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Orgasm Restriction For More Energy

Discussion in 'Sexuality' started by Ben, Feb 6, 2014.

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  1. Ben

    Ben Member

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    RP said that orgasms lower cortisol. So what? It releases energy in general that's related to dopamine through this one short moment, instead of using it for adaption to life's difficult circumstances. People who have done celibacy report greater energy levels, diminished depression/anxiety problems, more mental clarity, etc.

    Orgasms can be treated just like addictive drugs. I've had first-hand experience with orgasms reducing mental energy. They cause the world to lose color and become dull, which is the opposite of what RP says is a good state of mind (playful, energetic, optimistic, adaptive, resilient). I once tried orgasm restriction for a couple of weeks. It was hard to do because I normally masturbated multiple times a day. But I experienced the positive effects I've heard it has. I think quitting masturbation is extremely difficult, and it would require lots of time for most people if they continue to try.

    I disagree with "anti-sexuality" and repression of sexuality completely. Short moments of pleasure (orgasms) contribute nothing to the exploration and expression of sexuality. It's like a shot of heroin, no depth. Of course, having sex with a partner is better than looking at porn or masturbating. I'm unsure about my stance about porn or masturbation if there is no orgasm. It probably shouldn't be done for the pleasure, but to explore the desires that come up seemingly unconsciously, and feel your response to sexual stimuli fully, rather than ignoring the sub-par stimuli and looking for whatever will stimulate you the most.
     
  2. answersfound

    answersfound Member

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    i couldn't agree with you more...i hate to admit it, but i think masturbation is a major reason i've had so many issues...i've always had anxiety and i've become a slave to internet porn...i NEED to stop masturbation, because it is literally destroying me. i try to dance around it and always wonder why i'm the only one w/ lots of stress and ***t, well im the one who is jerking off way too much. the only state of mind i know is the dull, lifeless, scared state and when i get the slightest sense of excitement for life, i jerk it all away. its sad, but porn addiction is like any other drug addiction
     
  3. 4peatssake

    4peatssake Member

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  4. j.

    j. Guest

    I think restriction would be stressful.
     
  5. j.

    j. Guest

    How many per day is a lot?
     
  6. jaguar43

    jaguar43 Member

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    Having sex is different than masturbating. Then again, Ray Peat believes having sex and making love are different as well. You should read some Reich, or Ray Peat's mind and tissue.
     
  7. Jib

    Jib Member

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    Cupid's Poisoned Arrow by Marnia Robinson is an interesting read.

    Here's another interesting article:

    http://yourbrainonporn.com/masturbation ... -captivity

    And another one:

    http://yourbrainonporn.com/book/export/html/434

    I've compulsively masturbated and have been addicted to porn for over 10 years. In my experience, the real drive to orgasm (in isolation via masturbation, and in excess) is emotionally based. If you want to stop masturbating, then don't focus on masturbating or not masturbating. Focus on the reasons you're doing it.

    Personally, I think porn is much more draining than masturbation -- porn and masturbation together being the most draining of all. When I cut porn out, I find that my masturbation frequency goes way down. I simply don't feel like doing it anywhere near as much without the stimulus of porn. I also feel much more balanced after I masturbate without porn compared to masturbating with porn.

    I do my best to avoid porn. I've found the most benefits from that. I let myself masturbate as much as I want as long as I don't use porn, which ends up being much less frequently than I would with access to porn.

    If you're talking about partnered sex, Cupid's Poisoned Arrow has a lot to say about that; the 'hangover' that results from orgasm, and how to sidestep it by having non-orgasmic sex where you don't 'edge' or come anywhere near the point of having an orgasm. The focus is on "bonding" behaviors, e.g. affection, touch, and gentle intercourse, as opposed to "mating" (orgasm based) behaviors.

    I don't have a partner and I've never tried it, so I can't comment on that. I do like the idea of it, but I don't know if I'd have the willpower to commit to it if I had the opportunity to have sex.

