Wiring Sexual Tastes to Hairless Genitals...Oops!

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Are we waxing away the line between adults and children?

At present, our culture both underestimates the power of erotic cues and misinterprets their significance. That is, sexual cues are presumed harmless because sexual tastes are thought to be hardwired whatever one views. Two circular assumptions follow from this faulty premise: First, we assume that what one climaxes to reveals one's unalterable nature; and second, we assume that if one begins climaxing to something incongruous one is merely discovering one's "true" nature. Such flawed reasoning arose in part due to medical politics which gave rise to a staunch refusal to investigate the plastic effects of sexual behaviors on the brain's delicate reward circuitry.

Actual experience, however, suggests that intense stimulation can alter sexual tastes in some brains. Indeed, some of today's Internet porn users are undergoing unnerving changes in their brains and arousal patterns—a possibility now well explained by many experiments revealing the plasticity of the brain. These changes are difficult to reverse while porn use continues. In short, sexual cues that start out as insubstantial and meaningless as cobwebs can become cables, that is, can lay down brain pathways that are given high priority because they are associated with the intense reward of orgasm.

In past articles we've pointed out that these changes can be very disturbing if they are mistaken for changes in fundamental sexual orientation. But they can also be less dramatic. Consider this guy's experience:

Justin: I used to have a big thing for enlarged breasts. Yesterday there was a clip on the news about girls with silicone implants and their health hazards. They showed a lot of these girls on the beach etc., which would once have got me drooling and set me off on a porn frenzy. But after a month without porn, they actually looked weird. The unnatural, augmented breasts put me off. I was thinking, "Why would they do this to themselves? What's the big deal about big breasts?" And this is from a guy who spent a lot of his life worshiping them.

To rid the brain of an unwanted arousal cue, one has to cease activating the associated brain circuits—in this case by not masturbating to similar cues. Disuse gradually inhibits the relevant circuits, although it may not extinguish them completely. Flashbacks are not uncommon.

Bare bottoms and an uneasy mind

In the past year, we've heard from both men and women about another porn-related plastic change that is causing distress. A European woman wrote:

In porn, bodies and genitals are usually depilated, so one automatically becomes conditioned to privates and bodies without hair. Familiar looking depilated genitals then trigger the porn user's reward center's urge to pursue the reward. Most porn also involves anal sex, so the viewer is also conditioned to buttocks as a cue for orgasm. Any naked, depilated bottom will then trigger the urge to orgasm, whether it belongs to a male, female or child.

How did I find out? I have a little girl of 2 years living in my home at the moment, and she loves walking around naked. I am ashamed to say that some of her spontaneous positions triggered my own self-inflicted porn conditioning. Certainly, I decide what to do with a trigger and (sorry to say that) arousal. I would never, ever act on it.

But it is scary that, even though I haven't watched porn in over two years, the unconscious triggers are still there, ingrained in my brain, and only reveal themselves now. And mind you I am female! It is also scary that I never noticed before how porn had conditioned my subconscious. I still remember times when women in my country didn't shave. Not even their legs, and no one would have felt bad about it. And now? You feel like a real outsider if you don't shave, so you do.

Okay, that's one person's experience.

Hairlessness: an unwanted sexual cue

More recently, an equally thoughtful man reported this experience:

I first got interested in the psychology of pornography a year or so ago when I read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. In one chapter he discusses a client he worked with who was having problems with online pornography. The book is excellent, but this chapter really got me thinking about how I came to battle with my porn use. My story is unusual, but probably not isolated.

I really didn't use pornography at all until I was about 28 and even then, at such a low level as to be almost negligible. I was briefly exposed to it as a sixteen-year old, but just never got into it. A combination of things changed all that. The main thing though was having private and easy access to lots of pornography via computer. I started using it more often because my wife and I had our first child and as such, a heap of things changed, some of which I was expecting, and some not.

I like to think of myself as a pro-feminist male. I married my wife because she is a serious feminist and I respect and love her for it. I love being involved in raising my two young boys, and we work hard to have a very loving and fair relationship. And so, with myself and my wife tired from our new parental responsibilities I thought I would use pornography as a way to have some harmless enjoyment, and leave my wife to get all the sleep she needed. We even discussed this, and she was all for it.

Little did I know what I was in for. It has been quite disturbing to experience the changes in my mind that have happened as a result of my increased pornography use. After using porn, for the next few days I find unwanted images and thoughts in my mind, sparked by the most unexpected experiences.

What really shocked me was an experience at a good friend's place one night, whilst over for dinner. My two little boys were sharing a bath with their 8-year old daughter and I went in to get the kids out and changed. All of a sudden, upon seeing a naked 8-year old girl, my mind started bringing up sexualised thoughts. I was so shocked I walked straight out and asked my wife if she could take over.

