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Does Porn Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Last Updated: August 4, 2020

Back in 2013, GQ Magazine published an article called, “10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Watching Porn.” Yes, the same GQ that published its “100 Hottest Women of the 21st Century” feature in the same year they also told men why masturbating to lust-provoking images is not a good idea.

The very first reason given was that men who are hooked on porn find it difficult to get or maintain an erection during sex. Why does watching porn cause erectile dysfunction? Well, online porn viewing is, among other things, novelty-seeking behavior: constantly clicking, multiple tabs open, always looking for the next girl, the next sexual buzz. A real woman—no matter how she looks—is only one woman. A brain trained for constant sexual novelty won’t find her arousing.

Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, who’s the clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School, says that many young men today suffer from what he calls porn-induced erectile dysfunction. These men are young, healthy men that can’t maintain an erection with the person that they’re with sexually. But they seem to be able to get an erection watching porn.

Related: Why Marital Sex Is Better Than Porn

The problem for these guys is not below the belt, but actually between the ears.

You see, real sex is about touching, being touched, pheromones, and really connecting with someone. Internet porn is about digital voyeurism, endless searching, clicking, and interacting with your hand.

If you train your brain for porn, that’s how you’ll best perform. So when you’re with a real woman, your pornofied brain isn’t sending enough of a signal below your belt to get aroused.

Do you think you have porn-induced erectile dysfunction? We’ve created an e-mail challenge to put you on your journey to recovery from PIED.

Start the RecoverED Challenge Today
  1. Paul Alex

    I agree with the the article that porn contributes to erectile dysfunction, but there issues with this theory that I think are ignored or overlooked. The term “porn” is pornography, which is a filmed sex act, which many men don’t enjoy watching. As even the classiest of women dress to tease, a greater majority of men satisfy their desires with common publications such as swimsuit adds, fashion magazines and laundry publications. This article seems to demean men by suggesting that they sneak off to masturbate to videos of sex acts and that’s not accurate. In addition the article tends to leave the suggestion that men CHOOSE self pleasure over actual sex, but fails to identify that most men wouldn’t find alternative means of sexual gratification if their mates or spouses were sufficiently active in the bedroom.

  2. Too much of everything is bad. That’s why, it doesn’t directly refer to as the one of the main cause of ED we must make sure that we should always take a little precaution of watching pornography, hence, we should make it work with a normal sex with the opposite partner.

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  6. Thanks for finally writing about >Does Porn Cause Erectile
    Dysfunction? Yes. Here's why. <Loved it!

  7. Mark46

    Hi, do you allow guest posting on covenanteyes.com ? :) Please let me know on my e-mail

  8. BB

    Hmm, I really don’t understand how porn + masturbation causes erectile dysfunction. Then again, I don’t have a penis or a porn addiction so it’s all very psychologically interesting to me. I can only hypothesize.

    Sex is a natural biological urge, so what is the psychological reason behind porn addiction? Maybe being excessively horny or lonely combined with internalized guilt and shame? So people with porn addiction maybe struggle to communicate and express their sexual desires with other people because of guilt/shame or fear of rejection? How would an anti-porn state of mind actually help a person overcome their inability to talk about or express their sexual desires with others? Hmm.

    Still, I’m not completely pro-porn. I find the excessive youth fetishization to be extremely problematic. I think it’s very psychologically damaging to women both young and old to constantly have ’18’ thrown in their face as the socially acceptable age for women to have sexual desires. All women are subconsciously raised to believe that as soon as they hit 30 they will no longer be valued or desirable and it is awful. There is ageism everywhere and it’s very disturbing.

    SO I can’t say I’m pro or anti porn. I don’t think there is anything wrong with masturbation. Masturbate for peace. Use your imagination for sexual stimulation as well, whether you are just pleasing yourself or pleasing someone else, there is nothing wrong with using your imagination. Imagination could probably help people who have psychological issues with sex because we all want to be in a state of mind where we feel comfortable with our bodies and safe to express ourselves sexually.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, BB – I appreciate your honesty! You and I are probably going to approach the porn and masturbation topics with a different worldview, but I’ll share a few thoughts. When it comes to pornography, there is so much more than meets the eye. Sex-trafficking. Child pornography. Peer-reviewed neurological impacts on empathy and intimacy. Is it something I want my daughter to do someday? Heck no. Therefore, anything that I don’t to pass on is on the list of things that I shouldn’t be practicing myself. That’s whay’s wrong with porn. That’s setting aside some of the spiritual reasons that I didn’t get a sense from your post would be beneficial to the discussion, but it’s also part of my own personal worldview.

      Specific to the erectile dysfunction – it goes like this. The brain wasn’t meant to be overrun with dopamine in the way that porn does with click after click of fake but titilating images of people. Over time, this causes the brain to desensitize towards “normal” sexual activity, because it has been trained to want more. More and more. The brain is a-moral. Want you feed it becomes what you train it to desire. Over time, men addicted to porn no longer find real women sexually stimulating. Hence, they can’t get an erection. As it’s said, “real women just become bad porn.”

      Masturbation is a highly divisive topic, even in the Church. There’s clearly a neurological adhesion that occurs during the masturbation process. If I’m constantly fantasizing and masturbating, then I’m teaching my brain to adhere to those thoughts and behaviors. Again, it’s just not healthy when that begins to push against a committed marriage, where my goal is to adhere to my wife in every way. Now, can some couples find some balance where a bit of masturbation isn’t an issue? Maybe. I’ve just never been able to find that balance. I must not have enough self-control, because eventually, masturbation always seems to take over and dominate my thinking. So, I’ve decided to kick it aside. Also, whoever is regularly masturbatiing is also watching porn. They just go together.

      Covenant Eyes clearly stands by its position that a life without porn is a better, more honorable way to live. We have some thoughts about masturbation, but leave that one more for others to debate.

      I appreciate your post. I hope you find answers.
      Chris

  9. C.Emmanuel

    I don’t have a girlfriend I never marry and I’m 23yrs and I never release sperm a physically except I released half in the dream and others outside so I was confused since I can’t masturbate and I was thinking maybe watching porn at least 2 times a month would make me release cos I think releasing in the dream is bad due to marine spirit, but since then I had never released why watching porn and I don’t masturbate, so what do you suggest should I go releasing in the dream nor staying without releasing nor be watching porn cos I fill that is the only way I can do it physically in fact any solution to it please since I have never been addicted to it much.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, is there anything medical going on, possibly? If I read correctly, it seems like you are struggling at night. What things are you doing just before going to bed? Is your mind clear? Maybe you could pray specifically for your sleep and this issue. At the end, you said, “I have never been addicted to it much,” which just sounds like maybe porn is a part of your habit. I would just encourage you to remove that part of your routine so that you are filling your mind with better “digital nutrition” instead of the junk food of porn.

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