As Porn Goes Up, Performance Goes Down?

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Is there an unsuspected link between today's porn and potency?

limp light switchThrough a fluke of fate, my website has become a hangout for some amazing people, including men determined to wean themselves from porn. Their efforts have taught me more than I ever wanted to know about this subject. A few years ago one wrote,

I am sure that if a study were actually done with honest men, we would see correlation between porn viewing and erectile dysfunction. The porn industry takes advantage of the uninformed public and makes billions. Then the pharmaceutical companies sell us costly sexual enhancement drugs to treat the side effects—and make billions.

Turns out he wasn't an exception.

I've been looking at Internet pornography since I began college 13 years ago. Around age 24, I noticed difficulty getting aroused with real women. Generic Viagra off the Internet allowed me to have real relationships with few problems until the age of 29. Then, it became increasingly difficult to have real sex, even with the pills.

Realizing my problem, I tried several times to give up porn. The longest I lasted without it was 3 weeks. During this time, I could not get aroused thinking about normal sex, so the frustration built. My only escape was to fall back into the only thing that would arouse me: fantasizing about fetishes I developed when watching porn. Then it was back to porn. I need to be cured of this.

As Internet speed has soared, so has masturbation to videos. They are easily accessible, increasingly extreme—and much more stimulating than Playboys of the past. Alas, most experts are not thinking in terms of "degree of stimulation affecting brain chemistry balance/wiring." They're still thinking of all porn as "nothing more than a masturbation aid," and therefore harmless, or even beneficial. Since Internet videos are such a recent trend, it's possible that the standard thinking simply hasn't had time to catch up with the reality of today's porn and its risks.

The porn/potency connection is surprisingly treacherous. Most men's potency isn't affected by porn...until it is. So the problem seems illusory until it catches up with someone—at which point he tends to mistake hotter porn as the cure. More extreme material further desensitizes his brain. At this juncture, most men clutch at any explanation other than porn use for their symptoms, due to their growing dependency.

Often experts assume shame is the cause of such potency problems, but for many men it's likely that brain chemistry desensitization from heavy stimulation is the culprit. Not only have they been using porn quite contentedly for years, but also, if shame were the cause, the problems would likely show up sooner. Many men experience NO problems until years of heavy porn use have passed. Then there is a further decline as their search for more extreme material escalates. (Shame is not always irrelevant, of course. It can make sexual activity more intensely arousing, thus speeding up the desensitization cycle.)

The good news is that erectile dysfunction brought on by heavy porn use is apparently reversible. The painful part is that the sufferer has to surrender his compulsive porn use—a sacrifice that is surprisingly tough.

discouraged guy with woman's head on his lap

Here's what men shared:

After years of porn, I was having trouble with erections. It had been getting worse and worse for a couple years. Needed more and more types of porn stimulation, and it still was not helping. I was really worried, but the anxiety just pushed me deeper into porn. Hard to believe, given the progression. I probably used every type of porn image and vid out there except for one: child porn. What scares me is, could I have gone that route, too, one day?

The more I go without porn, masturbation, fantasy and orgasm, the more difficult it becomes to not get an erection. LOL. No ED problems or weak ejaculations like I had just a few months ago. My body has healed. So, if you stay away from porn and masturbation your sexual desire will go up. It will go up in a good way. Giving it up for just this short period of time has been a big step in healing the damage I did to myself. Now the challenge is to find a partner, or a masturbation interval that works.

After a 90-day period of abstinence from porn/masturbation, I noticed that I was more sensitive than before; I didn't need any other stimulation to make me horny. Also the semen leakage stopped. Now that I have returned to some masturbation, I notice that I have been the most interested in women (and have ended up in bed with them) during my experiments with low masturbation frequency.
While I was consuming porn and beating off, I had severe performance anxiety when it came to actual sex. That is gone. I have no problem. It is nice to get aroused by little things: a revealing blouse, some innocent cleavage, a summer dress, or just a woman's flowing, shiny hair and fragrance, instead of "Cum Gurgling sluts" video clips.
I'm glad this porn-ED issue is becoming more recognized. It's gonna help prevent a lot of problems. I've read things about people being able watch porn occasionally and then still perform with a significant other. However, if they went a long stretch without any type of partner sex, and watched a lot of porn with masturbation, then they had difficulties—difficulties they didn't previously have.

