START HERE: Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

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  • YBOP suggests you see a competent medical professional to rule out psychological issues, dietary deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or other organic causes.
  1. You should also read Rebooting Basics.
  2. Many experts are starting to recognize this recent phenomenon. See Porn-Induced ED in the Media: Primarily Experts which contains articles, blog posts, and radio & TV interviews.
  3. Watch this 13 minute video blog - Porn-Induced ED Reboot Advice Vlog: Gabe Deem (9 months to have sex, 15 months to get an erection by my own touch alone)

Update: 60% of compulsive porn users in this brain scan study reported erectile dysfunction - Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014). From the study (CSB are compulsive porn users):

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) (N = 11)...

The subjects stated that porn use caused their ED. The average age was 25, yet 11 out of the 19 subjects experienced erectile dysfunction/diminished libido with partners, but not with porn.


 

MAIN ARTICLE

Are you a heavy porn user who is developing erectile dysfunction? There may be a erectile dysfunction and pornography addictionconnection between the two. Since writing our first few articles on porn-induced ED we have seen two diverging patterns of recovery:

1) A few men bounce back in a relatively short time: about 2-3 weeks. Perhaps their ED is due to mild psychological conditioning, or very high levels of masturbation (fueled by porn), or low level desensitization.

2) The vast majority of guys we encounter need 2-6 months (or longer) to fully recover. Most "long-rebooters" experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms, including the dreaded flatline. It's likely that men in this group have experienced addiction-related changes that reduce stimulation of the brain's erection centers. Other possible mechanisms at play include sexual conditioning, especially among young guys who started early on Internet porn

Many men cannot believe that Internet porn has caused their ED—until they stop using it and recover completely. Instead, men tend to assume their ED with a sexual partner is caused by anxiety, low testosterone, the fact the person is not their "type," or lifestyle factors such as smoking or poor diet. If you are under 40, and not on specific medications, and don't have a serious medical or psychological condition, the causes of your copulatory ED are almost certainly performance anxiety or Internet porn—or a combination of the two.

Note: We use the term porn-induced sexual dysfunction because porn-related performance problems encompass far more than just ED (see the list below). However, porn-induced erectile dysfunction has emerged as the most common term with PIED as the favored acronym.


 

Wondering if your problem is porn-related?

The first bit of advice is to see a good doctor to rule out any medical abnormality. If you have done so, try this simple test. It will help to distinguish between porn-induced ED and performance anxiety-induced ED (the most common diagnosis):

  1. On one occasion masturbate to your favorite porn (or simply remember what it was like).
  2. On another masturbate with no porn/porn fantasy. Try masturbating to sensation only (no fantasy), with the same speed and pressure you would experience during intercourse.

Compare one and two: quality of your erection, the time it took to ejaculate (if you can). A healthy young man should have no trouble attaining a full erection and masturbating to orgasm without porn or porn fantasy.

  • If you have a strong erection on #1, but erectile dysfunction on #2, then you likely have porn-induced ED.
  • If #2 is strong and solid, but you have trouble with a real partner, then you likely have anxiety-induced ED
  • If you have problems during both 1 & 2, you may have severe porn-induced ED, or an organic problem. When in doubt, see a good doctor.

The above test is helpful to differentiate porn-induced ED from performance anxiety: You cannot have anxiety with your own hand. However, it cannot always differentiate between organic ED (hormonal, structural) and severe porn-induced ED - as many men with porn-induced ED cannot maintain an erection even with porn. This test cannot assess if your ED arises from severe psychological issues such as clinical depression. Nor is the above test meant to assess whether you have recovered from porn-induced ED or not. (See How do I know when I'm back to normal?).

Other symptoms may be associated with porn-induced brain changes:

  • Difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner (delayed ejaculation)
  • Experiencing greater sexual excitement using porn than with a partner
  • Decreasing sensitivity of penis
  • Ejaculating when you are only partly erect, or getting totally erect only as you climax
  • Needing to fantasize to maintain erection or interest in sexual partner
  • Earlier genres of porn are no longer "exciting"
  • Declining sexual arousal with a sexual partner(s)
  • Losing erection while attempting penetration
  • Can't maintain erection or ejaculate with oral sex

 

Internet porn use can cause ED;  "excessive masturbation" or "sexual exhaustion" do not.

Internet porn (or rather its constant novelty) is the cause of chronic porn-related ED. Excessive ejaculation and "sexual exhaustion" are not. I've never heard of masturbation causing chronic ED in healthy young men, unless one employs a serious "death grip" or traumatic masturbation techniques. Another myth is that masturbation or orgasm depletes testosterone leading to what many call "sexual exhaustion." It's clear that Porn-induced ED has absolutely nothing to do with blood testosterone levels. (See: Any connection between orgasm, masturbation, and testosterone levels?)  A few websites declare that "over-masturbation" leads to sexual exhaustion and present convoluted physiology to convince the reader. I address these claims in - Isn't my ED caused by 'sexual exhaustion?'

