How To Recover From Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Porn induced erectile dysfunction can slowly ruin your love life… especially if you don’t know how to effectively reverse it.

Are you a relatively healthy guy, but you have trouble getting firm, lasting erections during sex?

Do you need to get lost in mental fantasies to get turned on, stay hard, or reach orgasm?

Do you masturbate to porn frequently?

Can you tell that porn is getting in the way of the quality of your love life, but you don’t know how to go about changing your compulsive habit?

If you answered, “Yes”, to any of the above, you’ll want to keep reading.

Erectile dysfunction (E.D.) is a common occurrence for men of all ages (especially men over the age of 40). It’s a natural symptom of slowing testosterone production and less vigorous blood flow.

But today, more men in their teens and 20’s are reporting issues with sexual arousal and, more specifically, the quality and reliability of their erections.

Why is that? Because consuming significant doses of pornography over an extended period of time can result in porn induced erectile dysfunction.

Younger generations today are dealing with something completely unprecedented: mobile access to a near-infinite amount of virtual hardcore pornography.

For the modern man, heavy, long-term consumption of pornography is as normal as playing sports and/or video games. A cultural change so radical does not come without a bit of collateral impact.

Some men say that porn actually serves them in their relationships, claiming it provides an exploratory outlet. And while this can certainly be true in some rare cases, the reality is that the vast majority of us aren’t using it in a healthy, controlled manner.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into porn induced erectile dysfunction. Because, although many have pointed out the link between the two, far too few have talked about the other issues porn addiction creates, and just how hard it is to stop.

(Fair warning: if you’re not ready to take a serious look at your habits, despite having clear problems with porn induced erectile dysfunction, don’t expect to see results any time soon. To make a change, you have to truly want this – and be willing to change your actions.)

If you’ve never taken a break, the beginning is the hardest part. Porn has probably been your main distraction device and means of self-soothing for much of your life. Your mind will deliver big kickbacks of resistance. To propel you through this initial phase, you must have enough frustration and desperation to burn as your fuel source.

But, if you’re ready, willing, want better sex and want to feel more powerful and focused in your life, this article will help you get there.

The Unexpected Impacts

To be clear, it is in no way “wrong” to watch, or make, porn. Curbing porn use (for the benefit of curing porn induced erectile dysfunction) is not about morality, or merely solving erectile issues. It’s about your physiology and your psychology.

There is a legitimate toll on the quality of our sex, relationships, and life at large, when porn isn’t consumed in a balanced way. Before you can enjoy porn functionally, you need to create space and examine the forces behind your use of it.

Here are some of the wider problems:

  • Your self-esteem is compromised when you feel powerless to win over a habit, as well as when you’re actively hiding parts of your life.
  • Unrealistic expectations (and perhaps even unhealthy ones) are developed for what women, sex and intimacy are supposed to look like. Porn is shot with actors, edited for maximum entertainment, and rarely showcases genuine, real-time intimacy.
  • Performance anxiety results from those same expectations, but also from erectile issues. Being good in bed and the ability to get hard is a huge source of pride and value for men. Problems in this area are renowned for causing depression and insecurity.
  • Dissatisfaction in relationship. How could you be happy with one, static person, when you have instant access to thousands of models doing every conceivable act and position?
  • Desire to connect with your partner. Hiding a porn habit breeds lying and disconnection in your relationship. If you’re carrying shame around your sexuality, you’ll use porn to explore your fantasies in secret, creating a spiral of self-isolation.
  • You might start to feel bored with your partner if they can’t bend themselves into a pretzel shape, squirt fifteen times in a row, or be sexually aroused at the drop of a hat and perpetually willing.
  • A diminished sense of joy. Addictions are self-soothing coping mechanisms. Like drugs and food, porn is a temporary relief from background pain, anxiety, and discomfort. When we run from those parts of us, they run our lives. This gets in the way of being able to experience sustained feelings of connection and happiness.
  • Laziness and Depression. Especially if you’re not retaining your semen when ejaculating (which, if you’re masturbating to porn, let’s be honest, you probably aren’t), you’re throwing a huge amount of your body’s energy away. It puts a ton of resources into making sperm (I mean… you’re only creating millions of little seedlings that carry the potential for human life). When you constantly drain the tank, like a post-coital penis, your body feels drained and limp too. It’s like having porn induced erectile dysfunction for your personality and overall energy levels.
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The good news here is that guys who report struggles with porn induced erectile dysfunction, as well as these other issues, report huge improvements after taking a break for just 90 days.

The brain is given a chance to recalibrate to real-world stimulus and return to baseline.

Unfortunately, in practice, it’s rarely so easy. But if you can stick with it, you can expect to see:

  • Boosted libido and sex drive
  • Firmer erections
  • More focus, vitality, and energy
  • Higher confidence and self-esteem
  • Alleviation of depression
  • More happiness and satisfaction in your relationship

The Hard Road To Boner Recovery

Ultimately, the path back to rock-solid erections might seem incredibly simple, doesn’t it? Stop watching porn for a few months and bada-bing, bada-boom, your cock is as good as new!