According to psychiatrist Norman Doidge, a heavy porn user is not unlike

a drug addict who can no longer get high on the images that once turned him on. And the danger is that this tolerance will carry over into relationships, as it did in patients whom I was seeing, leading to potency problems and new, at times unwelcome, tastes. When pornographers boast that they are pushing the envelope by introducing new, harder themes, what they don't say is that they must, because their customers are building up a tolerance to the content. The back pages of men's risque magazines and Internet porn sites are filled with ads for Viagra-type drugs—medicine developed for older men with erectile problems related to aging and blocked blood vessels in the penis. Today young men who surf porn are tremendously fearful of impotence, or "erectile dysfunction" as it is euphemistically called. The misleading term implies that these men have a problem in their penises, but the problem is in their heads. ... It rarely occurs to them that there may be a relationship between the pornography they are consuming and their impotence.

Here's the bit that most men don't know. A period of discomfort or intense horniness during the days of recovery after intense stimulation seems like a sound reason to self-medicate with another porn binge. But doing so actually worsens the problem. If someone climaxes before his brain is back to balance, he's likely to seek out hotter and hotter stimuli. Why? A primitive part of his brain is still temporarily less responsive. This is why regular sex/porn "isn't doing it for him."

Hotter stimuli produce arousal, but further dysregulate dopamine levels in a key part of his brain. As his hangovers and cravings for hotter relief come to dominate his life, the user can forget what equilibrium felt like. Often he experiences uncharacteristic depression and anxiety—which he won't connect with the changes in his brain brought about by heavy porn use. And because the problem is developing in the brain's wiring, Viagra's temporary fix won't halt the deterioration. (It only addresses blood flow to erections.)

As my visitors discovered, the solution seems to be to stop masturbating to porn. In fact, foregoing masturbation entirely for as long as two months speeds the "unwiring" of the acquired association between arousal and extreme, synthetic erotica. This offers a fresh start, sexually speaking (although the brain is likely to remain very sensitive to porn-related cues indefinitely).

This lengthy, often agonizing, "rebooting" process can be scary. Some men fear their libido will vanish completely. couple in hot tubThis is not the case. As the brain comes back to balance it tends to become more sensitive and responsive, not less. At first, however, some experience a gray period, during which nothing turns them on because their brains are so desensitized.

As the brain is prevented from pursuing porn-acquired associations, it eventually looks around for other sources of pleasure. It rediscovers the ones it evolved to find: friendly interaction, real mates, time in nature, exercise, accomplishment, and so forth. In fact, many men find exercise particularly beneficial. It improves self-image and eases anxiety and depression while the brain is returning to homeostasis.

Obviously, lots of factors can be at work in performance anxiety. Yet as people learn to regulate their sexual responsiveness to real potential partners using changes in their own behavior, they can more confidently address any other issues contributing to performance anxiety.

Comments

Porn up Performance Down

Marnia,

I can add one more data point to this. Yep, I was a classic example of over stimulation (P and M) followed by the use of Viagra to counteract the lows.

Although I recently fell back into my old bad habit patterns with porn and such, I did learn a while back how the sensitivity and healthiness came back while abstaining.

The glimpse of how beautiful and enjoyable it was to be in that state with my wife should have been enough to keep me there but.....alas I fell back into the same stupid pattern and rationalizing all the way to the pit.

Now I am back in the saddle and trying a few new methods to stay on the path with one of the biggest motivators being the blissful feeling of connection and affection in the relationship free of this other side effect.

Thanks again for this article,
Crow

I guess it's good

to have corroboration...especially as the problem seems to be temporary with careful management. If any of the rest of you want to add your stories here, even if you've told them elsewhere, feel free.

Why do we all have to learn the hard way? Wink

I'm not sure

I'm not sure why I have to learn the hard way. I am relatively smart, I guess, and "know" what I want and don't want.