On the other hand, it's possible that masturbation and orgasm could play an indirect role in porn-induced ED. Frequent ejaculation in animals leads to several brain changes that inhibit dopamine, and thus libido, for several days. Under normal circumstances, sexual satiety (defined differently for each species) leads to males taking a time out from sexual activity. Sexually satiated porn users may override these inhibitory mechanisms by escalating to new genres of porn, or spending more time watching. Using porn to push past "I'm done" signals may lead to the accumulation of DeltaFosB. Without the lure of Internet porn, how many guys would just give it a rest? For more see: Does Frequent Ejaculation Cause A Hangover?

Why now? How different is Internet porn of today from porn of the past? We know of a healthy young man who did not masturbate, but developed ED by just watching Internet porn. His schedule was to watch porn every day, but to masturbate only once every ten days. Others have developed ED by edging to porn, while only orgasming every few months.

Internet porn, with or without penile stimulation, keeps dopamine surging. Continued highspeed porn use, not masturbation, is what causes tolerance and escalation to more stimulating genres. Porn is what allows you to override your natural sexual satiation mechanisms and continue to masturbate or edge.

One guy comparing himself to his buddy:

My friend masturbates like 10-15 times a day. Not even exaggerating. He seriously has an addiction, but he thinks its normal. He also doesn't have Internet access, so he never really gets to watch porn either. And he's never had a problem keeping it up in bed. On the other hand, I can't remember the last time I masturbated without looking at porn. But I might masturbate only 4-5 times a week on average. And I have tremendous issues staying hard. At first I thought it was nerves, but after getting more acclimated with sex, I actually found sex to be tiring and boring. Unless the girl was deepthroating me and telling me to choke her, I don't really find sex to be all that great. I'm very desensitized to the female anatomy.

Strictly speaking, you don't have to be watching porn to develop ED:

I know with me I think I got so used to being almost hypnotized by girls online and masturbation, that real girls that I had to interact with in bed just threw me off and I couldn't perform. I'm not even talking about porn, I don't use porn but still look at clothed pictures of women online. Like a lot of other people here, I have relapsed plenty of times. I personally think it DOES have to be all or nothing, no 'little bit here and there.' You may not relapse if you start looking at girls online again, but I'm sure it slows down your reboot. I thought the same thing, that if I look just a little bit every once in awhile it would cumulatively fix me, it didn't.

In the last 20 years, I used to masturbate an average of more than once a day. I was never into porn. And yet, I experience all the symptoms that you guys do.

The problem isn't in your penis, so Viagra won't stop the deterioration even if it can temporarily mask the problem. The solution for PIED is to reboot your brain. For a psychiatrist's explanation of what's going on, here's an excerpt from The Brain That Changes Itself by psychiatrist Norman Doidge.

During the mid- to late 1990s, when the Internet was growing rapidly and pornography was exploding on it, I treated or assessed a number of men who all had essentially the same story. ... They reported increasing difficulty in being turned on by their actual sexual partners, spouses or girlfriends, though they still considered them objectively attractive. When I asked if this phenomenon had any relationship to viewing pornography, they answered that it initially helped them get more excited during sex but over time had the opposite effect. Now, instead of using their senses to enjoy being in bed, in the present, with their partners, lovemaking increasingly required them to fantasize that they were part of a porn script.

Lately we have seen more females describing porn-induced sexual problems:

Porn causing ED in Men/Causing loss of sex drive in women

I am female and I used to watch porn all the time. Mainly because my boyfriend could not get turned on without watching porn first. So he had me watch it with him.For a long time I could not get turned on without watching porn first and then having sex or masturbating. After a while I could not get turned on at all without porn and I could get an orgasm only when I masturbated, but not from sex. I have talked to female friends and some of them can not orgasm from sex but they can when they watch porn. So this does not only affect guys it affect women also.
 


 

What's happening in the brain to cause chronic ED?

Only the Cambridge study has described ED or low libido as being related to compulsive porn use, and they found strong evidence of sensitization. That is, compulsive porn users reward circuits light up far more that controls when viewing porn.  The discrepancy between masturbating to online porn and real sex plays a huge role. Real sex is touching, being touched, smells, pheromones, connecting and interacting with a person. Internet porn is 2-D voyeurism, clicking a mouse, searching, multiple tabs, while only interacting with your hand. To use a sports analogy, what event has your brain been training for? Besides addiction-related brain changes, years of Internet porn can create a mismatch between what your brain expects, and what you actually encounter during real sex.

