Home / Erectile Dysfunction / Can Too Much Porn Bring On ED?

Can Too Much Porn Bring On ED?

ED

A recent study indicates that an obsession with pornography over time can ruin a young man’s ability to enjoy real-life sex.

The risk of erectile dysfunction appears to increase significantly among young men who find greater gratification masturbating to porn than engaging in sexual intercourse. Their obsession with pornography and their ability to shift rapidly between images of sexual activity that are ever more stimulating often leave them unable to perform when the opportunity for real-world sex presents itself.

Researchers became interested in exploring the association between heavy online pornography consumption and male sexual dysfunction after a 2014 U.S. armed services health survey showed that the rate of ED had more than doubled over a 10-year period. Even more disturbing was the finding that almost half of the ED cases reported were psychogenic and not physiological in origin. Ordinarily, impotence of psychological origin accounts for only 10 to 20 percent of all ED cases diagnosed.

The results of the military health survey were published in the September 2014 issue of “MSMR” (Medical Surveillance Monthly Report), a peer-reviewed journal that is the flagship publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch.

Sparks Further Study

To further explore this upsurge in ED of psychogenic origin, researchers in San Diego surveyed 312 men who visited a San Diego urology clinic for the treatment of ED. The men surveyed ranged in age from 20 to 40. While only 3.4 percent of the survey’s respondents admitted that they preferred masturbating to porn over sexual intercourse, researchers nevertheless found a statistical link between porn addiction and sexual dysfunction.

The results of this more recent survey were presented at the May 2017 annual meeting of the American Urological Association by Matthew Christman, M.D., who led the research team. Noting that ED of organic origin is relatively uncommon in the 20-to-40 age group, he said that “the increase in erectile dysfunction that we have seen over time for this group needs to be explained.”

Biology of Addiction a Factor?

Dr. Christman, a staff urologist at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, said that while his team believes increased pornography use is part of the explanation for the rise in ED cases, it doesn’t believe it’s the only factor at play. He said that an additional causal factor may well be the biology of addiction.

Dr. Christman pointed out that sexual behavior, like addictive drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, stimulates the brain’s “reward center” circuitry, leading to “self-reinforcing activity, or recurrent behaviors.” He went on to say that “internet pornography, specifically, has been shown to be a supernormal stimulus of this circuitry, which may be due to the ability to continuously and instantaneously self-select novel and more sexually arousing images.”

Kinsey Institute Study Cited

The results of the Christman-led study were also published in the September 2016 issue of “Behavioral Sciences.” The study’s authors note that the link between online pornography addiction and male sexual dysfunction has been a topic of interest for quite some time. Roughly a decade ago, Kinsey Institute researchers were among the first to put the spotlight on two relatively new behavioral phenomena, namely pornography-induced erectile dysfunction, or PIED, and pornography-induced abnormally low libido.

Buy Viagra, Cialis and Other Erectile Dysfunction Medications. 7% Off Your Order from AccessRx Buy Viagra, Cialis and Other Erectile Dysfunction Medications. 7% Off Your Order from AccessRx

The Kinsey Institute research team recruited a number of study participants from bars and bathhouses where video pornography was “omnipresent.” When these study participants were shown video porn in the laboratory, roughly half of them were unable to get erections. In the wake of this initial phase of the study, researchers spoke to volunteers about their response — or lack thereof — to video porn in the lab. According to the study, the research team discovered that “high exposure to pornography videos apparently resulted in lower responsivity and an increased need for more extreme, specialized, or ‘kinky’ material to become aroused.”

Researchers Redesign Study

In an attempt to meet this appetite for more extreme porn content, researchers redesigned their study “to include more varied clips and permit some self-selection.” Even this expansion of pornographic content failed to satisfy all study participants, one-quarter of whom still failed to respond normally.

ED

Some men become so obsessed with hardcore porn that real-world sexual activity is no longer enough to cause full arousal.

Among the clinical case studies included in the Christman-led research report was the case of a 20-year-old enlisted Caucasian serviceman who came to the clinic complaining that for the previous six months he’d been unable to achieve orgasm during intercourse. During an overseas deployment, the young man reportedly had masturbated to online porn once or twice daily and at one point had purchased a sex toy, described as a fake vagina, to heighten his sexual excitement. He reported that to get sexually aroused he had stepped up the kinkiness of the porn content he was viewing over time.

Serviceman Seeks Help

Now confronted with increasing symptoms of sexual dysfunction, the serviceman turned to medical professionals at a stateside urology clinic. They suggested that his use of the sex toy possibly had desensitized his penile nerves, while the increasing intensity of the online porn he was viewing seemed to have altered his threshold for sexual stimulation. He was counseled to stop using the sex toy and to taper off his viewing of hardcore pornography. On a subsequent visit to the clinic, the patient reported that he was once again experiencing orgasm during intercourse, significantly improving his relationship with his fiance.

If you believe that overexposure to hardcore porn may be having a negative effect on your ability to function normally sexually, try to gradually wean yourself off the hard porn and see if things improve. If not, seek a psychological counselor for additional support.

If you would like to stay abreast of the latest developments on the consumer health front, check out our blog.

 

About Don Amerman

avatar

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+