Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction (2014)

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Anatomy & physiology teacher Gary Wilson explains the physiology of erections, how overstimulation via today's Internet porn can create erectile dysfunction (even in young men), and how others have recovered. For more information see Is my erectile dysfunction (ED) related to my porn use?

 

Supporting materials for this presentation

Studies mentioned in presentation

Expert testimony - Porn-Induced ED in the Media: Primarily Experts

Science sections containing multiple studies

Animal studies on sexual conditioning

DeltaFosB & sensitization articles

Adolescent brain vulnerabilities

Desentization articles

Internet porn is different

Addiction experts proclaim sexual behavior addiction exists

Porn-Induced ED Recovery Stories

Several studies have found relationships between porn use in young men and ED, anorgamsia, low sexual desire, delayed ejaculation and lower brain activation to sexual images.

1) "Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014)" - This fMRI study by Cambridge University found sensitization in porn addicts which mirrored sensitization in drug addicts. It also found that porn addicts fit the accepted addiction model of wanting "it" more, but not liking "it" more. The researchers also reported that 60% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections/arousal with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn. From the study:

"CSB subjects reported that as a result of excessive use of sexually explicit materials..... experienced diminished libido or erectile function specifically in physical relationships with women (although not in relationship to the sexually explicit material)"

"Compared to healthy volunteers, CSB subjects had greater subjective sexual desire or wanting to explicit cues and had greater liking scores to erotic cues, thus demonstrating a dissociation between wanting and liking. CSB subjects also had greater impairments of sexual arousal and erectile difficulties in intimate relationships but not with sexually explicit materials highlighting that the enhanced desire scores were specific to the explicit cues and not generalized heightened sexual desire."

2) "Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn (2014)"

A Max Planck study which found 3 significant addiction-related brain changes correlating with the amount of porn consumed. It also found that the more porn consumed correlated with less reward circuit activity in response to brief exposure (.530 second) to vanilla porn. Again, lead author Simone Kühn remarked on the uncharacteristic sluggish response to sexual stimuli seen in heavy porn users-

"That could mean that regular consumption of pornography more or less wears out your reward system."

Simone Kühn continued:

"We assume that subjects with a high porn consumption need increasing stimulation to receive the same amount of reward. That would fit perfectly the hypothesis that their reward systems need growing stimulation."

3) "Modulation of Late Positive Potentials by Sexual Images in Problem Users and Controls Inconsistent with "Porn Addiction" (2015)" - An EEG study comparing the subjects from an earlier study by the same research lab to an actual control group. The results: Compared to controls, porn addicts had less response to one-second exposure to photos of vanilla porn. The lead author, Nicole Prause, claims these results debunk porn addiction. However, these findings align perfectly with Kühn & Gallinat (2014), which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn. In other words, "porn addicts" appear to be desensitized and to need greater stimulation than non-addicts to become aroused. Three peer-reviewed papers agree with this analysis of the study.

4) "Adolescents and web porn: a new era of sexuality (2015)" - An Italian study analyzed the effects of Internet porn on high school students, co-authored by urology professor Carlo Foresta, president of the Italian Society of Reproductive Pathophysiology. The most interesting finding is that 16% of those who consume porn more than once a week report abnormally low sexual desire compared with 0% in non-consumers (and 6% for those who consume less than once a week).

5) "Patient Characteristics by Type of Hypersexuality Referral: A Quantitative Chart Review of 115 Consecutive Male Cases (2015)" - Study on men (average age 41.5) with hypersexuality disorders, such as paraphilias and chronic masturbation or adultery. 27 were classified as "avoidant masturbators," meaning they masturbated (typically with porn use) one or more hours per day or more than 7 hours per week. 71% reported sexual functioning problems, with 33% reporting delayed ejaculation.  What sexual dysfunction do 38% of the remaining men have? The study doesn't say, and the authors have publicly dismissed requests for ED rates. The two other primary choices for male 'sexual dysfunction' are ED and low libido.

