Noah Church has done an outstanding job of distilling and expanding the wisdom generated by the grassroots movement of people who have given up internet porn and discovered enormous hidden potential. Wack is engaging yet succinct. It's also deeply satisfying thanks, in part, to the appendix of actual stories of men and women whose lives were deeply affected, and then restored and even enhanced, by their treks through and beyond the Neverland of internet porn.
Church not only analyzes the best available science on the subject with a degree of mastery remarkable in someone age 24, he also helps his readers understand its implications for their mission:
"Thanks to the gift of neuroplasticity, just as you can strengthen and grow the parts of your brain that control motor and visual functions by juggling, so too can you strengthen the parts of your brain that govern willpower and high-level decision making."
Sources are painstakingly referenced for the benefit of those who wish to delve deeper. Church's review of the science behind the potential risks of internet porn use couldn't be more timely. Last month the prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry published the first neuroscience study on the brains of moderate porn users--and found evidence that internet porn may alter brain structure and reduce sexual responsiveness. See "Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn"
Without mincing words Church informs porn users who would experience pornfree lives what they need to do to "reboot" successfully. ("Rebooting" is the process of restoring the porn-affected brain to normal sensitivity to pleasure and attraction to real partners.) For example,
"You must do some critical thinking about what your triggers may be in order to preempt them. ... If you use your phone to view porn, then install filtering software or downgrade to a phone without Internet connectivity. If you usually [use porn] with your laptop in your room, maybe you only use your computer in the common room of your house now. If you live alone, maybe you only use it in the coffee shop down the street. ... If cruising an online dating site or app gets you horny, then it is time to delete your account."
By the end of the book, you will know exactly how to leave porn behind, most of what can go wrong during a "reboot," and how to sidestep it. And if you're a parent, you'll get stern advice as to what is needed from you to prepare kids for today's hyper-erotic online stimuli. Here's a taste:
"Many adults are uncomfortable talking about sex with their children—or even with their friends or spouses. If you are one of these people, get over it. We can no longer afford to avoid the topic of sex or delay it until our children's teenage years. Decades ago children may have been able to find their own way to a healthy romantic life, but home Internet access has changed that. ... If the subject of sex seems at all taboo, uncomfortable, or shameful, then children will seek answers elsewhere and shove sex into the 'never talk about with parents' shoebox, right beside drug use and their dreams of skipping college to become a street magician."
Finally, Wack urges readers to Think Big by discovering their passions and using their free time to pursue them.
"If you already know what your purpose is (i.e. start a business, pursue art, save the whales, save the whaling industry) then there is no better time than now to throw yourself into that pursuit. You have all that free time since you quit [porn]—use it wisely."
Clearly Church has taken his own advice. Wack is a masterpiece.
(reviewed the day of purchase)