits. Obviously this habit, like any habit, only gets reinforced from years and years of stimulating those sensory cues. And, remember, most men develop PIPE starting at a young age.

The other symptom is delayed ejaculation. For a lot of guys that suffer from this dysfunction, sex does not feel good. It’s difficult for him (or her) to reach orgasm. This is do to desensitization both of the brain and the penis. When mixing high rushes of dopamine with masturbatory habits that do not simulate a real vagina (even someone else’s hand/mouth), you’re conditioning your brain to only orgasm to that sensation. Men who had real sex before watching porn or older men who did not grow up with high-speed internet porn, find it easier to recover and regain their sensitivity to real partners. However, virgin men who started masturbating to porn before sex with real partners will find it tougher and longer to develop sensitization pathways for real, intimate sex.

Part 2 of a 4 video lecture by Urologist Tarek Pacha

People who abstain for moral and ethical reasons.

People who are religious get rough flack when it comes to abstinence. Nowadays when a Christian or Catholic or Muslim says don’t do it because it’s wrong, a lot of secular and agnostic people (including myself) throw two middle fingers in the air and write them off as being anti-free speech prudes. Well, that’s completely ignorant of us proud non-religious people. Despite some outdated interpretations of certain religions (there’s my agnostic opinion), religion(s)are the backbone of civilization. Many, many people refer to their scriptures for guidance. And when one feels lost or bad using porn, there’s a powerful path they can follow in order to restore a kind of balance. To them, the path is the Word of God. Why not take it?

Another ethical reason, a reason that I acknowledge, is the abuse in the sex industry. Now I am not a performer nor do I know the inner workings of the porn industry. I am a consumer. As a consumer, I have witnessed abuse without recognizing the abuse. As a consumer, I was detached from the actual people that were performing in the videos. So when the female performer gets slapped, I didn’t feel it. When she gets choked or ragged-dolled, I didn’t feel it. When the male performer could not ejaculate or maintain an erection, there would be sudden edits in the film; I didn’t know what happened between those cuts nor did I care about the pressure that that man was under. There are many YouTube and articles about former performers, male and female, talking about the horrors of the industry; their stories are pretty heartbreaking.

Sure there’s probably performers, male and female, who enjoy their line of work. So I can’t discredit those experiences. However, just hearing the negative ones are enough to make me really question my consumerism and participation.

A mini-segment about a former performers life

Porn is not real sex. Porn is not masturbation.

Porn is visual stimulation.

It’s made up of pixels on a screen (or print)that forms a desirable image. Our brain’s recognizes these images as the real thing. So, depending on where we are, we are inclined to pleasure ourselves to it. Unlike being with a real person, there are no smells, no direct sight, no sense of someone else’s touch, no humor, no real connective energy and closeness. What there is is voyeurism, unrealistic angles, sudden edits, the sensation of your own hand, and mouse clicking. Over time, after constantly rewarding the brain with an orgasm, I identified that my mind and body were literally attracted to a computer screen with an image. Sad.

Well, sadly, there’s a misconception that watching porn and intimate sex are synonymous. When, in fact, they are completely different activities. Sex is synonymous with the act itself. Porn is synonymous with watching others. As Gabe Deem, founder of Reboot Nation, puts it: It’s the difference between being a spectator of professional basketball and actually playing a game of basketball.

Porn Addict’s Brain Activity during stimulation

Addiction and the “90 day challenge”

Calling someone an addict is a heavy accusation. Or, at least, it used to be. In this day and age, especially in first world countries, we have a ton of super-stimulates at our fingertips. We have fast food joints, mega-stores, high speed internet, and pharmaceuticals of all kinds. Getting addicted to one or more of these things is not that hard. Addiction is not obvious; it’s a subtle increase in usage of a stimulate and a growing dependency on a daily/weekly basis.

This was my generalized picture of a porn addict:

A middle aged, overweight man who can’t stop watching porn at work, at home, or in public spaces. He’s married to a distraught wife who is always so sad and helpless. They go to therapy because of this problem, and they have tried on multiple occasions to help him. He hires life coaches. He installs K9 filters and porn blockers. He’s featured on MTV’s True Life about porn addiction. He’s a freak. He’s a loser. He’s one of only a handful of guys like that. And for some reason he wears these giant, goofy glasses.

Now this my picture of a potential porn addict:

Any man or woman who were savvy enough to access the early and mid-90’s internet. Any young man or woman who grew up to YouTube (2005). Any young man or woman with a smart phone or internet connection. Any one who uses porn on a daily basis as a sexual tool.

Ok, so are we all doomed? For the those of us who watch too much porn there is such a community that practices NOT indulging. Some say that three months (90 days) abstinence from porn will be the cure and end all to any dysfunction that one might suffer from. However, 90 is just an arbitrary number for those who need the much-needed motivation. Not indulging in porn is a life-style and life-long change. More importantly, meeting new people, having real sexual connections with women or men, developing long-lasting and compatible relationships, and going out there to accomplish whatever goals (sexual and non-sexual) you might have is the FOCUS of life.

My Journey

…this subject is not an easy one to talk or write about. But it has been something that I’ve always wanted to share because I think it’s important that my generation of men and women, and the generations after us, should know the affects of high-speed, readily available pornography. To me, it’s one of the most insidious things. Like anything, the over consumption of porn leads to sexual side-effects and repercussions later in life. For some people, they can watch porn and not be affected by it. But for me, it was highly influential on my sexuality.

I gave up pornography for number of reasons — all pertaining to the reasons that I explained above. And though I do not think that giving up porn is the end all/cure all, I do believe that it’s a good start to a healthier, more sexually realized life. I think it’s vital to focus on my real partner, than it is to focus on something artificial and incapable of love.

Remember, porn cannot love you back. It can only alienate you from the real world.

Please visit for more (much more) information: yourbrainonporn.com and nofap.com