14

votes

is pornography paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM

This isn't nutritionally based, more of a paleo lifestyle/sexual question, but I've been reading some recent articles about the effect of porn on the "modern" (male, specifically) mind.

Specifically this article, which begins with the following quote:

"To the extent that present day conditions are different from ancestral conditions, the ancestral genetic advice will be wrong" (Dawkins)

Anyway, long and short of their hypothesis (largely confirmed in my own experience): Porn is sort of a hyper stimulant that actually desensitizes you to normal attraction cues, can eventually lead to ED, greatly reduce drive and do a ton of undesirable other stuff. Not to mention it can be highly addictive and lead to dissatisfaction with current mates.

My question/s: -Anyone notice these sorts of negative effects? -Anyone intentionally STOP viewing pornography for this or other reasons?

I have zero moral/ethical qualms with pornography (as long as all performers are willing adults who aren't being exploited...in fact I've read a ton of very moving, sex positive defenses OF pornography by female porn stars who love their work). From a physiological standpoint, definitely see how it could be desensitizing to the savannah-brain, further seems like there is a gigantic emphasis on: 1) novelty 2)VISUAL stimulation--entraining these (very small) aspects of sex seems like it could definitely lead to desensitization. Thoughts??

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 21, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Firstly, is what is on the screen more vivid or graphic than what's in your mind? If so I'd suggest you lack imagination! :) Secondly, pre-Christian cultures often had some very provocative, very sexual aspects. Google it. I suspect most people would be shocked at things that were done in ancient times. For instance, no joke here, as a sign of virility leaders in certain cultures proved themselves by having sex with female horses with large sorts of strapons. (This is from a History Textbook, not just TV or the aforementioned imagination!!)

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 09, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Malamuth and Check 1981

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Geez, that sounds grim. I know quite a few peoples sex drive drops when they don't get enough carbs, so try upping your carbs to see if that helps.

507a43b2a190776060b8b142b464e808

(88)

on July 08, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Has been shown by who? The studies I saw suggested Japan's insanely low rape rate was due to the prevalence and accessibility of porn. Maybe it's because they have mosaic and other countries don't - mosaic-free-porn leads to rape?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 02, 2011
at 11:17 AM

Porn is not uplifting, but I accept it may well serve a purpose so far as the impotent are concerned.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:28 AM

"Edifying" and "demeans" are both thick ethical concepts the use of which you need to defend. I already said that porn is beneficial insofar that it facilitates orgasming and sexual exploration; the purely functional benefits are pretty obvious.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 01, 2011
at 10:08 PM

porn is not edifying, it demeans both the voyeur ("peeping tom") and the participants - if not, and as you suggest, please explain how porn is beneficial, and to whom ?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:18 PM

Orgasming is beneficial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masturbation#Health_and_psychological_effects and porn facilitates orgasming (and general sexual exploration).

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:18 PM

I think there's a lot of correlation and not much causation. We shouldn't be surprised that aggressive people watch aggressive porn and act aggressively. I assume that watching aggressive misogynistic porn encourages said awful traits and much professional porn is aggressively misogynistic, but the problem is our misogynistic society not porn per se. I don't know what you have in mind by "perversions," but I don't think it's a useful term. And why say that porn isn't beneficial?...

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 07:44 PM

there's the rub - "willing performers" - who knows ?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I accept that not everyone is affected adversely by pornography (another generalization) - it can however become addictive, and destructive for some indulgers, who did not necessarily start out as 'sexual kinks' - do its pros outweigh its cons - financially it is very profitable

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Excellent answer!

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Perhaps the sexual kinks are already out there, and they promote the porn. In any case, your statements are very generalized.

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Do you have refernces for your statements?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 09:16 AM

with apologies for typo.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:59 AM

Seriously? Really??