Well, if that were the case, there wouldn’t be massive online forums where men are supporting each other in their struggle to kick the habit.

Despite the American Psychiatric Association’s resistance to put porn in the same addiction class as drugs and alcohol, any long-term porn user will tell you it feels exactly the same.

It has a hold on you. You’ll deny. You’ll lie. You’ll bargain. You’ll relapse. You’ll feel shame and desperation. And you can’t tackle it alone. 

That’s because porn hijacks the brain’s dopamine reward system, which we’ll dive into.

To win here, knowledge is power. So, we’ll talk about the basics behind erections, porn, and addiction. Because understanding some of this will empower you to see through addictive behaviour, like the rationalizations you make to justify giving in… just. one. more. time.

We’ll also talk about how to leverage a buddy system to increase your chances of success (don’t worry… it won’t be weird).

Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction: How Porn Gets In The Way of You Getting Hard

General E.D. is caused by a variety of factors, such as psychological stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and cardiovascular disease.

But in the case of porn induced erectile dysfunction, it’s neurochemical numbness to sexual stimulation resulting from a chronic overexposure to porn.

When you see something sexually arousing, your brain releases a squirt of the neurochemical dopamine. This sets off a chain reaction that triggers the release of nitric oxide into the penis, which produces an erection.

The problem is, the design and content of porn websites, along with the sheer quantity, is a massive overload of stimulus, which our brains have never been exposed to until now.

When you visit them chronically, you’re training your arousal circuits to respond to an ever-increasing level of stimulation. Over time, you need a greater variety of more intense content to get you ‘high’ and keep you hard.

This amount of novelty, variety, and intensity is something that’s impossible to find in the natural world with a real partner.

When you step away from porn for an extended period of time, your dopamine pathways reacclimatize and become sensitive to subtler (i.e. more reality based) stimulus.

The Mechanics Behind Addiction

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Dopamine makes you feel relaxed, uplifted and happy. Essentially, It’s a mood booster.

This is why you become addicted to behaviours that cause dopamine release. If you’re feeling anxious, sad, or bored, you know you’ll get a little relief if you eat fast-food and jerk off. 

Dr. Gabor Mate, addiction specialist and family physician, illustrates a brilliant perspective of what “addiction” is, through his lectures and books. While working for nearly two decades with hardcore drug addicts in Vancouver, B.C.’s notorious downtown Eastside, he realized something profound.

He says that, “addiction is not the problem, it is an attempt to solve a problem.”

In the same way, porn, itself, is not the problem. It’s the reasons why you’re using it that matters. And it may not have anything to do with sex whatsoever.

Addictions, he supposes, are a “salve for a deeper wound”, or a means of momentarily escaping some background anxiety or trauma

Outside of drugs, orgasm and pornography naturally deliver the biggest payloads of dopamine you can get. Next to sugar, it’s the most readily available drug on the planet.

You can stream it anywhere, anytime, wherever you have cell service or WIFI.

On top of that, the male brain is deeply evolutionarily wired to seek sex and novelty. What could be a more perfectly designed addiction for modern men?

Start Seeing The Bigger Picture

Once you try on Dr. Mate’s model, you can begin zooming out and seeing the bigger picture around the moments where your addiction takes control. You can start learning about your mind, and seeing what events, or thoughts, triggered you to masturbate, or act out in other ways.

If you’re caught up in a loop of chronic use, the real question is:

What might you be trying to escape? What are you trying to cope with?

It could be:

  • Anxiety about the amount of work you have to do at your job/at school/around the home.
  • The amount of stress you feel from living in the city, and/or taking in so much media and general stimulation.
  • A fear of taking risks and moving forward into the next chapter of your life, and facing the unknown.
  • Insecurities around your body, personality, or reputation.
  • A background, fundamental belief that you aren’t enough, or loveable, which creates emotional friction throughout your life.

The list of possibilities is exhaustive, even onto preverbal, traumatic childhood memories. But these are the kinds of things that underpin our addictions.

Porn addiction, specifically, can also come from repression. Growing up in a fundamentally religious family, or just one that didn’t talk about sex and shamed the exploration of it, pushes your sexuality underground.

It creates a pressure and excessive fascination around it, which you express in secret with an air of guilt and shame.

How To Break The Habit

There are multiple roads to recovery from porn induced erectile dysfunction. It’s okay not to take them all on at once. Lasting change is made in small steps.

The most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to walk this path with someone else.

Having an accountability partner, with whom you can safely share your thoughts, feelings, insights, and wins, will exponentially increase your chances of winning over the addiction. 

Revealing yourself is also transformational. The act of being witnessed and accepted, as you openly share the most intimate truths of your situation, is immensely healing. Your mind will create fear and cause you to want to hide. Push past it! Don’t discount the power of simply talking with someone.

