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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. Michael Rondeau

    I have been fighting addiction in one form or another for a long time. I have been clean & sober for 7+ years, & 2+ months from smoking. I don’t miss meth or alcohol but smoking and porn; not so easy. I believe that to know the author of addiction is crucial. I cannot begin something by faith and expect that the works of the flesh will accomplish any form of redemption. There are so many images of women that trigger the pleasure centers of my brain. The influence of ED and age of 62 only caused the search for a means to satisfaction. With effort and patience I found one. Covenant Eyes has helped me to better understand the power and death that comes with the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. Thank you !

  2. Pete Moss

    I hear that the women are affected but did they confront their partners? I had this problem and I didn’t know it was even a problem until I went searching the internet “for an answer”. I feel most men like me had found porn and early on found that only porn got them going. For a long time I knew there was something effecting me but I could not find an answer. Getting older? Just with my Wife so long? Stress? I just didn’t look at porn as the problem I looked at it as a release from the problem. I can feel like a man during but not with my wife. So I wonder why the women gave up so fast. Maybe if you talked to them it might of been the answer, and in as little as a month or two away from porn. I wanted nothing more then to be able to feel that way with my Wife. So before you talk to a Lawyer talk to your partner. I love my Wife and now I feel like I did when We first met. Nothing could be better. PS pills did nothing and making me feel further from a man and more desperate

  3. JB

    My partner is a porn looker. My love life has never been quite the same since he started looking. He treats me sometimes like the women on the pronography films. The intimacy has gone. I hope he stops.

    • Hi JB. I’m so sorry to hear that. Have you read anything here that has encouraged you?

    • Pete Moss

      The only way is for him to stop. I kept getting more and more crazy in bed and even got to some idea’s which I later thank God I didn’t get to. I won’t even get into what my mind wanted or needed but I knew it was getting to be too much. But talk to him and lay it out. If he could stop for one month he’d see that he doesn’t need or even want that. If he can’t stop then you proved your point to him.

  4. JP

    i too can attest to this stuff, it is accurate. though i think it is important for women to understand that men STRUGGLE with this stuff even when they know it is wrong – and can rationalize it to be harmless because in their mind it is so compartmentalized and not harming anyone… but the effects are real, erections are harder to get and keep and intimacy declines. i am trying covenant eyes because ever other solution i have tried has failed – despite my strongest attempts to stop – and i hate to hurt my partner more than i already have. i pray that God brings us closer and that he uses this information to perhaps reach those who have lost hope… both in man and in our ability to stop watching the garbage which our culture seduces us with EVERYWHERE.

  5. Jason Head

    LL,

    I am also sorry that you were hurt, as I too, as a young man, have struggled with a porn addiction–though I grew up in a household raised in the teaching and instruction of our Lord, YHVH.
    However, I also move that you reconsider your stance on that general statement made about “all men” “most” or just “men” period. I can get better–and am getting better–and I believe you need to realize that though you’ve been hurt by the average, you need to know that there are above average men (not far and few in between either) who refuse to give up in their pursuit for purity.

    Sincerely,

    Jason

    • gabriel

      Wow!this is profound.Actually a lot of people want to get off the porn world but must of them can’t help it that why accountability is vital and thank God for this site,its going a long way.God bless you.lest I forget, there are wonderful men out there.

    • Thomas Reid

      Love this comment. Very powerful and inspiring for me as a man of God. It gives great hope for women as well. “Above average men”. Woooh! I feel ignited with YHVH’s dunamis power. Thank you Brother.

  6. LL,

    It sounds like pornography has impacted your life in a very hurtful way. I too have been hurt and affected by it. I am here to tell you there are honorable men out there as I have married one. The bible tells us that we are to be our husbands “helpmate”. It is our job to hold our husbands accountable but not to write off marriage because of our hurt. Children need fathers. I too understand the hurt of a single mom. Please reconsider your stance and look for healing. I’m available to help if you’d like.

    • Gigi

      Kudos to your comment. I 100% agree. There’s still good men out there whether they’re addicted or not. I am a woman addict and my husband is one too but I’m getting help for my addiction. I can’t make him get help but he is my husband. He loves God and he loves me.

  7. LL

    Oh well. This is the reality we live in unfortunately. I gave up on men today a long time ago. I had two kids via sperm donors and I suggest other women do the same. Men today (not all) have been enabled and it is our job to stop. It is a hard to road no doubt to be a single mom but I’d rather deal with this than a stupefied zombie of a porn addict husband who can only get hard ons watching Porn Hub et al. Sometimes you have got to do the tough love thing. Women need to unit and do it! Think Lysistrata…

    • justmeworried wifey.

      I like your way of thinking. ..

    • Ryan

      Sperm donation goes against the natural order of procreation. I believe in God’s eyes this is a sin like homosexuals doing surrogate pregnancies or egg transplantation.

  8. zipporah

    I’ve never thought YEARS ago to put PORN and METH/CRACK in the same ‘box’; but, there it is, and many men are getting crazier…this is one of the reasons girls are getting desperate or having the look of desperation on them. It also seems the only hope for many young women is to get an EDUCATION because it may be lots harder or near impossible for her to find a suitable man to live with for 50 years….this should become a public service announcement on CHRISTIAN TELEVISION (in a discreet way of course) but there nonetheless

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