6) Erectile Dysfunction, Boredom, and Hypersexuality among Coupled Men from Two European Countries (2015) - Survey reported a strong correlation between erectile dysfunction and measures of hypersexuality. The study omitted correlation data between erectile functioning and pornography use.

7) Altered Appetitive Conditioning and Neural Connectivity in Subjects With Compulsive Sexual Behavior (2016) - "Compulsive Sexual Behaviors" (CSB) means the men were porn addicts, because CSB subjects averaged nearly 20 hours of porn use per week. The controls averaged 29 minutes per week. Interestingly, 3 of the 20 CSB subjects suffered from "orgasmic-erection disorder," while none of the control subjects reported sexual problems.

8) (not peer-reviewed) Here's a popular article about an extensive analysis of comments and questions posted on MedHelp concerning erectile dysfunction. What's shocking is that 58% of the men asking for help were 24 or younger. Many suspected that internet porn could be involved in their dysfunction, as described in the results from the study -

EXCERPT: The most common phrase is “erectile dysfunction” – which is mentioned more than three times as often as any other phrase – followed by “internet porn,” “performance anxiety,” and “watching porn.” Clearly, porn is a frequently discussed subject: “I have been viewing internet pornography frequently (4 to 5 times a week) for the past 6 years,” one man writes. “I am in my mid-20s and have had a problem getting and maintaining an erection with sexual partners since my late teens when I first started looking at internet porn.”

9) Sexual Desire, not Hypersexuality, is Related to Neurophysiological Responses Elicited by Sexual Images (2013) - This EEG study was touted in the media as evidence against the existence of porn addiction. Not so. In line with the Cambridge studies, this EEG study reported greater cue-reactivity to porn correlated with less desire for partnered sex. Neither finding matched the headlines. Three peer-reviewed papers expose the truth: 1, 2, 3. Read much more.

 

Comments

I am very aware that my addiction to porn has made me insensitive to "regular" women and sex. I used to watch porn 2-4 times daily while masturbating each time of course. Incredibly it became a habit to watch porn & masturbate AGAIN immediately after the first go. In other words every session of porn includes a second session right after. It's like I couldn't get on with the day until I masturbated twice.

My goal is to not watch porn for one month (Ramadan is coming up so my faith is another reason not to fail) but I cannot imagine not masturbating that long. Considering I used to do it 2-4 times daily is it helpful to limit touching myself once a day with orgasm? Will recovering take much longer doing so?

I hear when someone wants to quit something like smoking/drinking moderation is key so it's best to start off with limiting the addiction then slowly quitting all together. What do you think of that? I must remind you I'm on the same page to not watch porn at all.

Depends on how you define reboot. If your goal is to simply stop your porn use, then stopping only porn equals success. If it's recovery from porn-induced ED, then stopping masturbation appears to be necessary.

To be honest, we have never seen anyone successfully reboot their brains while maintaining a regular masturbation schedule. (After rebooting, a schedule may work fine.) Masturbation activates cravings that often lead back to porn. Masturbation is tightly linked to porn, so "un-linking" involves stopping both.

Note that cutting back works primarily for only two addictions - caffeine and nicotine. Neither chemical interferes with functioning (may improve it), and is ingested in very specific amounts throughout the day. People get addicted to both, find their levels and stay there.

Cutting back does not work for other drugs, or pathological gambling, or food. Consuming these other addictions usually leads to escalation and right back to where you started.

This link discusses sensitization - which is the reactivation of addiction pathways by one exposure -
http://yourbrainonporn.com/why-am-i-still-noticing-a-dopamine-rush-after...

Also, read the rebooting accounts under tools for change. You will have to decide what works for you.
good luck

I've watched the 6 parts series and this one ... everything is so clear to me now and understood !.. my question : should I read the articles about ed , porn and other things before rebooting ? , aren't these two series enough to be in the picture ?

I can't thank you enough for this site !

Read rebooting. If you have ED go to the ED & Porn section and read the appropriate articles. There's more to know is this journey. Good luck,

gary

That's what I'm gonna do , God/Nature bless you Mr Gary

I can't thank you enough for this site !

