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Defeat Lust & Pornography 4 minute read

A Cure for Impotence: Stop Using Porn!

Last Updated: April 5, 2024

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.

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.

  1. Elungat Daniel

    Am Daniel 28 years old.
    Glory be to God for having joined this wonderful site, I thank all those I have read their stories and also our counselors.
    When I was 18 years old in grade IV, i happened to go for evening reading but on my way to school, I heard a voice of a woman screaming inside a certain video hall. Driven by curiosity I branched to check what was going on, only to my surprise big men were watching porn sex. I was a Virgin and never had an idea about sex. From that night I developed a strange feeling all over my body. I did not know the evil of mustarbating was paving way through my life). I used to pray whenever I leave home for school but that evening I didn’t. Afterwards I continued to masturbate That is how I got to know about porn, something unique used to happen to me every time I finished having the wicked pleasure of mustarbating —-guess what? Intense guilt & shame (I felt like am less of a humanbeing). I became a serious porn addict which I tried to fight but failures in most cases. I reached an extent of searching for a porn app to install in my phone, that us where I posed abit and thought twice. With Holy Spirit leading, I typed “how to quit masturbation” as I scrolled I got a link to this website. I see this site is of great importance to me, I installed covenanteyes app in my phone and am now a week off from mustarbating and watching porn. I feel my self esteem is being restored. Please friends I still need support such that I will never go back to this evil which I owe total hatred in my heart currently. Thank you God bless you all.

  2. Dave

    A couple of weeks ago I told my wife that I was addicted to porn and if you love your wife you will never see as much pain as I saw in my wife’s eyes. The thing is that we hadn’t made love in years and I told her that it was because of my age (69) and that happens. She told me that she didn’t know if she ever could trust me again. It was at that moment I realized what I had done to her. I never wanted to hurt my wife but I did. Making it even worse I had just been baptized again and joined the church. There was no amount of explaining. I love my wife and when she told me it would take time I was so happy even for that. I have known since then that God was with me. Other people can disbelieve and that there right. God is my “Rock” and I will make it up to her even if takes the rest of my life.

  3. Mamie v Davis

    After a man stops watching porn how long before he can get an erection to perform with his wife? How long until he gets visually excited by his wife again and seems to be excited sexually from wife? My husband masturbated to porn so much that he requires me to masturbate him to get an erection and it is almost never hard when he tries to penetrate me. We have to constantly manually stimulate him to even penetrate and when we do it is only partially hard. I try sexy lingerie and looking very nice but he doesn’t ever seem excited by me. When if ever will our sex life be normal. There is no intimacy or no desire for intimacy. I had a nervous breakdown and my self esteem has gone down greatly. I don’t know if I can go on forever with a man who isn’t excited by me. I didn’t know he had this problem when I married him. Is divorce ok because he hid this from me?

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello – I’m so sorry for the pain and difficulty you’re experiencing. I believe divorce is always, always the very, very last option. After counseling. After openly working on what’s broken. After doing a lot of things to get this right. Covenant Eyes has written quite a bit about porn-induced erectile dysfunction. Here’s the ebook if you’re interested in reading it and then passing it along to him. I wish you the best!

      Regards,
      Chris

  4. Cas

    I didn’t read all the comments, but the main focus seems to be on men. This is not just a male problem!!! So many females also deal with it so please stop demonizing men.

    Why is this never talked about for females? I think this needs to change. I’m a young female who has sexual issues because of porn as well. Women struggle too!!!

  5. Please! For the love of Pete! Get rid of this absolutely annoying Facebook,Twitter,Google,Pintrest,Mail,Print popup that covers 1/2 of the left side of the screen.

    I am not even going to attempt to read all the info that you are sending me cause I have to constantly hit the arrow that makes it disappear, but as soon as I move my curser to the next line ……. up it pops again!

    Come-on! I know you want to be “liked” on all these social media’s but don’t ruin it for everyone who is actually attempting to read your material!

    david

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, David – can you please send me a screenshot of what you’re referring to? Thank you (info@covenanteyes.com)

    • BubeMandy

      That’s a rude way of commenting. It may not be their fault. I do not experience that. Pls try to air your views with absolute respect. They are doing God’s work and are being of help to people. Show some manners dear.
      God bless.

  6. Solemn

    Pls am having this problem of samesex attraction and mastubation at the same time, and all this mess i started engaging myself at a younger age even before i came to dicover pornography, i was already addicted to them, as a christian brother i have engage in so many spiritual exercise like fastings n prayer all to no avail, pls what do i do…?

