I am curious, as to what the ideal goal is? I've heard it said here that giving up orgasm forever is not the goal and then others say that it is the goal. There has been much speculation as to time periods to abstain, 100 days a year, 40 days, a month, never.
I realize that finding ones personal balance here is the aim, but what exactly is that? I agree that periods of orgasm avoidance open up wonderful new doors for feeling, but the orgasm has its place too. Somewhere I read a description as orgasm being a state where "every cell in the body is bathed in positive energy." I think it was in the Kama Sutra. I don't think we are meant to resist this forever, or even to any extreme degree.
I also think that if one focuses on simply feeling the sensations in one's body and the pleasure from their touch (or another person's) that not only will the experience be more positive and rewarding than focusing on something outside (such as porn), but also is far more erotic. Clearing the mind is hard to do, and doing it while focusing on sexual sensations is, to me, a very spiritual place to be.
Another thing I see a lot of here is this post-orgasmic illness or hangover associated with orgasm. Although Marnia has done a thorough job of describing the brain chemical activity before and after orgasm, observation of humanity shows we are far more complex than what science can explain. My acupuncturist was explaining to me, how women in the Hopi Indian community experience none of the symptoms of menopause. Now menopause can be explained by science with very real data showing hormonal changes, physical changes, a cessation of the menses, (which the Hopi women go through too) but they exhibit none of the negative effects western women experience. She explained to me how in the Hopi culture, older women are revered as elders and this time period in their lives signifies a new rise in status.
So I wonder how much of these negative after effects are really cultural. It would seem that all of our non-pathogen afflictions really do start in the attitudes and values of ourselves and the environment around us. I do believe masturbation and intercourse to be a deeply spiritual kind of meditation and orgasm is a flow of healing energy throughout the body. While I do agree that porn does not fit in with this pleasurable function and abstinence should be indulged in at least periodically, the idea that the orgasm is harmful and should be completely avoided, seems very wrong.