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Your analogy is very appropriate. Partaking of wild berries is fun and nourishing to the body, while eating a big bag of Skittles is fun for a nanosecond and leaves you feeling pathetic. Partaking of wild women is fun and nourishing to the soul, while hunching over your keyboard and doing...stuff...is not very uplifting.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Exactly. It's like the difference between finding occasional wild berries in season, or eating a big bag of Skittles every day.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:18 PM

+1 for the literature - some great words fuelled by our imagination can be so much more.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Harfatum, I do not doubt your word, but I think you may be the exception. For a lot of people, it is difficult not to imitate or compare oneself to the IMAGE. It would be interesting to study (if it could be done) the influence of pornography on people's sexual behavior in the bedroom. My bet is that it would be enormous. Just as the image of HUGE BREASTS in advertising have discouraged many women and sent them to get boob implants, how has the image of the super-sized male porno member intimidated the male psyche?

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:45 PM

I think it's a reasonable comparison. Not all porn is the artifically enhanced stuff. You might think of that as the HFCS of sexuality - neither are particularly appetizing IMO. But even then, I'm not convinced it's necessarily a substantive difference as far as impact on the other aspects of one's sex life. I'm sure it depends on the person, but I don't find myself desensitized to anything real because of media I've seen.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I think group sex, and maybe watching (live, not recorded) people have sex is VERY different from staged, artificially enhanced sex that we see in porn. You can't compare being in an orgy to watching a porno. Although I do agree with you on the monogamy thing. I definitely think humans didn't evolve as monogamous creatures.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:11 PM

man, you put that brilliantly. I would have never articulated it so well. +1

Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Similar experience here.

  • 710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

    asked by

    (626)
  • Views
    6.5K
  • Last Activity
    1405D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

17 Answers

best answer

43
Medium avatar

on April 29, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Supernormal stimuli come in many forms and are generally harmful, as they're co-opting mechanisms that arose in order to cope with much less potent environmental cues. Whether it's watching porn or eating a Snickers bar, you're succumbing to a product engineered to provide highly intense but fleeting bouts of pleasure, so you keep coming back to the dealer.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:11 PM

man, you put that brilliantly. I would have never articulated it so well. +1

13
Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 29, 2011
at 08:49 PM

To answer your question:

-Anyone intentionally STOP viewing pornography for this or other reasons?

Yes. I did.

I know, shocking that this is coming from a woman.

I was exposed to a lot of porn in my teens* and realized at about 18 I was no longer turned on by a muscular arm peaking from under a T-shirt, or the V shape of a man's back. Even at that age, I recognized I was sliding down a slippery slope and completely stopped.

And now when I've been 'exposed', I see how it desensitizes my sexual urges almost immediately. I'm surprised that more men don't realize how desensitizing porn can be and how exciting it can be to be turned on by the slightest of stimuli.

*When allowing babysitters to watch your kids, lock your porn, don't just hide it.

Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Similar experience here.

9
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 30, 2011
at 01:46 AM

My own experience supports their hypothesis too. The lower brain doesn't really differentiate between things that are actually happening and things you're watching or imagining. So watching extremely attractive people have sex in inventive ways trains your brain to experience that as normal. Your brain gets "used to" having lots of sex with lots of different sexy people. Eventually routine sex with your same-old partner just doesn't stimulate your mind anymore -- and without the mental stimulation, physical stimulation may not be enough to get you going. Then you can try to spice things up, change the routine, but it's not likely that you're going to be able to make things as spicy as what you can watch on the screen.

There's also a difference between today's online porn and that of just a couple decades ago. If you're looking at dirty magazines, or even a small collection of fuzzy video tapes that you keep hidden in your bottom dresser drawer, you still have to use your imagination. But now you can go to a variety of web sites and find more free porn than you could watch if you quit your job and dedicated your life to it -- all in living color. You can even pick your favorite fetishes, whatever you find the most intense, and just watch video after video of that. If the intensity wanes for a few seconds, or you get bored with watching the same bodies for two minutes straight, you can jump to a new set doing new things. It has the potential to be far more intense and far more destructive to your appreciation for the real thing than ever before.

