Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Is A Growing Problem

button print gry20 Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction Is A Growing Problem

ED Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction Is A Growing ProblemHigh-speed Internet pornography users in their twenties are increasingly developing sexual performance problems (erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation). Said one young man,

“Lots of guys, 20s or so, can’t get it up anymore with a real girl, and they all relate having a serious porn/masturbation habit. Guys will never openly discuss this with friends or co-workers, for fear of getting laughed out of town. But when someone tells their story on a health forum, and there are 50-100 replies from other guys who struggle with the same thing, this is for real.”

Italian urologists recently confirmed the impotence-porn use connection via a large survey. Italian men suffer ‘sexual anorexia’ after Internet porn use. When interviewed about the survey, urologist Carlo Foresta (head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine and professor at the University of Padua) mentioned that 70% of the young men seeking clinical help for sexual performance problems had been using Internet pornography habitually.

No one yet knows the percentage of Americans affected. However, youthful impotence has implications for condom use and safe sex.

According to Foresta, porn-related impotence is reversible. Yet it appears that recovery requires 4 to 12 weeks of avoiding intense sexual stimulation. Read one man’s recovery story: “Day 64: Successful, great, normal sex.” More recovery accounts.

Of those who ultimately recover by terminating pornography use, many had previously been to doctors, undergone numerous tests, and been declared “just fine” physically. Neither they nor their health care providers considered excessive porn use as a potential cause of their continued performance problems.

Most were assured that “masturbation cannot cause erectile dysfunction.” This was no doubt sound advice before masturbation was coupled with the constant novelty and hyperstimulation of today’s Internet erotic possibilities. However, it may no longer be valid given the effects of superstimuli on the brain.

Among those who recover, progression is surprisingly similar. When the users completely stop using pornography (and masturbation as well for a time, because it is initially so closely associated with porn fantasy), here’s what occurs:

1) Withdrawal symptoms and cravings: Immediately

2) Complete loss of libido and erections: Begins towards the end of week one.

3) Absence of libido and erections, increased flaccidity (“shrinking or lifeless penis”): Continues for 2-6 weeks, dependent upon age and severity of porn use.

4) Gradual return of morning erections, libido and spontaneous erections at other times, no more “semen leakage” during bowel movements, etc.

5) Complete recovery of erectile health, sexual desire for real partners, reports of extremely pleasurable sex, contented condom use even if it was once a problem.

Sufferers typically recover within eight weeks. Those in their late teens generally require a shorter period of avoiding sexual stimulation to bounce back, but they also tend to relapse more often, which extends their recovery. Older men may need a longer period without stimulation in order to recover, but are typically more disciplined. Either way, reports are encouraging:

“I am a 25-year old male, masturbating a lot from 13 and using porn from 14. Gradually, it took more to turn me on: bigger fantasies or harder porn, and I stopped getting hard without touching. During sex I would struggle to get an erection or keep it, especially for intercourse. Over the past 7 years I haven’t held down a relationship, and the main reason for me has been this problem. Now the good news: When I realized the cause, I immediately gave up porn. Over the last 6 weeks I held off masturbating as much as I possibly could. (My best record was 9 days!) It all paid off. I just went away with a girl for the weekend and it was the best ever. I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet. I still get pretty anxious from all the bad experiences over the years. But I just wanted to tell you all it can work, and it’s well worth it!”

“Week 12, age 36 – I’m actually totally impressed how HUGE I get. It has been kinda hard to ignore. I mean, my erections are ROCK HARD and ENORMOUS. I remember asking other guys who went before me about when they noticed the return of their full erections. Well, I think I got mine back.”

Those affected report that escalating pornography tastes preceded their symptoms. Escalation, their withdrawal symptoms during recovery, and the sequence and time-dependence of their recovery all point to a common cause of their impotence, namely overstimulation of the reward mechanism in the brain.

Animal models have established that the mesolimbic dopamine pathway dopaminergic neurons activate the hypothalamic erection centers. It’s likely that porn-induced ED is tied to desensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. This is a hallmark of all known addiction processes. For a science teacher’s explanation of the science behind porn-related erectile dysfunction, see this video presentation: Erectile Dysfunction and Porn.

Most men are astonished to learn that pornography use can be a source of sexual performance problems. Only after they experiment for themselves do they become fully convinced that pornography use was indeed the source of their dysfunction.



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32 Responses to Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Is A Growing Problem

  1. Joe Semelweiss June 16, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    IMO the cause of ED in these internet aficionados may not be porn addiction, but prolonged sitting in front of a computer without moving around, with resulting damage to pelvic nerves. Sort of a bicycle seat neuropathy.

