A Cure for Impotence: Stop Using Porn!

Ever notice all those “natural male enhancement” or “testosterone supplement” advertisements? They’re nearly everywhere, promising men “a better sex drive,” “improved vitality,” or to “…be the man you used to be.”

Directly and indirectly, they promise better sex.

Well, it got me thinking, why are so many more men suddenly unhappy with their sex lives and looking to products like these for help?

Are the natural effects of aging on sexual functioning and libido suddenly affecting millions more men at much younger ages? It’s hard to imagine human physiology making such a spontaneous and drastic shift.

A Cure for Impotence_Stop Using Porn!

Maybe it’s that men feel less stigmatized about erectile dysfunction or low libido and are asking for help? Drugs like Viagra helped lower the shame of sexual dysfunction. Maybe this could account for some increase in demand.

As an Internet porn and sex addiction counselor, I treat many men who struggle with issues of sexual dysfunction that’s related to their use of Internet porn. Could it be that a major influence on sexual dysfunction in men has been overlooked?

Internet Pornography Could be Causing More Problems than We Know

Frequent viewing of pornography, especially Internet pornography, over-stimulates and desensitizes the users brain to normally sexually arousing experiences. And if your brain isn’t turned on, then neither is your penis.

In other words, if you’re using a lot of Internet porn, then you’re likely to find sex with your real wife or partner to be less satisfying over time, and as you use more porn, you can expect to have serious problems with sexual dysfunction.

“Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction”

I call it “Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction,” and it’s a problem. Here’s what frequent Internet pornography users can look forward to:

  • More stimulation and more intensity is necessary to get aroused
  • Can’t keep an erection
  • Experience delayed ejaculation
  • Sexual intercourse becomes difficult
  • Drugs like Viagra lose their effectiveness, and …
  • Eventually, they can’t get an erection even with porn

Someone with these problems would be a great customer for supplements and drugs that offer a return to “…the man you used to be” with “improved energy and vitality” and a “better sex drive.”

They seem to offer a “magic pill” that could bring a return to sexual normalcy, but “magic pills” don’t exist for the brain part of this problem, and it’s the brain that turns you on – or not.

It’s the Brain, Not the Penis

“Natural male enhancements,” testosterone supplements, and Viagra-like drugs help primarily with “equipment” related problems. If your sexual problem has to do with the proper physical functioning of your penis, then these might help.

More often though, the problem is rooted in real structural changes to the Internet porn user’s brain, not his penis. Reversing the dysfunction is possible, but it requires stopping the behavior, and getting stopped and staying stopped isn’t as easy as you might think.

When it all goes well, the brain responds to sexual cues, anticipates a positive experience, and the brain floods with arousal. Signals from the brain direct the body to prepare for sex, and as long as there aren’t problems with the sex organ itself, the body responds. No problem.

Related: Does Science Support Porn-Induced ED?

Porn-induced sexual dysfunction begins with changes in the reward and pleasure systems of the brain that simply become overwhelmed by the high intensity arousal of Internet pornography. Our brains just weren’t made to handle Internet porn.

When these reward and pleasure systems of the brain aren’t functioning properly, then the body doesn’t receive enough of the right signals for sex and the result is sexual impotence.

To the brain, every pornography image or video is a new sexual opportunity, and since sexual novelty is instinctually preferred, the brain floods with the promised feel-good hit – for every image or video viewed. That’s a lot of sexual arousal!

Awash with Arousal

All those surges of arousal make for a powerful sexual experience, one that most people will repeat, and that many will repeat often. It’s a heavy load for the brain to carry. In fact it’s so heavy that the brain can’t handle it and begins to “cover its ears.”

The porn user’s brain adapts to these frequent floods of arousal by changing how it “hears” arousal. Much like you might cover your ears if someone screamed at you, the pleasure system of the brain covers its ears and desensitizes to the flood.

Desensitization

The porn user’s brain begins to require more arousal, more intensity, and more stimulation just to feel like it used to feel. Desensitization means that those normally sexually arousing experiences no longer show up on the sexual radar.

Worse still, healthy and intimate sex with a real spouse or partner simply can’t compete. With these changes, the brain requires too much of the feel-good stuff to get even a little aroused.

The only options left for the Internet porn user is to either “porno-fy” his reality (that is, add intensity to make real sex like porn sex) or stick with the crazy novelty of Internet porn. Both options lead to real problems in relationships.

The Final Reality

It’s no surprise then that Internet porn users escalate their use and chase the feeling that eludes them with normal sex with a real and monogamous partner.

Pretty soon the symptoms of porn-induced sexual dysfunction are front and center and the sellers of natural male enhancements, testosterone supplements, and Viagra-like drugs have another potential customer.

Why not try stopping the porn first?


Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT is a sex addiction counselor and founder of Sonoran Counseling Services in Phoenix, Arizona. Read more about Jeff’s work at the Sonoran Healing Center, LLC.