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey there. I would suggest that you find a counselor who can help you process through these issues. You’ve already been working on this a long time by yourself, so I’d say it’s time to find a safe, wise person who can help you move forward in understanding your situation. There are directories at the American Association of Christian Counselors, and also Psychology Today, where you can read profiles of counselors in your area. When you visit a counselor, remember that you are “shopping” for a particular service. You should always feel safe, respected, and comfortable with the counselor. You should find the sessions helpful to you, and you should find yourself feeling calmer and more at peace over time. If these things are not happening for you in counseling, then you can always look for another counselor who is better suited to you. Peace, Kay

  7. Erectile Dysfunction has always had two causes, medical and relational. ED is related to heart problems, prostate problems, and diabetes. If not a medical problem, it is a relational problem. So you need to ask, does the relational problem (self-seeking, false intimacy, etc.) create the porn problem, or does the porn problem create the relational problem. Having counseled 1000s of couples from across the U.S., sexual dysfunction is extremely common. For the cause, you have to assess the relationship. Ninety-eight percent of couples I’ve seen in counseling, the wife has lost sexual interest and reports “feeling like a sexual object.” “Sexual addiction,” is a deep rooted relational problem. The choice isn’t porn, prostitutes, the choice is self first. Self before others, self before God.
    Relationally, iminished masculinity and hardened femininity, exists is every marriage where there is sexual sin. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Porn doesn’t start the problem, the relational problem(it is all about me, what I want) begins the porn problem. Yes, I know, average age is eleven, but relational issues are already being formed. This is first a heart problem! Not a chemical problem. Sin has never been, and never will be a brain problem!! Sin may change the brain, but only a change of heart addresses the root relational problem, from a biblical perspective.

    • Remy

      Dear Dr Harry, I just discovered a month ago that my husband for four years is a porn addict since he was 14 years old! He never confessed but we were both virgins when we got married,we love each other and he finds me beautiful but he can’t be turned on by me,for the whole four years I thought there was something wrong with me, at first he blamed my pregnancy( although I didn’t gain much weight at all) then he always found excuses to escape sex with me,like he’s tired,the baby can wake up,and silly stuff like that,we ended up that we had sex only once every two months only on my demand,after counseling that was useless,i accidentally discovered the addiction thing and for the first time in my life I checked his phone,his I pad and even MY laptop and found ugly stuff on regular basis,daily basis and sometimes twice per day,i tried to put myself together,confronted him in the most calm manner I could and told him we have to seek for professional help,we’re both doctors so I know what addiction does to a brain but he’s the addict and went on and off denial phase saying he knows porn is a problem but that’s not the reason I can’t turn him on,the reason he thinks I’m just beautiful not sexy!and he wants a divorce cuz I deserve someone better than him and he can’t live this way.. God knows I tried everything before I knew that but it felt I’m married to a zombie..bottom line he saw a psychiatrist,he told him he had lots of issues besides the addiction like moderate depression, the addiction started at 14 years old cuz he escaped to this horrible world from very cruel parents who were never kind,caring or affectionate,he always felt he wasn’t loved and that nothing he says or does is good enough for them( till now by the way) I never blamed him or judged him but I told him we’ll face this together and beat it and after this he can decide if he wants to be in this marriage or not,we installed the covenant eye accountability app to build trust again and he’s been clean for 6 weeks now, about once a week he masturbates while watching me in some poses but he can’t erect with me almost at all,he repeatedly says I don’t think I’ll ever be aroused by you,i love u deeply on the personal level and thinks I’m an amazing woman but maybe we don’t match physically..and now I’m confused as hell plus hurt plus still in a shock phase that this turned out to be the man I loved , married and had a child with. He said last week for the first time in his life he can’t recall the porn images in his mind as if he can’t remember the details and for the first time he feels he’s alone with me and I’m not surrounded by those fantasies so it’s supposed to be a good sign but still can’t erect( he’s perfectly healthy on all other aspects) so my question is, can a man love his wife deeply and still can’t be aroused by her or the addiction damaged his arousal? How long can I expect him to be normal or close to normal? I know he had this problem for more than half his life(he’s 31 now) so it might take long to recover but I’m afraid I’m only hurting myself and my daughter by staying and I may be just not sexy enough for him.

  8. solomon

    Thank you all for making it known that it is really harmful because I have been thinking how come that I can’t keep it up when am about to . I am going to work on your advice and pray that the LORD should restore my sexual health 100 fold. May GOD help all of us in this struggle. Occasionally It happens to me though and only one girl has never experienced such with me. Am always aroused anytime am with her. That got me totally confused. How come it doesn’t happen that way when am with others. Once again thank you for sharing your experiences. Pls u can up date me in my box.

  9. Broke my Broken Heart

    My heart is completely broken. My husband from a 20 yr marriage and 3 children moved into a 1 bedroom apartment, choosing masturbating to porn over his family. My boys cannot even spend the night there comfortably with all hardwood floors. We fought our entire marriage over whether or not he was viewing porn. He would start fights with me to get me to leave the house. He would view it in front of our 9 yr old daughter whom he thought was asleep on the couch or floor. He always claimed they were popups. We moved across the US and 6 weeks later he began an affair. I moved but eventually got him back. 3 yrs later, despair picks back up again. Are there good men out there for women who stay faithful, even to a cheater?

    • Kay Bruner

      I’m so sorry. I think there ARE good men out there, for sure. The thing is, though, that we can’t control the choices of others. No matter how good we are, how faithful, our spouses always have free will. In a situation like this, I think your best option is to work on your own healing. Find a personal counselor who can help you process your emotions and work on healthy boundaries. Get into a support group where you can find companions on the journey. Make sure that whatever your husband chooses, YOU choose to be healthy and well. Blessings, Kay

  10. Wonderful, what a weblog it is! This website presents useful data to us, keep
    it up.

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