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Pornography Leads to Impotence

Last Updated: April 7, 2015

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

I highly recommend taking a look at Judith Reisman’s September article, “The Impotence Pandemic.”

It has long been touted by relationship therapists that a little pornography can spice up our sex lives. It is believed that male impotence is caused by a mere lack of visual stimulation: add a little porn and the problem goes away. Or so some think . . .

Reisman quotes a sampling of psychiatry professors, neurobiologists, and neuroscientists to demonstrate that rather the opposite is true: Pornography actually does more to contribute to impotence than cure it.

Impotent: adj. 1. not potent: lacking in power, strength, or vigor 2: unable to engage in sexual intercourse because of inability to have and maintain an erection

Reisman asks what a really “potent” man is. “One is not ‘potent’ if one requires little blue pills, sexy pictures, or immature victims for sexual satisfaction. It is more accurate then to define men as impotent when they are unable to be conjugally intimate with their chosen beloved.”

Pornography, Reisman explains, overexposes men and women to erotic stimuli and this exhausts normal sexual responses. It’s the novelty of pornographic images that damages nuptial intimacy. Reisman quotes neurobiologist Peter Milner, “Most stimuli become less attractive . . . as they become familiar and predictable,” such as marital intercourse. “Thus, novelty has an effect similar to that of reward.” Addiction to pornography can become, in effect, addiction to novelty and uncertainty.

According to Reisman, what Hugh Hefner (founder of Playboy) sold the American male was not a fix for impotence, but “Pornographically Induced Impotence.” She says that as a result, “millions of hoodwinked couples are now puppets, dangled by pornographic strings” as impotent men replace their partners with fantasy. Until each man strives to purge himself of this novelty fantasy, “he will remain a vassal, his manhood controlled by pornographers, his Liege Lords.”

I know this has been my story as well. Breaking addiction to porn has been a breaking of addiction to the novelty of fantasy: the novelty of stimulation on-demand, the novelty of any body-type, any woman, any situation, and any position (which the Internet delivers into our homes at high speeds).

“From the Playboy mansion to Capitol Hill, from thousands of prostituted Las Vegas girls and women to newlywed bedrooms, from Fortune 500 offices to Ivy League dorms, men and boys have habituated to the rewards of their own hand from the hand of Hefner et al.” (Reisman)

  • Comments on: Pornography Leads to Impotence
    1. mary beth nogues

      How can I get help for my husband?

    2. Cgirl

      This article is so true.

    3. My husband has had a problem since his early teens. Parents left Playboy out in open. His whole left he has been a sex addict. Constant masturbation, strip clubs, prostitutes, now internet porn. This is the second time I found out after we went through this 20 years ago and he said he was done with porn. Hard to find out about his masturbating when he did it at work and in the middle of the night. Never any sex with me because he said he was impotent. My surprise when I found a stack of the pictures of the prostitutes he was calling. Up to 2 a week.

      • So sorry to hear your story, Marie. Have you been able to find help locally for this? Are you talking to a counselor? Is your husband seeking help for this?

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