I made it 11 weeks without looking at porn. I am feeling like my life is worth living again with the dopamine receptor regeneration. This week I was at home alone. I masturbated in a controlled manner for a little while and then looked at porn (not due to craving and without masturbating). I thought that since my dopamine receptors were up again, I'd have no problem with ED. Unfortunately, I still do. Manuel stimulation gets does fine, but fantasy or looking at women during daily activities alone won't do it yet. I guess when the ED stops, I'll know. I have gotten the social and dopamine benefits with much physical improvement down there. Now I guess I have to completely get rid of the sexual stimulation like I did before and just wait it out to make a complete recovery from ED.

Manuel stimulation gets does fine, but fantasy or looking at women during daily activities alone won't do it yet

If you can get a strong erection through manual stimulation then by definition you don't have ED. How old are you? Be aware - How you responded at 15 is not how you will respond in your twenties or older.

Also, addiction involves much more than dopamine. Addiction pathways will continue to weaken. I suspect you will continue to see improvements. Men write 6 months later saying they see continue to see improvements.

Please note that the Part 4 video should be:
"Erectile Dysfunction and Porn: Part 4"
instead of
"Your Brain on Porn: Porn Addiction (Part 4)"
that is, the fourth video is pointing to the part 4 of the 6 part Porn Addiction series.

Please correct it.
Thanks in advance.

I appreciate that. Its probably been that way for 2 years!!

I have always suspected my ED was caused by porn use. Something in my brain told me that, like a little bird in a dark corner crying for help.
Now that I have found this web site I knew that voice was right.
I will recover. It does not matter how long it will take, I will safe myself from this nightmere. Thank god there is someone how understood the situation and gives important information about it. They give us a fast internet connection, porn and than when we are screwed they try to sell us viagra. This is another deep abyss people can get lost without know what is really happening to them. We must inform people. thank you.. from the bottom of my heart.

Jo

Hi!

First of all, thanks so much for putting together this site - it’s an amazing resource that I think will provide hope and inspiration to many men all around the world.

I’m just starting my porn-free journey in an attempt to alleviate what I believe to be porn-induced ED and DE. I’m a little bit confused by some of the neuroscience and was hoping you could help me clear something up:

You state in your videos that dopamine is the cause of all addictions, and that too much dopamine can result in a weakened reward circuit. I want to know if this reward circuit is activity specific, or general. Do I have to reduce dopamine dependence in general, or just when it relates to porn?

I guess the crux of my question is “Will feeding my nicotine addiction affect my reboot and my ability to normalise dopamine levels in my brain?”

Forgive me if this has been explained elsewhere on the site

Thanks :)

One key concept to understand is that addiction involves more that the reward circuit, and whole lot more than dopamine down regulation. Watch the adolescent brain video to the right to understand sensitization - which is more important to ED than low dopamine.

Will feeding my nicotine addiction affect my reboot and my ability to normalise dopamine levels in my brain?”

Smokers recover from PIED. But I can't say it won't affect your reboot. That's about all I know.

good luck

 

 

Thank you for the fantastic website. I think most guys intuitively know porn is bad but when you read online that masturbation is normal, you tend to just assume that pornography is normal as well. I have a question --

Do you have any clues about how to figure when you've recovered enough to start phasing out the abstinence period?

Thank you!

It's hard to say, as there are so many factors.  Keep in mind that some guys are not completely abstinent - they have a wife or girlfriend and continue to have sex. The reboot is really your own experiment. This faq may help..or may not.

How do I know when I'm back to normal?

good luck

Hello.

I tried to have sex with my gf, but then I didn't get an erection. I perfomed oral sex to her meanwhile masturbating (thinking in other girls), then I had an erection, we have sex during about 15 seconds ... ya... premature ejaculation.

Firstly, I thought it was ansiety or nervous (it is a new girfriend). But then I noticed that there is no morning wood and I can t have an erection without fantasying.

Should I reboot?

