for most years of my 20s, i struggled with somethingthat could easily be described as probably one of the worst nightmaresof a 20-something guy. i suffered from ed,which is short for erectile dysfunction. this means i had a hard time- no pun intended -
erectil disfunction, getting or keeping an erectionor having an orgasm during intercourse. whenever i thoughtabout erectile dysfunction, i always thought that this might bepotentially something you have to deal with when you're older.
yet, here i was experiencing it. since i was ashamed of it to be honest, i kept it for myself for almost a decade. but little did i know that i was just one guy of manyunder the age of 30 suffering from a barelyknown global phenomenon. it was at the end of 2012 that i gotso frustrated with my situation that i finally wanted to confront it. so i went to a neurologist.
he got a look at me, but he couldn't findany physical cause for my ed so he suggested that probablyit was performance anxiety. he subscribed me four pills of cialis which is an erection enhancing drugjust like viagra in order to get my confidence back up. so i give it a try, and it worked. i did get an erection, i could keep it up for most of the time, but i still was unable to orgasm,let alone that i got dizzy and headaches.
thinking about having to pop a pillevery time i wanted to have sex was not a solutionthat i wanted to live with. so i did some more researchon the psychological aspects of sexuality. and not only did i find out,or got awareness for the fact that the brain is actuallythe most important sex organ, i also stumbled upon first insights on how pornographycan influence the brain. you see, growing up as a gay boyin a small catholic austrian village, exploring one sexuality is,
let put it that way, limited. luckily or coincidentally, when i hit puberty, the internetbecame widely available. so this became my perfect outletto explore my sexuality. when i had my first time at the age of 16, i was already watching regularlyhardcore porn movies online. sometimes even on a daily basis, and most the time,for more than one hour per sitting. since the sexual revolutionof the 20th century,
masturbation and pornographyhave mainly been freed of its moral constraints. so we were told that masturbatingand watching porn doesn't do any harm. don't get me wrong, the sexual revolutionwas important and necessary, especially in liberating sexuality, but the belief that pornographycan't do any harm doesn't seem to be quite true. countless experiences onlineand first studies paint a different picture,
with the result that porn can indeed havea negative influence on the brain, and it does so by rewiring it, and especially a brainthat is not yet fully developed. the science is a bit complicated,but the concept is actually quite easy. consuming pornography online is quite different than browsingthrough a playboy magazine. the playboy magazinehas a limited amount of still images, whereas the internet offers virtuallyabundant amount of hardcore porn videos. so a 15-year-old today can have morevirtual sex partners in one sitting
than one of his ancestors in a lifetime. so this leadsto a hyper stimulation of the brain, - this means more dopamine which is a neurotransmitterthat makes us feel good - and this, in return, can again causewhat is called a desensitization. or let me put it differently. at one point, reality starts to look pretty dull compared to whatthe internet has to offer;
which means the brainreleases less dopamine, which then meansa weaker and a shorter arousal, and this - and you mighthave already guessed it - can lead to erectile dysfunction. this is calledporn-induced erectile dysfunction. it's quite a mouthful. again, no pun intended. (laughter) so once i knew what was wrongwith me, this felt like a triumph.
but the best part was yet to come when i got to knowthat this is reversible. apparently all i had to do was to stop masturbatingand watch porn for a total of 120 days. that sounds doable. this is called rebooting, and it gives the braina chance to rewire itself, and in the process,cure erectile dysfunction or porn-induced erectile dysfunctionin this case.
