At Its Core, We Kind Of Surprisingly Support The No-Masturbation Movement


Wait, wait, wait: Before you light your Internet on fire, we don't mean we are anti actual masturbation. No one loves you quite like yourself, of course. But we do think that there is an interesting point to be examined in the "anti-masturbation movement," which is currently being discussed by websites such as Reddit or Andrew Sullivan.
Okay, here's a deep (and maybe uncomfortable for some) section of the Web — on Reddit, there is a new movement called the "NoFap" forum. (For those of us who aren't quite exposed to the wonders of the darkest corners of the Internet, "fap" is a colloquial term for masturbation.) The idea of abstaining has very little to do with morality or purity, but instead points out how, with the information superhighway, any type of sexuality, performance, kink, or taste can be easily accessed and catered to, without a moment's hesitation. Which, according to science, might be a problem when it comes to being a happy person.
Advertisement
According to the TED talk given by Gary Wilson, the absolute onslaught of Internet porn means that the basic brain is being rewired. He says, "With Internet porn a guy can see more hot babes in 10 minutes than his ancestors would see in several lifetimes. The problem is, he's got a hunter-gatherer brain. A heavy-user's brain rewires itself to this genetic bonanza, so it carefully becomes associated with this 'porn harem.'" Which isn't exactly great for the brain.
Wilson points out that Internet porn and real sex are vastly, vastly different. In particular, in porn, body parts are segmented and disembodied, and the quick, fast-forward-rewind nature of watching Net porn doesn't prepare one for, say, intimacy or considering a person beyond just their naughty bits. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, according to a Dutch study called "Predicting Compulsive Internet Use: It's All About Sex," of all the activities on the Internet, porn is the most addictive. This is because our brains have evolved to treat sex, companionship, and food as rewards — which means "hot, novel babes" feels like a real treat. That "treat," in the form of dopamine, can literally promote "binging and craving," like, well, like an addict. (Whatever happened to a good, old-fashioned fantasy?)
nofap
As a reader writes in to Andrew Sullivan says, "I can’t even maintain an erection in a condom anymore, and during sex often think about the porn scene I watched the previous (or that same) day." Which is why the, erm, "NoFap" participants have decided to voluntarily give up watching Internet porn. The same reader concludes, "Refraining from porn, deleting our downloaded collections, is an attempt to get some control back in our lives."
So, from our understanding, this isn't about being "anti-masturbation" — it is more about limiting the stimuli and intensity of the information those of us consume when they decide to engage in a little self love. And this awareness — plus the idea that a lot of porn promotes unrealistic ideas about sex — is an experiment that makes a bit of sense. Too much of a good thing is, well, never good at all. (Andrew Sullivan)
Advertisement
Photo: Image Source/Rex USA
Advertisement

More from Wellness

Brittany Mostiller still remembers the moment when she realized that she couldn’t afford an abortion. “I didn’t know anything about this Hyde Amendment ...
Earlier this year, Lena Dunham was hospitalized to treat a ruptured ovarian cyst, unintentionally shedding light on an often ignored area of women's health...
When it comes to penises, we’re often told that bigger is better — but in reality, that's far from the truth. In fact, studies suggest that, other than ...
When it comes to rock climbing, an all-or-nothing approach is key
Watch as we hang with some NYC skaters as they talk about what it's like to be a woman at the skate park
If your eyes tend to glaze over at first mention of the latest Health Hack That Will Change Your Life, we can’t really blame you. Although we are literally...
Your birth control is supposed to bring you peace of mind, but could it be affecting your mental health in a negative way? A large new study suggests a ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
We're in plus-size pool party heaven
Nearly a month after Selena Gomez announced she would be taking time off from work to focus on her ongoing battle with lupus, her friend Michael B. ...
If you've ever wondered why you go through several cups of coffee a day while your best friend stops at two, researchers may have found the answer — and ...
I had just ended my second “serious relationship” and had been back in the usual rotation of dating apps when I met Drew*. Drew was a man that my mother ...
As you might have heard by now, the first black moon since 2014 will rise this Friday night. As ominous as it sounds, the black moon is just another term...
If you've ever felt like you get more out of your workout while exercising with a partner, it's not just your imagination. According to a study published ...