I suspect that a combination of the following leads to porn-induced sexual dysfunction:

  1. Brain rewiring or sensitization to Internet porn. In essence, it's wiring (or rewiring) one's sex response to 2D screens and voyeurism. Watch Adolescent Brain Meets Highspeed Internet Porn and listen to these radio shows to understand rewiring & escalation: Porn, escalation, tolerance and morphing sexual tastes (show #16) and Porn, sexual conditioning and the adolescent brain (show #17). Rewiring can manifest as escalation to genres that don't match your original sexual tastes. Wiring your sexual response to Internet porn before wiring to real partners (starting early with porn) is a major factor in long reboots for young guys.
  2. Reward circuitry desensitization.This Max Planck study reported desensitization even in moderate porn users.
  3. Alteration of the hypothalamus sexual centers, which does not occur in other addictions.
  4. Conditioning to a certain level of visual and auditory stimuli, along with the novelty and rapid-fire delivery system.
  5. Death grip and rapid jerking (multiple levels of nervous-system adaptation).
  6. Psychological aspects of using Internet porn (hard to quantify).

Other "Psychology Today" posts, which address this phenomenon:

Both sexual desire and erections run on dopamine from the brain's reward circuitry. The dopamine-producing nerve cells in the reward circuitry activate the sexual (libido) centers of the hypothalamus, which in turn activate the erection centers in the spinal cord, which send nerve impulses to the genitalia.

Logic dictates that desensitization (decline in dopamine signaling) of the reward circuit has occurred in men with porn-induced ED. Just as important is the process of sensitization, which is formation of Pavlovian addiction pathways for Internet porn. Desensitization is a general dialing down for all pleasure seeking activities, while sensitization ramps up the reward circuit for only one stimulus: your addiction.

Although all rewards intertwine into overlapping circuits, each natural reward (food, water, love and sex) has its own devoted micro-circuits. With porn-induced ED, I suspect that male sexual centers (hypothalamus) and limbic circuits devoted to sexuality are also affected. Erections require adequate dopamine in the reward circuit and the male sexual centers. Could it be that years of overstimulation down-regulate dopamine signaling and rewire innate sexual circuits? ED in healthy young men, which takes months to reverse, suggests this is likely.

What is understandably confusing is that guys can get an itch to masturbate while they are experiencing erectile problems. The urge to jerk off is similar as the urge to eat junk food when you are obese. It's an addiction response to 1) reduced dopamine signaling which leaves you unsatisfied, plus 2) sensitized addiction pathways bombarding the reward circuit with "do it" messages. In a guy with porn-induced ED, this buzzing of your reward circuit isn't true libido; it's a cue-induced, drug-like craving.

To develop porn-induced ED, heavy porn users have spent years overriding their normal mechanisms. Once porn users with ED stop, they generally experience a period of no libido and “dead dick.” They are now experiencing their true libido, minus the 'drug.' For years, they have simply ignored their true libido (when it signaled, "Enough!"). The urge to use was an urge triggered by cues for their addiction.

Is an obese person who finished a large meal 2 hours ago truly hungry? No. Would a severely overweight person eat as many calories if she had only a hunter-gather diet of wild game, nuts and occasional berries? Of course not. When porn users remove the superstimulus (Internet porn) they discover their true libido, which then gradually returns to normal.

For first-hand accounts of erectile dysfunction recovery see the links here. Also see these Rebooting Accounts as they describe the recovery process, including ED. The "Benefits" PDF document contains many mini-self-reports, and we update it periodically.

Here's a pep talk from a guy who recovered to another guy who, 15 days into recovery, had "absolutely no sex drive or erections":

This is normal. Hang in there. You probably are getting night erections (and morning erections) you just don't realise. If you wake up to an alarm, try waking up naturally. This will make sure you wake up just after the REM cycle and you'll still have your nocturnal wood. This might restore some faith in your penis. Best thing you can do though is give it time. Your body is amazingly adaptable and will restore balance eventually.


 

What do guys who successfully recover suggest?

  • Always keep in mind that about porn-induced ED is on a spectrum. You must judge what's right for you based on your history and current symptoms. Be flexible in your approach.
  1. From all reports, the fastest and easiest recovery path is elimination of all artificial sexual stimulation, including porn and porn fantasy, chat rooms, erotic stories, etc. See - What stimuli must I avoid during my reboot?
  2. Most guys need to temporarily eliminate, or drastically reduce the frequency masturbation and orgasms.
  3. It's important to rewire your sexual response to real life partners. See Do I have to have sex in order to rewire?

Number one means exactly what is says, which includes surfing dating sites or Facebook for images, or YouTube videos, or home made videos. It's not so much content as whether you are mimicking the behaviors that wired your brain to need novel, artificial stimulation.

Number two is the most controversial. Logic indicates that you need only eliminate porn to regain erectile health. However, experience of successful rebooters tells a different story. Nearly all of the men who recovered from porn-induced ED - and posted rebooting accounts - temporarily eliminated masturbation and drastically reduced frequency of orgasms (even with a partner).

  • Key point: Our information comes from those who have posted rebooting accounts. There may be many guys who easily recover while continuing to regularly orgasm
  • Key point 2: Longer is not necessarily better, when it comes to complete abstinence from ejaculation. You need to be flexible and monitor the effects of orgasm as you progress in your reboot.

