Sexual Dysfunction: The Escalating Price of Abusing Porn

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Sexual Dysfunction: The Escalating Price of Abusing Porn
Find out what can happen when a porn habit spirals out of control in this article from Psych Central

It appears that the tsunami of accessible, affordable, and increasingly graphic Internet pornography accessed via home computers, laptops, smart-phones and other mobile devices we now carry in our pockets can, for some, cause not only emotional, relationship, and financial problems, but also sexual dysfunction. In a way, this confirms what many in the sexual addiction treatment field have known for quite some time—that among the many symptoms and consequences of sex and porn addiction is reduced or even nonexistent interest in sexual, physical, and emotional connections with spouses and/or longer-term sexual partners. This problem is not simply due to the frequency of masturbation and orgasm outside a primary relationship; it is more related to the fact that men in general are both visually stimulated and turned-on by new stimuli. The man who spends 75% of his sexual life masturbating and fantasizing to porn (endless images of young, exciting, different partners and sexual experiences) is, over time, likely to find his longer-term partner less interesting visually and less stimulating than the endless supply of new and exciting material in his head. What we are now seeing is an emotional disconnect with spouses and partners that is manifesting physically as sexual dysfunction, be it DE or its better known cousin, erectile dysfunction (ED). Common complaints by men experiencing porn-induced sexual dysfunction include:

  • They have no problem achieving erection or orgasm with pornography, but in person, with a willing spouse or sexual partner, they struggle with one or both.
  • They are able to have sex and achieve orgasm with their spouse or partner, but reaching orgasm takes a lot longer and their spouse or partner complains that they seem disengaged.
  • They can maintain an erection with a spouse or partner, but can only reach orgasm by replaying clips of Internet porn in their heads.
  • They invite spouses and partners to join them in watching porn—not as an occasional addendum to a healthy sexual life—but as a necessary tool toward erection and orgasm.
  • They increasingly prefer “porn sex” to real sex, finding it more intense and engaging.
  • They have increasing secrets from their spouse (amount of time looking at porn, images seen, etc.), which can lead to feelings of guilt and detachment.
  • Their spouse or partner reports that they are beginning to feel like “the other woman.”

When People Eat Too Much, They Diet; What about Too Much Porn?

It is unlikely that everyone who suffers from porn-induced DE is a full-blown porn addict. Nevertheless, porn-induced sexual dysfunction should at the very least be viewed as a precursor to porn addiction. Any man who uses porn and suffers from sexual dysfunction with a spouse or longer-term partner should consider a respite from porn and masturbation for 30 days to see if the problem clears up. If it does, that’s great. If that individual thereafter stays away from porn and masturbation, his sex life should be fine. If 30 days of porn and masturbation abstinence doesn’t clear things up, the individual may need to look deeper for the cause, which could be either physical or psychological in origin.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
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