Hello everybody, sorry I haven’t posted on this blog much. I’ve been caught up with my new blog. Today I wanted to discuss a rising issue among young men across the globe, and that if not treated will only worsen across new generations. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction, or PIED, is a phenomenon that suggests that men who watch porn and/or masturbate to it too frequently cause themselves to develop erectile dysfunction when it comes to having sex with real life partners. I will break down PIED in a scientific way, debunk critics of PIED, and give men who suffer from it tips to help themselves in the bedroom.
PIED all stems mainly from the Coolidge Effect. The Coolidge Effect is a psychological theory that tells us that men achieve faster and more powerful orgasms when they are exposed to new sexual partners. Over time with the same partner, it can take a man longer to achieve orgasm. However, with porn, there is exposure to thousands upon thousands of partners. You see, your brain sees porn stars as sexual partners, regardless of if you’re having sex with them, masturbating to them or you’re just browsing through their pictures or videos. Dopamine is a chemical hormone released by the brain during pleasurable activities, such as sex or drug use, and requires stronger stimuli to produce the same “high”. The Coolidge Effect paired with dopamine is a dangerous thing. In the typical male’s life time, there aren’t enough sex partners to compete with pornography. Think about it. Addicts and partners, you/someone you know has seen thousands of women in porn, but most likely has slept with a fraction of that in person (e.g., maybe 20 women in person, but have seen thousands of porn stars online). Your porn consumption is dooming your sexual relationship with another woman because your brain is so used to fast changing stimuli (e.g., in the typical session you’re browsing you look at maybe 20 different women) that when you go to have sex with a real life person, your brain feels this is boring so you may not achieve an erection or orgasm.
According to Men’s Journal, a website which is often biased towards men, supports my views that too much masturbation and porn leads to ED! Dopamine receptors are usually quite sensitive. When you first use a drug you get the initial, most powerful high. But that makes the dopamine receptors less sensitive, so over time you need more of the drug to achieve a high and it is often not the same as the original high. This is the same for masturbation and porn. Paired together, these are a nightmare for your dopamine receptors. Within 6-12 weeks of not masturbating and watching porn, you can rewire your brain to this original homeostasis and your dopamine receptors will begin to heal.
Men’s Health tells us that 25% of all erectile-dysfunction patients are now under 40. In 2002, only 2% of men under 40 suffered from ED. Ursula Ofman, Psy D., suggests that porn plays a role in this. If you consume pornography and/or masturbate before you see a partner, it impacts your ability to achieve an erection. For men who have long periods of time between sexual partners, pornography and your hand can become your triggers. Single men are training themselves to respond only to their hand and pornography. This is alarming that such a huge spike has occurred in only fifteen years. Men are sabotaging their sex lives and many are not even aware. Society tells us that porn is “normal” and “a guy thing,” but it is affecting the sex lives of women because we have deal with the men who cannot achieve erections or perform because of porn.
Everyday Health tells us of a survey of Italian men that starting at age 14 and continuing to their mid 20’s desensitizes men to the most violent images, lowers libido and can cause ED. This is scary, because most men are exposed to pornography at age 10 or 11, so the damage being done to these men are worse. It is a problem with the brain, not the penis. Dr. Samadi has studied PIED and says that many of his patients are teens and men in their early 20s. 18 million men in the United States have ED. Dr. Muhammed Mirza says that 15-20% of his patients have PIED. Samadi says that porn from magazines like Penthouse and Playboy are much different from online pornography, because they are not nearly as graphic, violent or kinky and are not accessible 24/7 online. Mirza discusses how porn has increased men’s expectations of a sexual partner and can make them and their female partners feel more self conscious.
Many critics of PIED say that there’s no link to porn and causing sexual dysfunction, and that porn can increase sexual receptiveness. But there has not been a large enough sample of men who have stopped their porn consumption to use as subjects. Also, these critics forget that while subjects will respond positively to porn images, they will have problems when it comes to their own partners. An article on Bustle posts a survey on Reddit and asks subjects what they learned from porn. Many said they thought they need vaginoplasty surgery or that penises were supposed to be bigger. One comment in particular alarmed me. “I thought having sex with a man meant having to pretend I enjoyed it even if I wasn’t, that it didn’t matter if I had an orgasm, and that it was normal for a guy not to give a shit about my pleasure,” writes Danianne. That’s the vibe I got from porn too: it only matters if the male has pleasure and it’s okay for a man to degrade his female partner. More women are shaving their pubic hair and are getting labiaplasty surgeries to look more appealing to men. But even with these efforts women cannot compete with the thousands of porn stars online.
Elite Daily discusses how men’s expectations of sex due to porn is giving many women anxiety and paranoia. I know that I personally have experienced this in my sex life. Do I look better to him than she does? Am I too hairy? Do I have to do these different positions in order to keep his attention? Am I ever gonna be able to get him to stop looking at porn? Why do I have to deal with this when it makes me depressed/suicidal? Many men have become numb to the effects porn has on their partners. Studies have shown that women feel less satisfied with their partners if their partners consume a lot of pornography. It isn’t even just pornography, it’s men leering at women online and in person! It makes your partner feel lousy to see that you look up beautiful women online, look at porn stars or amateur naked women, and that it makes us feel like we are not good enough. We don’t look at other men in that way, so you shouldn’t look at other women in that way.
John Mayer, the musician, recently told a magazine that he’d rather look at women online than find a new sex partner, and that real women do not compete with his ability to recall women he’s seen online, and orgasms he’s achieved solo are better than ones he’s achieved with new women. That to me is alarming. When you think of celebrities, you think of them having acesss to many beautiful men and women. But porn is causing many to retreat online rather than find someone in person.
There are ways to help yourself if you have PIED. If you’re single, cut down porn consumption and learn to masturbate without porn. Masturbating can be healthy. If you’re in a relationship, guys leave the online fantasy women out of your relationship. Every time you look at a naked woman online you’re disrespecting your girl and you are being disloyal. Your sex life will be much better when you leave other people out of it. Yes, porn stars, celebrities and naked women are real people you’re bringing into your relationship. Yes, it is being disloyal and potentially breaking your vows to your partner. Yes, it makes us cry and feel terrible about ourselves every time you do it.
Guys, it would be a different ball game if you were able to understand how it feels. If your wife wasn’t in the mood because she already got off earlier. If you caught your wife looking at muscular black men if you’re a skinny white man and she lied to you. If she told you it has nothing to do with you and to get over it, that it’s a female thing. If men were the ones objectified in the media. If you were made to feel like you’re not enough for a person.
Is an online fantasy really worth damaging your body, your partner’s sense of self worth and your brain?