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Watching porn has become a regular habit. You don’t have any issues with erectile dysfunction while you’re watching porn. Still, you struggle to maintain an erection with your partner. You may have porn-induced erectile dysfunction. It’s a reversible condition that doesn’t require doctor’s visits. But, it will require effort to overcome.

The Relationship Between Porn and Erectile Dysfunction

The relationship between porn and erectile dysfunction may not be overt. There are many ways in which chronic porn consumption can cause erectile dysfunction.

Desensitization to Sex

Humans evolve, but not at the same speed as technology. Before the internet, accessing porn was more challenging. Sexually explicit inspiration was more likely to be first-hand with a partner. Therefore, your brain evolved to anticipate this sexually relevant material.

Your brain hasn’t caught up with internet porn. It can’t tell the difference between real partnered sex and watching people have sex on a screen. It rewards you with the same rush of pleasure chemicals every time. 

Therefore, when you open multiple porn videos, your brain thinks you’re having sex with all those people on the screen. Consequently, it rewards you with more pleasurable neurochemicals. It does this to help you remember to recreate this experience later. 

Pretty soon having sex with just one person, in reality, isn’t exciting anymore. One partner can’t compete with what porn provides.

Physical Desensitization

Other contributing factors link porn and erectile dysfunction, such as the “death grip” during masturbation.

Typically, your hand can fluctuate its grip throughout masturbatory experiences. But, another person’s genitals can’t hope to recreate that same experience. 

When you’re pleasuring yourself, you have complete control of the experience. When you’re having sex with someone, you don’t have that. They’re a separate person with wants, desires, and rhythms all their own. 

When you become desensitized to porn, partnered sex becomes less stimulating. 

Unrealistic Expectations 

Porn is about fantasy, not reality. It is similar to pinning your expectations of the real world on cartoons. 

The sheer variety and 24/7 availability of porn can cause harmful and unrealistic expectations. Failing to live up to the fantasy may make it more difficult for you to perform. You’re not excited by ordinary, authentic sexual encounters. 

All of these factors lead to porn-induced erectile dysfunction. They can even lead to delayed orgasm or an inability to ejaculate. These struggles may start with only your partner. Over time, it may also begin to infiltrate your masturbatory experience. 

Compulsively watching porn is only one of the many potential causes of erectile dysfunction. If you think there are other possible causes of your erectile dysfunction, visit your doctor.

porn addiction

Signs of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction 

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is different from typical erectile dysfunction. ED is relatively uncommon and requires a doctor’s diagnosis to get medical treatment for. 

Symptoms of porn-induced erectile dysfunction include:

  • Reaching orgasm with pornography but not with a real-world partner
  • Taking so long to reach orgasm that your partner complains, often called delayed ejaculation
  • Sustaining an erection but only achieving orgasm by thinking about or watching pornography
  • Finding pornography more interesting and preferable to real-world sex
  • Having an erection with porn but not with a partner

Porn and erectile dysfunction are linked. Over time, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Link Between Porn Addiction and Erectile Dysfunction

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction often happens as a result of porn addiction. If you use porn as a coping mechanism and plan your day around it, you may have a porn addiction. 

Porn addiction has become increasingly common with the ease of accessibility.

Symptoms of porn addiction include:

  • Spending a lot of time watching or finding porn
  • A preoccupation with sexual outlets that interferes with your daily duties
  • A preference for consuming porn over having sex with a partner
  • Using porn at high-risk times, such as in public or at work
  • Failing to fulfill your other obligations to make time to watch porn
  • Avoiding non-sexual activities
  • Difficulties getting or maintaining an erection with a partner

Porn addiction isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s often something a person turns to in an effort to regulate their nervous system – usually in response to stress or trauma that is reinforced over time. 

When you experience a traumatic situation, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode to protect itself. This mode will make it impossible for you to process trauma until you’ve reached a place of safety.

You need a hit of dopamine to feel safe again. Dopamine is the feel-good pleasure chemical your brain produces. Sexual pleasure produces dopamine.

As a result of your trauma, you learn to seek sexual pleasure to make you feel safe again. It helps you cope with the adverse circumstances around you. This learned behavior creates a conditioned response in your brain. Over time and with continued use, that neuropathway gets increasingly worn down, forming an addiction. 

Gaining Control of Pornography Addiction

If you think watching porn has caused your erectile dysfunction it may be time to seek help. With the right support and some time, you can address your underlying trauma and learn the tools to stop yourporn cravings and compulsive sexual behaviors

There are some initial steps you can take as you work toward the goal of sobriety and lasting recovery from porn addiction.

To help with porn sobriety:

  • Use porn blocking software
  • Find a friend or companion to support you on your porn abstinence journey
  • Attend SLAA 12-Step meetings or other recovery meetings for community support
  • Educate yourself about porn addiction
  • Seek treatment and professional help

Porn addiction is a real problem that can require professional support. You don’t have to quit alone, and you deserve help and support. 

Treatment for Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

At Begin Again Institute, we treat sexual addiction, including porn addiction, through a trauma-focused, neurobiological approach called TINSA® (trauma induced sexual addiction). Our 14-Day Men’s Intensive allows participants to address the root cause of their addiction and start healing through connection and community.

If porn has led to your erectile dysfunction or if you have a porn addiction and need help, contact Begin Again Institute today.

  • Category: Pornography Addiction
  • By John Squires
  • April 22, 2022

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