This is not something you can tell anyone. These are not thoughts that I have ever in my life even entertained, and yet, there they were, out of nowhere. But not really out of nowhere. I now realise that a lot of the porn I had been looking at depicts women with no pubic hair - not something I particularly like, or had even noticed - but, it had, unbeknownst to me, become etched in my mind.

The fact that pornography could do this to me, disturbed me very much, and as a result, I had a discussion with my wife about my increasing use of porn. I have taken steps to manage it, but it is difficult and I have to remain quite vigilant. I don't know what our society is going to do to stop this problem. I know that for me, if I hadn't had a computer and easy access to it, I doubt that my porn use would have ever become the issue it has become.

It is encouraging that there are now places where men can openly discuss the dangers of pornography for our psyches. Because, largely in our society, and especially amongst the vast majority of men, we are encouraged to laugh it off as a trivial matter, which increasingly, many of us know that it isn't.

Juvenile genitals

Pubic hair and prominent labia minora only develop with puberty. Both are signs of adult women. Straight men once typically wired their sexual attraction to adult females using the standard visual cues of pubic hair and normal labia (among others). Indeed, older men on our forum say they don't find shaved women especially appealing. Their first sexual experiences were apparently with normally endowed women, or imaginations/magazines featuring same.

For most, this classic scenario subconsciously discouraged visual interest in prepubescent females. "If it ain't hairy, it ain't hot. Throw it back."

In today's porn world, however, "shaved," like anal sex, is de rigueur. We now hear younger men saying they will have nothing (sexual) to do with an unshaven female. What has happened? Adolescent porn users are cutting their teeth on depilated sirens. This is just when their brains are most sensitive to reward and furiously wiring their sexual arousal to associated cues—in this case, hairless genitals. This same process affects some adult viewers, too.

A sensitive brain can wire up to a new sexual cue with a few intense orgasms. Thereafter, such a brain will respond to that cue (whether with arousal or repulsion) before the brain's owner is even consciously aware of the cue. In short, the brain's reward circuitry ignites a powerful reaction before the person's frontal cortex has a chance to dismiss the cue.

In some brains, classic conditioning proves to be but the top of a slippery slope to more permanent alterations of the reward circuitry. These alterations produce a much higher level of dopamine release in key brain circuits (sensitization). This brain change is often accompanied by an overall decrease in the brain's pleasure response (desensitization). Together these addiction-related changes drive cravings for increasingly stimulating material.

The hairless, juvenile trend is not lost on the female partners and would-be partners of today's heavy porn users. They still hope to turn on their cue-conditioned mates. According to a 2010 study, labia portrayed in porn protrude less than labia portrayed in medical textbooks and other sources.

Result? Not just wax treatments, but also labia surgery to eradicate signs of sexual maturity are increasingly common. Using shaving and surgery, women are deliberately neotenizing their genitals, that is, intentionally making them look immature, juvenile.

Are we whittling away our aversion for sex with children?

Is this change in conditioned visual tastes removing an evolved barrier that once discouraged adult sex with children? If this is a possibility, how can we, as a society, hope to have an open discussion about it? Or even do reliable research? Given the willingness of today's authorities to assume any sexual response to images of minors proves someone is a pedophile, who would dare to discuss such feelings except on an anonymous Internet forum...maybe?

A discussion is definitely needed, however. Minor-attracted persons see their desires as a sexual orientation. It would be prudent to clear up the distinction between their circumstances and randomly wired, reversible plastic tastes—before overstimulated porn users mistake themselves for MAPs. Law enforcement officers, too, need to learn the difference:

Anthony: I started looking at porn, on a regular basis, about five years ago. First there were the beautiful women, then the hardcore porn, then the weird insertions, then the transvestites, then critters, then the hermaphrodites, then the teen porn, then the younger models and now prison (soon to go). As the years passed I became less and less interested in masturbating and more and more interested in "novelty" searching. Looking back, I just don't see how I failed to recognize that I had a problem.

People who acquire random, unwanted sexual associations would do well to reverse them. Why?

1. The anxiety from worrying about an uncharacteristic sexual taste can also get wired up as an arousing cue...leading to agonizing, but arousing, obsessive-compulsive "testing" to see if the unwanted reaction is still there. Each test strengthens the relevant brain circuitry, making the task of rewiring more challenging. For help reversing this OCD, see the work of Jeffrey Schwartz MD.

2. With the overstimulation of persistent porn use, random tastes may continue to morph in new, perhaps more shocking, directions.

