Can Pornography Cause Erectile Dysfunction And Libido Issues?

Yes, over-exposure to pornography and masturbation can cause erectile dysfunction. In fact, it normally will. This is referred to as porn-induced erectile dysfunction

And this over-exposure can also cause a loss of your libido.

Why?

When your brain gets over-exposed to sexual stimulation, it gets desensitized and numb. You then need more extreme forms of sexual stimulation to get the same sensations as before. 

And then your brain gets numb again. You then need even more extreme porn.

Pornography Numbs The Brain To Sex

Until this vicious cycle causes your body to become sexually exhausted and depleted.

At this point, you will normally find it impossible to get and maintain an erection while with a real woman (or man). 

You now suffer from erectile dysfunction. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

Pornography Made Me Utterly Confused About Sex

One thing that made zero sense to me while I was struggling with erectile dysfunction and an almost non-existent libido, was that it was always easy to get and keep erections while masturbating and watching porn. 

But it would normally be impossible to either get hard or stay hard while having, or attempting to have, sex.

Porn Masturbation Erectile Dysfunction

I couldn’t understand why the ‘real thing’ would give me less pleasure than what I was getting from pleasing myself.

After all it was the ‘real thing’ – shouldn’t it be better than anything else?

I sometimes even watched a little bit of porn right before having sex just to test that I was able to get an erection. This normally always produced an erection.

But when it was time for the ‘real thing’, I would go limp! 

Why on earth was this happening? What was going on?

I will explain why in a minute. Let’s first understand the dangers of pornography.

Pornography Erectile Dysfunction

The Dangers Of Pornography

Most guys watch porn and masturbate. So did I. I loved pornography because it was so easy and fun, and it produced these ridiculously pleasurable sensations in me. 

With a click of a mouse, I would have at my disposal, a never-ending flow of ridiculously attractive and available females. I could choose exactly what I wanted, who I wanted and when I wanted it. It was absolutely great. It was so great it almost became addictive.

So if pornography can be so easy and fun and great and pleasurable, how can it also be so dangerous?

Because it can cause the following complications:

Excessive Porn Erectile Dysfunction

But how? How exactly does porn cause these problems?

There are four main reasons:

  • It is available anywhere and anytime
  • The quality is so high, it seems almost real
  • It provides you with novel ‘sex ‘whenever you want
  • It offers you ultimate control
Man Surfing Porn On Mobile

One key reason why porn can be so dangerous, is because it is so incredibly accessible.

It is basically available anywhere and anytime. All a person needs is a mobile phone, tablet or laptop and an internet connection.

As a result, anyone can have ‘virtual sex’ at any given time, wherever they may be. 

A second reason is that pornography has become extremely realistic

Image, video and sound quality is now superb, and therefore the lines between virtual reality and real life has become blurred. 

Although early stage still, virtual sex is already available (with the help of goggles, sensors, etc.). At some point in the future, with advances in technology, it will probably be close to impossible to distinguish between real and virtual sex.

Virtual Reality Sex

As a consequence, pornography is able to provide the user with an experience that is so real it can become a good substitute for sex.

Thirdly, pornography can be very dangerous because it offers extreme novelty. Internet porn offers access to millions and millions of novel partners and novel experiences.

You can have ‘sex’ with one person, then switch to another, then another, then another. You can have ‘sex’ in doggystyle with one, then missionary with another, then a threesome with two new people.

You can have ‘sex’ with a young person, mature, old, white, black, asian, a threesome, an orgie – there are no limitations to the novel experiences you can have. 

This is extremely satisfying for your brain. Because your brain is programmed by evolution to desire to pass on your genes to a large number of partners. Or in other words, it is programmed to ecourage you to have sex with lots of females.

Female Butt

Yet another reason why pornography can be harmful is control

When watching pornography, you are in total control. All the women (and men) are there at your disposal and you can choose among an almost infinite variety. Most men love control.

You can choose a white woman in an office chair, then switch to a threesome with two Asian women, then go make a coffee. When you come back, the two asian women are waiting for you both in doggystyle.

You can have sex with whomever you want, whichever race or age you want, in what position you want, you can have a threesome, foursome, and it all happens at your premises. 

You can then regulate the stimulation you want by changing the level of masturbation. 

Man Watching Pornography In Bed

Pornography gives you the ultimate level of control. Sex with another person does not offer anywhere close to this level of control. 

These factors: 1) accessible anywhere, 2) super realistic, 3) extreme novelty, and 4) total control make pornography potentially very dangerous because it plays tricks with your brain.

Pornography turns the sexual experience into something completely unrealistic. With porn, you are a king getting anything you want whenever it suits you.

Sex was not like that in the past, and it’s not supposed to be like that either. Back in the days, you had to fight other men for the privilege of having sex.

Our brains simple can’t handle this new abundance of sexual stimulation.

Brain Can't Handle Porn

Why?