Think of it this way - if you have porn-induced ED, your brain is saying: "I can't do this anymore." Understand that your urge to masturbate may not be true libido - it may arise from addiction-related brain changes. If you need porn to masturbate, or have a partially erect penis when you do, you are not horny or in need of "release." You are addicted and under the influence of loud signals (cravings) to seek a temporary dopamine high.

Those who continue to regularly masturbate and orgasm during their recovery tend to become frustrated at their lack of progress and give up. Since we have very little data on those who continue to orgasm, we can only report the success stories we have.

That said, a few men do continue to masturbate or have orgasms with a partner and make decent progress. What makes these guys different? Nearly all started late on Internet porn and had a steady diet of sex or masturbation to fantasy for years before Internet porn. For example:

I'm married, like you. I gave up the P and the M...but not the O's with my lovely wife. We had regular sex throughout my reboot. I still healed just fine. I no longer suffer from ED or PE at all, and my sex life is getting better all the time.

I'd never say my way is the only way. I just know it worked for me. And I ALSO think that I might have healed faster if I had abstained from the O's with my woman for a while...though I will never be sure. In my mind, it was a tradeoff I was willing to make. And it worked out well.

Another way to view porn-induced ED: Sometimes healing involves more than just removing the original cause of the problem. If you break your leg in three places, it takes more to heal than simply avoiding further accidents. You need to cast, immobilize, and not put stress on that leg until the bone is strong. Sexual contact is great, but ejaculation and staying close to the edge of ejaculation can slow your progress.

And when the leg starts to feel better you don't test it by playing tackle football. In other words, having several orgasms in a row, following months of rebooting, may set you back. Ease into ejaculation. Although you may be functioning OK, most guys report continued progress for months. Continued healing is the norm.

  • Caveat: All the above is based on the current feedback given to us by successful rebooters. It is subject to change.
  • Some guys with porn-induced ED need to eventually orgasm in order to jump-start their brains after a reboot or extended flatline.

YBOP is NOT an anti-masturbation website. I need to shout this, because I've read this nonsense on many forums, where discussions over Internet porn causing ED quickly devolve into pro/con masturbation debates. The name of the site is "Your Brain On Porn." Confusion occurs because: 1) this generation sees masturbation and porn use as synonymous, 2) men who recover best from ED do so by also eliminating masturbation/orgasm (temporarily). It's real simple: few men heal porn-induced ED while continuing on a regular masturbation schedule. We do not advocate abstinence as a permanent lifestyle.

The last thing you want to do is to become so "anal" that you never attempt to give up porn. Check out this thread on The Orgasm Reboot, and this thread on a cult being developed around masturbation being unhealthy. The take away from both threads is that guys quit trying because they believe that rebooting is all or none. This is complete nonsense. If you fall back into porn use, you have not lost all your gains. Simply begin the process again.

Number three, rewiring to the real deal (sex with humans), may be the key, especially for young men who grew up using Internet porn. (See Adolescent Brain Meets Highspeed Internet Porn) This does not mean that you need to have sex to "rewire." In fact, slowly getting to know someone is probably the best path. Snuggling, smooching, hanging out, whatever you can do to connect sexual arousal and affection to a real person, may be essential to your recovery. Said one young guy who recoverd from PIED:

Rewiring is just as important as avoiding porn. While it appears that a certain amount of time away from orgasm is needed, this number is not as great as most people think it is.

You see, a common mistake is that people try and tackle the reboot as if it's two separate pieces: reboot, THEN rewire. It's not. You can start rewiring whenever you want. The more rewiring you do, the faster you'll be cured of ED. Maybe you need to reduce or eliminate orgasm but that doesn't mean you can't rewire at all.

Sex can be beneficial, although orgasm can cause cravings, and seems to slow ED recovery. Some guys suggest gentle intercourse with no ejaculation, while others mix in ejaculation. If you have ED and decide to orgasm regularly, do not compare yourself to rebooting accounts where guys abstained from orgasm. If you are trying to reboot and have sex with a partner see the following FAQs:

Bottom line:

  1. Eliminate all artificial sexual stimuli: porn, chat rooms, erotic stories, surfing for pictures, etc.
  2. Contact with a partner may be essential. It doesn't have to be sexual intercourse, but there is nothing wrong with that
  3. Orgasms can slow the process.
  4. There comes a point in the process where you need to rewire to real partners or consider masturbation.

 

The process

The return to full erectile health can take 2 - 6 months or longer, so be patient. For more, see How long will it take to recover from Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction? Be aware that men report continued improvement long after their initial reboot. Since 2010 a disturbing pattern has emerged: Young men who have been using Internet porn since they began masturbating are requiring a longer recovery period. See the following links:

In other words, older men who spent years climaxing before delving into highspeed Internet porn recover faster. The older men used their imaginations to wire to real girls, whereas, younger guys have spent years wiring to computer screens and whatever. When it comes to porn-induced ED, waiting and waiting may not be sufficient. As mentioned above, young guys may need to rewire their sexual circuits to flesh and blood humans. This FAQ has many suggestions for those who reboots are taking a long time - Started on Internet porn and my reboot (Erectile Dysfunction) is taking too long.

