Comments: Ever since the Daily Mail ran with our Psychology Today post on porn & ED, several websites have written pieces on porn-induced ED. This is one of the few authors to actually read several of our articles, synthesize the material, and add their own expert quotes to substantiate the thesis.
Pornography abuse could lead to erectile dysfunction
Written by Ruth Olurounbi Thursday, 17 November 2011
Against the backdrop of the claim by experts that erectile dysfunction is a worldwide problem with a prevalence in developing countries similar to, if not higher than, that reported for men in industrialised societies, Ruth Olurounbi reports that pornography could be one contributory factor to this disease.
The worldwide prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) is very high and is expected to increase substantially over the next 25 years, so says the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The journal stated that the worldwide prevalence of ED in 1995 exceeded 152 million men, and that this number, by 2025, would reach 322 million.
The journal stated also that, according to an evaluated incidence of ED among men attending primary health care clinics in countries with cultures very different from those in the industrialised West: Pakistan, Egypt, and Nigeria, the results of this epidemiologic analysis indicated that the prevalence of ED and other diseases associated with this condition in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and south Asia is similar to that in the United States and Western Europe.
Surveys of men between the ages of 35 and 70 seeking primary medical care indicated that the age-adjusted prevalence of ED were 57.4 per cent in Nigeria, 63.6 per cent in Egypt, and 80.8 per cent in Pakistan. As in other studies, older age, diabetes, prostate conditions, and depression were all associated with increased risk for ED.
Experts say among other variables contributing to ED is pornography. Now that pornography comes in diverse forms, through various channels, a guidance and counselor in Ibadan, Dr Femi Adekunle has complained that “almost every one access the internet through all forms of electronic gadgets there are, internet pornography has become more accessible to everyone – men, women, even children. As if that was not enough, we now come in pirated Digital Video Disks (DVDs) and even worse, in home videos.”
According to the PychologyToday, “a growing number of young, internet pornography users are complaining of delayed ejaculation, inability to be turned on by real partners, and sluggish erections. Lots of guys, in their 20s or so, can't get it up anymore with a real girl, and they all relate having a serious porn/masturbation habit.“
Urologists have also confirmed pornography has contributed to an erectile dysfunction through a large survey. An urologist professor at the University of Padua and head, the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine, Professor Carlo Foresta, when interviewed about the survey, said that 70 per cent of the young men his clinic treated for sexual performance problems had been using pornography heavily.
According to Marnia Robinson & Gary Wilson in “Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Is a Growing Problem”, desperate young men from various cultures, with different levels of education, religiousity, attitudes, values, diets, marijuana use, and personalities are seeking help. They have only two things in common: heavy use of today's internet porn and increasing need for more extreme material. Many have previously been to doctors, undergone various tests, and been declared ‘just fine’ physically. Neither they nor their health care providers considered excessive porn use as a potential cause of their continued performance problems. Most were assured that ‘masturbation cannot cause erectile dysfunction.’ (Probably true, but unfortunately internet porn use can.) The final diagnosis was generally ‘performance anxiety’.”
Marnia Robinson her published article, “As Porn Goes Up, Performance Goes Down?”, wrote: the porn/potency connection is surprisingly treacherous. Most men’s potency isn’t affected by porn...until it is. So the problem seems illusory until it catches up with someone—at which point he tends to mistake hotter porn as the cure. More extreme material further desensitises his brain. At this juncture, most men clutch at any explanation other than porn use for their symptoms, due to their growing dependency.”
As if to lend credence to pornography-erectile dysfunction, a young man, who would rather remain anonymous, in a confession, said he had been looking at internet pornography since he began college 13 years ago. “Around age 24, I noticed difficulty getting aroused with real women. Generic Viagra off the Internet allowed me to have real relationships with minor problems until I got to the age of 30. Then, it became increasingly difficult to have real sex, even with the drugs.
“Realising my problem, I tried several times to give up porn. The longest I lasted without it was three weeks. During this time, I could not get aroused thinking about normal sex, so I was frustrated. My only escape was to fall back into the only thing that would arouse me: fantasising about the images I had developed when watching porn. Then it was back to porn.”
Femi (not real name) also stated that, after years of pornography, he begun having trouble with erections. He said his problem got worse and worse for a couple of more years; therefore he needed “more and more types of porn stimulation, and it still were not helping. I was really worried, but the anxiety just pushed me deeper into porn.” He reflected that he had “probably used every type of porn image and video out there. The more I go without porn, masturbation, fantasy and orgasm, the more difficult it becomes to not get an erection.”
Experts have concluded that as internet speed has soared, so has masturbation to videos as they are easily accessible, increasingly extreme—and much more stimulating than Playboys of the past.
According to psychiatrists, a heavy porn user is very much like a drug addict. Dr Norman Doidge, a psychiatrist, said just like a drug addict, a heavy porn user would over time, no longer get high on the images that once turned him on. He added that the danger was that this tolerance would very much carry over into relationships, which in effect leads to potency problems “and new, at times, unwelcome tastes.”
He concluded by saying that “today, young men who surf porn are tremendously fearful of impotence, or “erectile dysfunction” as it is euphemistically called. The misleading term implies that these men have a problem in their penises, but the problem is in their heads. It rarely occurs to them that there may be a relationship between the pornography they are consuming and their impotence.”
Dr Tokunbo Alagbe, a psychiatrist in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, said a lot of men don’t experience erectile problem until several years of heavy pornographic use. That is when “they begin to realise that there is something wrong with them. But because of their shame, they cannot come out to anyone about their problems.”
The good news is that pornography-induced erectile dysfunction is reversible, as long as the sufferer is willing to give up his compulsive pornographic use, Dr Peter Bamidele, a psychologist said.
Dr Bamidele explained that as the brain is vetoed from pursuing porn-acquired links, it would eventually look around for other sources of pleasure. As the recovering individual feeds his brain with friendly interaction, real mates, time in nature, exercise, accomplishment, and so forth, it begins to replace the pornographic materials with healthy lifestyle choices.