    I have read a bit about the benefits of penile-vaginal intercourse compared to masturbation and outercourse. I think it would be great to have unprotected non-orgasmic sex with someone you could trust and/or were in a committed relationship with, although the risk of pregnancy always scared me. I've heard varying things about whether there's sperm in pre-ejaculate fluid or not. Condoms seem to preclude a lot of the alleged benefits of penile-vaginal intercourse, lambskin condoms supposedly interfering less than latex.

    All that being said, I think there's probably a lot of potential in promoting bonding behaviors over mating behaviors. I just don't know if non-orgasmic, slow and sensual sex is a realistic option for most people, and if it isn't, if it's even worth worrying about.

    Orgasms from masturbation and with a partner seem to have different biological implications; I've heard that prolactin rises much higher in partnered sex than in masturbation. I've never had intercourse but I've had outercourse and I will say that the few times I did experience it, it was like going from black and white to color TV.

    They're very different experiences. So looking at orgasms in context is important. Whether you're having an orgasm to porn, to masturbation without porn, outercourse with a partner, or intercourse with a partner...they all probably differ in the biological effects they have.

    Partnered sex and bonding behaviors seem to be the most natural. I'm not sold on masturbation being natural, and I don't see any reason for it if a person had access to fulfilling sexual experiences with other people. I think it's most likely a reaction to a state of stress.

    Much like monkeys in captivity, I've experienced compulsive masturbation as well as self-mutilation. I don't harm myself as much these days, but when I'm extremely, extremely stressed out, I find it almost completely irresistable to either:

    -go on porn and masturbate
    -binge drink
    -mutilate myself

    I would definitely not put masturbation on the same level as self-mutilation, but in a way (having done both), I would put *compulsive* masturbation on a similar level. If you really feel like you can't stop and you find yourself masturbating even when you don't really feel like it (continuing to masturbate despite not being able to get a full erection due to fatigue, and behaviors like that), the most likely case is that you have some extreme underlying stress that needs to be dealt with. And if you deal with that, the urges will go away on their own.

    I say it's on the same spectrum because it could be anything. If it's a stress response, the motivation for using is the same no matter what it is -- and the motivating behavior is the root of the compulsion.

    Instead of avoiding the stress-relieving escapist behaviors, eliminating the need for the stress-relieving escapist behaviors should be the focus. And how do we do that? Focusing on our emotions, our thoughts, reflecting on ourselves, and being honest with ourselves about what we want in life, and spending time focusing our attention on what we would like to experience in life.

    I'd also say it's important to pursue those experiences and change our lives to the point where we don't feel a need to escape from them.
     
  8. natedawggh

    natedawggh Member

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    Self pleasure is a built in stress reliever, and repeatedly endorsed and encouraged by mental health professionals. Individuals with high levels of stress hormones will naturally be inclined to engage is stress coping behaviors (some even harmful such as drug abuse) more frequently that those with lower levels of stress hormones. This is not to say nor should be viewed as a negative. Sex shaming is a way to exercise a false sense of control, and nothing about orgasm, regardless of its motivations has negative consequences on health but in fact has often been proven to improve health, especially in men where abstaining can create prostate troubles. Use it or lose it.

    Individual attitudes about sex are usually related to the child's parent's views of sex, whether they were healthy or unhealthy and if a person feels dissatisfied with their sexual behaviors, the assistance of a qualified, licensed therapist can often help resolve these issues. Sex and self sex can and should be a positive thing and can greatly enrich ones life and improve physical and mental health, and if a person is experiencing the opposite they should consider asking for help from a professional.
     
  9. OP
    Ben

    Ben Member

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    It looks like a couple of you didn't read what I wrote. I clearly stated that I think orgasms, not sex or masturbation, result in a lack of energy (likely dopamine, or sensitivity to it) that reduces a person's ability to experience pleasure, concentrate, etc. I believe that sexual expression is a beneficial activity.
     
