Balancing Self-Gratification and Intimacy in Relationships
Understand Porn’s Effects on Your Sexual Health
Porn Makes Sex Less Satisfying
Pornography gives the promise of sexual fulfillment but research shows that reality is different. Those who use porn have less satisfying sex lives or they are unable to have sex at all. Whether it is the explosion of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction or the tripling of sexlessness by young men in the last ten years, porn is having a negative impact on sex. The result of porn is less sex, less satisfying sex and for a going number no sex at all.
Your Brain Wants More Porn
When someone watches porn and masturbates, especially when they do so for years, and especially during adolescence, it shapes their sexual arousal around vouyerism and self-sex. Porn rewires the brain in such a way that sex with a real person feels different. In his book, Your Brain on Porn, Gary Wilson writes, “Until recently, erectile dysfunction was rarely seen in men under forty. Now it is seen in teenagers as young as fifteen.” Why? Because of porn. He goes on to explain:
By the time they find a real partner, perhaps as much as a decade later, some guys discover they have trained intensely for the wrong sport. These young men had simply conditioned their sexual response to screens, isolating, constant novelty, shock/surprise, fetish porn and watching other people have sex… you become numb to real partners.
Eventually, You’ll Want Less Sex
People who watch porn bring those images into bed with them. Mutually pleasurable lovemaking can be reduced to self-sex. One is using the other to chase a fantasy instead of being present in reality. It is common for men not to be able to climax without fantasizing about porn while they are having sex with their wife. Urologist Dr. Harry Fisch says,
“When a man chronically watches porn and gets off on it… the sensory stimulation he gets from the virtual world makes it much more difficult for him to get aroused, stay aroused, and be happily aroused by the real, live woman in his life.”
What we invest in virtual sex takes away from our enjoyment of real sex. Fisch continues, In other words, his frequent, porn-fueled masturbation leads to sexual dysfunction with a partner. If he can only have an orgasm when watching porn, and if he becomes accustomed to having orgasms only in a certain way or while watching a certain thing, he’s in trouble… Porn isn’t just risky business; it’s a killer for your sex life.
What is Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction? (PIED)
Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection because of psychological damage caused by porn use.
Cases of PIED Increasing
The cover story of the April 2016 edition of Time Magazine was entitled: Why Young Men Who Grew Up on Internet Porn are Becoming Advocates for Shutting it Off. The article is about a group of twenty somethings that have porn induced erectile dysfunction. These men are saying that porn has ruined their ability to even have sex.
- In 1992 only 5% of men under age 40 had Erectile Dysfunction.
- In 2014 the percentage jumped up to 33%.
- ED is actually a growing issue among teenagers.
- A Canadian sexologist study showed that 53.5% of teenagers reported sexual problems—ED and loss of interest were the two biggest.
There Is Hope for Recovery from PIED
The good news is the brain can be changed and you can enjoy sex the way God intended. It takes time without porn to help the brain reset.
Even Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction can be cured after several months without porn. You have probably seen commercials for the Roman App? It was designed to help young men avoid the embarrassing conversation with their doctor about ED so now they can get Viagra or Cialias through the App. The cheaper, better and longer term solution to stop PIED is to stop watching porn.
When many try to stop, that is when they realize they are addicted because they can’t. Porn promised sexual fulfillment but it actually takes away the ability to enjoy sex and in the case of PIED even the ability to have it at all. One man shares his rude awakening:
After years of masturbating five or more times a week to pornography, sex was embarrassing. Not only was there not enough friction but it felt like the wrong type of stimulation. Six months without porn and I now have no performance issues of any kind. Sex is now twenty times more fulfilling than masturbation.
Why Porn Impacts Mens’ Sexual Health
Men don’t just experience sexual dysfunction. Insidious and pervasive, more and more men are reporting lower arousal and lower sexual & relationship satisfaction in general.
- ED / performance issues
- Lower desire
- Lower satisfaction
- Escalation in content
- View of women
In short, the fake sex of porn is ruining the real thing for a growing number of men. And when men start chasing the dopamine high that comes with porn use, the negative consequences escalate.
