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Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction and How to Overcome It

Erectile dysfunction is something that you would traditionally associate with getting older, right? After all, when you see a commercial for Viagra, who is in the main focus? It’s usually a guy with gray or white hair, clearly past his prime trying to maintain the sexual life he once had in his 20s and 30s.

Unfortunately, the older men experiencing erectile dysfunction are now joined by younger men who are half or even a quarter of their age who aren’t getting sexual arousal.

The instant access to free and abundant internet pornography has led to a condition called porn-induced erectile dysfunction. It affects guys as young as teenagers all the way up to older men who have watched their sexual lives outside of a computer disappear.

What exactly is porn-induced erectile dysfunction? Is there a correlation to pornography addiction? What are some signs that you might suffer from it? Let’s review this and what you can do about it.

What is Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction?

As the name implies, porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) is a condition where a man is not able to achieve and maintain an erection unless he is watching or thinking about porn, more often than not, internet pornography. This comes about from watching porn to the point of borderline addiction. It’s not only the frequency in which you watch porn, but it’s also the category.

Watching hardcore porn every single day can desensitize you to porn as well as sex with a real person in real life. It can do this in two ways:

First, with the wide access to content, a guy can click through until he finds a video or image he likes. This might suffice for a while but when it stops doing the trick, the guy can keep clicking. In other words, there is always some type of content that will satisfy a man at that moment. But obviously, you can’t simply switch people during actual sex.

Secondly, guys with porn-induced erectile dysfunction may find they need to up the bar every time they watch a new video. Watching one level of hardcore porn may eventually desensitize your arousal levels, requiring something different or more extreme. In the bedroom, this can be bad news, especially if a guy needs to be doing the very thing he has been watching and his partner doesn’t agree to do it.

Is there really harm in watching too much porn and can it lead to pornography addiction, or is just an overblown concern?

Increased Rates of ED Amongst Men Have Been Linked to Porn Consumption

It should be noted that there are multiple causes why a man can’t maintain an erection and porn addiction can be one of several factors contributing to the core problem. However, it should come as no surprise that there has been an increase in reported cases of erectile dysfunction, many of which have been directly connected to a high level of porn consumption and porn addiction.

Pornography Can Make it Difficult For Men To Get An Erection With a Real Partner

Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

One of the consequences of frequent porn consumption is how it impacts your real-life experiences. There are countless stories on user forums and doctor’s reports on how the over-consumption of pornography has led to embarrassing and frustrating moments during actual intercourse.

It’s not just gossip on the internet. Studies show that men who watch too much porn are more likely to have poor sexual interactions with their partners. Why? It’s due to the actual sexual experience not living up to the expectations that have been set by porn. As a result, their arousal and interest decline.

It is Thought that PIED is Primarily a Psychological Problem

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction has its grounding in the psyche. First, studies have confirmed that over-consumption of porn is directly linked to addictive behavior. Porn triggers the same pleasure centers of the brain that drugs do, requiring more and more to feel satisfied.

What’s more, during the act of sex, it’s a mental game that often ends in failure. The man who is used to the level of arousal he gets from porn is dissatisfied with the actual experience of sex. As a result, he has trouble getting it up or maintaining the erection. His failed performance triggers heavy shame, anxiety, and embarrassment, which only exacerbates the problem.

In the end, the anger he feels for himself and the situation leads him back to the porn that he feels gratified by. Clearly, this is a vicious cycle that can take a heavy toll on your relationship.

What are the signs that you might suffer from PIED?

Curious about the symptoms of porn-induced erectile dysfunction? Let’s review the most common symptoms to see if you might suffer from this condition.

Trouble Getting An Erection When Not Watching Certain Kinds of Pornography

As mentioned several times above, one of the tell-tale signs that you have porn-induced ED is how you react to sexual situations, the first being porn itself.

Do you need to watch a specific type of porn? Do you often find yourself clicking through site after site searching for one or two videos with a specialized theme? If you’re not able to get an erection unless you have that perfect video in front of you, then you might suffer from porn-induced ED.

Can’t Maintain An Erection

Let’s say you’re able to get an erection, but then the video you found isn’t holding your attention. Maybe you’re in an actual sexual encounter and it’s not meeting your arousal expectations, which have been set by watching porn. Suddenly, you lose interest and your body responds by losing the erection. If keeping an erection seems more like a task or chore than an enjoyable experience, this could be a sign of porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

Feel a Reduced Sexual Desire, Especially With Real Life Partners

Most importantly, think about your sexual interactions with real partners. Do you find them satisfying? Would you say that you prefer porn over a real person? Do you find yourself getting lost in thought – usually of porn – when engaged in sexual intercourse? If having sex with a real person doesn’t have the same highlights and excitement as when you’re watching porn, this could be an absolute confirmation that you suffer from porn-induced ED.