  10. Jib

    Jib Member

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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marnia-ro ... 13316.html

    Orgasm. What does it do on a biological level? What variables are there? Is how it functions and affects us a biological fact, or is it more dependent on environmental factors? I don't know if it's biologically appropriate to look at orgasm in isolation from the context it occurs in.

    Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson (founder of yourbrainonporn.com) both seem to rely on a mix of evolutionary psychology, animal studies, and testimonies. From what I've read of their work, it's very well put together and, if not convincing, at least makes a *very* good case for the importance of thinking about orgasm/sex/affection/etc. more deeply.

    I think it's possible that orgasm results in a lack of energy that reduces a person's ability to experience pleasure. Cupid's Poisoned Arrow gets into that in depth -- it's more or less the primary focus of the book. But again, there are a lot of variables to consider.

    At the same time, I wonder if orgasm is only a problem in certain contexts. I find it very hard to believe that orgasm causes a 2 week "hangover" -- no matter how it occurs -- as Robinson alleges. I also forgot one important thing: sugar addiction.

    I get very irritated when I read about "sugar addiction" on yourbrainonporn or in Cupid's Poisoned Arrow or any other of Robinson's/Wilson's articles. I try to ignore it, but it's a red flag to me. When people mention "sugar addiction" it signals to me that they're looking at things a little too simplistically. Their arguments about orgasm are separate, true -- it's just a reminder that they could be talking about orgasms as if they're the same thing as sugar, just because they spike dopamine.

    I'm reminded of Peat's article, "Thyroid, insomnia, and the insanities: Commonalities in disease", where he says:

    The dopamine excess (or serotonin deficiency) theories developed at a time when only a few “transmitter substances” were known, and when they were thought to act as very specific on/off nerve switches, rather than as links in metabolic networks. The drug industry helps to keep those ideas alive.

    The idea that the brain is like a computer, and that the nerves are like wires and switches, is behind all of the theories about transmitter substances and synapses. If this metaphor about the nature of the brain and the organism is fundamentally wrong, then the theories of schizophrenia based on nerve transmitter substances can hardly be right.


    I don't want to swing too far in the direction of basic physiology and neurotransmitters being part of a larger framework. It's true that they are, but it makes it easy to write off studies that primarily focus on neurotransmitters, which can offer some insights. If something is having a definite, observable and reproducible effect on dopamine, for example, I don't think it would be wise to completely ignore that.

    However, it's important to see the bigger picture, and I think when people make claims about things like hangovers after orgasms, some of that bigger picture is lost in the obsession with dopamine and other neurotransmitters.

    My personal experience has led me to believe a lot of what Wilson and Robinson have written about. The porn addiction is a big one. Now if the primary action of porn is to spike dopamine endlessly through unlimited *novelty*...I could see how that could drain energy. Experiencing huge surges in dopamine over and over again and requiring more and more stimulation to achieve the same high is the hallmark of addiction.

    Orgasm in and of itself does not have novelty. I can look up a picture of a different woman whenever I want, from different positions, doing different things with different people. For hours, days, weeks, months, years. But an orgasm is an orgasm. This is why simple masturbation generally seems boring to porn addicts without the added stimulation of pictures and/or videos, particularly on a high speed Internet connection where novelty is (virtually) endless.

    That's part of why I'm skeptical about orgasm in and of itself being a significant energy drain.

    However, the Coolidge Effect postulates that repeated orgasms with one partner leads to lower and lower levels of dopamine in response to orgasm over time. A novel partner spikes dopamine back up closer to the original high, although with each new partner the peak of the dopamine spike is lower and lower.

    Does repeated orgasm by itself trigger addiction-like changes in the brain that would lead to lethargy, lack of motivation, and reduced ability to experience pleasure? Robinson and Wilson seem to think so, and that life in general becomes much more enjoyable without regular orgasms, because the brain becomes more sensitive to experiencing pleasure. Without the spikes in dopamine that orgasm causes (that allegedly result in some desensitization in the brain), things like smelling flowers, going on walks, hanging out with friends, and everything in general all become more enjoyable.

