Erectile Dysfunction is one of the major reasons why a lot of people do the nofap challenge.
This makes nofap and erectile dysfunction two topics that have somehow become entangled.
Though a lot of people believe there’s a connection between pornography and erectile dysfunction, when it comes to the question of if porn causes Erectile Dysfunction in men, the answer has led to several arguments and split opinions on the issue.
Some scholars and medical practitioners don’t believe there’s enough research to establish a link between porn usage and erectile dysfunction.
Even though some studies have established this link, they believe these aren’t sufficient enough to make pornography a public health concern for young men.
Also, they often claim that the authors of these studies are biased and subjective.
To these scholars and practitioners, rebooting with nofap is a total waste of time—since masturbating to internet porn can’t cause your Erectile Dysfunction in the first place.
So, if at a point you notice your penis isn’t working as it should, and you set up an appointment with these experts, instead of asking you if you watch too much porn (and tell you to stop jerking off to it), they’ll recommend Viagra (which have its own side-effects on your body).
This is so they can earn their sweet commissions from the Viagra-producing pharmaceutical companies.
In other words, they keep getting richer at the risk of your penis.
But one thing that all these Viagra-pushing practitioners agree on is there’s an anecdote for the link between porn and erectile dysfunction.
And where there’s an anecdote, sooner or later, as further research goes into the topic, the society will wake up.
Are we having a repeat of the saga between the people and the tobacco companies in the 50s through to the 90s?
To start this post properly and in the right way, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
The year was 1950, and the first-ever article that linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer was published in the British Medical Journal.
The Big Tobacco Companies’ lawyers and “research team” took to the media and outrightly denied anything to that effect. They even sponsored a counter-research that somehow concluded the opposite of what was published in the British Journal.
What they didn’t realize back then was there were a lot of cases and stories that were correlated with the findings published in the journal. What they didn’t know back then was there was an anecdote.
Fourteen years later, the Surgeon General of the United States also confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer.
As usual, the Big Tobacco Companies’ teams would somehow come up with their own “researches” that somehow concluded that there was no link between smoking and lung cancer.
Many people and many states were starting to sue these Big Tobacco Companies.
And somehow, the Tobacco Companies were winning the lawsuits.
In 1994, their luck eventually ran out. A Mississippi District Attorney by the name of Mike Moore filed the first lawsuit against 13 Big Tobacco Companies. In 1998, the companies settled the case by paying out $246 Billion to 46 states.
They admitted wrong-doing in concealing the adverse effects of smoking.
They also adjusted their advertising to some certain ages and included warning signs on the packs of the cigarettes they produced.
Let’s put a hold on the tobacco saga for now.
Let me try to answer a question that by now, I’m sure it is burning in your mind.
Is there a direct link between Porn and Erectile Dysfunction?
What is erectile dysfunction?
According to the Mayo Clinic website, an ED is an inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.
The symptoms of an ED problem are;
- Trouble getting an erection,
- Trouble keeping an erection, and
- Reduced sexual desire
If you’re familiar with my writing on the subject of nofap, you’ll notice that I always base the writing on scientific proof.
Let me provide you with the studies that have been conducted on the topic (as much as I could find).
Studies establishing the link between porn and ED
A review with clinical reports by a research team led by Gary Wilson
In an attempt to explain the sharp rise in the rate of ED in perfectly healthy men under 40, this team reviewed studies ranging from psychological to biological reports. They concluded that Porn can indeed be a major contributor to ED and if the Porn is removed from the equation, the ED can be reversed.
A survey presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in Boston
The survey was carried out on 312 men aged twenty to forty years in an attempt to explain the sharp rise in erectile dysfunction recently observed. The study found a statistical relationship between porn and sexual dysfunction.
Some form of conditioning is apparent when it comes to the constant use of internet pornography. Parents should spend time with their kids and block their access to porn—the lead researcher Dr. Christman
The first study on a sample from three European Countries (A flawed research with limitations)
This research made use of two large scale samples of data on men from three European Countries. Two studies were conducted in this research. The first study was a 2011 sample of Croatian men and it found a weak link between the use of pornography and Erectile Dysfunction.
The limitations of this research were that pornography genre and duration of porn use were not taken into account.
Studies finding NO link between porn and ED
The second study on the sample from three European Countries (A flawed research with limitations)
This second study in the research on the sample of men from three European Countries found no correlation between porn use and erectile dysfunction.
The limitations of this research were that pornography genre and duration of porn use were not taken into account.
Relationship between VSS and sexual responsiveness
A 2015 study found that more hours viewing sexual stimuli actually increased sexual responses and desire for sex with a partner.
