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Featuring guest: Gary Wilson
Author of Your Brain On Porn
30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet
Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.
Really interesting podcast today, Robb. Thanks. What do you think are the implications of Gary’s findings for people who are exposed to lots of novel, varied, and stimulating computer data in their work? Not necessarily porn, but I’m thinking about day traders, data analysts, and others who get exposed to and process a lot of fast moving, stimulating electronic data in their daily work. Similar downside potential to overuse of porn? What can you do if you are in one of those lines of work (besides unplug as much as possible)?
Robb Wolf says
Possibly and I don’t know. You see a somewhat similar phenomena with professional athletes and folks in special operations units. Their “job” is SO stimulating that normal life feels incredibly dull and uninteresting. Meditation can help, reducing exposure can help I guess…but i really don’t know. I will say this, it’s a good bit more interesting than protein, carbs, fat!
Thanks for this post Robb. This brings up so many issues. From the religious/political that you allude to as well as the the difficulties that our modern environment can affect us socially. When our most basic needs i.e sexuality and food are so disrupted by radical change of course the difference will be hard and fundamentally altering. This happens so fast and with such extremes that it’s hard to keep track. It seems to me that we’re in a period of rapid evolutionary change and we’re the losers in the change.
Maria Hanzlik says
I was so excited to hear a sexuality-related topic on your podcast! I’ve been eating Paleo for about 3 years and follow your podcast and website frequently. I’m a clinical psychologist and sex therapist and work with individuals with not just struggles with porn overuse, but the range of sexual dysfunctions for men and women. It was nice to hear about the neurological underpinnings of porn use being discussed, but I couldn’t help but think about all of the other variables that are important to address when treating ED, low desire, delayed ejaculation, etc. other than abstaining from porn use. Some of the elements I think about include understanding how an individual learned about sex growing up, messages communicated about sex in one’s family, how one approaches others for sex, understanding pleasure, etc. I know what I am suggesting was beyond the scope of today’s podcast, but the sex therapist and psychologist in me wanted to add to the conversation! Thanks again for addressing sexuality on your podcast. I hope it is the first of more to come.
This episode totally blew my mind. I’m not sure when in time we will be able to more openly discuss this topic but it’s a super important one. It have my wife and I pause about our kids as they mature into young technology consumers.
It seems like sexuality is becoming a topic that is appearing more and more in the paleo discussion which I find fascinating. Daniel Vitalis had a series of sex educators on his blog ReWild yourself so I hope to see these types of things to continue in this movement.
That all being said it seems to me that we could use sex, masturbation and pornography in a more constructive way after abstaining. I’ve been thinking about this for the past few hours after reading a blogpost over at art of manliness about dopamine, pornography and habit forming. Isn’t it possible that maybe we could use these reward circuits to create new habits and further develop skills.
Fighters use abstinence as a potent motivator for training why not use it as a biohack for other aspects of life.
I wrote out these ideas in more detail at my blog: http://strengthst.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-use-sex-to-learn-better-untested.html
I’d be fascinated to know what people think about this. Thanks
Wow! I can’t tell you how powerful this episode was for me. I am a mother of 3 and my eyes are wide open especially with raising a son! I would love to share with people, but I might lose people at just the title. Every mother needs to listen to this podcast.
I also suffer from an eating disorder and I can’t tell you how much this episode connected with me. Behaviors I started as a teen are probably still with me and very strong. I’m happy to say I’ve been binge free since listening to this episode. Something came over me as I listened to the habit part of this podcast-I realized I may not be an emotional mess like my eating and current literature on this topic makes me think. It might just be pure habit with a strong brain connection that started while I”m young. I suddenly felt very empowered to look at my eating in a different light! Who would have thought I’d learn that in this podcast!
just for grins, I thought you would appreciate this
Robb Wolf says
The way this guy’s talking it seems like a lot of this stuff can be applied to computer games addiction too. I’m a former teen addict (as partly a result of escapism from a crappy life) and the life-dulling effects are something you get from too much gaming too.
I would definitely suspect there to be some carryover.
It’ possible that the Japanese low birth rate/male grasseater asexuality is also caused by a strong culture of misandry from the combination of severe traditional gender roles for men + radical feminism’s cultural favouring of women over men.
This would also explain the ultra-high male suicide rate.
At least that’s the impression I get from anecdotal evidence and from stumbling upon Men’s Rights activists making this argument… take this comment with a grain of salt. (but take the suggestion of Japan’s demographic suicide caused by porn with an even smaller grain fo salt)
I think the pessimistic view in the future prospect among young people causing them away from making kids and sometimes suicide.
It is said to be that Japan have been purchasing USA bond amount 5~6 trillion dollars since WW2 which won’t be repaid. It’s like a penalty for yellow monkey challenging western power. There was never functioning democracy nor independence. As Americanization of Japan progresses its prospect is not good one.
Probably the Reason Japan is not broke yet is that they are efficient workers. But some people are tired of bullshit.
I’ve been wondering why I like Game of Thrones so much. Now I get it, dopamine. Novelty, anxiety, violation of expectations.
Christine Lehmann says
I am not surprised that porn is addicting having once written about men with sex addictions and treatment for my master’s thesis. What struck me then (this was 8 years ago) was the devastating impact sex addictions had on these men’s lives including losing one’s job because the man would run off anytime a prostitute “sexted” him to being arrested for a child porn addiction. It also ruined marriages. The treatment program was conducted in a residential facility with strict rules about abstinence. It was hard work on the part of the treatment team and men but it seemed to pay off.
Anyone ever wonder why only women seem to be “sex therapists”?