Escalation and Sexual Health
Pornography, like any addictive substance, loses its potency with time. Eventually, it fails to give the same high it did at first. Because of this, users are forced to watch more porn or more extreme content to get the same chemical reaction in their brains.
Many porn consumers eventually find themselves getting aroused by things that used to disgust them.
“I can’t seem to stop myself. This has escalated over the years from aged twelve… Each time I abuse porn it gets a tiny shade more extreme. I feel absolutely disgusted.”
Porn Encourages Violence
Part of the escalation for many men includes viewing violent content. A study of the twenty-five most popular pornographic movies revealed:
- Nine out of ten scenes showed violence by a man toward a woman.
- When a man acts violently toward a woman in pornography, 95% of the time one of two things happens.
- Either the woman expresses pleasure at the violence or she has no response at all.
- This teaches male viewers women enjoy being abused during sex.
Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Norman Doidge wrote about one of his porn addicted patients, saying:
His feeling that sexual intercourse was a violent act upset him greatly, yet excited him. Thoughts of sexual intercourse immediately led to thoughts of violence and thoughts of violence to sex.
It is no surprise that over one hundred studies have shown pornography use increases the likelihood that a man will commit violence against a woman.
Why Porn Impacts Womens’ Sexual Health
Cultivating a sexual taste around voyeurism and masturbation sets women up for disappointment with real sex. Their porn-distorted sex education will rob them of sexual fulfillment. Self stimulation is not the same as having sex, and, like men, many women begin entering sexual relationships only to find they have been training intensely for the wrong sport.
Women raised on porn are taught to believe extreme things are normal. Including intermixing violence with sex. So much of what is portrayed in porn as pleasurable can leave woman humiliated and in pain.
Why Men and Women Suffer Together
Porn makes real sex less appealing. In 1973, Dutch biologist Nicolaus Tinburgen won the Nobel Peace Prize for his research of supernormal stimuli. A supernormal stimulus is an exaggerated version of a natural stimulus, something bigger and bolder than we find in our everyday lives.
Tinburgen’s most famous experiment involved butterflies. Male butterflies were attracted to the size and brightness female butterflies’ wings. Tinburgen made cardboard wings that were bigger and brighter than real butterfly wings. The male butterflies actually tried to mate with the cardboard wings.
Even when the female butterflies were reintroduced to the males, the males ignored the females and tried to mate with the cardboard.
Porn has the same effect. It is a supernormal stimulus that is hijacking the minds of men and deceiving them to choose pornography over real women.
The husband who watches porn cultivates an appetite for new and different sexual partners, his wife pales compared to the supernatural stimulus, and both man and woman enjoy less satisfying sex lives.
Satan wants to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) your sexual satisfaction, and porn is his tool of choice. Pornography promises sexual fulfillment, but actually takes away our ability to enjoy the real thing.
Even Occasional Porn Use Hurts
It’s not just the porn we watch on our phones. It’s the porn we replay in our minds.
When we replay videos in our minds we are getting another repetition of the porn pathway in our brain, especially when we masturbate to the fantasy. The idea of occasional porn use is a slippery slope. Any porn use is causing you to lust after something fake and reinforces that porn pathway of new and different sexual partners. This is destructive to a long term intimate marriage.
Life Without Porn
God created sex, and He wants us to enjoy that to the fullest.
The bible offers deep wisdom on this subject when Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
You can live up to your potential as a spouse, a lover, a parent and a friend. Porn makes that more difficult. Freedom is possible, and renewing your mind is the key.
The Freedom Fight is a completely-free-to-use, proven program for men and women who want to stop using porn. You will:
- Understand how porn affects your life
- Learn to identify your individual triggers
- Practice using tools to help you overcome your triggers
- Use our app for confidential accountability and support
- Learn to address the roots of your addiction with biblical and clinical solutions
Porn has defined sexuality for many young people, especially those who had access to it during their teen years. Porn is fake sex. It offers feelings of fake intimacy. It distorts our view of and ability to enjoy the real thing. But with time and the right plan and support, your mind can heal.