A Scientific Discussion regarding the Pros and Cons of Rebooting (Respect required)

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Sir_Dave, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Hey there everyone. I am sure a lot of you are reaping the benefits of NoFap and that is brilliant to hear. It is wonderful to see so many happy people.

    Now onto the gritty stuff of why I am here. I am here to ask for any scientific paper that contains any kind of supporting evidence to NoFap. I am not saying that it does not exist. It just seems that all I can find are random news stories about what "science has shown" but I have not seen a single journal article that relates to any of this. The references on the WIKI page bring me to completely unreliable sources.

    WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR:
    I am looking for a scientific paper that has a detailed method section that will allow replication of the study conducted. I am not looking for a news story, nor am I looking for a web page that "states" that Dr John Smith pHD found "unreliable data" from a study that cannot be found.

    I am being respectful here and I am really happy that this is working for so many people and it is clearly changing a lot of lives however I am interested in the science and supporting studies behind it.

    WHAT I AM NOT DOING:
    I am not slandering NoFap, nor am I insulting anyone that partakes in it. I respect everyone's opinions and beliefs. So, I ask you to respect me in this search for supporting evidence.

    P.S I am very sorry if this supporting evidence is right under my nose but after searching for it, I can't seem to find anything.

    Thank you for reading
     
  2. NickMat

    NickMat Fapstronaut

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    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22987051 (several paragraphs in)

    And the article later concluded that "it is unlikely that researchers will ever be able to prove that pornography is causing behaviour change." I think this has to do with confirmation bias. It seems as though most of the "sources" on Wikipedia mention the lack of information and proper study on the issue as well...

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S007477421630068X
    Here's a big 'ol PDF that could be promising if you want to give that a read... I dont ;)
    https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBCKV.pdf

    The lack of information is definitely disappointing but I'm very interested to hear if anyone else finds anything
     
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  3. Deadlihood

    Deadlihood Fapstronaut

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    FUCK YOU OP BET UR FROM THE PORN INDUSTRY
     
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  4. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Hey there Nick.

    I understand if you really do not want to read this, it is fine. At some point I will freshen it up and post it in another thread for other people to read hopefully.

    Thank you so much for supplying me with these links. The first link is the BBC and it is the news. Not something I would trust. I had a skim through and noticed that they have no scientific references they just have second hand quotes and this could be achived by talking to anyone. I could talk about a study that I have conducted and through word of mouth the story would get twisted and shaped into anything that people want it to be shaped into. Things like this produce an effect called "groupthink" and I am really hoping that NoFap is not under this effect.

    The third link you send me is a very old review of a number of even older studies. This is not to say that it is not applicable. it is just old and given enough time a vast number of unaccounted variables pop up in light of modern society. Non the less I am sure it will be a very useful read and will enable me to further my search.

    The second link you have sent me (sorry these are not in order) talks about hyper-sexuality. This is just an abstract but luckily I have access to the full version. This chapter mearly states the effects of becoming hyper-sexual, with NoFap. The idea is to abstain from masturbation for an extended period of time, there is no research to say that this is healthy or good for you in any way.

    With all of this said, there are results that are being shown with self reviews written in NoFap forums (success stories as you call them) and I do not doubt that a vast number of them are true. What I am interested in is if the effects are that of a placebo. I am aware that dopamine receptors become an abundance if they are used excessively BUT the reverse can have very negative consequences in the long run. I see someone talk about the "use it or lose it" but they where referring to the penis, here I am referring to the neural pathways associated with sexual behaviour. As I am sure many are aware that neural pathways strengthen over time if the a behaviour is repeated. Iversen (1992) Conducted a wonderful review of B.F Skinners work that backs up this point of habitual conditioning in rats, of course this has vast limitations when inferring the results on human participants. But the point being is that habit arises from repeat activity and reward.

    A further study conducted by Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, and Koestner. (2015) shows that "want to" goals are much more difficult to refrain from doing due to the habitual process being present within the brain. Basically when the people in the study eat something their brain is rewarding them for doing so, this would be perfect IF as humans we had to hunt for our food but because we don't we can access food much easier by just walking into a supermarket. Therefor we need to have self restraint NOT extinction of the behaviour. To further Milyavskaya, et al. (2015) point they also observe "have to" goals and find that the avoidance of these goals is far easier than the "want to" goals. I am sure you can figure this one out yourself.