I realize what is hurting me and others......and sometimes still fall off the right path.

It's like I still don't get it after hitting bottom....like I still am looking for a deeper bottom?

Humans rarely change without some pain......but how much pain do I need?

I'm just blabbing,
Crow

Guess it's worth remembering

that the limbic brain is designed to urge us without thinking, that it serves our genes, not us, and that it evolved when Internet porn wasn't around. If Internet porn HAD been around during our evolution, those with really sensitive reward circuitry would have died out...taking pair bonding, and big-brained babies with them.

This may be a steep learning curve, but once the mainstream is better educated, progress may be faster than we think. At least if we can keep shame and guilt out of the equation. Smile

Everybody's bottoms

are different, some low, some high. One saying I have heard is that you can only go as high as you have been low, so your experience also serves some potential upside down the road.

Keep in mind, if someone had a loaded gun and put it next to your head, and said, don't load that porn site or I will shoot. Could you not load the site, or would you? If your honest, it may be a matter of willingness vs doing. Are you really willing to let it go? You can use the gun next to your head exercise to see. Usually the answer is you could not load the site so it is really a matter of your willingness. If it is truly an addiction and you are dependent upon looking at the images and moving to O, then it may just be that your will power is of insufficient energy to overcome the obstacle. It is like trying to lift 500 lbs. but your muscles are only conditioned to lift about 150 lbs. That is why I think the notion of admitting that you are powerless over addictions and inviting a higher power to step in and take them from you will seems to work. It has for millions in AA where before that 12 step program that addiction was considered hopeless and fatal.

sources

I would be interested to see other commentators on this idea. Reisman is not a psychologist. (Her Ph.D. was in communications.) Also, the World News Daily has a very definate political and social bend to it, to make an understatement. I think a contributor to the World News Daily reported a few yeaers ago that soy makes kids gay. Reisman has also taken some pretty extreme stances against gays.

Thanks for the scoop.

Yes, she can get "right fiery," and I don't agree with some of her conclusions or arguments. For example, as I told her:

I believe we all need to understand the hidden orgasm cycle in sex better...and why the Coolidge Effect can still sneak into a marriage - even where both partners were virgins and "did it all right."

I wish the religious right weren't so naive about their declarations that "following the rules guarantees happiness." It doesn't. It merely improves the odds. If those rules worked, we wouldn't have slipped into this mess. Can't blame it all on Kinsey. Adultery is an old problem. As is wife beating by dissatisfied, irritable, often religious men. As are other addictions, as spouses attempt to self-medicate due to marital dissatisfaction.

I also think the current religious-right discussion about oxytocin binding people to porn is quite superficial. That surge at orgasm doesn't necessarily "bind." If it did, the men would be tied to ("in love with") the image they orgasmed to...instead of constantly seeking novelty. The binding effects of oxytocin may be confined to affection, intimacy, companionship, safe touch, etc.

(The religious folk have been scaring their followers using the "power of oxytocin" to bind us to the wrong things. Mind you, I think promiscuity has hidden costs...by making love less fulfilling, more fragile and therefore more "treacherous-seeming," and thus encouraging pursuit of novelty and other "comforts." But misusing the science doesn't seem like a sound way to go.)

But I also admire Reisman's vision...especially in her calmer moments. Smile If you have time, read this paper that she wrote with Joseph Shepher of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute. It was written in the 80s, but correctly foresaw the trends in porn, and effects on pair bonds. Pornography: A Sociobiological Attempt at Understanding

From another post

If you look online there are a ton of these posts popping up, all about guys that have watched so much porn they are having ED issues. You have all different types of people, too, being affected. You have guys that had no ED problems for years, starting watching P for a couple months on a daily basis, and boom they have problems.

You have married guys who, when on porn can't satisfy their wife, but when they're off it they're fine. You have guys who have successfully quit P for good, while quitting MB for several weeks, and have also seen great results. Just like on here, you have people that can't get aroused by simple things anymore, it takes more and more hardcore stuff to get them going.