hallelujah! so once i knew what caused my ed, and once i knew it was reversible, boy, was i ready to reclaim my sexuality! and not only i wanted to reversemy porn-induced erectile dysfunction; no, no, no, i wanted to make upfor all the years i have lost. and i wanted to do thatby, well, becoming a sex god. so i thought about what is a sex god,
and i came upwith a list of characteristics that i thought a sex god should possess. on that list were: strength obviously - i mean, a sex god needs the six-pack,the strong biceps, large chest muscles - stamina - he, for sure, can go all night - high levels of testosteronewhich results in a strong libido; the ability to have multiple orgasms, rock-hard erectionsfor as long as he wants, and basically, lots and lotsof experience with different people
knowing and having perfectedall the sexual techniques there are. that was my goal. so i made a plan, and i've startedthe sex god project online, where not only i wantedto write about my experience with porn-induced erectile dysfunction, but where also i wanted to documentmy progress of the journey. so i stopped masturbatingand watching porn, and i started exercising regularlyboth strength and stamina, and i really was determinedto get that six-pack
because that is obviouslysuper, super important for a sex god. i did kegel exerciseswhich train the bc muscle which should result in stronger erections. i research different methodson how to boost once testosterone levels and had it checkedregularly by my physician. so basically, i hunted downand tried to implement every possible technique i could find in order to transform myself intothat vision i've created of a sex god. after a couple of weeks,when i felt ready to test my progress,
i noticed that despite the timeand effort i have invested, i haven't made much progress. yes, i did revitalize my abilityto get and stay aroused longer, but when it was time to put on the condom, i still experienced erectile dysfunction, i still couldn't orgasmduring intercourse. so i was crushed. but then it slowly started to dawn on methat the sex god project had one big flaw. and the greek philosopher plato helped meto grasp the concept behind that.
maybe some of you are familiarwith plato's allegory of the cave. for all of you who are not,let me explain. plato talks about people being in a caveand being chained to a wall; in this case, to a chair. they can see a shadow or shadowson the opposite wall, and these shadowsare being cast by objects moved in front of a fire behind them. having lived in a cavefor all of their life, and being unable to get up and turn aroundbecause of the shackles,
they are obliviousto the fire, to the object, let alone to an outside world. now replace the cave with a room,the wall with a screen, and the shadows with pornographic imagery. and that was the problem: my experience of the sexual realitywere the shadows for most of my life. so of course i triedto imitate the shadows; which are, in the end, nothing more than a distorted and abstractedversion of a reality.
for example, pornography limit sexualityto a passive and voyeuristic perspective whereas the reality of human sexualityis active and immersive, having a dimensionof interpersonal connection which adds a dimension of meaning. or pornography limits sexualityto mainly the visual sense whereas the reality of sexualityis a multi-sensory experience with touch being probablythe most important one. now funnily enough, the answerwas in front of me all along, the only thing i had to dowas to answer the question:
what is a god? in a mythological sense,a god is the ultimate conscious being. so for me, god is a metaphorfor consciousness which is, in plato's allegory,represented through the sun outside. so then, the sex god projecthas became a journey of leaving the cave, becoming consciousof the reality of human sexuality. and this is certainlyeasier said than done. this can be frightening at times because there's a little voicethat constantly whispers in your ear,
"stay in the cave,it's cozy and secure in here. you can't possibly know what's out there." but with every step i madetowards the exit of the cave, with the help of sexual healing techniquessuch as sensate focus exercises, i noticed that my initial symptoms of erectile dysfunctionand inhibition of orgasm gradually decreased. so once i had a idea of what might bewaiting outside the cave, i really fined my previousdefinition of a sex god.
so now for me, a sex god or sex goddess is a person that consciously creates a multi-sensory and meaningfulsexual experience. and along with that form,the vision for sex - that is more than justfor the simple reason of reproduction or satisfying one's personalor biological needs - as an art form, a way for self-expression, or as a way for physicaland emotional healing; or maybe even a gatewayto trans-personal experiences
that transcend our understandingof body and mind. but before we can get there, we first have to destroythe shackles around our mind. i believe that the shacklesrepresent nothing less than the two most dangerous psycho-toxinsthere are: guilt and shame. so i believe that we first have to stopdefining sex as dirty and nasty, and i believe we have to open up,make ourselves vulnerable in order to havethose necessary conversations we so desperately need.
but even before we can do that, we have to become aware of the existenceand the nature of cave we are in. so next time when you areabout to watch porn, try to create awarenessfor the situation you're in; and creating awarenessis actually quite simple. all you have to dois to create a mental gap between your impulseto watch porn and doing it. and then use that gap,look at that screen, perceive the pixels, and see themfor what they're truly are:
the post modern versionof the shadows in plato's cave.
this then could be the first step on your journey to becominga sex god or a sex goddess yourself. thank you. (applause)