Listen to How Pornography and Erectile Dysfunction – Part 2 through the podcast player above.
Erectile Dysfunction Radio Podcast
Today’s episode of the Erectile Dysfunction Radio Podcast is about pornography’s impact on erectile dysfunction. This is part 2 of a 2 part series on erectile dysfunction and pornography. You can also listen to How Pornography and Erectile Dysfunction – Part 1.
Our podcast is dedicated to educating and empowering men to address erectile dysfunction, improve confidence, and enhance the satisfaction in their relationships. This podcast is hosted by certified sex therapist, Mark Goldberg, LCMFT, CST.
Transcript of Episode 12 – How Pornography and Erectile Dysfunction – Part 2
In this episode of the Erectile Dysfunction radio podcast, we will be covering pornography and erectile dysfunction part two. In the previous episode, we covered some of the research and the wide range of findings with regard to porn and erectile dysfunction.
We highlighted the complexity of erectile dysfunction and the difference between casual and compulsive use of pornography. If you have not listened to the first part, I would advise you to go back and listen before proceeding. We’ve established that there are a lot of variations of erectile dysfunction and pornography can be playing a role.
We’ve established that there are a lot of variations of erectile dysfunction, but we haven’t spoken about how pornography can actually be contributing to some of these manifestations of ED. One of the most important terms when it comes to pornography and its impact on erectile dysfunction is conditioning.
In particular, sexual conditioning. In its simplest terms, sexual conditioning is when your body becomes acclimated to responding and reacting to very specific stimuli, if you become conditioned to respond to a limited number of stimuli, it can become problematic.
Meaning, if you watch very specific types of pornography and that seems to be the only condition that allows you to get an erection, this can create problems in other areas of your life. Pornography use can lead for some men to have a very limited response to other forms of stimulation.
Another factor of pornography that can contribute to erectile dysfunction is an increased tolerance of stimulation. Now, this is slightly different than conditioning, if a man finds that he needs increased intensity with porn content or with the time needed to view pornography and reach erection, he may have developed an increased tolerance of stimulation.
Unlike conditioning, however, the new level of intensity that is needed may be replicable in a partnered setting under very specific conditions. In other words, the amount of stimulation needed to achieve an erection and ultimately to achieve orgasm may have gone up, maybe higher than it was before.
However, it may still be achievable through other forms of stimulation aside from viewing pornography.
Another construct that comes up around pornography and erectile dysfunction is novelty. There are some men who seem to have a need for novelty and can have that need met through the endless amount of porn and porn content that is easily accessible. Non-porn-based forms of sexuality can be less fulfilling and less engaging and can result in less desire, less drive, and ultimately an erectile dysfunction when the novelty presented through pornography is not introduced.
Not all porn is the same as you are probably aware, there is an ocean of pornographic content available with more and more content being tailored to specific likes, wants and desires. There may be meaning to the content that you prefer and that may say something about your erection process and your erectile dysfunction that you’re experiencing.
I assume that some content areas, genres or categories are going to appeal to you more than others, the specifics may make a difference. Without making a moral or religious statement or judgment, I think we could say that porn is not all bad.
I think that some of the appeal of pornography is that it allows people to be seen and validated in non-judgmental ways. If you are uncomfortable with your wants and desires or don’t know how to share them with a partner, pornography may be the only avenue that you have to express what it is that you like, what it is that you want. I’ve heard this from a lot of men.
Relationships can be beautiful, they can be a place of connection, shared meaning, safety, security and comfort. Relationships though, can also cause people to not present their full and true selves, people fear judgment, they fear loss of connection, and the topics that are particularly vulnerable, they may choose to not share.
Pornography can be the answer to this for a lot of men, and this may explain why many men have good erections with porn, but struggle to gain and maintain an erection with a partner.
I want to be clear, I am not condoning this. I fully believe that everything should be done for people to live as fully and authentically in their relationships. Porn and the specific content that you like to view may be able to show you just how to do this. Authentic desires can lead to more robust erections.
So what should a man who is experiencing a erectile dysfunction do with regard to porn use?
Number one, stop theorizing. Be curious about your process, try to not back yourself into a single causality way of thinking.
Number two, start tracking your experiences of erections and erectile dysfunction. I know this is hard, I know it can be uncomfortable, I’m aware they can an also infuse your sexual experiences with a clinical feel, but knowing what’s happening, being aware of your specific factors is one of the keys to getting things to work better.
Number three, if you’re continuing to use pornography, pay attention to the content, the details of what you enjoy and what excite you matter, and they can help determine how to best approach erectile dysfunction and porn use.
Number four, try to incorporate what excites you into other areas or forms of sexual activity. This can range from solo mental imagery to partnered activity.
Number five, if incorporating these factors is not helpful, and porn seems to be a significant factor in your erectile dysfunction, consider porn fasting.
This means to stop using porn for a set period of time with the goal of decreasing dependency on the porn and allowing other stimulation forms to contribute and to support and help your erections. I know this is not going to work for everybody, and this may even be somewhat controversial, but if it works for you and it can help you reset, then I think it’s worth taking a shot.
Lastly, please remember, there can be a lot of nuance in the erection process, you may benefit from a deeper dive into your specific erection process, learning more about your process, or talking to a professional can help in the immediate and can set you in the direction of long term success.
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