This is Your Brain on Porn. Any Questions?

Relationship Advice Blogger and Neuroscientist Gary Wilson explains the Biology of Internet Porn Addiction. I originally found his site while researching the topic of “coitus reservatus” an ancient tantric technique, found in both Eastern and Western traditions, which is the art of sex and orgasm without ejaculation.  I had been reading some books related to Magick, Alchemy, and Eastern Mysticism that referred to this practice.  Some writers had used some pretty psuedo- scientific lingo, saying things like “semen is composed of cerebro-spinal fluid” implying that ejaculating too much literally drains your brain. I knew that couldn’t be right. So how many nuts should I bust or not bust to stay healthy?  In my google searches I came to Gary and his wife’s site, which also linked to the Porn Addiction site. I found this series of videos fascinating. I think it explains a lot about addiction in general and the more primitive parts of the  human brain. It jibes with a lot of things I had researched earlier about dopamine and ADHD. I hope you will find it as fascinating as I did. I think it might have application to the mechanism of video game addiction as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Cannadude Cannadude

    Hehe he said booby.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      looks like you still have plenty of dopa mine receptors.

  • http://twitter.com/Cannadude Cannadude

    Booby! LOL

  • pick me

    this is good. and occult lure is full of pseudo scientific jargon. The subjects covered are becoming sciences

  • pick me

    i take dopamine supplements

    • pick me

      which according to these slides would not be so good as there is a careful balance.

  • 1plakat

    seems like the harder you have to work to release dopamine without going extreme the better. Could be the seat of creativity itself. i didnt know receptors respond to over stimulation by trimming their numbers down. Science! THanks for this

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      My personal opinion is this mechanism was at work in ancient warrior societies. Eventually the heat of battle wasn’t over stimulating.

      • 1plakat

        yeah a lot of connections can be made. I felt this way in my last soccer match. after a half hour i was done i usually play for 2 hours. Need me some strange. But it does explain some forms of depression that can be associated with peoples secrets addictions, shopping online gives me a pretty big thrill too, so many items so little time.

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          I think some people start out with blunted dopamine reception in their brains. I think I am in that category. I get bored with routine and so constantly seek novelty. Not really with sexual partners though. People have different “bents” like for a example, a person may have an intellectual bent and so constantly seek new and interesting ideas.

          Another person may have a more athletic bent and so they become a thrill seeker like a telemark skier or something. Other people, find routine and sameness and risk aversion more their speed.

          • 1plakat

            yeah i think the next step is to find what make certain people tick. I feel dopamine has a lot to do with magick as well. I remember when I first came across the information, everything became so intense and colors so vivid. I feel the key is the balance. Don’t do anything to the point of boredom take breaks and switch activities than come back to it, specialization can be hard. Study everything!!!!!!!!!!!

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            heres what I think it is:
            people with blunted dopamine reception (novelty seekers) have a mind that is an open system.

            Risk averse, security and stability seeking people, people who enjoy routine, live in a closed system, mentally.

          • mannyfurious

            What do you mean by “open” and “closed” mental systems? I only ask, because I live the kind of life most disinfo-nauts would consider maddingly bland (wife, kids, no drugs, a mortgage, etc.). In short, I’m generally okay with routine and stability. Nevertheless, I’m a pretty radical thinker in terms of most things. I hate routine and stability in things like art, politics and even sport.

            I don’t know how much sense I’m making, but I’m thinking that maybe all people are some combination of the two–depending on what you mean by those two terms.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            Well if you were satisfied with the answers you’d been given and weren’t interested in seeking more or debating what you’d been taught, I think your mind would be a closed system. I think minds like that are based on conditioned learning.

            I think if you have insatiable curiosity your mind is more like an open system. Seems like you have that bent more.

            I think it might be related to dopamine, or might not. I got started on this subject reading some books by Thomm Hartman, then a book by this other guy which led me to Otto Rank protoge of Freud who wrote about artists.

          • 1plakat

            yeah but then it comes the question of the diminished reward system and lack of motivation that comes from,which from my experience can even lead to suicide, as when masturbation has lost its fun, its rock bottom. If i cant enjoy doing mundane stuff for survival and basic modern living, ill die or become a burden to someone else. The question of tolerance comes to mind to and what is right and wrong to an individual, good and evil. Risk taking is necessary but more importantly, calculated risk taking as being just reckless is just plain dumb. In my opinion you need to have a core of rewarding activities and interests that are supplemented by novelty seeking. What the slides are stating is that if you dont give time for the D2 receptors to regenerate even the novelty wont be rewarded and depression kicks in. You can possibly help them regenerate by taking in the materials needed to maintain a neuro system. But I welcome any educated response as dopamine is cutting edge in my knowledge base. Having more dopamine receptors i feel lets you enjoy more things, but how that translates to behavior is beyond me right now.I feel that is there is such a thing as too many D2 receptors or too much dopamine would make one gullible and “too nice” but I dont know if thats a condition.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I think people reset by being kind of sporadic, even manic and then taking time out to vegetate.

            I have a lot of personal speculation in this area. My pet theory is that Nomadic Pastoralits developed these evolutionary traits. Like the Drd4 7 repete allele. (novelty seeking gene and dispersal gene) This human polymorphism was positively selected for in the Nomadic pastoral lifestyle, and in settled Farming areas, it was weeded out. Han Chinese don’t have it at all. Its been tested too with some Kenyan Nomadic Pastoralists. These Kenyans were healthier living as Nomads and unhealthier living in town.http://esciencenews.com/sources/scientific.blogging/2008/06/10/drd4.gene.related.adhd.is.good.for.nomads.but.causes.malnourishment.in.villagers

          • 1plakat

            I agree. Novalty seeking is important, but these days there are many ways to experience new things besides traveling. More than a changr in thr people around me i feel that i need a change of scenery from time to time. Good thing we have seasons here. But i will study dopamine and its function and the role in addiction and we can discuss it later. I think the key here is not getting “burned out” by anyone thing. Even traveling all the time can in a way become repetitive, ive heard of musicians who long to have some time at home to take a break for touring.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Nice post, Ted.