    I think I'm more in line with Peat on this one, even after all my experiences with porn and masturbation deadening my response to life. I absolutely think that a lot of what Robinson and Wilson have written about is true and has a lot of merit, but I really think taking things in context is very important.

    FWIW, I usually feel much more balanced after reading one of Peat's articles than one of Robinson's or Wilson's. The hyper-focus on orgasm and sex and bonding behaviors, etc., feels somewhat unhealthy to me. Again, for whatever that's worth. I'd go on about that point but I think I've written enough for now.
     
  11. OP
    Ben

    Ben Member

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    Very interesting Jib. Like you said, the reward center is only part of the big picture. My personal opinion is that being sexually exploratory with a variety of partners is good for the brain, just like doing a variety of activities in your everyday life is good for the brain. When you do one activity over and over, or have sex with the same person over and over, there is less "novelty" as you put it, and the brain isn't stimulated to grow. It gets used to it. Sensory deprivation is usually thought of in its extreme form, but it can take mild forms.

    A want for security and avoidance of unpredictable situations is associated with poorer mental health than being exploratory and willingly taking on novel situations on a regular basis. The former is associated with high serotonin and low mental energy, while the latter is associated with low serotonin and lots of mental energy. If you do things (especially social) "just for the fun of it", be playful, and not aim for a goal like social acceptance on a regular basis, you will help mental health to improve. Improving your health by diet and supplements helps, but it's not the big picture for improving health.

    For a while, I had a problem with people who unquestioningly accept their culture, want to find a partner to cling to for the rest of their life, don't want to believe the bitter truth, and take on routine tasks instead of challenging themselves. I don't think it's their fault, it could be related to high serotonin.
     
  12. Jib

    Jib Member

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    From Peat's article, "Intuitive knowledge and its development":

    The only thing wrong with the idea of innate knowledge is that people use it to tell us what we can't know, in other words, to rationalize stupidity. Of course, they wouldn't like to phrase it that way, because they consider their "genetic epistemology of symbolic forms" to be the essence and the totality of intelligence, and that people who allow their thoughts to be structured entirely by experience are just confused.


    I wonder if monogamy is part of this culturally ingrained "innate knowledge"? As far as evolutionary psychology goes, how much differently are women wired from men on a sexual level? How much of our sexuality is dependent on our culture and our physiological environment, e.g. high levels of serotonin as you said?

    How much our sexual behavior is programmed? This is where it gets interesting. Evolutionary psychology and studies on neurotransmitters are the bulk of evidence for "innate knowledge." Looking at it from a more Lamarckian perspective changes things quite a bit.

    Still, I'm not completely opposed to evolutionary psychology or the idea that our brains have predispositions to react to certain stimuli in certain ways. It's just a point of interest to me and I think it's worth discussing. These are questions that are very difficult to answer.

    Is "fear of commitment" really a problem, or is it just a personality conflict? I don't believe in soul mates. I used to, and I think it's a belief perpetuated not only by culture but low self-esteem (which I also believe is tied to poor health, e.g. serotonin and estrogen dominance with the corresponding low metabolic rate). The plus side is it isn't nihilistic; it's more about an openness to loving everybody. And I don't mean just sexually. The idea of 'soul mates' is equally downplayed by realizing the value in platonic friendships. e.g., friends, mentor-student, and family relationships.

    However, it's hard to avoid the reality of bonding behaviors and reward circuitry in the brain. The most common reference people use is Bonobos, who I understand engage in a lot of affection and sexual touching, but I don't think orgasm is frequently involved.

    The thing that bothers me with intergender dynamics is that, for all its insights, it puts men and women into boxes. Even if those boxes are accurate, is it only a coincidence because the sampling size (men and women in modern industralized nations) is so limited?