8
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on April 30, 2011
at 06:55 PM

I think allot of the arguments against pornography could be made against all kinds of current entertainment, and technology. I do look at or watch porn sometimes if I feel like it. Just like I eat some Ben and Jerry's once in awhile if I feel like it. It doesn't cause a porn craving for me so I don't see a problem with it. Do I think it's ideal no. But I don't think there is any way around it with our level of technology. Without denying a very strong male desire to see naked people and hear sex noises.

Ways I think could lessen peoples dependance on porn are. Acceptance of humans as non-monogamous animals. I have been in a 10 year non-monogamous relationship. Having the option for both myself and my primary partner to explore with other lovers. Kept us both fit(you want a chance right?) Openly communicating and exploring our needs with each other. Horny! even just a little make out session with someone new can really get you going for awhile. It's still hard because there are very few people who feel comfortable exploring these things. I don't blame them. It's one more thing that requires time and energy they don't have. Plus living in a society that doesn't share resources and child rearing makes it much more risky.

Closer relationships and communities . I think a lot of men in particular forget about all the stuff that is really sexy. How a women carries her self, her smell(B.O. please!), her laugh, imperfections. Thats what is sexy! It's not just because of porn but some men are attracted to an image and a status. I find that men like this tend not to know or respect many women. Sometimes it's because they are scared of women. Sometimes it's because they think women are a different species. Both I feel are products of a lack of meaningful close relationships and community.

An acceptance of pornography as something we are stuck with.If we want to have a high level of technology. We are going to have porn. I think making it less of a taboo is key to making it less addictive, and alienating. We should try to make porn that's better and more loving. Something I feel the proliferation of porn is doing right now to an extent. With things like Xtude, youporn, etc. The ability for real people to share real sex with real bodies is encouraging. People should be able to explore porn with partners. Be able to learn from and explore porn without it being secretive. Some may say access to porn may lessen sexual violence. In the past 25 years incidences of rape have dropped 85% and we have had much more access to porn. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=913013 I am not saying there is a direct correlation for sure but all that porn hasn't seemed to equal more violence.

I could go on but this is getting to long. Basically my stance is can porn be bad yes. But I see it as more as a symptom. A healthier society would be less affected be porn's ills. Does this mean people should stop watching porn. Yes if it's a problem for them. No if it's not. If you have a problem with porn figure out why. Talk to your partner about what you are getting out of porn that you aren't getting out of your sex life. If you are having a hard time finding partners. Shake things up stop the porn get out of your comfort zone and work towards the only thing worth working towards. Happiness for your self and the people around you. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah sorry

8
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:02 AM

I think that in the 90's, internet porn was more "natural" than it is now.

You'd make sure no one's watching, go over to altavista/webcrawler/lycos, and stealthily search for your favorite Baywatch babe to find a glimpse of her in a long forgotten B-movie...

...five minutes later the image would finish downloading, and you'd praise the Lord for modern technology. The anticipation and necessarily sporadic nature was almost like foreplay, in a very roundabout way.

Porn now adays is just so easy. Take your pick of ethnicity, celebrity, number of participants, and a universe of perfect looking specimens is at your disposal. Nothing natural about this ease, except it's happened so fast. What if cavemen suddenly found a free vending machine doling out Coke and M&Ms? They would not know when to stop. And that's why internet porn addiction is the greatest public issue of our generation. (well, not really)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Your analogy is very appropriate. Partaking of wild berries is fun and nourishing to the body, while eating a big bag of Skittles is fun for a nanosecond and leaves you feeling pathetic. Partaking of wild women is fun and nourishing to the soul, while hunching over your keyboard and doing...stuff...is not very uplifting.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Exactly. It's like the difference between finding occasional wild berries in season, or eating a big bag of Skittles every day.

