Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a man can not get an erection or maintain a long enough time during sexual activity.
This is one of the most common sexual problems that men face and can be very painful. Some people, especially those who have religious or moral scruples about pornography, argue that the use of pornography can cause erectile dysfunction.

Research on erectile dysfunction induced by pornography is mixed, with some studies supporting this relationship and others claiming that pornography could actually help erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a complex health problem that has both physical and mental health components. This article aims to break down the subject and present the evidence.

How’s it going?

Erectile dysfunction and porn
People sometimes associate pornography with erectile dysfunction, but it is a complex disease that has a variety of causes.
Relationships, body image and similar factors can also play a role in erectile dysfunction. For many men, erectile dysfunction does not have a single identifiable cause.Erectile dysfunction induced by porn is a controversial theory to explain sexual problems.

Some advocates of the concept, such as this highly subjective blog from the Fight the New Drug advocacy group, believe that pornography is immoral. This potentially makes their research more biased than a laboratory study done by a neutral party.

Research supporting the link between pornography and erectile dysfunction argues that pornography can desensitize the sexual response. A 2016 article states that more young men are seeking help for erectile dysfunction, which could be due to the desensitizing effects of so-called “hardcore” pornography.

Based on case studies and previous research, the article argues that pornography can reduce men’s satisfaction with their own bodies, causing anxiety during sex.

Men who watch pornography may need to gradually increase sexual stimulation to feel and stay excited.The use of pornography can change the way the brain reacts to the excitement, making a man less likely to feel excited by a real-life partner.

The use of sex toys can desensitize the nerves of the penis, making it more difficult to get an erection because the nerves require more physical stimulation.The lead author of this study, Gary Wilson, is the founder of an organization called Your Brain on Porn. Wilson’s campaign against pornography raises issues of bias. Other studies linking pornography to erectile dysfunction reveal only a weak link.

This suggests that although pornography is one of the possible factors in a case of erectile dysfunction, it is unlikely to be the only factor.

A 2015 analysis of two large cross-sectional studies also found a link between the use of pornography and erectile dysfunction. The link in this study, however, was very modest. Only one of the two studies found a link and this link was weak.

In addition, only men who had “moderate” use of Internet pornography reported having more emergency problems than those who had “high” or “low” use.

This undermines the notion that excessive use of pornography desensitizes. The authors of the study claim that their data do not support the public health problems related to pornography and do not suggest that pornography plays a role in erectile dysfunction.

Porn and erectile dysfunction

Some other studies suggest that pornography could actually contribute to erectile dysfunction, especially when erectile dysfunction is due to psychological or relational issues.

A 2015 study found that men who reported spending more time looking at pornography had greater sexual reactivity to a partner in the lab. This suggests that pornography could help the brain or body to have sex, potentially improving sex with a partner.

However, research supporting the positive effects of pornography is limited and preliminary, as are studies that focus on the harms of using pornography.

A 2014 article points out that scientific research rarely addresses the so-called “porn addiction” or its suggested role in the ED. Yet the term is common on Internet forums and other non-clinical sources, and can even be used in treatment. This supposed link between erectile dysfunction and pornography has fueled a lucrative industry, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support this link.

Men who feel guilty about their use of pornography may have problems with erectile dysfunction because of this guilt. In this way, the belief that pornography is false or related to erectile dysfunction can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.Other causes of erectile dysfunction
atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction
Atherosclerosis can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a complex problem that can have several causes.

For example, a man may have a physical illness that makes it difficult to maintain an erection. This can trigger anxiety and intensify the problem. If the ED causes problems in a relationship with a partner, this can aggravate the problem.

Secondary Erectile Dysfunction, which develops later in life after a long period of time during which it is possible to maintain an erection, is the most common form of erectile dysfunction.

Secondary ED is also the type most likely to be blamed for pornography. Primary erectile dysfunction, which occurs when a man has never managed to get an erection, is very rare and usually results from an underlying condition.Some of the most common causes of secondary ED dysfunction include:

psychological distress, such as problems with body image or sexual anxiety
relationship problems
blood vessel disorders, including those due to heart health problems
neurological damage often due to diabetes
Prostate disorders
tobacco-induced atherosclerosis, which obstructs the arteries
Periodic difficulties in getting or maintaining an erection are typical and often due to stress. It is unlikely that a man suffering from occasional erectile dysfunction will be diagnosed with this disorder or with a related health problem.

Related health issues

A number of health problems can cause erectile dysfunction by damaging the nerves or narrowing the blood vessels.When the blood vessels are narrow, the penis has more difficulty filling with blood. Some common culprits include:

heart disease
atherosclerosis
high blood pressure
Diabetes
spinal cord lesions
nerve damage due to surgery
prostatitis and other prostate disorders

Some mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders and depression, may also play a role. Some men find that certain medications, including antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs, make it more difficult to achieve or maintain an erection.

Treatment

The American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) states that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the existence of a sexual or pornographic addiction.It also stresses that any attempt to deal with sexual problems, including those related to pornography, should not be pathologizing, or should not be designed as a treatment for an illness.

The AASECT points out that many efforts to deal with the so-called “pornography addiction” are harmful, that they are not supported by scientific research and that they are based on misconceptions.

sexual therapist

Visiting an open-minded sex therapist can help a man solve erectile dysfunction.Men with sexual dysfunction should seek out health professionals who take an open and non-judgmental approach to treating sexual problems. It is important to examine the physical and psychological aspects of erectile dysfunction when seeking treatment.

The right treatment depends on the cause of the sexual dysfunction. For men suffering from performance anxiety, therapy, relaxation exercises and a supportive partner may be helpful. Some men may also find that pornography contributes to sexual desire when the underlying problem is psychological and not physical.

Other treatment options include:

Drugs against dysfunction, such as Viagra and Cialis
the use of a penis pump to suck blood into the penis and get an erection
lifestyle remedies to treat cardiovascular disease, such as exercise and diet changes surgery to treat anatomical problems or prostate disorders
a penile implantadopt an approach to sexuality based on pleasure rather than performance

Outlook and conclusion

In the absence of another factor, such as guilt over pornography or sex or a physiological problem, it is unlikely that pornography causes sexual dysfunction. Men may have other reasons to abstain from pornography, but they should know that this will not directly address an underlying sexual health problem.

Erectile dysfunction is common and can be treated despite the frustration it can cause. A sensitive doctor, a human sexuality therapist and a supportive partner can all help manage and reverse the symptoms.

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