    Another argument that I see being made over and over again is this of a decrease in dopamine levels by use of pornography, this however having merit is being vastly over exaggerated. The neurotransmitter Dopamine fires off and is received by the receptor, when excessive dopamine is fired off we can see a fall in the neurotransmitter count however. Pornography is not a re-uptake inhibitor as it is being compared to time and time again. Something like cocaine or various amphetamines ARE re-uptake inhibitors they are NOT anything like pornography and have VERY different effects on the brain. The point I am trying to make here is that the excessive use of ANYTHING including pornography will have a negative effect on the body. NoFap can be more closely related to a help group for eating disorders BUT whereas a help group focuses on both obesity and anorexia, here with NoFap it seems that people are being told that "obesity" is wrong (Obesity - is being used to describe excessive use of pornography) and so we all need to become "anorexic" (The complete absence of masturbation for an extended period of time). This is not healthy at all, nor is excessive masturbation. Yet again refering to the whole human needing to hunt for their food thing, humans also needed to search for a sexual partner and it was not easy and so achieving sexual climax was not something that would happen every day. But I will not dwell on Metaphysics and philosophy as I do not have research to back up historical sexual behaviours in humans.

    The overall point I am making here is that research has shown that excessive sexual stimuli leads to the sexual stimuli becoming stale, no longer novel. Much like when we where younger, we would become fixated on novel stimuli until we have explored them enough that they no longer interest us, this is known through Piaget's work and modern research. A great example of this would be a self-report of, dare I say it, Ted Bundy. Have a watch of his final interview conducted and pay attention to the comments he makes on pornography. THAT is the effect that pornography will have on your dopamine levels.

    So too much pornography and masturbation leads to a decrease in the neurotransmitter dopamine along with various other negative effects. However, the complete abstinence of sexual release also leads to very negative outcomes in the long run. I am just worried for the safety of people that are going very long periods of time without sexual release. Infertility, OCD, The extinction of neural pathways in the brain that process the release of dopamine after sexual release. These are a few things that can result from abstinence from sexual relief.

    P.S Science Direct (A commonly used website used to access journal articles) is down at the time of writing this response. I would have loved to supply you with a lot more references to back up the points I have made in this response. I will be sure to add more references to this thread if needed at a later date.

    Thank you for reading.

    References:

    Iversen. (1992). Skinner's early research: From reflexology to operant conditioning. American psychologist, 47(11), 1318-1328.

    Milyavskaya, M., Inzlicht, M., Hope, N., & Koestner, R. (2015). Saying "no" to temptation: Want-to motivation improves self-regulation by reducing temptation rather than by increasing self-control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 109(4), 677-693.
     
  5. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    I am sorry that you found it hard to express respect when I showed it to all others in NoFap, my response to Nick has valid points backed up with scientific evidence that I have referenced. I am not from any kind of porn industry and I think that the consumption of porn is not healthy.

    I am a psychologist that is interested in the views and opinions of the community NoFap.

    I am currently conducting a literature review on the subject of the neurotransmitter dopamine and its involvement with sexual release.

    I understand your passion and will accept that you felt under threat from my post. I can assure you I am approaching this with a neutral interest. I am not blinded by confirmation bias and I will ensure that all views are respected.
     
  6. Green_Tea

    Green_Tea Fapstronaut

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    My own approach is this: if I really "want" to masturbate, then I do so without porn. I'm sorry I don't have any hard scientific facts for you, but sometimes a person has to do what they feel is right (with all honesty the porn industry is immoral, so why support it).
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  7. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Please do not feel sorry for not having scientific evidence or anything. Your view is very helpful to me. I think that approach is the best approach to have. Brilliant. I am very happy to hear that you are not completely abstaining from sexual release but it is others that are hitting hundreds of days without release this is worrying. Making it a challenge to go without masturbation entirely is not healthy.

    Thank you so much for posting your view.
     
  8. Green_Tea

    Green_Tea Fapstronaut

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    To be honest, I had a 70-80 day streak of no-PMO and was noticing some pressure/pain "down there", so I decided to release. I'm sure everyone has their own approach; however, I like this quote from Aristotle:

    "It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken."
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  9. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    What a beautiful quote it is and very applicable to the current discussion. I also see what you mean with the 70-80 day streak. To me that seems way to long and sounds potentially damaging to ones health. I am glad you where able to asses your own situation and make personal judgements.
     
  10. Deadlihood

    Deadlihood Fapstronaut

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    Nah, I'm just joking, man. I appreciate it that you are looking for valid sources and references regarding the consequences of PMO...it's something I am looking for myself!

    Regards.
     
