Can porn cause erectile dysfunction? Porn-induced erectile dysfunction

Porn addiction can destroy your relationship.

Can porn cause erectile dysfunction? Porn-induced erectile dysfunction

Understand how internet pornography can affect your sex life.

Turning on pornography can change your sex life.

Erectile dysfunction is a very distressing situation experienced by one-fifth of all adults and more than 50% of men aged 40-70 years in the UK. It could be due to a variety of causes. 

There exists a claim in some circles (particularly in religious circles) that watching pornographic content is linked with erectile dysfunction. How much truth is in this claim? Does the pornography harm your sexual health in any way? Let's explore the topic and find out what the research says.

Pornography and sexual dysfunction

Exposure to pornographic content is not uncommon. According to a BBC report, half of the British adults watch porn regularly or irregularly. Tens of thousands have sought help to recover from porn addiction. This situation is the 'porndemic,' says JB Grubbs.

One of the effects of pornography is that it shapes one's thoughts about sex, body image, erections, and orgasms. However, most of the representation in pornography cannot be achieved in real life because porn stars are professionally trained, and the content itself is planned out and heavily edited. So, how can a pornography addiction influence your sexual performance and sexual satisfaction?

You may reject porn on moral and religious grounds, but scientific studies have produced conflicting results. But, in this article, we'll focus on more practical and verified effects.

Porn and sexual stimulation

One of the effects of pornographic content is that a person is likely to lose sensitivity to erotic stimulation. This desensitisation to erotic or sexual stimulation results in need for more porn for erection

Porn influences your arousal.

A man is not likely to lose his sexual desire. There is no way porn will harm sexual organs in any way. What happens is that a person will need higher and higher stimuli in order for them to get an erection. This cycle will continue indefinitely.

A review published in 2016 in the Behavioural Sciences found that various aspects of pornography material, e.g., video format, a rapid escalation to extreme materials, lack of novelty, etc., resulted in conditioning the sexual stimulation to some particular aspects of porn that do not exist in real life sexual interactions. The result will be a decline in sexual arousal.

Porn and sexual satisfaction

Pornographic content can subconsciously shape your feelings and thoughts about sex. Sexual events in porn can create unrealistic expectations for both partners which may negatively affect your relationship. The studies exist to support both of the options.

 Your sexual life suffers at the hand of porn.

According to a review published in 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, a piece of strong evidence exists that watching porn is linked to sexual dysfunction. A 2010 online survey involving 650 men found that the exposure to pornography materials was correlated with decreased sexual satisfaction.

Porn 'guilt' will also harm your sex life

Many people will reject porn on religious or moral grounds. If such people are exposed to pornographic material, the resulting 'porn guilt' can also cause erectile dysfunction and other sexual dysfunction. Such a feeling of guilt will create a self-perceived prophecy of sexual failure.

A feeling of guilt will be a psychological blow to your sexual life.

A recent study published in the Journal of Social Psychology found a strong correlation between sexual attitudes and religiosity. An increased religiosity causes more conservative attitudes about sex and pornographic material. This survey study found that increased religiosity resulted in more self-perceived demonizing attitudes about sex workers and generally strong negative views about pornography.

Porn can damage your self-perception

Pornographic material can reshape your thoughts about how you or your partner look during sex. The higher standards of erection and overall performance produced by the porn star can create a sense of shame or deficiency and a perception that you will not satisfy your partner. It is particularly true for young men.

Pornography can damage your self-image.

Instead of focusing more on the partner, a person becomes more likely to act on the fantasies created in his mind through pornographic addiction. This habit is compounded if a person has a habit of watching different varieties of pornography material. Each shape, position, and arousal technique used by the porn stars will create random simulations that are impossible in real sex.

Another problem will be a feeling of insecurity as a person will always compare himself to the performance of the male partner in porn.

A 2022 review published in the Journal of Health Psychology has provided confirmatory results. After studying 26 different researches on the topic, the researchers found that pornographic exposure resulted in negative self-perceived feelings about body shape and body image in women and heterosexual men. These feelings produced a variety of sexual dysfunctions.

Porn and a sexual anorexia

The evidence is increasing to support that watching pornography can cause sexual anorexia, where the man's appetite for real-time sexual and romantic relationships is reduced. The lower sexual desire and the resulting secondary erectile dysfunction will harm their intimate relationships.

The scientific study published by ANSA.IT confirms it.

Can porn do any good?

The results of studies are not uniform. While some studies support the claim that it causes ED, others have given conflicting results. So, what is the conclusion?

According to a study, the issue seems to be in your perception of porn. If you have a poor perception of porn due to religious or moral grounds, you will likely experience erectile dysfunction due to your feelings of shame or sin. If you think otherwise, porn is likely to support erection.

What should you do?

So, what you are going to do? According to experts, it is advised to avoid porn for at least 3 months. It will shift your focus from visual stimulation to other senses for sexual stimulation. You can;

1. Block the pornographic sites

Avoiding it may not be practical for all. However, blocking porn sites and setting a difficult password can help.

Block away the porn from your life.

After some time, your addiction is likely to lessen.

2. Consult a sex therapist

Since the feeling of inadequacy in sex is mainly a psychological issue, porn addicts are likely to avoid their partners and tend to satisfy their sexual desires on screen. Here, an expert sex therapist can help you through rigorous counselling.

3. Go to a rehabilitation centre

If the problem worsens and endangers your relationships, it is time to go to a rehabilitation centre.

What's the conclusion?

Porn is not going to harm your sexuality physically. However, watching too much porn can desensitize you to the erotic stimulation, and your feeling of guilt and sin will further do the damage. The unrealistic expectations from you or your partners will also not help in bed.

Focus yourself away from the screen and towards your partner for better-partnered sex.

Avoiding porn and going for rehabilitation are the best things you can do. If you want to know more about men's sexual dysfunctions, the causes, and treatment options, click here to visit our information page. You will also find various sexual health tests available for you.

Click here to consult our sexual health experts for professional medical advice.

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