Some men who have experienced a decline in their sexual responsiveness (without realizing its true cause) are afraid that avoiding masturbation and porn will make their libido disappear completely. It may disappear at first. The process of returning to full erectile strength often involves a decline before it gets better. See HELP! I quit porn, but my potency, genital size, and/or libido are decreasing (Flat-Line)

However, as their brains come back into balance, people tend to become more sensitive and sexually responsive, not less. People also notice that little things turn them on, such as a mere smile from a real woman.


 

What's normal?

Porn-related erectile dysfunction, copulatory impotence (can get erect with today's porn, but not with partner) and delayed ejaculation are becoming more and more common, probably due to the extreme stimulation of the brain inherent in Internet porn. (See: He’s Just Not That Into Anyone.) Yet these conditions are certainly not "normal" in young men.

Here are signs that you are coming back to normal. Said one guy,

I think a sign that your equipment will start to work right, is when you see sexual images or semi-sexual images of folks on TV, and you feel tinglings in your brain, that's a sign you are starting to re-sensitize yourself to normal.

Please note: People here often recover their erectile health and can have healthy sex with a partner. However, recovery does not mean you will be able to go back to using porn without desensitizing your brain anew. As one forum member said:

My story began with porn-related ED: going soft inside a woman or after changing positions. Once I hit 3-4 weeks, my morning and random erections became very hard and frequent. I thought I must "test" myself to make sure everything is working. Trust me when I say, "There is no need to test; it is indeed working." I tested myself and ended up relapsing. First it was MO, then PMO... then the vicious cycle began all over again.


 

My response to those who doubt the existence of PIED

In 2011, the head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS) stated that porn-induced ED exists. SIAMS is the largest urology organization in Italy. More important, their president reports that the clinic he's part of cures the disorder by having guys stop porn use for 2-3 months. For the record, we were writing articles about porn-induced ED years before SIAMS statements appeared. Since 2011 many articles quoting experts have been published since SIAMS statement. See Porn-Induced ED in the Media

Second, recent studies show a dramatic increase in ED rates among young men.

Third, naysayers suggest that we need "peer-reviewed studies" to confirm the existence of porn-related ED before we can say it exists. However, it's painfully obvious that no researcher can conduct a study where one group of young healthy men use Internet porn for 10 years, and a comparable control group does not, with erectile function assessed through masturbation to sensation only (no porn). In other words, it may be that the only experiment possible is well under way - with thousands of results now reported.

Update: First peer-reviewed study to ask the question finds porn-induced ED. About 60% of compulsive porn users reported erectile dysfunction in this brain scan study - Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014). From the study (CSB are compulsive porn users):

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) (N = 11)...

The subjects stated that porn use caused their ED. The average age was 25, yet 11 out of the 19 subjects experienced erectile dysfunction/diminished libido with partners, but not with porn.

THE EXPERIMENT - "UNEXPLAINED CHRONIC ED IN YOUNG MEN AND ALTERATION OF A SINGLE COMMON VARIABLE"

This ongoing experiment examining porn-induced ED is valid, reproducible, and empirical.

The Subjects:

  1. Thousands of otherwise healthy young men (early 20s at the moment...) with only one variable in common: years of masturbation to Internet porn.
  2. The subjects differ in backgrounds, ethnicity, diets, exercise regimens, religious beliefs, moral beliefs, country of origin, education, economic status, on and on.
  3. These young men cannot achieve an erection without porn use, and gradually, some can no longer achieve an erection with porn use.
  4. Many have seen multiple health-care practitioners and most have tried a number of approaches to cure their copulatory ED with no results.
  5. Most state that they cannot believe that porn use could have caused ED. Some are very skeptical prior to starting their experiment of giving up masturbation to porn.
  6. The cause of their ED was not performance anxiety as they failed to achieve full erections while attempting to masturbate without porn (How do I know if my ED is porn-related? (TEST)

The regimen:

  1. All eliminate porn use.
  2. Most (but not all) temporarily eliminate, or drastically reduce, the frequency of orgasms.

The results:

Nearly every subject reports a similar constellation of physical and psychological symptoms when they stop porn use/masturbation, a similar time-frame for the appearance of symptoms such as agitation, cravings, complete loss of libido, gradual recovery, and need 2-6 months (or longer) to regain erectile function. This suggests a very specific set of physical brain changes, and not a psychological "issue." The usual pattern of recovery is as follows:

  1. Subjects experience varying withdrawal symptoms that parallel drug/alcohol withdrawal, such as cravings, anxiety, lethargy, depression, brain fog, sleeping abnormalities, restlessness, agitation, aches, pains, etc.
  2. Within 1-2 weeks, most subjects experience what is called "the flatline": low libido, perceived changes in genital sensation or size.
  3. The flatline slowly abates and libido gradually increases, morning erections and spontaneous erections often show up, attraction to real partners increases, etc.
  4. Lengths of full recovery generally vary from a few weeks to 12 months. Most are in the 2-6 months range for chronic, longstanding ED.

