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Porn-Induced ED: Things You Need To Know

In Erectile Dysfunction by Alpha Now Team

Porn-induced ED can explain the sudden spike of erectile dysfunction among men globally. In this article, we examine the arguments for and against its existence.

RELATED: Porn and Erectile Dysfunction: How Porn Takes a Toll on Your Sex Life

In this article:

  1. What Is the Relationship Between Porn and ED?
  2. Who Can Suffer from Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
  3. When Did Porn ED Become a Topic for Debate?
  4. What Are the Evidences Against Porn-Induced ED?
  5. How Do I Beat Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
  6. Where Can I Find Professional Help About Porn-Induced ED?

Understanding Porn-Induced ED and What You Can Do

What Is the Relationship Between Porn and ED?

1. Internet Pornography Allegedly Sabotages the Brain’s Reward Circuits

According to a 2016 paper written by Brian Park, Gary Wilson, and a medical team at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, porn causes erectile dysfunction by short-circuiting the part in the brain, called the “reward center,” that regulates sexual arousal and erections.

They suspected that the reward center could grow desensitized to real sex because of its exposure to pornography. Since real-life sex and sex partners fail to meet the standards set by porn, the brain downgrades the hormones it excretes to make the penis erect.

2. Pornography Allegedly Makes Real Life Sex Boring

Additionally, the researchers of the same paper also theorized that porn takes the feeling of novelty or the sense of newness out of real-life sexual experiences. Since the adult entertainment industry always comes up with newer and newer sexual expressions and imagery, the brain registers normal sex experiences as trite.

3. Internet Pornography Can Cause an Addiction

The same paper also underscored the ability of Internet pornography to cause addictions to the level of gaming addiction or internet gaming syndrome. Like other addictions, the researchers stated that porn could disrupt hormonal activity in the brain, thereby shaping its processes.

Who Can Suffer from Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?

Men of all ages who develop habits of watching internet pornography can suffer from porn-induced ED.

When Did Porn ED Become a Topic for Debate?

Porn-induced ED came to public awareness, thanks to the same paper mentioned above entitled Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. The authors talked about how access to internet pornography may be the reason for the sharp rise of ED among men below 40.

To show this rise, they talked about the increase in the number of men answering ‘Yes’ to the ED question in the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behavior in 2001 and 2011.

In 2001, the survey results, focused mainly on men above their 40s, showed around 18% admitted to suffering from ED. The 2011 results, which culled answers from 2,737 men from 18-40 years old, showed 14%-28% of the respondents suffering from erection issues.

After the publication of the paper, the topic divided therapists, counselors, and doctors if porn really causes erectile dysfunction.

The Case for Porn-Induced ED

Brian Park and Gary Wilson’s paper anchors its claims on three clinical cases of navy servicemen in the naval medical center in San Diego with ED. All three of the servicemen claimed to lose interest in sex with their partners and to keep an erection.

Two of the servicemen regained their ability to maintain an erection after abstaining from watching pornography and from masturbating. The service who did not recover refused abstinence expressed his compulsion to keep watching pornography, and that he will seek behavior modification on his own.

Park, Wilson, and the rest of their team mentioned around 22 other studies supporting their belief in porn-induced ED like:

  • Kinsey Institute researchers checked respondents who frequented bars and bathhouses that ran porn films for entertainment for their ability to maintain an erection in 2007. They found half of their respondents could not get an erection to a video they played in the laboratory.
  • A 2015 study conducted on outgoing Italian senior high school students showed a correlation between low libido and habitual porn viewing.
  • An analysis of eight years’ worth of posts in MEDHelp.org ED forum linking ED and porn together.

RELATED: Male Anorgasmia: Why Some Fail To Reach Orgasm

What Are the Evidences Against Porn-Induced ED?

Young caucasian man lying on the couch watches porn in his tablet computer | Porn-Induced ED: Things You Need To Know | porn induced ed | porn-induced erectile dysfunction

Michael Castleman, a sexuality journalist, wrote a piece in Psychology Today, which argued against Park, Wilson, and their team’s paper. His counter-arguments are:

  • The servicemen in the clinical narratives may be suffering from chronic heavy alcohol intake. This vice is common among the military and can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • ED appears prevalent because it has become safe to talk about it. Before the internet and before experts and institutions labeled it as ED, people referred to it as impotence, and it was a source of embarrassment.
  • Researchers of a 2019 Bowling Green University study on the connection between ED and pornography found no direct link to porn as the cause of ED among their respondents.

How Do I Beat Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?

If you believe your bout with erectile dysfunction arises from the consumption of adult entertainment, you may try the following:

1. Abstain from Watching Pornography

Go cold turkey and stop watching porn for around 90 days. This will allow your brain to reset itself.

2. Take a Break from Self-Pleasure

Stop masturbating for 30 days. During this time, you can undertake other kinds of activities to divert your energy and attention.

3. Alter Your Masturbation Techniques

After a month, you can start self-pleasuring again but limit it to 2-3 times per week. You should also cease from using porn as an aid for sexual stimulation.

You can improve your masturbation technique by copying the motions of actual sex. Wrap your penis in one hand and try thrusting in and out using your hips.

While you are masturbating, start centering around pleasure and stop imagining that you are doing it to an imaginary partner.

Where Can I Find Professional Help About Porn-Induced ED?

Seek guidance from a certified sex therapist or your doctor. You can inquire about certified sex therapists in your area from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) should you need one.

Porn-induced ED remains a debate as different experts present opposing views on the matter, and different studies pose evidence countering each other. Despite the speculations, porn-induced ED merits serious investigation—one that governments and international institutions should take a lens to and study.

Do you believe that porn affects a man’s ability to have or maintain an erection? Why and why not? Give us your two cents on the issue in the comments section below.

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