Because it’s simply too much pleasure for our brains to handle. Our brains get overloaded with a rainstorm of happy chemicals. It gets so intense that our brains can’t process all the happiness, and instead become numb and desensitized. 

What happens is that your brain gets flushed with dopamine. And when your brain gets overloaded with dopamine, strange things happen..

But before we move on to dopamine, I wanted to add a few thoughts on how much porn is too much.

Is it OK to watch porn and masturbate once a week? Once every two weeks?

Speaking from personal experience, I would say that anything is too much. I say this because porn can very, very easily make it much more difficult to get erections

Pornography Dopamine

I myself avoid pornography and masturbation completely. And when I avoid this, it makes it significantly easier to get erections, and sex with a real life partner is also much more enjoyable. For me, zero porn and masturbation is preferred.

Dopamine Overload And Erectile Dysfunction

The desire and motivation to pursue sex is kicked off by dopamine (and a few other ‘happy’ chemicals). 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that heads up the reward circuitry part of your brain. The evolutionary purpose of dopamine is to motivate you to do what serves your genes. 

Dopamine causes a person to want, desire, seek out, and search, and it causes a person to experience cravings and anticipation of pleasures.

Dopamine Erection

If you smell the scent of newly baked cookies, dopamine is produced in order to motivate you to eat cookies (assuming you like cookies). If you see an attractive woman, dopamine is produced in order to motivate you to have sex. 

The bigger the flush of dopamine, the more you want something. No dopamine and you will just ignore it. To learn more about dopamine on Truelibido, please go here.

The problem?

The problem is that the dopamine reward system in the brain was not designed to handle a never-ending stream of novel, naked and gorgeous cyber females (and males) available on a silver platter. 

Today, a single google search is all that stands between a lustful man and millions of dopamine-releasing available, flawless, smiling and naked sex-partners. 

Libido Brain Fire

It is simply too much for our brains to handle! 

When subjected to this sexual stimulus, your brain gets saturated with ‘sex’ and goes numb. Taken to the extreme, this can cause addiction and erectile dysfunction.

When you start entering the territory of addiction, you often seek out pornography despite adverse consequences such as neglecting friends and family, eating poorer, paying less attention to work or other things in life, etc. 

And activities that used to interest you, such as playing sports, cooking food, and watching TV shows, may no longer spark much interest in you.

In fact, it has been shown that over-use of pornography may weaken the region of the brain known as the cingulate cortex – the region of the brain that is responsible for moral and ethical decision making and willpower.

Man Caught Watching Pornography

After some time of porn use, your brain will normally build up tolerance towards the porn. Meaning, your brain will get used to it, will start to think of it as normal. 

This means that more extreme forms of porn are needed to trigger the same pleasurable sensations. 

Therefore, your brain now needs more novel females, more novel sex, more variety and more extreme porn in order to sustain the same level of happy sensations.

But what is actually happening in the brain?

In short, your dopamine receptors break down. 

In the brain, the neurotransmitter dopamine is produced in one place, and is then transported to dopamine receptors somewhere else in the brain in order to communicate their messages. 

Dopamine Receptors Break Down

When dopamine binds to these receptors, the message is sent to and interpreted by these receptors.

The problem is that when you watch porn and masturbate, your brain produces an incredibly large amount of this dopamine

And when there is too much dopamine in the brain for too long, the dopamine receptors get exhausted. There is too much for them to do!

And as a result, some of these dopamine receptors will start working slower. And after some time, they may stop working altogether. If inactive for a long time, they may even die

Therefore, the number of working dopamine receptors declines, and hence, less dopamine can be received and interpreted. 

Dopamine Receptor Decline

In order to achieve the same level of excitement as before, the porn now has to become more extreme than before because more dopamine has to be produced. 

If this use of more extreme porn is sustained, the number of dopamine receptors will decline further. 

Now, even more extreme forms of porn are needed to achieve the same sensations. This can go on and on until there are hardly any functioning dopamine receptors left. 

Hence, extensive use of porn and masturbation may cause permanent or semi-permanent neuroplastic changes in your brain.

Why is this numbing of the dopamine reward system so dangerous?

Dopamine Reward System

Because it is very likely to cause erectile dysfunction. The specific term for this is called porn induced erectile dysfunction

At this point, your brain is so saturated with sexual stimulation that only very extreme forms of sexual stimulation will excite you. 

This sexual stimulation will often need to be extreme, completely novel and provide ultimate control. 

Real sex, and particularly real sex with a partner that is not novel, will often simply not work. 

Also, a person addicted to porn will often stop being interested in normal sex, and will rather want extreme virtual sex with a cyber partner. 

Pornography and masturbation has at this point become more desirable than actual sex.

It may sound strange, but the information coming from a computer in symphony with masturbation, can often be preferred to the real thing. 

This can be reinforced when real sex is difficult and disappointing, but masturbation and porn works like a charm. Then porn often becomes a substitute for sex.