How To Get Rid of Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction

If you believe that you fit in most or all of the categories above, you might be asking, “how can I stop having porn-induced erectile dysfunction?” Let’s review the most common ways to get your sex life back on track.

The Most Common and Simple Treatment is to Stop Watching Porn

The first thing to do is to quit cold turkey and stop watching porn. Studies show that this is the easiest and most effective method. One study took a group of young men that had been compulsively watching porn and developed what the media is calling “sexual anorexia.” In other words, they had no real interest in sex, just masturbating with porn.

This group of young men stopped watching porn and researchers confirmed that within eight months, the subjects were reporting dramatically improved sexual relations and successful orgasm and ejaculation.

The 5 Stages of Recovery

Since watching porn triggers the same pleasure centers associated with drug addiction, it can be helpful to take the same 5-step approach to recovery in order to get yourself away from too much porn and restore a healthy sex life.

Stage One: Acknowledge the Problem

With any problem, you must first acknowledge that you have one. This can come in the form of a discussion with your doctor or, more realistically and importantly, your partner.

Stage Two: Consider Others

Sit down and discuss how constant porn consumption has affected. Have you been less productive? Do you have a bad sex life with your partner? Once you acknowledge the problem and consider how your behavior has affected others in your life then you get on the road to recovery.

Stage Three: Educate Yourself

Take the time to learn more about your condition and how it can be helped. You’re doing that right now by reading this article

Stage Four: Decide to Take Action

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction won’t just go away on its own. You have to take action in order to solve the problem. Sometimes this means making the decision not to act or staying away from porn altogether. You must confirm with yourself that you want to take action and change your life. Now the changes can begin.

Stage Five: Stay Active

With the help of staying educated, talking with your doctor, and working through everything with your partner, you’ll find recovery. But it doesn’t stop there. You must work to constantly be free of your addiction to porn. Stay active in your recovery and never be afraid to ask for help.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?

Once you’ve made the decision to take control of your sex life, you might wonder how long it’ll take to bounce back from porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

Many Suggest Going 90 Without Porn Consumption or Masturbation

Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction

As we discussed in the study above, young men found their sex lives completely restored – and the PIED gone – within eight months; however, many people on forums suggest it only takes 90 days – a short three months to recover.

The Rate of Recovery Can Be Affected by the Type, Duration, and Frequency of Porn Use

Keep in mind that this will vary from person to person. Someone who watches porn several times a day compared to someone who only does it once every other day might have a longer recovery time from porn-induced ED.

Other Causes of ED May Overlap With Porn-Induced ED

As mentioned above, porn-induced erectile dysfunction might only be one cause of the problem. There are several other factors that could be playing into your erectile dysfunction with porn over consumption making it worse.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure medications have been shown to decrease blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve an erection.

Diabetes

Nerve and cell damage from poor blood sugar can make it difficult for men to experience an erection.

Prostate Issues

If you have prostatitis or other prostate issues such as an inflamed prostate, you are more likely to have erectile dysfunction due to the inflammation and pain associated with the conditions.

Hormone Imbalances

Men suffering from low testosterone levels – from andropause, for example – are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction.

Anxiety

Just like we talked about above, it’s all a mind game. Studies show that having anxiousness or nervousness about your sexual performance and ability to get an erection can ironically zap your ability to achieve one.

Depression

Studies found that men with erectile dysfunction were more likely to suffer from depression. One only fuels the other, making it difficult to recover.

Low Self-Esteem

Continuing with the point above, low self-esteem falls in with the categories of depression and anxiety. Your image of yourself is sure to take a hit if you suffer from porn-induced ED. This will only exacerbate anxiety and depression, which will make your erectile dysfunction worse.

Lifestyle choices

The choices you make about your overall health can play a huge role in erectile dysfunction. Not eating healthy choices, refusing to physically exercise, and avoiding social interactions can all play a part in your erectile dysfunction.

Final Thoughts on PIED

Internet porn isn’t going anywhere. The ease of access to it is also going to remain open and available for all. As tempting as it can be to rely on internet porn, the consequences for overexposure are clear. The best thing you can do is limit your intake of porn and instead focus on building a meaningful relationship that focuses on a healthy sex life.

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