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How Does Giving Up Porn Help Your Sex Life? A Scientific Experiment

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“I don’t really masturbate without porn,” writes Redditor syncratio400, who, out of curiosity, subjected his shvantz to two weeks of complete NSFW abstinence: “no nude pictures, videos or anything that would typically arouse me.”

He’s not giving up orgasms — just fantasy ones, in the hope of improving his actual, real-life sex with his wife, with whom he has a baby.

“I wanted to see how my consumption of porn effects my libido, performance, enjoyment of sex, and any other day to day things,” the 25-year-old writes. And “I’ll be doing this according to the scientific method.”

Here’s the experiment:

Question: What effects does the consumption of pornography have on my libido, performance, sexual performance and day-to-day life?

Research: [1] Research Indicates that people who previously consumed porn and have abstained experience the following:

• Moderate to extreme frustration (“putting an angry cat in a bag”)
• Increased Aggression
• Mood Swings
• Sensitivity to revealing clothing and sexuality
• Drop in libido, followed by a recovery of libido.
• Higher stamina during sex
• More fulfilling and easier to achieve orgasm
• More energy

Hypothesis: I hypothesize a personal increase in frustration, increased libido, sensitivity to revealing clothing and sexuality, and I expect to see changes in my sex life.

Testing: The criteria for the experiment are simple, and are as follows: No pornographic images or videos of any kind allowed for the extent of the experiment. … Keep in mind that I’m a redditor, so clicked links in threads do indeed bring me to nudes once in a while. When this happens I just back out as fast as I can and don’t linger. So yes, I did actually see some nudes during the course of the experiment, but not on purpose and not to sexually gratify myself.

An unfortunate consequence of this is that I don’t really masturbate without porn. I’m 25, so when I started masturbating at 12 or 13, I had access to porn on the internet. In my teen years I could masturbate without porn of course, but now that I’m in my 20s I can’t really do it without some kind of excitement or visual stimuli. So, basically I haven’t been masturbating throughout the experiment. This is offset, however, by the fact that I’m married and very much sexually active with my wife.

Syncratico400 kept a journal, logging his progress and various degrees of sexual frustration along the way. During days 1 and 2, he says, he didn’t feel too horny because he’d gotten in a fight with his wife over the experiment. He says she felt hurt that he “craves seeing other women naked. … I feel awful, so my sex drive is awful in relation.”

The Olympics, with “all of the ass hanging out,” brings his mojo back. “Revealing clothing is much harder to not glimpse. Damn you, women’s diving, beach volleyball and swimming.” But by day 5 his sex drive seemed to “plateau” at a frustrating level. “I have the urge to look up pics or videos fairly often, and it takes effort to get my mind off of it. Sex is good and is easier to orgasm, but I didn’t have much trouble before.”

He writes,

• Near extreme frustration Confirmed
• Change in sex life Confirmed
• Easier to Achieve Orgasm Confirmed
• Increased Stamina Debunked

“What is this sport? Water polo or something?” he writes on day 6. “It’s like soccer or hockey in the water, and everyone’s swimsuit is a thong. Fucking. Thongs.”

• Extreme Frustration Definitely Confirmed

Day 8: The weekends are brutal. Wife has been working all day, so I’m home alone with the baby. Pretty ridiculously hard not to browse /r/gonewild while idle or when the baby is napping. Oddly, I wasn’t very ‘in the mood’ this evening, but the wife definitely changed that. I’m not sure why I crave porn during the day but not sex.

Loss of libido: Plausible

Day 9: I’m wondering that if this ‘addiction’ is not common amongst men and women (which I actually expect that it is common), then I may have this issue because my wife is the only sexual partner I’ve had in my life. My urges to ‘spread my seed’ are subdued by exposing myself to porn. What did people do before porn was accessible? Either people didn’t crave nudity as much, or they were a lot more sexually mischievous or sneaky. Perhaps some research is in order.

Libido is back today in full force. This sucks. I’ve been thinking about quitting the last couple days.

Day 10: Nothing all that new. Still thinking of quitting. I might just start grouping days together unless something eventful happens. I’m not an aggressive or moody person to begin with, but I’m going to throw these out the window today. Not gonna happen.

• Increased Aggression Debunked
• Mood Swings Debunked

The baby (oh, and some dude-butt issues) proved to be a buzzkill around day 11, but the wife came through in the clutch:

Last night kind of sucked. I was in the mood and tried to get something started (didn’t progress because my wife wanted to shower first) but we fell asleep on the couch. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, and I’m not mad or anything but I did have some pent up urges as we migrated to bed. Then the baby kept me up most of the night. I really need a coffee today but I quit about the same time (also, red meat) as restarting this experiment because I’m having a bout Ulcerative Proctitus (which sucks because I enjoy anal play). One nice thing is that my wife is indeed amazing and she texted me first thing this morning to say she was sorry because of the night before. Apparently I have a great blow job to look forward to tonight :)

Day 12: I feel good today. I got my gift from last night, and it was so good I actually had a second wind before bed! I usually can’t get it up twice in one night but last night was no problem, so I was glad to get a blow job AND have sex in the same night. My urge to look up pics today still exists but it’s not aggravating like before. My libido is still high. I think in the few weeks before this experiment I was beginning to have second winds more often, so I’m not positive last night was attributed to the experiment. It’s more likely that my wife’s performance is what triggers these, but I’ll go ahead and say it’s plausible.

Oh … and the baby only woke up once last night, so I slept pretty well. It’s a good day.

• Change in Sex Life: Improved Plausible

Day 13: Was a bit frustrated last night because of Olympic beach volleyball, but the wife helped me with that. It seems the mornings are a bit easier now. Nothing else new to report!

Results:

• Moderate frustration Confirmed
• Sensitivity to revealing clothing and sexuality Confirmed
• Near extreme frustration Confirmed
• Change in sex life Confirmed
• Easier to Achieve Orgasm Confirmed
• Extreme Frustration Definitely Confirmed
• Increased Stamina Debunked
• Increased Aggression Debunked
• Mood Swings Debunked
• Loss of libido Plausible
• Change in Sex Life: Improved Plausible

Syncratico400′s conclusion? It was frustrating but sorta fun. That said, the whole giving-up-porn thing is f*cking overrated. Also, he never wants to do it again.

“Overall, I don’t think it improved my sex life enough (or at all) to warrant introducing frustration into every day life,” he says. “For me, porn is healthy and keeps me happier day to day because it helps suppress my primal urges.

“One more thing I’ll note is the last couple days were a bit easier, but I still craved porn. It just wasn’t as frustrating. I may keep going on my experiment but at this point I’m not really sure. It’s been 3 weeks with only looking at porn once two weeks ago … so I’m going to wuss out and say that’s enough testing.”

* * *

What have we learned today? Probably nothing. It’s worth noting that this is just one dude with a distinct, personal conditioned response to vicariously enjoyed pleasure, and someone else’s results might be totally different. Still, this experiment might come as a sigh of relief to dudes and ladies worried about porn use killing their boners (and ladyboners) in bed.

It’d be interesting to see how someone who actually felt he had a “porn problem” would respond. Our subject is a guy who uses porn recreationally and has a healthy sex life to begin with. Porn is like any drug: If you smoke a joint or sip a glass of Scotch three times a week to relax, you’re is only going to feel annoyed when that thing you like is no longer accessible, and there’s no good reason you can’t have it.

So step it up, would-be-scientist Redditors! Just think of the karma.

SEE MORE:
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