Look all around the internet, there are a lot of guys experiencing ED like symptoms with real women because of porn. This has been parallel with the explosion of free internet porn over the past 5 years. Some of these men never had problems until they started looking at porn and MB for long periods at a time.

Also see: http://www.topix.com/forum/health/erectile-dysfunction/TIMUPUQ2KMIFT983F

http://www.reuniting.info/node/3415#comment-18099

When I started porn

in my early puberty, everything seemed arrousing, I mean, only a sexy swimsuit or a little skin was making me very arroused. I was looking at women on the streets and only the thought of having sex with a woman was giving me an erection.

Porn totally desensitized me. At first I was watching solo previews, it escalated to hardcore videos then recently to gay chats and shemale porn.

I developped an HOCD and was totally destroyed by it, it changed my sexual tastes! I never been gay, always loved women, I'm working on abstinence to get back to balance.

Now nothing normal or not shocking turns me on, or only a little bit.

Porn is bad. Point. It should be illegal or really hard to obtain

Flowing Searcher is wondering...

Does anyone know what very early exposure to porn does to the individuals and their future exploration of normal sexual relationships?

It seems to me that this thread /issue is very much geared towards males. I am wondering if there is any data or info on women in the same bind.

Flowing Searcher

Unfortunately,

most of the bloggers here are male, so we don't yet know a lot of first-hand information about women and porn use. However, if we're right that temporary brain desensitization (neurochemical dysregulation) is the real issue, then both sexes could certainly be affected. Have you read "The Brain that Changes Itself?"

At least one woman recently mentioned here that she thinks her porn use made her less orgasmic with her husband. She stopped the porn, and as far as I know, the problem has resolved itself. Do you want to contact her privately? If so, I'll give you the link to her member page.

What has your experience been?

just some general comments.....

Im on about a month with no porn, MB twice during this time with no fantasy. I can def see things changing for the better. Two great things is i find real women much more attractive, and i think this is going to increase even more over time, and number 2 after a couple of weeks there are urges yes, however they are 10 times easier to get away from. Honestly its like my body has gotten so used to being without MB that i don't even think of doing it anymore.

But a really interesting thing happened to me about 5 days ago, i was talking to a friend of mine, one who i know used P and MB a couple times a week, not nearly as much as i used to. He was telling me how he stopped using the P and won't MB (maybe once a week) because he felt he was becoming an addict and losing his sex drive toward his partner. That was shocking to me. There are just so many cases of porn addiction popping up with porn being so much easier to access.

Many

Yes, Sportsguy,

I recently had a similar conversation with a friend of many years. He does not discuss it in terms of a problem though.....and believes viagra is the best drug ever invented.

I do believe there are lots and lots of folks wrapped up in this bullshit.

That is why, it has to be an individual drive and desire to rid yourself of it.

We only know ourselves and whether we need to quit or not.

The day I "woke up" led me to this site and ever since has been the journey out of the crap.

Crow

I'm a "getta bigger hammer" person, by nature,

so I would have prolly fallen for the Viagra course of action, too, if a man.

However, Viagra has definite health risks, and with the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, I'm not sure men are hearing the real story. I've never seen any follow-up on this item, for example: "FDA Investigates Blindness in Viagra Users" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/27/AR200505... Yet when I talked to a friend about it, his dad had suddenly gone blind after taking Viagra. I doubt the doctor ever thought to report it because he wouldn't have made the connection. Viagra has also been associated with heart failure, yet we don't hear much about that, either.

If the real problem is "dampening one's pleasure response," then Viagra-type drugs are only stop-gap solutions. It's the brain that needs to return to full sensitivity.

Gray period

Hi Marnia;

I am porn-addict, but clean for 6 weeks and 1 day with ED problems. So far so good for me, but I have some tiny questions. Before asking my questions, I have to thank you for this web-site. I tried to keep away from porn for a mouth, but failed. I did not know that masturbation even without porn is not helpful to solve my problem.