Hello, As I was masturbating since 13-14 years on first on sex stories for many years and then I got addicted to porn videos till one week before when I watched a video n then after watching that video I had full erection but I didn't go for orgasm but after half hour later I tried to masturbate without porn or fantasy I found I just was 30 or 40% erect when I orgasmed then I was worried n tried to see something on internet about this so I came on this is sight n found my answers. so from the same day I stopped porn or any other way which can lead me to get to porn n till bow this n second week I have not seen anything, but I always fantasize about real woman's on whom I have crush upon but I don't masturbate but firmly touch my penis with my finger(slightly) n get 50-80% erection n whenever I chat or speak on phone with my gf ( i never can cuddle her nor can kiss or have sex with her until we get married)I feel some moments down below but not erection. so m I rebooting properly or relapsing this is what I am thinking nowadays.....so please help me out n tell me what to do?

thanks for this nice site n a very good information.

some kinds of fantasy can slow down a guy's recovery. Is any of this relevant to your situation?  What about fantasizing during a reboot?

Good luck.

I m not gud in explaining. ....but for now I got my answer of my question which I wanted to know. as now i have kept myself away from pmo for15 dayd but on 15th night I got a wet dream will that effect in any way.....if yes what should I do?

Rebooting is about eliminating porn and porn substitutes, Wet dreams are irrelevant.

Watch Gabe Deem's video about wet dreams (and porn dreams) on RebootNation.org

without masturbation ...will that have any bad or good effect on me...

Eveyrthing is about how Internet porn is a unique supernormal stimulus. There's nothing in the videos or articles about masturbation...the name of the site is your brain on porn.

As i started rebooting.,i relapsed n started again n after i stared again i started hugging n kissing my girl friend very frequently and from the beginning i observed some pain in my lower abdomen n near my groins and around my testicles i took some antibiotics as firstly i thought i have intestinal infections which gave me relief again when i hugged n kissed my girl friend again i felt the same pain again and then i came to know about "blue balls love" So i understood what i am suffering from even after that i masturbated n then before orgasm i saw a lot of fluid (pre-cum) coming out N to confirm that i continued till orgasm n finally i was feeling good.
so here i want to know is it related to rebooting or should i consult a doctor for it or is their any other way to get rid of this pain without masturbating.

how could it be blue balls? I guess you could do the obvious - continue to ejaculate, yet not use porn.

Coz it was paining down their n after taking some medicines it was not relieving at all so i heard masturbation will ease it so i did masturbation n finally i got relieved.
As i earlier said i am suffering from PIED so i have started rebooting now i dont want to masturbate. To recover from PIED quickly i started hugging n kissing my girlfriend as this site advised. During that i found pain down there which i relieved by masturbating but my erection was better n was improving.
Now i wanted to know should i stop hugging n kissing her to avoid pain(which i think is blue balls love)or should i continue.

The most important thing you can do for PIED is be affectionate with your girfriend. Here's an faq -

What about 'blue balls' or 'lovers' nuts?'

As u said i will be affectionate to her n will do same until i get rid of this PIED N will relieve the pain in anyway i can for which masturbation will b last option.
Anyways thanks for helping me out...this site means a lot for me..give regards to the founder and the guys who made it useful..love u ol

Whem i tried to have sex with my gf i had no erection , i thought bevause ive masturbated alot somehow in the prvious 2 2 or 3 month ,now ita been almost a month during my reboot ,i started to get a slight morning wood and sometimes its a full erection, but also sometimes i ne turned on but it is slight not so hard amd if its hard it doesnt last ...i still didnt see the doctor ...id like to know if i can figure out the problem amd fix it

Does anyone know if these video are available to buy. I would love to by these on DVD to watch. My Kaspersky security Setting want allow me watch or download videos (my personal choice so I can heal my mind. I have watched bits and pieces of the video down the internetcafe but my money runs out so miss a lot of it.

The owner of the internet café liked the video so much, he has set it as default so whenever a person tries to sneak a peek at something explicit up pops your brain on porn.

Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Internet P and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?

only available on youtube. Sorry.