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Porn Addiction & Erectile Dysfunction

PIED – Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction.  It’s a new term that has recently made headline news, but a condition that many people who compulsively use porn are only too familiar with.

A few months ago, BBC Newsbeat released a report on the unprecedented number of young men seeking help for erection difficulties. An NHS expert explained that there was no biological cause of their sexual problem and the most likely cause was excessive porn consumption.

Meanwhile, a growing number of research papers have been published providing both the evidence and an explanation for the link between sexual problems and porn use.  In total, 16 studies have been carried out that explain how repeated exposure to high level of sexual stimuli lowers the arousal threshold and leads, initially to problems with erections, and then to low libido. 

Regrettably there is still little public awareness of this which means that many men do not make the connection between their porn use and their partnered sexual difficulties. Indeed, initially some may try to address the problem by increasing their porn use and recalling images during love making to boost their arousal.  But this just leads to increasing the threshold further and making the problem worse.

Partners are also confused and often feel doubly betrayed when porn addiction is disclosed.  Many will have struggled for years with a partner who has low desire and may feel rejected and sexually starved. When they discover that rather than losing their libido, it has been redirected elsewhere, they feel robbed – not just of sex, but of intimacy.

The good news is that porn induced erectile dysfunction can be treated.  Not with drugs, but by giving up porn. For some the incentive of enjoying a fulfilled sex life again is motivation enough, but for others the journey to addiction recovery is not so easy. If the addiction has been long standing, then it will take time for the brain to re-wire. And for those who were using porn as their primary self-soothing method, other strategies will need to be learned.  But as many men, young and old, will testify, porn-use is ultimately a lonely and empty pursuit, compared to sharing their sexual selves with another human being.  Giving up may be tough, but if you really want to enjoy your sex life, it’s worth it.

How does sex addiction start?

Now we have taken a look at how sex addiction starts in terms of opportunity-induced addiction and trauma-induced addiction. In

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