My questions will be about the recovery period and afterwards, which I don't see too much things. I feel like I am in grey area that you mentonned in the text. I gain some sense actually, nothing is so grey. I had full-day erection (but not not a strong one) last week, after a cute girl freind of mine asked me if she can visit me after her summer-school. On the other hand, I had nothing but some loosy morning erections for two weeks. Main reason to get rid of porn is that I had E.D while I was dating with a girl 4 mouths ago. Having ED with a girl beautiful than most pornstars, who tried everything to keep my erection long enough in bed was a terrible experiance. I don't want to live something like that again.

1. What you recommend for the people in gray period to feel better, to fasten things, but keep waiting?
2. So how can I understand my senses is back before having a sexual relation? I am not asking for a full recovery, which seems to be at least 3 mounths (I will wait for it), but how about sexual relation without full-recovery after I am 2 mount clean and hold my erection during sex? It will be better for me or worst?
3. Should I use blue pills to feel comfortable for sometime?
4. As I understand it is like drug-addict or alcoolism and I can get back to porn any time, so when I handdle the ED, what can I do to keep clean from porn afterwards?

------------------------
(To share my experiance with others, nothing to do with questions) I want to write how I started vicious cycle of porn, because I am not close to loser stereotype sticked to his PC, who is commonly pictured in TVs, journals or Media. I think noone in here is. I beleive it can happen to anyone. I am handsome guy with high IQ, I am very well-educated and I am living in a good social environement. What has happened to me, then? I had two very bad relationships for 4 years followed by very bad 2 years in my career and I sat my home satisfying myself with porn (started 4 years ago). However I think I am not a victim of porn industry nor of my girlfriends. I am in this situation, because I escaped to real world, when I feel blues. If it was not pornography maybe I begun to drink. My advice is to confess yourself that we are porn-addict like a drug-user and your life like mine sucks because you are an addict!

Gray period

I haven't posted here before, but I also am interested in getting these answers. I Masturbated daily for 20 years and have had ED problems all the way back to my first encounter. Porn was never a big issue for me. If I do see some porn, I will probably get an erection, but I rarely get an erection without physical stimulation. I have them upon waking. During my first encounter, I was also on Accutane, which I've heard causes libido problems rarely. Basically I only get an erection 5% of the time with real women. I rarely even try because I'm so tired of the problem. So I'm trying to figure out if my ED problems with real women are due to the masturbation habit, or did the Accutane affect my neurotransmitters/hormones permanently.

I'm on day 37 without masturbation. I think one evening I felt normal libido, but that's it. Any suggestions on how I know when I'm healed? Can someone tell me what's normal as far as libido and erectile ability is for a low 30's guy? If I go 90 days and still have problems, where do I go from there? I've had all my hormones checked and am in good health.

Relax

Stress. Failure to be able to get and sustain an erection is due to stress, and if you're an addict this is probably exacerbated by fatigue. In the book on Karezza on this site, the author notes that stock-breeders would not constantly mate their prize bull to exhaustion, and yet that is what many of us men do when we masturbate regularly or have intercourse too often.

Pornography also has a tendency to get weirder as you continue to use it because you need an increasingly stronger form of it to get the same buzz. When you analyzed some of what you look at didn't you ever think about that?

Hug more, caress more, have intercourse less and avoid masturbation. Massage each other, meditate and relax. When you're stressed don't masturbate. Hug someone or, if nobody's around maybe try meditation or talking to a friend on the phone. Avoid the booze though because it can make the desire for sex higher, the likelihood of risky sex higher and with the added drawbacks that you'll get brewers droop on top ...and this can be very frustrating... sorry I've started to reminisce.

thanks for reading,

Brenmal

I wish we knew all the answers

Everything I know about porn and recovery comes from the men who have been visiting here for the last few years, courageously experimenting, and sharing what works and what doesn't.

I suspect that there are no hard and fast schedules for such things as ED, because everyone's nervous system, past emotional hurts, and circumstances are different. I assume you read the Wiki on this subject, right? Erectile Dysfunction and Porn Use - http://www.reuniting.info/node/3287

My intuition says that spending time around women is really beneficial: flirting, laughing, dancing, touching. Maybe don't have intercourse until *you* feel more than READY. In our book, for example, we recommend two weeks of nightly affection, without sex, before moving into gentle intercourse. You might be surprised at how "ready" you feel after that! Wink

Men are getting some really unrealistic ideas about sex from watching porn studs. (And women are trying to fit their behavior to these strange ideas, too. Smile )

You are not machines. Women do not generally like to be "drilled" by a machine. It doesn't make them orgasm more, or better, although it may make it easier to fake it.