Remember, left to their own devices, an addict will rarely ever choose to give up their drug of choice for any length of time on their own. It usually takes hitting rock bottom or some outside force to change their mind. I wish I could be that force for you, but the fact is you need someone there on the ground with you.

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Tips For Having An Accountability Partner

  1. Choose someone with whom you feel safe to be vulnerable and reveal secrets to. Tell them you’ve been thinking about tackling this area of your life to better yourself, and ask if they’d also be up for the challenge. They don’t have to be dealing with porn induced erectile dysfunction, just a regular porn habit they want to change.
  2. Ideally, choose someone that is NOT your intimate partner. Shame and perception management often get in the way of you being fully honest with them, causing you to massage or manipulate the truth, which builds more shame and anxiety, propelling you back into the addiction. This is also the last person you want to feel judged by, even if it’s just in your head, which feels very overwhelming.
  3. Pick a day and time where you’ll meet in person each week to share and discuss your experiences, and report your minds. Have it be at least an hour. Sundays and Mondays are best as they kick off the week and tend to be less busy.
  4. Set up open lines of communication throughout the week where you check-in and support each other. Be honest about the amount of support you require. Text daily. Calls are even better, as it’s easier to hide when messaging.
  5. Set up stakes with your partner. Leverage the mind’s desire to avoid pain and discomfort. What is the consequence at the end of the week or month if you don’t make good on your commitment?

Examples:

  • Your partner counts while you do 100 burpees
  • Your partner times you taking a 2-minute cold shower
  • You donate money to an anti-charity, or to any cause that it pains you to financially support

You can custom tailor something more personal. The key here is that the idea of it creates a charge in your body, meaning it’s something that would really suck to do.

Talk about what strategies you’ll use when you’re tempted to use. Acknowledge in advance that you’ll both come into strong moments of temptation. With an itch so strong, you’ll need a distraction tactic to work through it.

Brainstorm ideas that work for you. Will you do pushups? Deep breathing work? Repeat a mantra? Chug a glass of water? Go for a run? Reach out to your accountability partner?

Break your state. Immediately change your body posture, mindset and, if you can, physical setting. The wave will pass. Tap into any deflated, empty, sad feelings you’ve had in the past once you’ve finished with porn. Use them as a reminder of why following that well-worn path doesn’t serve you anymore.

Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction Recovery Methods:

NOP/NOM

The granddaddy of cleanses. No porn, no masturbation (or NOP/NOM, for short) is running full speed into your addiction with with guns blazing and slow motion explosions going off in the background.

This is an awesome route to go, but again, if you’ve never done it, it will be challenging. If you’re dead serious about reversing porn induced erectile dysfunction, this is ultimately the highest leverage method.

If you choose this, commit to it for at least 90 days. 

Install an adult site blocker, or go into your web browser’s settings and block the porn sites you know of and visit. A proper site blocker is best because it will prevent you from seeking new sites in times of weakness.

NO LOOPHOLES. “Porn” means more than videos of people fucking. It’s any media used to incite arousal and reach orgasm. So that includes Instagram model feeds and the pages of magazines. Your mind will try to negotiate a compromise. Don’t let it win.

Sexual contact here is restricted to partners only, with no imagery or fantasizing while doing it.

Mindful Masturbation

Commit to no porn, with the stipulations for media loopholes above, but mindful masturbation is allowed.

“Mindful” meaning you don’t engage in any mental fantasy when you do it. Be here, now, feeling all the sensations of your body. It’s basically an erotic meditation, re-sensitizing you to simple physical contact.

Stay in the present moment. When you start visualizing a woman, or sexual situations, snap out of it and come back to your breath and the sensations you feel. 

Make it a ritual. Light candles, use some oil and take your time. Masturbating with porn tends to be so rushed and single-geared. There’s no nuance or sensuality to it. You just might surprise yourself with stumbling on new techniques.

Closing Notes

Porn induced erectile dysfunction doesn’t go away overnight. 

Depending on the severity of your porn habit, it could take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to see full recovery of erectile strength. Give this time. Your erections, the sex you have, and your relationship(s) will ONLY GET BETTER with time. So have some patience.

When you’re on the edge of opening that “incognito” tab in your web browser, remember the dopamine connection. Breathe. Feel your brain’s craving to get a hit. Slow down. Drop down onto your body and notice what’s there. Get curious about what you’re really feeling deep down (or about what you’re trying to avoid feeling).

If you have doubt in your ability to kick the habit, just remember: there are thousands of guys out there right now just like you. They feel the same pain, potentially even worse, and they’re making progress on winning this battle.

Porn induced erectile dysfunction isn’t a life sentence. It’s a temporary setback that you can overcome. You can do this!

Dedicated to your success, 

Jordan

Ps. If you enjoyed reading this article on porn induced erectile dysfunction, you will also love checking out:

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