For many men, erectile dysfunction can be both frustrating and distressing. Most individuals who end up seeking treatment by a physician are usually given prescription medications without addressing the root cause of the condition. As the percentage of men suffering from ED increases, researchers have found an interesting correlation between pornography use and men’s sexual health.
Porn induced erectile dysfunction is a controversial topic and is not always screened for in the healthcare field. However, clinical reports show that in fact the connection is real and men are experiencing higher rates of delayed ejaculation, decreased sexual satisfaction and low libido.
Internet porn has become more accessible and addictive than ever before, partially due to the extreme nature of the material and provocative content that can be found.
How Watching Porn Causes Problems with Erections
It has to do with the brain and its reward system. When men and women experience pleasure of any sort, we release a neurotransmitter known as “dopamine”, which helps reinforce the reward system in our brains. The more dopamine that is released, the more satisfaction we get from that activity.
Men who are watching a significant amount of pornography are releasing large hits of dopamine into their nervous system, which is why the content becomes so invigorating.
However, when they go to perform sexually in the bedroom with their partner, they seem to struggle with getting or even maintaining an erection. This is because the reward system has upregulated its dopamine receptors and needs more of the neurotransmitter to help stimulate arousal.
When this happens, there can be frustration or even feelings of shame on both parties, causing other shifts in the brain long term.
What to Do About It
Although the topic is getting more attention, we still need to do a better job of addressing the issue and helping individuals know how to address the problem.
In many instances, terminating the use of internet porn can be effective enough to reserve the effects, however, this may take time and often having the help of a provider is useful.
If you have more interest in the topic or would like to speak to one of providers we are here to discuss it and help:
At VWS, we promote having open communication with our client’s and do our best to give space to sensitive issues.
Research on Erectile Dysfunction & Pornography
- Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. National Center for Biotechnology Information
- Masturbation and Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles of Masturbation? National Center for Biotechnology Information
Maral Zarandi (ND) is a licensed naturopathic physician, who earned her degree from Bastyr University. She is passionate about guiding clients through their healing journey and providing them with individualized treatment plans. Maral focuses on rebalancing the foundations of health and building meaningful connections to create a safe and effective healing environment. She primarily utilizes a functional medicine perspective to find the root cause of a condition and spends time educating clients to help them feel more confident and informed about their health.