There's nothing wrong with slow, affectionate courtship. As long as you let your partner know she's attractive to you, and that you enjoy being with her, and that you find her "sexy," she'll *enjoy* being courted. In fact, you're likely to see a much nicer side of her if you *don't* make her orgasm all the time.

In a new relationship, just tell her that when you've rushed into things in the past, the relationships didn't go well, so you'd like to try a slow approach this time. Men and women can get really high, just on being together. Once you both taste that, sex becomes a lovely addition to the mix, but not the only goal.

Something tells me I drifted away from your actual questions here. Smile

Anyway, my thought is to keep doing what you're doing. You can put the sparkle in your life with exercise, meditation and lots of flirting. All those things can also help keep you away from porn.

And maybe, as you realize that your great lovemaking could have been contributing to those past relationship disasters, you'll forgive those women and yourself, and see the future with more optimism. We really can't keep doing what we've been doing and expect to get different results.

Viagra doesn't work on the reward circuitry, so it's not directly related to your recovery. It's somewhat risky, so use it as little as possible.

Viagra

One thing I will say is that if it wasn't for Viagra, I would have never been able to have my initial intercourse. After that I was able to without Viagra sometimes. Now if I take like 1/4 of a pill, I'm great. I rarely take it though, because I am determined to function normally. I guess my opinion is it can help those with performance anxiety, but it shouldn't be a long-term solution.

Suggestion.....

Honestly my best results came with a 2-3 weeks experiment i did months ago. I found this suggestion online. It was to not look at any P, MB, but also not to look sexually fantasize about women for that time period as well. After that time period i felt like my sex drive was almost reset, in otherwords, things that hadn't turned me on for years were turning me on again. For some reason though i thought i was "cured" and fell back into porn.

More recently i have stopped the P and MB for weeks but i have had alot of sexual fantasy problems, things have gotten better, but not as good as when i stopped sexually fantasizing, i felt like i kind of hit a plateu.

I think sexual fantasy is big in this whole thing. Just cause you stopped looking at P, and just cause u stopped MB, doesn't mean you can just take everyday women and put them in porn scenes, its the same thing. I had a huge problem with the sexual fantasy thing recently, getting them out of my head. But after a day or two of really focusing on getting them out, it becomes alot easier.

I think we are so used to seeing naked bodies and such through porn that regular stuff just doesn't turn us on anymore. So i think a couple weeks of depriving the body of anything sexual, (including sexual fantasy) would possibly truely allow the mind and the body to reset itself.

just wanted to elaborate.....

I saw this example used recently. You have a favorite food, you absolutely love it. However if you ate that food for 3-4 weeks straight, what is bound to happen? Your probably going to eventually get sick of it. However you wait a couple more weeks and what happens? all of a sudden the desire to eat that food is back.

Now i'm in no way comparing women to food, thats not the point. Point is im guessing its how the brain works. It get so used to something that the feeling or "buzz" goes away.

I know it wouldn't be popular, but my point is maybe avoid fantasizing about women for a while would be a good thing. If your having trouble with that maybe even not looking would be even more beneficial. I realized i think alot of porn and MB users stop using the P and MB and they think everything should be fine. That isn't necessarily true, especially if your constantly "checking" on your progress by fantasizing about women in porn scenes.

Honestly i remember in those two weeks, everytime a porn thought or a fantasy about a real women came into my head, i quickly thought of something else, is it tough at first, yes. Eventually though it got easier. In those couple weeks i felt i had no sex drive, but then all of a sudden something just clicked. Things that never turned me on, even while i was using porn, were turning me on again.