6
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 08:18 AM

Pornography has been shown to increase agression towards women, promote sexual perversions, and lead to increasingly deviant behaviour. Insofar as it does not appear to have any beneficial effect on human behaviour, it hardly fits well with the life-enhancing aspects of Paleo.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:18 PM

I think there's a lot of correlation and not much causation. We shouldn't be surprised that aggressive people watch aggressive porn and act aggressively. I assume that watching aggressive misogynistic porn encourages said awful traits and much professional porn is aggressively misogynistic, but the problem is our misogynistic society not porn per se. I don't know what you have in mind by "perversions," but I don't think it's a useful term. And why say that porn isn't beneficial?...

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 01, 2011
at 10:08 PM

porn is not edifying, it demeans both the voyeur ("peeping tom") and the participants - if not, and as you suggest, please explain how porn is beneficial, and to whom ?

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Do you have refernces for your statements?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I accept that not everyone is affected adversely by pornography (another generalization) - it can however become addictive, and destructive for some indulgers, who did not necessarily start out as 'sexual kinks' - do its pros outweigh its cons - financially it is very profitable

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 02, 2011
at 11:17 AM

Porn is not uplifting, but I accept it may well serve a purpose so far as the impotent are concerned.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on April 30, 2011
at 09:16 AM

with apologies for typo.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:18 PM

Orgasming is beneficial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masturbation#Health_and_psychological_effects and porn facilitates orgasming (and general sexual exploration).

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Perhaps the sexual kinks are already out there, and they promote the porn. In any case, your statements are very generalized.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 02, 2011
at 06:28 AM

"Edifying" and "demeans" are both thick ethical concepts the use of which you need to defend. I already said that porn is beneficial insofar that it facilitates orgasming and sexual exploration; the purely functional benefits are pretty obvious.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 09, 2011
at 07:46 AM

Malamuth and Check 1981

507a43b2a190776060b8b142b464e808

(88)

on July 08, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Has been shown by who? The studies I saw suggested Japan's insanely low rape rate was due to the prevalence and accessibility of porn. Maybe it's because they have mosaic and other countries don't - mosaic-free-porn leads to rape?

5
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Wow. Who would've expected a question like this to be SUCH a good one?! I think a lot on natural stimulation- pheromones, lunar cycles, foods, etc. I have yet to see any porn that I deem "good", erotic lit ont he other hand..... but anyway. This seems like a good topic to cover. WIsh I had something of subtance to contribute.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:18 PM

+1 for the literature - some great words fuelled by our imagination can be so much more.

5
7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 29, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Sex isn't new. Neither is watching sex. According to the book Sex at Dawn, group sex and the spectation thereof was very common in our evolutionary past. So the question might be, "Are monogamy and avoiding porn paleo?"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Harfatum, I do not doubt your word, but I think you may be the exception. For a lot of people, it is difficult not to imitate or compare oneself to the IMAGE. It would be interesting to study (if it could be done) the influence of pornography on people's sexual behavior in the bedroom. My bet is that it would be enormous. Just as the image of HUGE BREASTS in advertising have discouraged many women and sent them to get boob implants, how has the image of the super-sized male porno member intimidated the male psyche?

Medium avatar

(2169)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I think group sex, and maybe watching (live, not recorded) people have sex is VERY different from staged, artificially enhanced sex that we see in porn. You can't compare being in an orgy to watching a porno. Although I do agree with you on the monogamy thing. I definitely think humans didn't evolve as monogamous creatures.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:45 PM

I think it's a reasonable comparison. Not all porn is the artifically enhanced stuff. You might think of that as the HFCS of sexuality - neither are particularly appetizing IMO. But even then, I'm not convinced it's necessarily a substantive difference as far as impact on the other aspects of one's sex life. I'm sure it depends on the person, but I don't find myself desensitized to anything real because of media I've seen.