Summary:

Young healthy men, with unexplained ED and only one variable in common (Internet porn use), attempt multiple regimens and treatments with no success. The subjects remove the one variable they have in common and almost all experience the same results: remission of their medical condition.

That's an experiment with unequivocal results. This is empirical evidence.

Bottom line:

I have yet to see one naysayer address the ACTUAL FACTS as described. In debating the existence of porn-induced ED, doubters go no further than this point:

  • Some guys who watch Internet porn develop ED - so - "correlation does not equal causation."

They refuse to venture into the rest of the facts, such as:

  1. All subjects had been using porn for years with no problems getting erections early on.
  2. Few report any moral or religious misgivings, or guilt, surrounding their porn use.
  3. Subjects experienced a gradual decline is sexual function, often over the course of years.
  4. Many subjects had seen medical professionals, and had tried various therapies or regimens, with no success.
  5. When they abstained, most subjects experienced similar psychological and physical symptoms, which mimic withdrawal from a substance addiction.
  6. The clincher: All had only one variable in common. When that single variable was removed (masturbation to porn) - nearly all regained erectile health.  (If they did not regain erectile health and libido, the cause of their ED was likely not porn use.)
  7. Men who regain erectile health and then return to regular porn use, experience a return of ED, once again settling the issue of causation.

Comments

This morning I dreamed I was actually having intercourse with someone. I've come close in my dreamstate but this is the first time in my life I've ever actually had intercourse in a dream. Regrettably the alarm went off just as this was getting interesting. I have been having morning wood on a pretty regular basis too.

Also, regrettably I acted out with PMO today. I have been trying not to feel ashamed of myself for the failing but it is hard not to.

I noticed as a result of this article that is sometimes difficult to get an erection when making love with my wife....I may well be suffering some ED myself.

I am recommitting myself to abstinence and healing.

with what you describe. It's really simple. If you can get better erections for porn, than you can for the real thing, then your brain has changed. As you know, shame is counterproductive, and relapse is the norm. Just start again. The dream probably activated your sensitized porn pathways. No big deal.

Hy, I'm a 25 years old male and i found this website 2 months a go, i watched the videos about how porn induced ED works an also read some articles and testimonials of recovered users on the site. Since then i have never watched porn or masturbated, I used to PMO from age 15 or less i think.
So now after 2 months i don't thing i made too much progres with the ED recovery I see girls and i find them atractive but i get no erection like i used to, I have some weak erections at night or in the morning but not strong erections and also, i feel my libido is still verry weak. I read here that it takes 2-3 moths to recover, but i'm in my 3rd month and i don't see much progress. any advice for me?

It's true that some men need longer - maybe 90-120 days - and still don't realize they have recovered until they attempt to masturbate or have sex with a partner. It's possible, you need more time - a lot of men do. Recovery can be quite sudden for some. Here's one example - http://yourbrainonporn.com/week-7-of-no-pmo

Or you may need a real life scenario to prompt your libido. In addition, at age 25, don't expect libido or spontaneous erections to be like a 15 year old. However, morning or night erections should be strong when they occur.

I would also ecourage you to see a urologist to rule out any medical condition, such as low testosterone.

Keep us updated, and feel free to ask more questions.

  • [90 days no PMO, severe long-term ED] This is the first time I've had intercourse without fantasizing about something else. Basically focusing on my wife is a turn on! I might have expected too much of myself in the past. I assumed that I should be up and ready to go at a second's notice, no matter what. I expected to get a boner every time I looked at a beautiful woman. Now my expectation is to eventually get erect if I'm relaxed in the presence of a woman I like (i.e. my wife).

    On the first night, it wasn't until I started cuddling with my wife that my erection emerged. I'm now starting to "feel" my libido a little bit throughout the day. I believe I'm cured, and I think my problem was a mixture of performance anxiety and too much masturbation. If 4 days of intercourse in a row with my wife don't convince me that my libido is okay, what will?

It has been two weeks since my ed started. I was on a one week trip with no access to internet and I masturbated once without fantasy and porn. I remember my penis not being as hard with just sensations. During the trip my libido was raging and I was horny all the time. When I returned I started experiencing low libido and ed. Even when I watched porn my libido didn't return. I started to experience things similar to the people who stopped porn: unstable libido, weak erections, depression, and HOCD. I am 15, I started porn two years ago, and have been masturbating for about 10 months. I used to watch porn daily, but I held the masturbation a little(5 times a week)

You say " If you are a heavy porn user " . well , I'm not sure if I'm a heavy porn user ! , I can spend nearly two weeks without porn , but then I have this unstoppable desire to watch porn and I do , I watch porn for like three to six times and then I " decide" to stop again , during the period that I spend without porn I masturbate by my self using fantasy , but when it comes to real sex with a real partner I have this strange low libido , although I'm horny before meeting , but just before sex sometimes I have Ed , and a fear of being cold and not able to get it up ....sometimes I feel that I'm attached to some porn scripts that I prefered !

