Erectile Dysfunction and Pornography

sex therapy & relationships

Erectile Dysfunction and the Use of Pornography


One recent study published by the Journal of Sex Medicine shows that of the diagnosed cases of erectile dysfunction, 25% of those cases involve young men.[1] Another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, noted that 30% of young men deal with erectile dysfunction today.[2] Among younger men dealing with sexual dysfunction, sex addiction, particularly the addiction to porn, appears to be a problem. In fact, Italian scientists from the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine have done studies that show that regular or excessive consumption of pornography may result in impotence, lack of libido and a lack of real-life relationships.


Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction

Before looking further at the problem with porn and sex addiction, and its relationship with erectile dysfunction, it is essential to understand sexual and erectile dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction involves difficulty at any point in normal sexual activity and may occur during arousal, climax or even desire. Erectile dysfunction specifically involves a medical condition that makes it difficult, or completely prevents, men from achieving or maintaining an erection during sex. [3]


Pornography-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Pornography-induced erectile or sexual dysfunction generally occurs due to desensitization that occurs after the excessive use of porn. Some of the symptoms of pornography-induced sexual and erectile dysfunction include the following:


  • – Difficulty climaxing with a partner
  • – Reduced penis sensitivity
  • – Problems keeping an erection
  • – Difficulty achieving an erection with a partner
  • – Delayed ejaculation
  • – Increase stimulation required for arousal and climax
  • – In some cases, the use of drugs, such as Viagra, may no longer be effective
  • Decline of sexual arousal when with a partner
  • Loss of erection during penetration


The Brain is the Problem

When sex addiction is involved, the brain is the root of the problem, not the penis. A simple look at the huge market for natural male enhancements shows that many men believe that their erectile dysfunction is a problem with the penis. However, when porn addiction is involved, the problem actually goes back to the brain. Long-term use of pornography often changes the brain, changing the reward and pleasure area of the brain. As this area of the brain changes, the body doesn’t receive the same signals during sex with a partner, resulting in erectile dysfunction. These changes in the brain often require the brain to require more intensity, stimulation and arousal over time, resulting in desensitization. [4]


Porn Addiction is a Type of Sex Addiction

With the easy availability of porn on computers, laptops, tablets and Smart phones, men have more access than ever to pornography. Porn addiction often occurs, which is a type of sex addiction. A result of this type of sex addiction is not only sexual dysfunction, but it often leads to a disconnection in long-term relationships, or even the inability to develop a long-term relationship.


Recovery is Possible

Many men with sex addiction to porn believe that erectile dysfunction as a young men is normal, and many have no idea that porn could cause such adverse effects. However, recovery is possible for men dealing with this type of sex addiction. Unfortunately, men often see their physician about erectile dysfunction, and the root cause of the problem is never treated. The root of the problem, the addiction to porn, must be addressed to deal with the problem.[5] Seeing a sexual therapist, getting involved in a 12-step program, and most importantly, stopping the behavior of viewing porn, offers men a road to recovery.


Other Resources:


[1] July 2013, “One Patient Out of Four with newly Diagnosed Erectile Dysfunction is a Young Man – Worrisome Picture from the Everyday Clinical Practice”

[2] July 2012, “Sexual Dysfunctions Among Young Men: Prevalence and Associated Factors”

[4] August 2012, “A Cure for Impotence: Stop Using Porn!”

[5] “Sexual Dysfunction: The Escalating Price of Abusing Porn”

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