WATCHING PORN CAN WORSEN ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

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I'm Dr. Anne Truong, MD

Dr. Anne Truong is a highly respected physician, best-selling author and internationally sought-after speaker on the topics of regenerative cell medicine, pain management, and applications for aesthetics and sexuality.

Erectile dysfunction happens for many reasons. Yet, studies indicate that watching porn has the ability to worsen ED in many men. The fantasy that is pornography can lead to some men struggling more so with ED than prior to engaging. It leads to increased sexual dissatisfaction when men engage in the real act. Why is that?

A Study Takes a Closer Look

The European Association of Urology conducted a study on the topic of porn and erectile dysfunction. It found that 65 percent of men report having sex with a partner is more stimulating to them than watching pornography. It also found that 23 percent of those men within the study that were under the age of 35 reported having some type or level of ED.

The group of researchers reported this number was significantly higher than what they expected to find. They found that it was a significant relationship between the time men spent watching porn and their difficulty to engage in the real thing with a partner.

The study also noted that the more men engaged in porn, the more likely they were to form an addiction to it.

The study included over 3200 men from the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Belgium. They were questioned through a social media flyer and media. The study specifically sought after men that had sex within the previous four weeks. The group answered a total of 118 questions. These are questions that are commonly asked in relation to erectile dysfunction and sexual health studies.

Increasing Use of Porn Is Worrisome

Considering the outcome of this report, there is specific concern about the number of men engaging in pornography on a routine basis. The study itself shows that there has been a significant increase in the amount of porn being watched since 2007. It found that the amount of time men reported watching porn on a routine basis differs significantly.

Within the sample group, researchers reported that men watched, on average, 70 minutes of porn each week. They did so in blocks of 5 and 15 minutes each time. Other men engaged very little in porn while others watched much more than this.

A key concern with the survey data is that it does not take into account the younger users of social media. That may play a role in why figures are significantly higher. Still, the survey warns, the results indicate a link between pornography and erectile dysfunction.

Why Is This Link Occurring?

It may be the case that real sex is being pushed to the wayside as the unrealistic expectations of porn cannot be met. The survey found that 90 percent of those answering questions reported that they fast forward to the components that were most arousing to them. That can change the way men view sex itself.

For example, some men report that they have to watch more extreme levels of porn to reach the same type of arousal they had in prior experiences. This plays along with the way porn interacts with the reward center of the brain. When a man, then, engages in real life sex, he is unable to reach that same level of arousal. That leads to ED.

Simply, men that need those more explicit experiences are unable to find it in real sex with a partner. That’s one of the reasons they may experience sexual dissatisfaction.

At the same time, some researchers say that porn can have some positive effects. In some situations, it may be used as a type of aid to support healthy sexual function. There is no doubt this remains a controversial area and individual expectations may differ.

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