This is an excerpt from Conscious Men, written by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh.
When a man watches a woman, or even a couple, having sex on a screen and he masturbates, he will release huge amounts of dopamine, much more than he would with regular sex. During this kind of impersonal sex, very different brain chemistry is being produced than during a real intimate encounter. It becomes like a drug where a man then wants a more and more intense, novel, unusual experiences to keep driving the dopamine levels up. Watching porn, from a biochemical perspective, is extremely similar to taking cocaine.
When a man has sex with a woman he loves, the biochemistry is quite different. It can be a much richer experience but in a very different way. This is his challenge. Because the elements of novelty and risk are gone, his brain produces less dopamine, and hence he has less lust. When a man has sex with his intimate partner, it often begins with talking together and flirting. Both partners may be feeling stressed from the day, and she will lower her stress levels with the production of oxytocin. To be ready for sex, she needs some time to talk and share and flirt. They then may move together into a phase of soft touching and caressing. This will increase oxytocin levels for both the woman and the man. This brings his testosterone levels down, and he may no longer feel drawn to having sex. Then he thinks to himself, "I wanted to have sex. Why is this happening to me?" One solution to this problem has been the massive commercial success of Viagra and other similar drugs. It fools the body into creating an erection without the usual brain chemistry being involved.
But there is also another solution, which works better in the long run for everybody. Conscious sexuality for a man means recognizing that sex is a shared experience. It is pleasurable for him but in a much deeper way when it is pleasurable for her as well. When a man feels he has an important job to do, a mission to fulfill, especially one that is a little challenging or that requires endurance and stamina, it will boost his testosterone. Giving a woman pleasure, and ultimately giving her deeper and more fulfilling orgasms, is not only a win for her (in obvious ways) but is also a win for him. This sense of making a difference, of serving something beyond his own needs, now balances the increased oxytocin created through intimacy with the testosterone created from having an important job to do.
There is a phenomenon in psychology called the conditioned response. If a man does something but feels unsuccessful after it, the next time he does it he will have a drop in testosterone. If you walk into a room, and people stand up and clap, then just walking into the room the next time will cause an automatic surge in testosterone. If you walk into a room and people boo or ignore you, then testosterone will drop the next time. It is just the same with sex. It is a conditioned response. If you have sex with your partner, and she is not completely satisfied, over and over and over, it will cause testosterone levels to go down. In this case, because it affects your erection, it becomes a downward spiral where the lack of confidence negatively affects sexual response, which then further lowers confidence. Eventually, you say to yourself, "Why should I even bother?" Then jerking off to porn on the Internet or having an affair with a stranger seems more interesting and less complex. On the other hand, when a man recognizes the cycle, and focuses primarily on her needs and deep satisfaction, it spirals the other way. When she has a deep, satisfying, full body orgasm, some part of him feels confident: "I did that..." It means that the next time they have sex, he will feel more confident, more testosterone, and a stronger erection, which will often contribute to more satisfying sex, greater confidence, and on and up we go. Yeehaw!