Reversing tastes can be tough. It requires patience and absolute consistency in not fantasizing about, or climaxing to, problematic cues. Avoiding Internet porn's constant novelty helps too, because intense stimulation itself can drive escalation.

Is hairlessness in porn trivial?

You may be saying to yourself, "Oh please. I know the difference between a child and adult when I'm watching porn!" That isn't the point. Pavlov's dogs knew the difference between his bell and Alpo, but after a while they salivated when they heard the bell alone.

Brains are plastic. Once we wire up a cue, we have no way of knowing when it will trigger a reaction. A recovered porn user explained:

Porn kinda messes with one's preferences. There are things I was originally repulsed by, which I still [after recovery] find highly triggering and erotic, and which I don't let my mind focus on. When you first separate from porn you can't help but think about them because they are like the sexual wallpaper of your life. Instead of reacting strongly to intrusive thoughts, I just calmly ignore them and shift my attention to something else.

If you stick with it you'll get to a place that is something like who you were before you started using porn. For example, I'm a heterosexual male but over the years of porn viewing I began involuntarily checking out other guys' junk. Porn made me aware that all these men had penises too, and that it was possible to look at them the same way I would check out a woman. I never questioned my sexual identity, but it did kind of weird me out when I found myself studying my guitar teacher's crotch. I would think to myself, "What the hell am I doing? I don't like guys." That is a much rarer event today, and less worrisome now that I understand how porn causes random plastic changes in the brain.

The urge to get off now is potent motivation. It can be especially demanding in a desensitized brain that is struggling with the discomfort of returning to homeostasis following overstimulation. Whatever your circumstances, however, it pays to think twice before jumping on a hyperstimulating, or uncharacteristic, arousal cue. Better to endure an uncomfortable period of sexual frustration now and again, during which your usual stimulation isn't doing it for you because your brain hasn't returned to normal sensitivity, than to risk wiring unsettling tastes into your brain by forcing climaxes with more stimulating material.

Sexual associations are subconscious, and, in some brains even the superficial ones are tenacious. For good or ill, our brains are plastic. That is, the sexual cues we employ to reach climax are not necessarily toothless, and sexual tastes are not set in stone (unlike underlying sexual orientation). In short, we have more control than we thought. It's time to exercise it. Who needs to find a friend's prepubescent child a sexual distraction?

Comments

You might just as well say that face-shaving in adult men wires female brains to crave intimacy with prepubescent boys.

A man's face is significantly different from a boys face - hair or not. However, female external genitalia if shaved tend to resemble prepubescent. I think men are far more interested in viewing genitalia than are women. Anyway, the article describes real experiences, therefore it is true.

My friends and I were having a discussion about this just a few days prior to the article. My friends thought pubes and armpit hair was disgusting in a woman whereas I thought it was sexy (as long as it was well maintained).

And I started questioning myself why my preferences were different from others? After all hair is natural and should be a part of sexual attraction.Until a couple of decades back, women weren't really that much into Brazilian waxing and all that crap . In fact in one of the hottest Hollywood scenes ( Basic Instinct 1992) , Sharon Stone sports a nice thick bush.

So why this sudden trend towards shaving everything clean ?And then it struck me , I was (probably) the only one among my friends who's not been into porn.

So it's clear to me how much porn is changing sexual tastes and preferences. I remember when I was dating my ex,I actually had to request my ex not get herself waxed. For the record, I do not associate hairlessness with the young ( although I understand the analogy), but it's just a major turn off for me because that's not how nature intended it to be down there.

 

I am doing things with my partner that I see in porn without even realizing it. I am disgusted by her pubic hair even when I claim that I love the naturalness of a woman. It is embedded in me, but I see that when I recognize it consciously and try to get it out of my system, with time and patience, then it leaves. It all just takes time and rewiring the brain.

Forum member:

About your "vagina" problem. I used to have a same problem due to watching years of anal porn. I got my brains wired for anal so vaginal sex wasn't that interesting. But after a long reboot period that has changed for me. I used to get an erection from a blowjob or a handjob , but when it came in to actual vaginal sex my erection always failed. Now this is something really hard to face, you have I woman of your dreams in front of you totally naked, waiting for you to take her and you see and rationalize that this is where I always wanted to be, but nothing happens downstairs. This will change with a reboot. Just keep up with your rebooting and make it total. One key issue is to stop fantasizing.