  2. Gary Wilson June 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Re: ED from sitting. You are kidding, right?

    A hard bicycle seat cannot be compared to a soft office chair. Only one common variable changed for these men to regain their erectile health – stopping porn (and masturbation for a while). Many continued to spend considerable time sitting, and using the computer. If sitting in chair were a risk for ED, then most of American men would have ED by age 30, given that most of the men who report porn-induced ED are in their twenties.

    Again, the men had only variable in common: years of escalating Internet porn use. When this single variable was removed, they all experienced similar withdrawal symptoms and signs of recovery at similar time intervals. The time frame for regaining erectile health was similar among the men, and correlated to the Italian urologists’ findings.

  3. Brendan June 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Wow that’s absolutely crazy, I had no idea that was even an issue! I guess some people see some crazy stuff online and get desensitized…

  4. anon June 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    I’m sure the death grip guys frequently use on themselves also causes sensitivity issues.

  5. Arnoldo June 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I have this problem. I`ll try to stop with porn for a while…

  6. Andrew June 17, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    The super stimulus of intense, erotic, out-of-this-world, sex star porn makes real life and average girls, which are often more mundane than pornography, less sexually stimulating. It’s a mental block, not a physical block. Not neuropathy from sitting, but the brain cannot be stimulated by a real life woman when a man has spent years orgasming to the sight of virtual women.

  7. Gary Wilson June 17, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Comment on Andrew: Good points Andrew.
    I do agree that there is some conditioning (mental block) happening to men who watch porn. However, porn-induced ED is actually a physical block, due to the brain changes that interfere with erections and libido. I suspect the brains of men with porn-induced ED have undergone changes seen in all addictions. This would include desensitization (lower dopamine & D2 receptors), along with sensitization (increase in Delta FosB). Densensitization manifests as a numbed pleasure response and the need for greater stimulation: The need to seek out more extreme versions of porn, or greater time spent using porn. Sensitization manifests as porn viewing, or anticipation of porn viewing, increasing dopamine levels above the levels seen during sex with a partner. Porn then becomes a more reliable stimulus than real life sex.

  8. wewa June 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    wow.
    50,100 is a lot of participants, in any type of study.

  9. marnia June 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    *chuckle* I’ll change the punctuation.

  10. Ryan Carter June 18, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    BS!

  11. marnia June 18, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    It’s hard to imagine this problem until it happens to you. After all, more porn seems to be the “cure” for erectile sluggishness, and isn’t recognized as a symptom of underlying brain changes that are numbing the pleasure response.

    If it does happen to you, at least you’ll be aware of this possibility.

  12. Matt July 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    I believe this is very true and accurate. I haven’t been able to get it up with a real person for a long time, at least not without a lot of desperate manual stimulation by myself, and then I certainly can’t stay hard for penetration — it wants to go soft immediately. If I’m lucky, I can stroke myself and finish when there’s a female present, but put on a clip on the DVD player or the computer, and I’m ready right away! I still need to touch, though. It seems porn has made it that I have NO interest nor desire when there’s the prospect of REAL sex with another person. I started watching XXX movies in 1988 or so… this is terrible.

  13. Al August 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    To anyone trying to quit porn and/or masturbation, peer support and discussion is available at http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/.

  14. anony September 17, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    I have this… goddammit I have this and I’m only 25.

    I keep trying to quit porn but I swear I find it impossible.

    • Wilson & Robinson September 17, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      I’m sorry. It’s not hopeless. Brains are plastic (which is how you got into this mess), So you can choose a new direction. Have a look at Gary’s site: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com. Good luck!

  15. Tim October 20, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    I’ve had some difficulties with my last girlfriend and my current girlfriend in getting an erection off of them alone and even just getting hard and maintaining the erection.. and I’m only 18!!! I recently was at the end of my rope, but I was using Stumbleupon and stumbled on something which let me stumble onto an article very similar to this. I’m soo shocked that THIS is what has inhibited my sexual performance; kind of ironic isn’t it? I thought it was my diet or physical condition; I’m skinny, but probably not “in shape”. I feel sooo stupid and it sucks that it takes a few weeks to heal, but it’s somewhat relieving to hear teens take less time.. Any who I’m going to quit porn and masturbation for a while! I go in cycles like everyday, then only three days a week for a while, then everyday yada yada. It’s hard to resist the urges sometimes because a lot of things easily “set me off”, but pleasing my girl is worth it to me. I apologize for raving on in this post, but I’m SOOO relieved I know the source of my issues and I can now live a more sexually fufilling life.. thank you internet for knowledge!!!!

