How Porn Use Can Lead to Sexual Dysfunctions

Written by Kristin Stark, LMFT

Occasional use of pornography is unlikely to create negative consequences for the viewer. When pornography and masturbation are used frequently and regularly, many viewers find they experience negative physical, sexual, and sometimes emotional and spiritual side effects. This article focuses on some sexual consequences that can occur as a result of frequent porn use and masturbation.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is when men cannot get an erection over 50% of the time when being sexual. Chronic porn use can make it more difficult to get an erection because people in real life may not be as erotic or stimulating as they are portrayed in porn.

Is this a problem for you? Think back to the types of porn you looked at when you first discovered it. Do you still look at the same things? Or has the porn you’ve sought out become more intense? For most frequent porn viewers, the porn they were consuming became uninteresting or unarousing. So, they look for something a little more hard-core. Frequent porn consumers are similar to those who consume a lot of alcohol—maybe they could get a buzz with one drink in the past, but now it takes several. Likewise, frequent porn uses perhaps could watch porn for 5 minutes and be satisfied, but it takes hours.

What I hear the most often with ED cases is that it’s not the man doesn’t want to have sex. Rather, it’s that they’ve trained their body to respond to a fantasy that appears to be perfect. If you are a partner reading this, I want you to know that ED has nothing to do with how attractive you are or how you preform. I know it doesn’t feel that way, especially if you are aware of your partner’s porn use. I’ll say it again; it has nothing to do with you.

Delayed Ejaculation

Delayed Ejaculation (DE) is when it takes too long to ejaculate or an orgasm just doesn’t happen. I don’t like to set a time on how long is too long because that is going to vary from couple to couple. If you feel it takes too long, or if your partner does, then we may be talking about DE.

I’ve had men come to see me to work on premature ejaculation and when I ask how long it takes to reach orgasm they’ll say 20 minutes, but they feel they should be able to last 45+ minutes. More often than not, this expectation comes from porn use. Porn stars can thrust for what seems like forever and neither person is exhausted. This is very unrealistic. Remember, pornography producers have many tricks up their sleeves to create the images they believe will sell more porn. These include: using medications or drugs to prolong a man’s erection, changing actors when one’s erection is no longer sustainable, or stopping the scene until the man recovers. Comparing your ability to sustain an erection with a porn actor’s could leave you feeling inferior every time.

Nevertheless, frequent porn use can lead to DE. The reason is similar to ED: desensitization. Masturbating and watching porn frequently is likely to desensitize the viewer and his penis to sexual stimulation. This is even more true if he is using sex toys while masturbating. The human body cannot replicate what a toy can do.

Premature Ejaculation

Premature Ejaculation (PE) is when orgasm happens too quickly, often leaving one’s partner unsatisfied. In the times I’ve seen PE that is caused by porn use, there was typically porn use or masturbation at a young age. Along with this was a fear of being caught. The less time that was spent masturbating/looking at porn, the less likely someone would walk in on the person. These individuals found ways to train their bodies to orgasm quicker.

Decreased Desire

You would think porn would increase desire, and this may be true when used occasionally or rarely. For the frequent porn viewer, it will often do the opposite. Porn is this fantasy world where people look perfect and sex is wild and intense. It’s an easy lie to believe that fantasy is more fulfilling than reality. Add to this the fact that relationships are often stressful. Partners may feel like they’re always fighting. It’s easy to turn to porn instead of a partner with whom there is conflict. Porn offers an escape and a break from reality.

I’ve also noticed that people who watch porn, especially a lot of it, put a ton of pressure on themselves to perform and satisfy. It becomes simpler to masturbate than face these obstacles with a partner. Desire decreasinges because sex seems to be too much work and a reminder of where one falls short.

Conclusion

With each of these sexual dysfunctions, there are a lot of treatment options available. Many of these don’t require medication, assuming a medical issue does not cause the dysfunction. If the brain and body have learned to respond a certain way to certain sexual stimulation, it can also be unlearned.

If you struggle with any of these issues, call my office. I can help you find underlying causes and work toward solutions: (423) 708-2898.