Another forum member:

I rebooted for 77 days no pmo and tried blocking out femdom fantasies as soon as they came in. If you read my blogs and my topics I posted I'm sure you can learn a lot as many of your questions have been answered. So I tested the other day to see if I could get aroused without feet, femdom, etc. I went and got a massage and ended up getting a blowjob from the girl. I noticed that looking at her feet turned me on, but then as I went to kiss them ( all during foreplay) I felt less turned on. So I focused on her breasts, her face and her butt and started sucking on her nipples and kissing her butt as she was giving me head. I ended up keeping my penis hard and ejaculating without a problem. My penis was actually hard from the time ingot naked for the massage. I did notice that my penis was sensitive when she started to give it a handjob and I told her I didn't want that so she proceeded with a blowjob. It was amazing and when I orgasmed I was thinking about how great my penis felt and had no fetish thoughts. I still know that I am not fully healed but know that my desire for the weird fetishes have disappeared almost completely and That my brain is ready to rewire to the really good stuff :). If you read my blogs you can see that I was just as worried as you regarding the fetish aspect as that sucks the most. Btw I am 23 and I started off with foot fetish porn at age 13 which escalated into bdsm, humiliation, femdom, ballistic, and ended up with me pretending to be a girls dog. So my conclusion this far is that I will always find feet attractive because I liked feet before I watched porn, but I will not give it as much attention as I used to because there is much more you can do with a vagina or a girls mouths and boobs and breasts. You might think well yeah logically that makes sense but my brain isn't aroused to it. Your brain will realize that after you lay off the porn masturbation and orgasm for quiete some time. Now I don't even have too many fantasies and really get aroused only when seeing real women or flirting with them/ touching them. If you have any questions I'm me, I would love to help man. I was a wrestler in school, dominant in life

And everything and hated that I was so submissive in the bedroom. Now I am a lot more

Normal

And not really even submissive.

 

I have the same exact story as you.. But the difference is is that i didn't have a foot fetish before i started watching porn. Ofcourse i started watching the foot fetish after the anal porn and it wasn't normal it was like femdom and really weird foot fetish videos. Now what's confusing is that when i'm stopping all these fantasies, i get fantasies sexual about real girls with nice feet but i get anxious because i didnt look at feet before porn, i dont know if i formed a foot fetish for real, and i don't know if i should look at girl's feet or not because i see some girls and i find that i look at their breasts, butt..

Question for successful rebooters who've overcome porn-induced ED re: female body types and "preferences"

Just want to say I am so glad I found YBOP and related to that, this subreddit. 17 days of nofap and going strong.

I've been struggling with porn-induced ED since college (am 27 now). The short version is that during my college years, I had the opportunity to have sex with 4 beautiful females and all attempts were foiled due to porn-induced ED. In a couple cases the clothes came off and I couldn't perform, and in the other two I stopped it before it even began just knowing that I wouldn't be able to get it up. Sound familiar to any of you?

Historically, I found the only way I was able to get it up (and this only after several attempts with the same girl) was if 1) no condom was involved 2) she had a fit/tight body, flat stomach, etc. and - wait for it - 3) she was mostly or completely shaved "down there." Where in the fuck did I develop such warped standards? Oh right, from the countless of hours of internet porn I'd been watching since my pre-teen years.

Of my encounters with those girls in college, not one of them met every single one of my "requirements." None of them were completely shaved, and a couple were on the curvier side. Back then, I had chalked it up to the fact that there were things about those girls that had visibly turned me off - those things being the pubic hair and/or body fat - and I can distinctly remember that those things did just turn me off visually. Killed all arousal, or at least I thought so. And of course this was awfully distressing, given that these were amazing women whose bodies just didn't happen to resemble that of a pornstar's, and I knew there were many more out there who would fall into that same category.

So my question for those of you who've successfully overcome porn-induced ED - from what I've read it sounds like a successful reboot will allow you to use condoms (hooray!). But what about your preferences or "tastes" so to speak? Were there any of you out there who used to be "turned off" (or thought you were, at least) by things like pubic hair or some love handles, but a reboot successfully rewired what aroused you?

Thanks!

reported the following:

I know of two male students who volunteered that they would decline sex/leave a hook up situation based on a woman's pubic hair. One said he'd avoid sex with a bare woman as the bare look reminded him of his younger sister who he had cared for. The other said he'd decline a hookup if a woman had any hair, which he thought was "gross."

Pornography is not the only culprit behind the rise of labiaplasty [Doctors are]

Young women need to learn that there is no such thing as the ideal labia – no matter what they see on the internet
 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/15/pornography-culprit-rise-labiaplasty

So I've been meeting girls and having sex with them - unfortunately I keep acting out things I've seen in porn with them.

Like pulling out and trying to cum in their mouths or insisting on anal etc.

So far, no girl has been receptive and it usually ends up ruining the relationship.

I try to stay in control but the moment just seems to take over and I automatically end up doing what my "pornified" brain orders me to do.

How do I get over this? Who else suffers from it? Is it common or rare?

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