I have the strength continue this journey of healing , but I want to be sure that my problem of ED is related to porn , and not just anxiety or over-thinking , or maybe something else!

please answer me soon

I can't thank you enough for this site !

I must add that it's true that recently I've reduced watching porn , but when I was a teenager I grew up on porn habit , I spent years on porn when I was a student , but now I'm 27 and it's been a year since I reduced porn in my life , I guess my ED is still related to porn , right ?

sorry for confusion !

I can't thank you enough for this site !

However, how's your erection when you masturbate with no porn and no fantasy - only sensation?

I fantasize myself having sex with someone , if what you mean by using only sensation is using only the effect of my hand and the movement ... Then I guess I rarely did that ! , to imagine myself in a sexual position ( not porn scenes ) is necessary ! , I'm gonna start rebooting for sure after finishing what I should read and watch

I can't thank you enough for this site !

ED + premature ejaculation? Anyone been in the same boat?

So, as the title states. I seem to suffer from both ED and premature ejaculation. When I would begin to get it on with a lady once I had an erection I would ejaculate very quickly (like 10-15 sec). I'm on the nofap wagon to hopefully eliminate the ED but I'm not so sure about the premature ejaculation. When I did masturbate it would be bedtime so I would try to finish as quickly as possible so I could go to sleep. I think this coupled with nervousness with a girl is what is ultimately responsible for the premature ejaculation. Has anyone been through this before? Any advice besides knowing that the nervousness will subside as I become more comfortable with a partner?

Forgive me if this isnt the right place to post. I would like to start to blog a bit, and I dont see the place to post or create new threads.

Anyways day 8! last time I tried this I went seven days, but my goal was 7 days. This time I don't know what my goal is. I mean personally I would like no fap ever again and just have a happy healthy sexual relationship. At this point I cant see any major benefits. At this point I am just looking for a release, and fighting urges. I have felt hungover for most the time. I want to post more but I want to start a thread to do it.

For now I was wondering how men have coped when trying to do this with a partner? I have recently reconciled with my ex-wife and I am sure a major reason for our split was my erectile dysfunction. We have had sex since our reconciliation, and it was successful. I have not had sex since my reboot. One of the reasons for my chronic fapping is that shes not there when I need her most. So I just do it and then leave her alone. But it builds resentment and as we know ED! So now here I am without fapping and I want to get off, But as of now she isn't responding. And I feel like her and I are back at square one. Should I continue to attempt to seduce her? She doesn't know about my reboot, I want to talk to her about everything but she seems unapproachable. And so now I feel resentful.

We don't have a forum, so only comments are allowed

We have an FAQ on this - Rebooting with a partner.

You can check out rebooting accounts for the men who did reboot with a partner. I strongly suggest visiting - http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/ - as the majority of the men there are rebooting because they have ED. You can start a journal there and get lots of support and advice.

Most guys drastically reduce or eliminate orgasm during their reboot - but you will get differing opinions on this.

Hello,

I am 21 years old and have been struggling with this on and off for the greater part of this year. I stopped for a while and have had a couple relapses. My confusion is, when i masturbate sometimes i only get about a 50-60% erection and can still come, and i tried experimenting by watching porn and i still only get that 50-60% erection and maybe a little harder when at the end when i come.

I've seen 2 different urologists, they ran blood samples for low T (im fine) and have ruled out any of those issues. So my questions is, is this normal to not get hard even when i experimented and watched porn? I used to always get hard when i did masturbate to porn and i do not know if its the flatline or a brain change?

Also noting: I did not start masturbating till the age of 19 (i know, strange) i actually had sex before i ever masturbated. Point being, i used to never ever have a problem getting an erection when with a female or even looking at erotic images, would get hard just thinking or looking at a girl, but my guess is that when i started the masturbation at 19 using porn videos, my brain slowly changed over a period of two years with few sexual encounters with real girls.

I am currently struggling with not watching porn, everyday feels like a year, and my confusion/worrying is that i cannot even achieve a full rock hard 100% erection even with or without pornographic material.

Thank you for any input.

So my questions is, is this normal to not get hard even when i experimented and watched porn? I used to always get hard when i did masturbate to porn and i do not know if its the flatline or a brain change?

Many guys cannot get hard with porn, but usually they had been using porn for a long time. Yes it could be the flatline.

Also noting: I did not start masturbating till the age of 19 (i know, strange) i actually had sex before i ever masturbated. Point being, i used to never ever have a problem getting an erection when with a female or even looking at erotic images, would get hard just thinking or looking at a girl, but my guess is that when i started the masturbation at 19 using porn videos, my brain slowly changed over a period of two years with few sexual encounters with real girls.

