Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction

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Internet Porn and Erectile Dysfunction
ED isn't just for older men anymore. The new face of ED is 20 years and addicted to Internet Porn.


When I get a call from a Urologist to refer a patient suffering erectile dysfunction, my mind typically sees a 50 plus year old gentleman. Recently this image in my mind is being replaced with a 20 plus year old that is addicted to internet porn. Viewing porn has been around for some time, but it has never been as accessible 24 hours a day to the majority of men. Women also view internet porn, but not to the same extent. Women aren’t as visual as men when it comes to sex. A clean dishwasher, red pumps or an expensive handbag is more likely to turn women on.
Marnia Robinson, a former corporate lawyer, reported in “Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction” that low libido (which is now happening to men in their twenties) is caused by continuous over-stimulation of dopamine, the same neurotransmitter that activates the body’s reaction to sexual pleasure by repeatedly viewing pornography on the Internet. This causes men to become desensitized to normal stimuli, and they need increasingly extreme experiences to become sexually aroused. Most of the young men I see never believed this could be a problem with Internet porn. In fact, the majority of them see me after seeing their Urologist only to hear that everything checks out normal. Although their testosterone and other health measures may be normal, the fact that they cannot achieve an erection is not normal. They suffer from an addiction and like all addictions, denial of the problem, and continuing to use the “vice” keeps it in place.
Internet porn addicts differ from porn addicts in that they don’t frequent strip clubs, and adult bookstores; rather, they isolate themselves while engaging in their addiction. They can spend hours or even lose days looking at Internet porn. Therefore, it is likely they are in a loveless marriage, or not dating. Their addiction takes over their life totally.
The most common signs and symptoms of an Internet porn addiction are listed below from a book titled, “The Porn Trap:”
• Using the Internet for hours with or without breaks
• Becoming more anxious or depressed
• They ignore friends, family, or personal responsibility
• They lie about spending time on the Internet and what they are doing while on the Internet
• They become irritable when Internet use is disrupted
• They anticipate when they may be able to use the Internet again
If you are in a relationship with someone addicted to Internet porn, you will notice they want less sex with you, seem to lack interest, and withdraw intimacy with you in many ways. They prefer spending time alone, and in the case of marriage, they withdraw from “family times” more and more.

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Mary Jo Rapini

Counselor/Therapist

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