    Hopefully you (or a Mod ***Cough Cough Matt Staggs Cough Cough***) can get the video properly embedded.

    If you haven’t got too far into your “coitus reservatus” research you may find _The Multi-Orgasmic Male: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know_ by Chia and Abrams to be of use.

    Assuming it’s the same book I read 10-15 years ago, they reference the ancient teachings on the matter in the back of the book and have a useful bibliography.

    I must admit I didn’t read the book completely even once. I was about 3/4 through my first reading of it when I loaned it out and never got it back. However, what I did read of the book was, in a practical sense, consistent with my own previous research and personal experience.

    • Matt Staggs

      Was this resolved? Must have been something odd happening. I had it set to play properly. The Unseen Hand must have corrected it.

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Yes, it was resolved somehow and a couple of posts by ralph disappeared about the same time.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      I actually, got pretty far with it. But Now I am single so it doesn’t really matter. I tend to think though that the people that say you should ejaculate once a day for health are wrong and also the people that say you will drain your essence (and that after you reach 30 you should only ejaculate once a month) are partly wrong. I am open to the idea that you can sublimate semen and open your third eye, but I am fairly skeptical.

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman
  • Marklar_Prime

    All I got out of this is that monogamy is an unnatural sexual perversion as I always suspected.

    • kowalityjesus

      idle hands are the devil’s play place. Give a man enough wood to chop and fields to till and he won’t need but one lady.

      The scheme for reproduction in Plato’s Republic was a nice utopian idea (reproduction would take place among the ‘guardians’ in a festival-orgy where all children would theoretically be anonymous and the limbic system could find its satiation), but to the victors go the spoils. The reason why a traditional nuclear family works is because it has been proven to work. Hell, its what God has told us to do.

      As for adultery there are enough illegitimate births even in historically Christian nations so that unnatural selection can still work its magic on degrading the human condition (improving, depending who you’re talking to). I theorize that it’s less of a challenge in more homogenously genetic nations, where a misfit offspring will more easily slip out under the nose of the poor, unsuspecting cuckold.

      • Hadrian999

        need is the domain for the boring and uncreative. if all you do is fulfill your needs you might as well be dead

        • kowalityjesus

          that is why God created music in the universe. there’s no denying those twelve tones with that enigmatic Pythagorean comma. Not quite perfect, thus so much the perfecter.

          • Hadrian999

            it’s a wonder anyone actually wants to get into heaven

          • kowalityjesus

            oooh burn, get real. Baphomet does not want your happiness, or even your long-term satisfaction. The only freedom comes from serving your creator, the eye from which nothing is hidden. ICTHYS

          • Hadrian999

            wait, jesus is the son of Sauron?

          • kowalityjesus

            lol

  • DeepCough

    “Evolution has not prepared your brain for today’s Internet porn”

    Hmm….does that mean human civilization and all that comes with it is completely unnatural?

  • BuzzCoastin

    even a cursory reading of archeology or history
    indicates that “porn” images, stories and erotic activities, have long been a part of humanity
    the Hindus worship/ed Shiva’s penis (linga)
    in an ancient trash dump in Egypt
    they found an old an early AD copy of the Gospel of Thomas & an erotic novel
    all modern technology has done is make it ubiquitous & pervasive

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Kids used to beat off to droopy hunter gather boobies in the pages of National Geographic. But Nat Geo only comes once a month. With internet porn you can see hundreds of sexual images a minute. The point of the video is that Its a hyper stimulus. Its a new phenomenon.

      • BuzzCoastin

        as a kid in the 50’s & 60’s I had no trouble getting porn
        I found my first large pron stash when I was about 8
        (it was way beyond the National Geo shit
        but probably not as Larry Flint graphic at that point)

        only the ease of access, quality of the images and the public discussion of porn has changed
        since I was kid
        porn hasn’t become more ubiquitous
        just more widely discussed

        • addicted

          its def not as stimulating as the porn today. And its also talking about addiction, if you are not addicted to it and its not causing you exhaustion in some aspect its ok. The brains is looking for the easiest way to satisfaction.

          • BuzzCoastin

            eventually, because of its pervasiveness
            porn wears itself out
            at least it did for me
            I remember the thrill of finding some new perversity
            now it’s as mundane as the whirled news

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            yeah, it became boring for me at some point.

          • addicted

            I hope so wise gent i hope so

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            I don’t know if I ever got addicted to porn, but I looked at it a lot when I first got the internet and i did get to where soft porn no longer turned me on. I guess what happens to addicts is that they then turn to harder and harder and more bizzarre stuff, to get the same effect.

            Then I got to where I thought hardcore porn was boring, but I didn’t move on to more bizarre stuff, I just lost interest. and that’s where I am at now. I still enjoy erotic art and photography, like they feature on juxtapoz. So probably my brain did reset at some point.

            I feel like I have an affinity with people considered to have an “addictive personality” but I don’t seem to get addicted to things. For example alcohol and tobacco or even coffee.

            I enjoy these things and then get sick of it after a while. I used to enjoy getting drunk, when I was younger and worried that it was a bad trend, but i only drank like every other weekend. I smoke cigars occasionally, turned a friend of mine onto them and now he is addicted! I feel kind of bad. Its an expensive habit.

21
Read previous post:
Que Rock – Mighty Zulu Kings – ‘Ghost Dance’

Check out "Ghost Dance", the new single from First Nations hip hop artist Que Rock

Close