After just a week or so in, i could glance at a women and i would feel that sort of buzz returning. Still though the buzz would quickly fade, so i decided to keep going. Depriving myself of all sexual thoughts, and it worked. I didn't realize at the time, but it worked. 2 weeks of no porn, no mb and no fantasy is better than two weeks of no porn no mb, and constant fantasy. I originally thought i was just "horny" because i hadn't MB'ed in two weeks, but their is a difference.

All in all thought, my goal is not to fantasize pretty much at all anymore, i mean what really is the point. It only sets me back, and it ruins all the natural fun and normal sexuality. It doesn't really lead anywhere.

More on ED symptoms

Here's a comment that just appeared on one of my Psychology Today posts. I'll copy it here as some of you may find it interesting.

This is the first article of its kind I've seen in a mainstream publication ["As Porn Goes Up, Performance Goes Down?"].
I've struggled with ED for couple years now, and I'm in my late 40s. I've
often thought there was a connection between excessive porn/masturbation and
ED. The only problem is testing that hypothesis---because it's so damn hard
to quit masturbating and viewing porn! Even for a week. And nobody seems to
address this porn/ED connection. Another factor with my own experience is
that due to my spiritual beliefs, I consider this habit to be a bad thing in
and of itself. So call me a hypocrite or stupid for not following my own
religion, that's just the way it is. Anyways, I'm sure that the subconscious
stress from guilt from a porn habit is also a contributing factor. But I was
somewhat surprised to recently read a forum thread (actually quite a few) at
Men's Health, where guys were discussing their struggles with this (porn/ED),
simply from a practical perspective. Mostly young guys, 20s or so, can't get
it up anymore with a real girl, and they all relate having a serious
porn/masturbation habit. Guys will never openly discuss this with friends,
co-workers, for fear of getting laughed out of town. But when someone tells
their story on a health forum, there are 50, 100 replies from other guys who
struggle with the same thing. This is for real. If I can quit, and the ED
gets better, I'll get back to you and let you know. It could take a while....

Time is a great healer

If you give it time (and granted, that's easier said than done) you will find that your mind tends to crave pornography less and less, especially if during this time you replace the use of pornography with bonding behaviour with a partner. This mutual nurturing behaviour will help to heal your scarred mind and make the recall of pornographic images less likely to occur and therefore the compulsion to masturbate will gradually subside. Learning to love and nurture rather than lust which exhausts your sexual energy, is the key and you need a partner to try this with. You need to have the benefits that you will both gain for this clearly in your mind if you are going to make a success of it though and these are clearly highlighted in Marnia's excellent books. If you don't have a partner but find yourself addicted to sex, you must still find something to replace this behaviour with, something meaningful with which to fill the void, or else you will easily lapse back into your default settings so to speak.

thanks for reading,

Brenmal

Thoughts from another forum member

My porn use has increased beginning in 2000. From that point on, I kept returning to porn much more frequently after quitting, and staying with it for longer periods of time as the years progressed.

It was around that time that I started having problems staying erect. Aside from when I was sick, I had always had no problem staying erect during sex or MB, until I had come. And no problems climaxing either. But around 2000, I started to get tired while having sex and then everything would go limp. I worked not to worry about it much, because I knew about the performance anxiety thing, but it still seemed to persist, and my wife commented on it, which caused some feelings of "I'm not good enough." But I did my best to not let those affect me.

However, I started trying supplements during that time. While some made things worse, some helped, and now I generally don't seem to have a big problem. But I didn't do the one thing that probably would have helped the most: exercise. I needed more physical endurance, that was the real problem. I got worn out too easily.

Anyway, I just noticed the correlation between having trouble staying erect and when my porn use started to rise. It might be the chicken and the egg problem. Did increase in porn use cause me to start having erection problems? Or did erection problems due to lack of physical stamina cause me to seek out porn to stay hard and get that O? I'm not sure of the answer, but thought the fact that the two issues began around the same time might have some linkage.

Comment from forum member

My lover will be 52 next week and he has been known to get an erection from just having his hand on my hip as we walk down the street--but he wasn't like that when we first started seeing each other. The bonding takes time and the karezza really does sensitize you to each other and you will experience that again! (if more men of a certain age would try it, they might find there is no need for certain prescription drugs)