3
507a43b2a190776060b8b142b464e808

on July 08, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Honestly if porn is not paleo-diet safe, then neither is music. It arouses intense emotions in me like nothing possible in the paleo world.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 30, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Sex at Dawn points to the idea that female sexual vocalization is generally louder than male sexual vocalization in order to draw and entice more males to the copulation site. In that regard, watching others engage in intercourse may very wel be paleo.

Now, to the degree that some people take it, it may not be. However, we are quite adaptable animals, and generally competent at getting our rocks off at that. If you're bored in the bedroom, don't scapegoat porn for that reason, especially when there are so many other ills you could blame on it instead. I'd recommend listening to Dan Savage's Savage Love podcast, trying anything twice, and exploring yourself and your partner to find out what REALLY turns your crank.

Ee7ee29e000bd4918c06ff75b6b1bb12

(195)

on April 30, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Excellent answer!

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2011
at 08:37 PM

I don't know. On the one hand, sexuality probably was not the private affair that it is nowadays. So part of me thinks that the "desenzitizaton" does not come from being exposed to it. However, we are more alienated from our body than our ancestors, and so much of sexuality seems to be interfered with by over-thinking (we get caught up in our head). Pornography, it occurs to me, re-enforces that. And let's face it, it's highly scripted and becomes boring. Maybe part of the desensitization comes from the "model of great sex" (pornography) being so boring. If you look at a few films over at You Porn, you can pretty much predict what is going to happen next in any other film there. Does the act always have to end in a "Money shot"? According to YouPorn the answer seems to be "yes".

2
62f89aa727cf3ce77c36651347cabc14

(884)

on July 08, 2011
at 01:02 AM

For some reason, I read this question "Is Paleo Pornography?" and immediately started thinking about Rule 34 and the Flinstones.

Yabba dabba ewwwwwwww.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on April 29, 2011
at 10:13 PM

I think this is an interesting question as it has to do with when and how the taboos around public sexuality developed, which is probably worthy of an anthropology thesis.

However the shortest possible answer is that pornography can't be paleo because there was no way to record or publish anything > 10,000 years ago, unless some caveman artists were especially good with the cave art.

The closest paleo equivalent would be sex as spectator entertainment in a group setting, but that would hardly be the same as pleasing one's self in privacy with a magazine. It would not surprise me if ancient cultures had fertility or mating rituals that involved public sex, there are anecdotes along these lines in "The Golden Bough" for example. But the purpose of such rituals would presumably be some sort of tribal purpose rather than self-pleasure.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 12, 2011
at 03:56 PM

this is strange, when i was vegan, the same sort of question was asked, is porn 'vegan'? most vegans didnt consider porn as 'vegan'

I never understood what porn had to do with your way of eating, but it shouldnt matter if the performers are consenting adults.

1
3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 30, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Paleo has reduced my sex drive in general...so even porn is boring to me

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on July 08, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Geez, that sounds grim. I know quite a few peoples sex drive drops when they don't get enough carbs, so try upping your carbs to see if that helps.

1
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on April 29, 2011
at 09:48 PM

Well, I have to say, one of my favorite developments in anthropology involved all those small statues depicting a woman with large breasts and especially large bottoms. At first, theories floated around about how maybe it was a female worshiping or matriarchal society. Then, they kept finding them and had to concede it was probably pornography.

But as Thomas points out above, sexuality was not as private as it now. Our ancestors didn't grow up in solid walled houses where everyone had their own bedrooms. This stuff was out in the open. I'm thinking in particular of the movie The Fast Runner that showed an Inuit family???with all extended members???in one big tent.

I think part of the problem with today's pornography stems from its easy accessibility and the way electronic media actually interact with our brains by messing with seratonin. Kinda like alcohol or drugs???some people can use them casually and some people can't touch them without having a serious problem.

-2
D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

on April 29, 2011
at 09:30 PM

it'a omni -tarian = vegetarian, paleotarian, pescatarian - and prostatatarian - do you seriously expect an answer

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!