Personally, as much as I believe porn did rub me of my erection (which I regained after doing the nofap reboot and getting all the benefits of NoFap challenge), I think more comprehensive research is needed in order to FULLY establish a direct link between porn and ED.
And as much as it’s easy to blame all forms of ED on internet pornography, there are actually several other factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Not all Erectile Dysfunctions are created equally
Another question you should ask before you do nofap to cure your erectile dysfunction is this;
Is my Erectile Dysfunction Porn-induced?
The first reasonable answer to this question is this; if you are under 40 years of age, you’re not supposed to be experiencing ED.
If you’re under 40, and you have ED, to help you answer this question properly, let me enlighten you a little bit further on the other things aside from porn that can cause erectile dysfunction for people in this age-range;
Physical Causes which include;
- heart problems,
- high blood pressure,
- Side effects of some oral drugs prescribed for high blood pressure,
- High cholesterol,
- hormonal disorders (low testosterone),
Psychological and Emotional Causes include;
- Stress (which is an increase of cortisol levels in the body) related to work, money, and other things,
- Depression (which is a function of dopamine signaling in the brain),
- Addiction to alcohol
- Drug abuse
If you check the list above (especially the physical causes), and you have any of the conditions, it’s wise to check-in with your physician and investigate the issue further.
Upon investigation, if it’s any of the conditions above robbing you of your erections, you can be given a treatment plan. And this usually involves making some lifestyle changes.
But, if you’re under 40, AND you don’t have any of the above conditions, AND you jerk off to High-speed internet porn every day, or every other day, it’s safe to say you’re suffering from a Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction.
Types of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED)
From personal experience and the account of several porn addicts suffering from PIED, Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction can surface in three forms. These forms are listed below:
Porn-Induced Lack of Erection
This is when you can get an erection while watching porn, but when it comes to having sex with a real-life partner, you can’t get an erection.
And even if you manage to get it up, you can’t maintain the erection long enough for the duration of the intercourse.
Porn-Induced Premature Ejaculation (PIPE)
This is when you ejaculate too fast anytime you are having sex. This often leaves the man feeling anxious and inadequate.
Porn-Induced Delayed Ejaculation (PIDE)
This is the reverse of the premature ejaculation version of erectile dysfunction. It’s when you can’t ejaculate from normal sexual activities. Often times, people afflicted with this version of PIED need to fantasize porn, or watch it, and masturbate their way into ejaculation.
How Porn can directly/indirectly induce an erectile dysfunction
I’ve listed some studies above that have established a direct link between porn and ED.
Let’s forget about the direct link for a moment and take a look at the link from an indirect point of view.
Unlike the action of cigarette smoking and its direct effects on the smokers’ lungs, excessive porn watching might not necessarily have that direct effect when it comes to Erectile Dysfunction.
This doesn’t mean porn isn’t the culprit still.
It just means porn can be likened to a puppet master killing your erections from behind the scene.
What do I mean?
What I’m trying to say is this;
“Where there’s porn, there’s chronic masturbation, there’s time wasted surfing the net, there’s objectification of partner (and this can lead to a lack of interest in physical sex), there’s dopamine pathway hijack, there’s the ‘death grip’, there’s a shift in sexual preference, there’s hormonal disorder (low testosterone), and there are unrealistic expectations from your sexual parts and your partner’s.”
And all these are a clear highway to erectile dysfunction.
Dopamine pathway hijack
For there to be arousal and erection, the role that the Dopamine (D1 and D2 receptors) neurotransmitter plays is crucial.
Dopamine and its receptors are found in the reward circuits of the brain. They are basically motivators that prompt action.
One of the things Dopamine has been naturally programmed to do is get us excited for sex.
With excessive porn use, these dopamine receptors are greatly reduced in the brain of the porn addict. This is so as to protect the brain from the flood of dopamine that internet porn produces.
This is one of the reasons why porn addicts lose interest in physical sex. Not that the addict isn’t interested in sex, he just prefers the pixel internet porn. Internet Porn is novel, and it promises an unlimited supply of fantasies and kinks he can play out in his head. Real sex quickly becomes boring and unexciting and this eventually affects erection.
Dopamine and its receptors are so important to have an erection. Several clinical tests have been conducted to check if administering D1 and D2 receptors will treat ED in men suffering from it.
This study found that administering D1 and D2-like receptors induced erections. And this provides a possibility to improve the treatment of ED.
Another study found that dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in the control of the sexual system.
When it comes to porn-damaged dopamine receptors, all you need is a nofap hard mode reboot to rewire your dopamine pathway.
Objectification of women
With the way most porn stories play out (where there’s one), it often depicts a submissive female performer.
In simpler words, porn mostly depicts female performers as a sexual object.
Starting from their tailored objectifying storyline, to the performer acting as if she’s enjoying every bit of the most demeaning thing being done to her, the message is that women can be treated as sex objects.