    And even if the claims about women's and men's sexual preferences were true at the time, I think it can "rationalize stupidity" -- claiming that these preferences and behaviors are hard-wired into our brains and that there is ultimately nothing we can do about them.

    To me, the only purpose of monogamy is to raise a child. If I was going to have a kid, I would want to provide a stable family for it to grow up in. Outside of that, I'm not so sure.

    I've thought a whole lot about my own issues. Jealousy, resentment, neediness, insecurity -- are those all environmentally influenced, or is there some built-in programming with orgasms and bonding behaviors that influence us to feel these ways?

    Non-orgasmic sex (karezza) is what Robinson advocates as a solution to sidestep the mayhem orgasm can cause. This is of course based on the idea that the effects of orgasm in the body are a result of evolution. They can observe changes in the brain as a result of orgasm, but the reasons are pinned to evolution. It gets interesting when we consider it gets much more complicated than that.

    I do believe that there is an 'animal brain' we have to overcome. I think a lot of our potential as humans comes from understanding our predispositions and consciously trying to either overcome them or integrate them more fully into the kind of life we'd like to live.

    But it's very difficult to pin down where these predispositions come from. Animal breeding might offer some insights. I know they're currently domesticating foxes; I remember reading an article where they mentioned some of the foxes in their breeding experiments are starting to take on dog-like behaviors.

    So even if evolutionary psychology is too broad to be accurate, Lamarck's theory of inherited traits could still be valid. Much like our health is influenced by our parents' health prior to our conception (and birth), maybe our sexuality is influenced similarly? The domestication of dogs is an interesting parallel.

    Do we get our predispositions from things inherently in the human genome, or from our recent ancestors' life experiences and the adaptations they made to them?

    It's probably both, although I'm more in favor of the Lamarckian perspective overall. Either way, the point is that we're dealing with predispositions that, in the proper environment, we can exercise control over and change, for better or for worse.

    I do think that, as you mentioned, curiosity, a willingness to desire and explore and have new experiences, and general feelings of well-being are the most appropriate guides to how appropriate any given course of action is.
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I feel like there isn't closure on this debate. Is masturbation detrimental to health?
     
  14. Blinkyrocket

    Blinkyrocket Member

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    And this, is why I'm never getting married.... or being in a physical relationship with anyone, one part of me realizes nobody naturally feels good in a manogamous relationship but a bigger part of me doesn't want anything else... Solution, vow celibacy and don't give a flying crap and die miserable or happy depending on how this affects me.
     
  15. Nicholas

    Nicholas Member

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    most of what we call "libido" in the world is really just addiction....yes, a small part of it is legitimate libido and legitimate sex hormones - but most of it is addiction.
     
  16. Blinkyrocket

    Blinkyrocket Member

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    BUT, addiction is quite possibly just the body sensing something that temporarily fixes its problem, so there might be pros to doing what your body is "addicted" to, the only cons would be that you would be looked on like a junkie, and if you're a gamer you would be inside all the time and never get sun.
     
  17. Brian

    Brian Member

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    Rather than addiction I would call it a deficiency in meaningful, intimate relationships and which often leads to a deficiency in oxytocin release. In this state of isolation, social animals such as primates, masturbate very frequently. It seems like a desperate attempt to keep a steady flow of oxytocin release.
     
  18. Nicholas

    Nicholas Member

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    ? yes, to be super scientific and super technical, there could be and often are pros physiologically (if there are pros mentally, it is only artificial or inauthentic) - but also technically, addictions are not sustainable physically or mentally. the realization of addiction becomes its own stressor if the conscience has not been seared. i don't think you can leave addiction unscathed, at least for a season.... (speaking as an addict in various arenas)
     
  19. Blinkyrocket

    Blinkyrocket Member

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    Sucks that we have to have intimate interaction with other members of our own species -_- I hate this species, so it gets kinda complicated.
     
  20. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    Update on this?
     
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