Another negative consequence from watching porn and masturbating too frequently, is a loss of sexual energy, or libido.

Every time you have an erection, your body burns sexual energy to support this erection. In other words, by having frequent erections, and long lasting erections, your libido reserves are being tapped. 

And when you have an ejaculatory orgasm, you normally burn testosterone reserves, which also makes your libido fall.

Man Tired Low Libido

So not only can porn and masturbation cause erectile dysfunction, it can also cause your libido to plummet.

And there is yet another negative consequence brought about by pornography:

It will very likely change your view of women (or other men). You may start to see these women as objects of your sexual desires, and start forgetting that that can actually be lovely, warm and amazing human beings. 😊 

Sex is such a strong drift, it can alter your view of reality and make you seek gratification with little concern for the rest of the world. 

My Story With Pornography

I certainly indulged in porn. I could at times watch porn and masturbate several times a week. 

Man Masturbating To Porn

But I didn’t see the link between numbing my brain with a constant flow of virtual, naked, novel and attractive women — and erectile dysfunction. It just didn’t occur to me at all. 

In fact, I was thoroughly and utterly confused. Why was I functioning sexually with porn, but not with the real thing? It just didn’t make any sense to me.

The connection only dawned on me after I came across an article that addressed what happens in the brain of people that very often watch pornography and masturbate.

I was dismissive and skeptical at first. But this reluctance quickly dissipated when I put two and two together. It then made total sense. 

When a person exercises very hard, the body gets used to the increased exercise and can subsequently handle more exercise. When a person takes a drug over a long period of time, the body will often build tolerance to this drug and the dosage will subsequently have to be increased to have the same effect as before. 

Tolerance To Pornography

My body was getting used to, and building tolerance towards, a continuous stream of naked, novel and virtual women. It all of a sudden made complete sense.

As soon as I learned this, I immediately stopped watching porn and stopped masturbating. I would not do the two combined, and neither would I do them separately. I quit cold turkey. 

And it didn’t take very long until I started noticing changes. 

After a few days, I could sense improvements, and after about three weeks, the improvements were very noticeable.

What happened was that I started thinking more about sex. Sex became something I craved. And then when I thought about sex, I started getting semi-flaccid erections. This was highly unusual!

Stop Watching Pornography

So by exposing myself to less sexual stimulation, I wanted more sex. By not touching myself anymore, I became more sensitive to touch. My libido increased. 

By reducing the exposure to sexual stimulation (porn and masturbation), it became much easier for me to get erections when I was with a woman. And my erections didn’t fade away easily. 

Not only was it easier to get erections, but the sensations from being with a woman were now stronger and more special than before. 

Erectile dysfunction happened less and less. It was amazing, I could hardly believe it! 

This one change, which was a relatively easy and quick change to make, by itself had a huge positive impact on my sexual ability. 

Success Solving Erectile Dysfunction

By making this change, what I was doing was to reboot my brain. I reset my brain to become more receptive to sex. And I was also getting a healthier view of sex as well as of women. 

And all it took was simply the right knowledge of how I was abusing my body, and then implementing a change to correct this. 

But these problems don’t necessarily only apply to pornography and masturbation. They can also apply to sex. Actual and real sex. 

In other words, by having too frequent sex, you can also develop erectile dysfunction and a general disinterest in sex. It may sound strange, but the process is in fact the same as for frequent use of pornography.

If the dopamine reward system in the brain is worn out by too much stimulation, a person will start losing interest in the ‘thing’ that causes the dopamine release. 

Neuron Dopamine

Imagine if you ate chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a long time. After a while, you would probably not want to see chocolate again. 

The same goes for sex. In addition, there is the same point about burning libido. Each time you have an erection or are stimulated, some of this stored-up libido is used. If this is being used more rapidly than it can be replenished, your libido will decrease.

I have also experienced having too much sex. There have been periods in my life where I have had so frequent sex that I didn’t want it anymore (with the help of pharmaceutical drugs). It almost became a chore and a hassle rather than something enjoyable.

The Good News

The good news is that the issues of erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, neuroplastic brain changes, etc., don’t have to be permanent. They can be reversed. 

Good News Erectile Dysfunction

By stopping watching porn and masturbating (or limiting the frequency of sex), the body will normally slowly start to reverse the damages. 

The body is amazing!

Bit by bit, normal dopamine function can be restored. 

However, this normally doesn’t happen overnight. If the extent of the damage is severe, it can take significant time to rewire the brain. This process took several weeks for me.

Research Studies

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Pornography Brain Damage

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Brand M, Snagowski J, Laier C, Maderwald S. Ventral striatum activity when watching preferred pornographic pictures is correlated with symptoms of Internet pornography addiction. Neuroimage. 2016 Apr 1;129:224-232. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.01.033. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

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Pornography Brain Damage ED

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Pornography Brain Scan

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Pornography Can Cause Brain Damage

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Doctors Reviewing ED Results

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