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  11. NickMat

    NickMat Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the well-written response! I can tell you are much more educated than I am. With my first response I was mostly agreeing with you about the fact that there is a distinct lack of study specifically involving NoFap, the links I shared were really just the "best" of what I could find (best doesn't mean good ;))

    My personal feelings about nofap is that the so called "hard mode" isn't a good idea, I believe it's unnatural to completely abstain from sexual release. But I do also feel that the pmo daily is also not natural, it had become a habit in my life that I had little control over, I always told myself I could stop it whenever and that I would eventually stop, but I never truly did till starting nofap.

    There are some interesting Ted Talks on the subject, that I'm sure you would question the legitimacy of, that talk about how the modern guy sees more "hot babes" than ancient humans would see in several lifetimes, and that this is just unnatural. Addiction to porn is different from addiction to nicotine, caffeine, opiates, food, etc.. in that with those addictions, you wont more of the same all the time. Coffee drinkers want a coffee, smokers want a smoke, and opiate addicts want more opiates. However, porn addicts are always looking for different porn (I'll link a ted talk or maybe two below for you if you're interested, although I know a ted talk isn't true scientific evidence). The striving for new women in porn and new genres of porn leads to going further and further to extremes. I remember as a young mostly prepubescent boy seeing some hardcore porn and being somewhat disturbed, I knew deep down that it was unhealthy and unrealistic, but as I watched daily porn for years, I at first grew accustomed to, and then looked for, increasingly hardcore porn.

    These are all just my thoughts and this isn't at all scientific, I know, but I encourage you to look less for the science, because I think we've concluded it simply doesn't exist here, and look in to it on a more personal, faith based (not religious faith) solutions.

     
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  12. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    I am really glad to hear that you are also seeking verification. I wish you luck and please feel free to post it in this thread if you find any evidence relating to PMO
     
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  13. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Thank you so much for an in depth response to your personal values and views. It is not always easy to share something so personal. Thank you for also sharing some quite "difficult" things to share of which are very personal.

    The science I am looking for is neither for nor against NoFap, I am looking to understand what is the healthy level of masturbation and sexual release and what is not a healthy level. I do not agree with porn at all. It is unethical in many cases, it gives younger adolescence a false view of sex and sexual prowess let alone what it does for self image of all genders.

    The Ted talk you have linked me is wonderful, thank you. I do find it Ted talks very entertaining and a lot of Ted talks back up their arguments with evidence that can be found through the website. I will have a look.

    Thank you again for your response, it is wonderful to hear that NoFap is helping you and so many others.
     
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  14. While I don't have any science to back me up here, I personally believe that even if all of th benefits of Nofap are false, I doubt that there really is any sort of downside to refraining from porn. For one thing, it builds self control which is undeniably a good thing. Where I do think however you could possibly see it going either way is masturbation. Coming from a man, we have wet dreams for a reason. It "releases presssure." On the other hand, one can argue that man has been self loving since thr beginning of time, with porn just changing the way we do it.
    This of course is just my opinion, but I hope it helped.
     
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  15. Interesting so naturally speaking then your body is broken in this respect and you need to help it out?

    Not sure how you are jumping to these conclusions without studies of groups of males who in fact completely abstain from sexual activity. These groups are pretty hard to find these days and are very limited in numbers but they do exist... but then of course there is the problem that you can't really control for these groups in a meaningful way as there are so many different factors to being in such a group.

    You do realize that using the scientific method to extract value from others experience in this respect is not going to be effective? Seriously what is the point in your wanting to do this?
     
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  16. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Hey there BobS, nice to hear your opinion out. Science or not it is always nice to see how individuals of the NoFap community feel about what they are doing and what is being done. In regards to your opinion on pornography. I completely agree with you, porn is not good for you and yes avoiding it does in fact help self restraint. In regards to the complete abstinence of sexual release, this is what I am interested in and I am searching to find more information through studies that have been conducted. Thank you again for your input.
     
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  17. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    Hello Jack

    It is nice to see that you are questioning validity and putting forth your argument. People like you are the reason why science progresses so successfully

    Pottinger, Carroll, and Mason (2015) conducted a study looking at attitudes to masturbation and level of fertility. The study contained 83 male volunteers and found that (in the briefest of senses) The fertility count for males that found masturbation hard or restrictive, where in fact showing lower levels of fertility and having to make multiple attempts to have a baby. A quote from Pottinger, et al (2015) reads as follows "thus, masturbation difficulties could well be delaying time for conception in the long run". This is a concern for me and I am also worried about others.

