Is online PORN wrecking your sex life? Sexpert Dr Harry Fisch says explicit images are like 'fast food' and reveals how they destroy your libido

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  • Dr Harry Fisch is an expert on sexual behaviour and a TV doctor
  • His book, The New Naked, reveals why sex lives are suffering
  • A major reason is spending too much time looking at porn
  • Says porn addiction is becoming an increasingly common problem

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Porn has never been more prevalent. Easily accessed online, the adult entertainment industry has been blamed for everything from unrealistic expectations in bed to the depraved behaviour of killers such as Vincent Tabak.

Now porn is in the firing line of sexual health specialist and TV personality Dr Harry Fisch, who in his latest book, The New Naked, claims watching too much is making sex lives suffer.

In this exclusive extract, he reveals why porn is the sexual equivalent of fast food and explains what to do if your partner likes it a little bit too much.

'Watching porn and masturbating is the sexual equivalent of fast food. It’s instant gratification, and it’s fine once in a while when you’re craving some French fries or nachos smothered in that fake orange cheese goop, but for nourishment? Forget about it. 

Like many other things that are bad for us yet can sure taste good in the moment, pornography can start out as a harmless, once-in-a-while indulgence.

But for a lot of men, it can be surprisingly easy to get sucked into the vortex of a true addiction to porn that will be hazardous to his health, both physically and emotionally, without even knowing it.

That’s why porn addiction is the number one issue that sex therapists deal with.

Countless experts have discussed the shocking amount of porn consumed in this country but here’s the thing I have yet to hear any of them talk about: For the overwhelming majority of men who watch a lot of porn, it creates unique sexual performance problems. 

Yes, the very thing that is supposed to stimulate and arouse men (or women) sexually can actually destroy their overall libido and performance.

So why isn’t anyone talking about the Effect on Sexual Performance--the ESP—aspect of porn? They’re discussing why a guy watches it--and not what happens to his penis when he watches.

I can tell how much porn a man is watching as soon as he starts talking candidly to me about any sexual dysfunction he has.

When a man chronically watches porn and gets off on it, or watches porn with his hands on himself so he can masturbate at the same time (which is what usually happens), the sensory stimulation he gets from the virtual world makes it much more difficult for him to get aroused, stay aroused, and be happily aroused by the real, live woman in his life.

 
Not good: Too much porn can also have a negative effect on male arousal according to Dr Fisch

Not good: Too much porn can also have a negative effect on male arousal according to Dr Fisch

ARE YOU MARRIED TO A PORN ADDICT? TAKE THIS QUIZ AND FIND OUT:

Every addict is different but there are certain behaviours that would suggest porn addiction. If you answer yes to any of these, it might be time for a heart-to-heart.

  • Is he asking for rougher sex or more unusual positions? 
  • Is he suffering from any ejaculation problems? 
  • Is he being more critical about your body, particularly your breast size? 
  • Is he asking you to make any changes to your body, such as getting a Brazilian wax, that you are uncomfortable with? 
  • Does he have particular favourites that he likes to watch repeatedly? 
  • Does he get angry if you don’t want to watch with him? 
  • Does he withhold sex if you tell him you don’t want to watch?
  • Does he want to act out different scenarios he might have seen, even if you make it clear you don’t want to? 
  • Does he have secret or password-protected sites online? 
  • Has he ever watched porn in an inappropriate public place (such as on an aeroplane)? 
  • Does he have another mobile phone account or credit card? 
  • Will he cancel social engagements because he’d rather watch porn? 
  • Are his friends dropping hints to you about the porn he watches? 
  • Is he evasive or defensive when you ask him about porn? 
  • Does he choose porn instead of wanting to have sex with you?

In other words, his frequent porn-fuelled masturbation leads to sexual dysfunction with a partner. If he can only have an orgasm when watching porn, and if he becomes accustomed to having orgasms only in a certain way or while watching a certain thing, he’s in trouble and so are you. 

There’s also a flip side: Some porn addicts they want sex on their terms, in order to fulfill whatever fantasies have been “inspired” by what they’ve been watching.

The porn and his masturbating are having the opposite effect on his performance when having sex—it’s called retarded ejaculation.

His lasting 'too long' is the opposite of what most men experience when they watch a lot of porn—they can’t last at all.

While it sounds like it might be a good thing, lasting too long can be just as troublesome for a relationship as when he’s finished too quickly: feeling sore, bored, or fed up, wondering when he’s going to get the job done. Not to mention that the constant friction can actually be painful after a while. 

What’s disheartening for me is that so many of the people I talk to have yet to realise that there’s such a downside to watching pornography.

 
Unfulfilling: Spending too much time with the computer can lead to a dull sex life on both sides of the couple

Unfulfilling: Spending too much time with the computer can lead to a dull sex life on both sides of the couple

Not at first. I’m the first person to tell you that a little porn can be a lot of fun—and that a man who likes to watch once in a while is not necessarily verging on porn addiction.

But people can easily develop an addiction to it without even realising because it’s such an easy habit to indulge in.

A man can tell himself he’s not really harming anyone or 'cheating'. He may have starting watching as a way to spice up his sex life or because it was fun—but viewing habits can quickly escalate, in part because it’s so easy to stream porn 24/7.

He can always find something to watch when he’s in the mood, no matter where he is or what time it is, either.

How does anyone get over a porn addiction? It’s not easy but it is doable. Have your partner try these steps first:

Improvement: According to Dr Fisch, porn addiction can be overcome and sex lives put back on track

Out now: The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-ups is available from Amazon

Out now: The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-ups is available from Amazon

• Take an immediate break—from all sex and masturbation, not just porn. When a man doesn’t ejaculate for several days, he will be a lot more sensitive (and a lot hornier!), and he’ll be more likely to climax within a normal period of time. 

• Try to schedule something absorbing during the time he usually spends watching porn. If you can take a short trip, great (just don’t turn on the TV, as there is usually porn available in hotel rooms if that’s where you’re staying). Or have him do additional chores around the house (like the long-overdue garage cleaning, painting, or gardening, for example—something that is physical and makes it impossible to do while any electronic devices are around).

• Try to make your foreplay into more play. Ask him what he likes to do when he’s watching porn, and replace his hands with yours. When you touch him where he likes to touch himself, he’ll relearn how to get that same sensation when he’s alone with you. Do this together—no cheating for him and going back to porn!—and I promise that you won’t need thirty minutes for an orgasm any more. 

• It’s important you both talk about how much you love each other, and how much you cherish the emotional aspects of your sexual relationship so you can refocus on the qualities of your partner that you first were attracted to. Act the way you did when you were first courting—I’ll bet porn was not part of the equation then. This way, your desire will build naturally so that you both can enjoy the pleasure of real sex, and leave the virtual sex to the robots.

• If this doesn’t work because your partner is truly addicted and/or unwilling to discuss the matter with you, you should consult professional help. Look for a sex therapist experienced with porn addiction and sexual dysfunction. Be prepared for the addict to have a hard time. If addictions were easy to kick, there wouldn’t be any addicts.

Just as smokers need to find something to do with their hands when they quit—drinking coffee, chewing gum, or eating (which is why ex-smokers often gain weight), so do you need to find a better substitute. Luckily, you already have one lying next to you every night. 

The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups, £9.05 (Sourcebooks) is out now and available from Amazon. See harryfisch.com for more information

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