Are you saying that you did not use porn before age 19? Since you are 21 and have been dealing with this for 1 year, that means it only took one year to develop ED. This would be unusual for porn-induced ED. I'm not saying porn didn't cause this, but I would continue to explore medical causes. Did the blood tests cover other hormones, such as thyroid, prolactin, cortisol, etc.? Maybe nutritional imbalances?

 

 

No. I DID watch porn before I was 19 but never masturbated to it. For example, I would watch videos just to see hot girls, and would always be real hard, but never masturbated to those videos.

It wasn't until the age of 19 that I physically used my own hand to masturbate and orgasm (again i know, kinda strange). For example, I lost my virginity at 17 and never ever had an erectile issue. I went 4 or 5 times in a day with my first girlfriend and never thought porn could affect me. Another example, just earlier last year I had a friend with benefits and was having consistent sex and got pretty hard, but overtime matched with masturbation, slowly started to see a decline in my hardness and seemed to be developing premature ejaculation. Like I could barely go for a couple minutes without busting which was ridiculous cause i could always control it.

Overall, I think the porn matched with masturbation and orgasm has affected me but i want to be sure. I suppose i could see the urologist again and ask for every test possible to rule out everything, but otherwise, I exercise by lifting weights, i'm in very good shape, eat good, I'm 6'4'' 225 lbs. cut (just saying, not bragging at all) and had an injury to my lower back. 2 bulging discs to be exact. I asked the spinal doctor if it was affecting my impotence and he said that it would have to be SUPER compressed and tight for any ED to take place.

But inside, i'm struggling here and i don't want to lead a sexless bonerless life. Literally two years ago, two years, at 19 I was pitching tents in my college classes daydreaming and fantasizing without any material needed!! I pray it's just the porn that has caused this, but that's why i decided to post, to get any advice/input i could because it's something i cannot get off my mind and worry about daily.

I appreciate your reply and input.

Having read sufficient articles on this web-site to wish to delete all the porn videos from my phone - I decided to write a poem about it.

The vulgar girl has left my screen,
the one who with her two boyfriends could be quite obscene.
She used to tease me from within my phone,
now it is empty and I am alone.

Between them they never did what I'd want to do,
but I was obsessed and wanted to view.
She sucked away my inner life,
while with my hand I'd crafty swipe.

Real girls never matched her heights,
her unnatural blonde hair and fishnet tights.
She had a longing horny look in her eyes,
yet something within was wanting to die.

I ripped her off from Redtube,
selecting her because I liked the way she moved.
I had an app to view her,
but neither of us could care.

She's gone now, she was wiped yesterday,
her physical memory cleanly flushed away.
One day a real girl will excite me,
and from her grip I will be free.

I am so happy I found this site. I have been watching porn since I was 17-18 now 34, I gradually falled in to this category. One long distance relationship with cam 2 cam sex also made it worse as she was the best sex ever in real and I was yearning for it. So young people, this stuff is real. Just one question, I am in my no porn no masturbation life style, this is the 5th day. Sexting with this ex who is still far and exchanging some photos even without masturbation , do you think this is against the principles of rebooting?

no no no

Sexting with this ex who is still far and exchanging some photos even without masturbation , do you think this is against the principles of rebooting?

A common question, but I don't have an answer.

 

Hey guys,

I am 22 years old and 8 days into my reboot. My story is similar to most of the young guys on here. I discovered porn at an early age and started masturbating to it when I was about 15. Over the course of my high school years I had lost my erection at times and I accounted for it by having drank, being nervous, or just accepting that it happens to every guy sometimes. I previously had a girlfriend and I would always want to have sex and had no problem getting hard no matter what. This past year is what changed my perspective completely as I frequently had brought girls back to my room and simply couldn't get it up. It came to the point where I would do anything to have that ability back, especially as I am in my senior year of college and I fear my opportunities may significantly drop once I'm out.

I finally decided to reboot and so far I am fine without porn and masturbation. Currently I am in the flatlining stage and it is miserable! I am limp no matter what, even when I find myself with a girl and wanting to do stuff, I realize I can't. One of the characteristics of flatlining is having a lack of libido. This is true, however I am constantly wanting to have sex, only I really don't feel any physical desire to if that makes any sense to anyone who's been through this before.

I am studying abroad this semester in Australia and of course my first week here I met a girl I like. Insanely, I am finding myself terrified that she will want to have sex before my ED is gone. I am struggling to remain patient. I don't want the embarrassment of failing my first time with her because I am almost sure this will be more than a one-time thing. I think I can wait a month at least, but I am honestly contemplating getting a prescription to viagra to help me before I can be officially over this. Does anyone know how taking ed drugs while I have this condition works? Will it be a setback for my recovery? I'd greatly appreciate your advice.