    In regards to the extinction of neural pathways, have a look into a few very famous psychologists, Skinner and Pavlov. Both of which cover this topic. There are a few modern research papers that can also give evidence towards this topic. What happens is that when a behaviour is completely irradiated from the body of a person (or animal) the neural pathways become weaker and weaker. It is very much like a muscle, if you no longer use it, the body thinks that it is a waste and there is no need for it. The body no longer rewards the behaviour. The pathways can come back over time and be reset but the desire to have sexual intercourse can be affected in the long run. People state that NoFap helps with "Libido". As true as this may be for the first initial stint, in the long run it is very damaging to the libido. I am not saying that people should masturbate like there is no tomorrow, I am suggesting it should be done in moderation and without the use of pornographic imagery. Wass, Harland, McLean, and Nui-Sim (2015) look into the affects that giving grades to students has on their overall performance and why. They discuss conditioning and if it is positivly helping them or not. The paper does not discuss extinction of the conditioned behaviour, however the paper is an nice and easy read and will back up the point I am making in regards to the extinction of neural pathways. I hope this one helps.

    Unfortunately and very irritatingly Science direct is still down here in the UK and I cannot provide you with evidence for my claim on OCD however I will attempt to provide you with a POTENTIAL reference from Steketee, Quay, and White (1991) that conducted a study looking into how religion has an affect on level of guilt and in turn can increase susceptibility to OCD tendencies. I will not claim to know exactly what the paper reads off of memory but I am sure it touches on a few valid points that link to my claim.

    In conclusion I have provided scientific evidence that supports the statement that I have made. I do try not to "jump to conclusions" as it does not progress science and can be considered both introspective and metaphysical in which I am not a philosopher and thus I try to back up statements with evidence. Feel free to read through the journal articles I have referenced.

    As a reply to your final query "Seriously what is the point in your wanting to do this?" I am interested in the benefits and draw-backs of masturbation and sexual release. It is not an easy subject to discuss and is often avoided in science as it is considered a socially awkward subject. Sexual health is incredably important and here we have a large group of people that are partaking in behaviours that I feel as if have not been researched far enough to be concluded as safe or healthy. I am looking out for my fellow man (figure of speech, no gender specification implied). I am really here to help and to provide a wider understanding to those who are interested

    Thank you for your input and I wish you well.

    References:

    Pottinger, A., Carroll, K., & Mason, G. (2015). Male attitude towards masturbating: an impediment to infertility evaluation and sperm parameters. First International Journal of Andrology, 48(7), 774-778.

    Steketee, G., Quay, S., & White, K. (1991). Religion and guilt in OCD patients. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 5(4), 359-367.

    Wass, R., Harland, T., McLean, A., Miller, E., & Nui-Sim, K. (2015). "Will press lever for food": behavioural conditioning of students through frequent high-stakes assessment. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(6), 1324-1326.
     
  18. In regards to complete and utter abstinence, I think that your best crowd to "observe" would be the highly religious folks. Of course they are few and far between these days, so you might have some trouble. But from what it seems, I have never heard any stories that complete abstinence has caused problems.

    In the NoFap community, I think that complete abstinence for an extended period of time (as in years) is very rare. Most of us on here tend to abstain for the 90 day challenge, and then, as seen by many of the success stories on this forum, many people ultimately end up with a sexual partner in some form or another.

    I agree with you, however, that it would be very interesting to be able have a comprehensive study on the matter, as the will to reproduce, as we all know, is perhaps on of the most basic necessities and driving forces behind human behavior. As such, it could be hypothesized that abstinence over extremely long periods most likely would be detrimental, at least on a phycological level, if not in some ways on a physical level.
     
  19. Sunshadow

    Sunshadow Distinguished Fapstronaut

    Really interesting discussion going on in here.

    One point I'd like to bring up is that masturbation is not the only form of sexual release. And no, I'm not talking about actual intercourse, but about "wet dreams".

    Personally, I'm right now at 115 days without masturbation or sexual intercourse, but I've had several nocturnal ejaculations during that time. Is there any reason to think that natural wet dreams are not enough sexual release for those abstaining?

    Just wondering if you've considered this, I didn't see it mentioned in your posts.

    - Sunshadow
     
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  20. Sir_Dave

    Sir_Dave Fapstronaut

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    BoBS, a very well written response and some very valid points. If you would take a look at the response that I sent to "JackStrident" It outlines a few of the psychological and physical concerns I have for abstaining from sexual release.

    I completely agree with your comment and I am delighted to hear that people are still maintaining some form of sexual release. I am still searching around and doing some digging on the subject as sexual health is often a hard subject to discuss but one that people are not nearly educated enough on. I for one am learning as I go about the positives and negatives of masturbation.

    Thank you again for more input, I have taken on board what you have said and I might look into religious groups that abstain. This is very good advice.
     

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