  16. Albert November 7, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    I’m really glad I found this page. Definitely experienced similar problems and have been struggling quitting porn for a couple of weeks. It’s been embarrassing, but I least I know there’s some legitimate hope. Thanks for the post!

  17. Stephen July 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    This is something I have consistently seen in the counseling setting. Men get so accustomed to satisfying themselves with porn stimulation that there is absolutely nothing left for their wives, including a desire to please her. Also porn is instant gratification and when you ejaculate you are DONE. No need to wait around for your wife. Practicing this repeatedly means that your mind and body become conditioned to this routine. Your stamina is gone! Having to wait on your wife becomes more of an annoyance and inconvenience, which then leads to frustration. I am sure some of you can attest to a good argument or heated discussion in bed at this stage.

  18. Angie August 11, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    So i was researching this because i saw something on twitter and i came across this site. My boyfriend has a problem with porn even though he will not admit it to me or anyone else. Anytime i use his phone or computer it is always up, and not just one site there is site after site, after site. Lately he has been getting more and more distant sexually. We literally fight at least 3 times a week about how much more often i want to have sex than him. When we do have sex it doesn’t seem to want to stay hard and the sex is getting more violent. I know he has a problem and i want to help him but every time i try talking about the porn issue it turns into a fight. It is heartbreaking to know that the one that you love isn’t attracted to you anymore because of cyberporn. Sexually i am not getting what i need from the relationship and i just have no idea where to go from here.

  19. Jamal September 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I have been addicted to porn for more than 10 years now. Only now that I realized that it had a profound effect on my sexual desire and performance. I’m 31 now. I spent more than one hour almost every night on porn. When I look back, I thought at that time that it was a normal thing and that I have to kill the desire inside me so I can stop thinking about sex and do the other things that were more important to me. But I now realized that I was so wrong. I wish someone told me about the damage it can cause. the article, on the other hand, is right. The more you spend time, the more you become addicted and your brain desensitized. If you feel you have a serious problem, go ahead and see your doctor first to make sure you don’t have a physical illness first and then ask to be referred to a psychologist.

    • jason January 15, 2013 at 5:04 am #

      Lots of young guys with ED these days. Seems a bit suspicious. Could be form of worldwide population control–the government poisoning the air or water with impotence-causing chemicals. Yeah, could be…

  20. yup January 17, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I’m surprise.It a new story for me.I must tell my husband.

  21. Liam January 24, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    I now see that it’s the years of conditioning, (the constant ‘watching’ and ‘looking at’ porn) over the years that, literally kills and desensitizes those specific areas of the brain that are meant to initiate and help produce a healthy erection. I was encouraged at a very young age to view and look at soft porn. This turned into a fascination with more hardcore porn in my 20′s until my erection dysfunctions began in my 30′s and now mid 40′s. Looking back, approximately 80-90 percent of my sexual life has been with myself and ‘porn’. When it came to having sex with a ‘real’ person, I could hardly deliver without medication or drugs to help my erection & my flagging confidence barely intact. I’m going to try going on a porn-free diet, and see what happens. There has to be a better life on the other side, without all these negative side-effects porn has taken on my life up to this point.

  22. Petrichor February 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Young men should continue their relationships with the wonderful images on their screens.
    If it gets to the point where they suffer from ED in their relationship with porn, they should just take a little break.
    This will leave procreation up to those who really, really want to have children.
    This could lead to less unwanted pregnancy and poverty.
    I view it as a positive thing for humanity in general.
    There is nothing wrong with your relationship with porn, please continue.

  23. Joe Fishman March 10, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Hi! I´m trying to seek the original article from Dr. Carlo Foresta from Padua University, but I only get references from it.

    The best I found is an article title (could not get the content as well) was from the congress “X Congresso della Società Italiana di Andrologia e Medicina della Sessualità ” here -> http://www.siams.info/?getfile=1827

    The article title is : “PP 120 – L’attrazione sessuale verso le disabilità: uno studio su
    internet”
    Authors :
    E. Limoncin, R. Carta, G.L. Gravina, E. Carosa, G. Ciocca, S. Di Sante,
    A. Lenzi, E.A. Jannini

    I even don´t know if it is the same article everyone is making references of it.

    Could you help me ? I don´t want the article, just the link, I´m student from a university that has special access to many scientific databases and would be no problem to me download it, i just can´t find it :)

    Thanks in advance!
    Joe Fishman

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