With time, and with continuous exposure to this sort of thing you might start objectifying women in real life.
Unless the brain is rebooted, it’ll be hard for you to make an emotional connection with your partner. Mostly because you can’t see past her being something you should primarily use for sex.
The side-effect of this is reality can quickly disappoint you when you’re having sex. You can find it hard to ejaculate through normal sex because of this desensitization.
Aside from having delayed ejaculation, this issue can lead to disagreement and fights in relationships.
Because you watch too much porn, you might start making requests of your partner that he/she isn’t comfortable with.
He/she gets angry, you get angry, and things escalate from there.
The perfection illusion
What you should be aware of is that if you take a peep behind the scene of most porn scenes, you’ll discover that reality is far different from what you see on screen.
Before the start of a scene, the performers often take different types of drugs in the form of ecstasy, stimulants, c**ke, and so on.
In most porn scenes, there are several scene cuts where the performers take time out to cool off or take a shot of c**ke.
Aside from this, porn filmmakers make use of various camera angles to exaggerate the sex organs of performers. They also use these angles to hide the performers’ blemishes and flaws. And with the new HD cameras in use nowadays, they’ve gotten the perfectionism thing down to the T.
The way this perfectionism illusion can culminate into erectile dysfunction for you is if you start comparing your sexual parts and sexual performance with that of the performers.
This often results in a psychological feeling of inadequacy. And this can induce a form of anxiety around sex which can lead to erectile dysfunction when it’s time to have sex.
One other thing to note is that these performers are specifically chosen for their big members. This simple fact seems to get lost on most porn addicts.
Novelty and shocking effect leading to extreme sexual expectations
With constant use of porn, the dopamine pathway gets hijacked.
At this stage, you start building a tolerance to porn. And in order to get your dopamine hits, you’ll need to keep watching more porn content to get off.
And not just more, you need more novel, more extreme, more shocking, and kinkier porn.
Maybe you are a straight man that started out watching regular porn. With increased usage, maybe you’ve graduated to watching anal porn, then to gangbangs and rape scenes, then to shemale or gay porn altogether.
In this scenario, it’ll be hard to get an erection with your ‘regular sex wanting’ partner. If you can get it up, it can be hard to maintain it if you aren’t allowed to play out the dark fantasies porn has planted into your head.
Chronic masturbation and the death grip
As I said earlier, where there’s porn, there’s always chronic masturbation.
There’s a form of masturbation that’s rampant amongst porn addicts called the ‘death grip’.
The ‘death grip’ is a form of masturbation without the use of any lubricant.
This usually results in the desensitization of the penis and can result in erectile dysfunction.
Signs and symptoms of porn watching lifestyle that can induce Erectile Dysfunction
For you to be having any form of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction, you must have noticed any of the following porn-watching habits;
- The number of hours you spend searching for the ‘right porn’ has increased dramatically; maybe you started using 15 minutes to surf the internet for porn, you’re now spending at least two hours daily
- Your porn library has increased dramatically; if you’re the type that likes to download porn as opposed to streaming it, you’ll have noticed gigabytes of porn that’s started eating up space on your hard drive.
- You are now searching for, and watching more aggressive, kinkier, and more shocking porn.
- A possible shift in your porn sexual orientation
- You can start, please yourself, and finish when watching porn. But can’t start or finish when you’re having physical sex
All the symptoms above points to the fact that your penis has gotten de-sensitized,
Is Nofap the Cure for a Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
If you’ve confirmed that your ED is porn-induced, for you to fix it with nofap, you need to do nothing less than the hard mode of nofap.
It might take you more than the conventional three months, but your ED will be reversed.
If you want faster results, you can try the monk mode. The monk mode is much more than the hard mode because you would still be doing other things while doing nofap.
You should also give your body time to heal. Don’t rush yourself. The damage was done over many years. Don’t expect it to be fully reversed in two to three months.
What to do when nofap doesn’t cure your ED? Other things to watch out for
Stop all other things that might be affecting your erection.
These things can be other things you consume that’s affecting your penis. Things like drugs (both the recreational and prescribed), alcohol, caffeine, and so on.
Don’t rush yourself
It might be that your body simply needs more time to heal. So, don’t rush yourself into sex if you feel like you aren’t ready.
And if it happens and you aren’t able to get it up and keep it up, just don’t beat yourself up. Have it at the back of your mind you’re making progress.
Might be more psychological than you think
It might be that you’re having more psychological issues leading to the ED. Try and fix this by seeing a therapist and have him/her look under the hood.
Take three deep breaths and relax. Sometimes, anxiety is the main culprit.
Till we speak again,
STAY WEALTHY, STAY RELAXED.