Orgasm and desire problems Erectile dysfunction or sexual impotence

Erection problems and sexual desire related to the consumption of pornography

Pornography as an addiction

Like any other addiction, pornography can exceed healthy limits in human behavior, and can seriously affect the perception and emotional stability of the person who uses it.

According to statistics provided by the popular adult content website PornHub, visitor traffic not only exceeds billions of visits per year but also increases over time.

Among the countries that have more entries to the web portal per year are the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Only in Europe, after the United Kingdom, we find France, Germany and Italy. Spain, still with a smaller population, holds the 13th place in the world in terms of traffic.

These ever-increasing numbers have accelerated medical and psychological consultations in our practice in Seville. Today, we can affirm that the exaggerated consumption of pornography requires a social debate, and an awareness of this problem on the part of all the actors involved. And of course it is not a question of regulating or prohibiting, but of educating.

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Differences between the use and abuse of any habit: addiction

Use and abuse are very different aspects. Let’s think about the fact of “seeing series”. You’re probably a movie buff and you can even spend about three hours on a Friday watching Game of Thrones or Stranger Things without any problems. If you suddenly increased that time to four or five hours a day, every day of the month, for 2 years, you would have a serious (and strange, why not say it) problem of obsession or addiction: you would stop going to work or study, you would decrease the time you spend with your family or friends, you would not talk about anything else with them, you would eat badly, you would not have time to exercise and perhaps, after a few months, even become physically or mentally ill.

The same thing happens with the excessive consumption of pornography but with a key difference: this type of digital material is capable of activating the brain’s rewards circuit, the same one that deals with emotions, motivation to reach goals and subconscious decision making.

The pleasure generated after a pornography session may cause the reward circuit to release a neurotransmitter called dopamine and in the long run, become dependent on fictitious sexual activity that will take time and effort to naturalize.

As this circuit is “busy” in watching pornography, there will be an imbalance of these brain functions and therefore emotional and physical problems the remainder of the time, but especially when it comes time to have sex with a partner.

Lack of sex education exposes the youngest to significant risks

Young people are the age group most affected by the consumption of pornography, leaving sequels that can be observed even in adulthood.

Access to pornography today is much freer than it was a few years ago; mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets have allowed this type of material to be seen and disseminated massively, especially among the young population.

In addition to this, the deficient sexual education on behalf of parents and teachers that is being received by young people and the lack of orientation in the adequate management of free time, make them more vulnerable to these practices and their negative effects. Society does not provide counter-examples, and this is the big problem: the only model is xvideos.com.

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Potentially harmful stereotypes and clichés in pornography

Adult film is an industry that increases its profits every year and competes with the Hollywood film industry.

Many amateurs of pornography think that it corresponds to real scenes, real encounters and real characters, without understanding that there is a whole team of people, professionals in creating them.

Stereotypes are created far away from reality, and these confuse and tend to form a matrix of opinion that deceives and distorts the reality of most human relationships and sexual encounters.

About real men's penis size and fictional misconceptions

One of the peculiarities of pornography is the curious size of the male members that appear in scenes full of passion and debauchery. This leads one to think that “in order to have a sexual partner and satisfy her” a large (huge?) penis is necessary, significantly increasing the emotional problems associated with the dimensions of the penis.

Actors in pornographic films are just that, actors. Specialists. Special people because of their qualities. With the passage of time, XXL size penises have become consolidated in erotic productions due to the greater ease of being picked up at different angles or camera shots.

Knowing this, would anyone get depressed for not being able to run at the same speed as Usain Bolt, the world record 100 meters smooth? Probably not, nobody in their right mind would want to equal it. However, many 14-year-olds do not understand the difference between their penis and that of these specialists and feel overwhelmed, sad, spoiled, less valid, and therefore lesser men.

This factor causes that every year, thousands of men around the world, fall in the desperation to find solutions that, in many cases, can leave negative sequels in the medium and long term as is the case of the always dangerous jelquing exercises.

The reality is very different, the arithmetic average of the length of the member, among European men ranges from 13 to 16 centimeters with an average diameter of 4 centimeters.

See article on average penis size. 

There is nothing wrong with a slightly larger or smaller penis. Young people should be told that it is relatively rare for a penis size to be a problem when it comes to good sexual performance.

The Physical Appearance of Women in Porn VS The Appearance of Real Women

Within the imaginary of pornography, a mistaken idea of the female body is often conceived: thin women with attractive faces, large breasts and impossible buttocks molded by surgery. This, of course, is proposed in order to increase sexual interest in the final product (something that also happens with women themselves, who increasingly consume this type of material for adults).

It is healthy and necessary to understand the fact that, in reality, imperfections are a natural and normal element within a woman’s physical appearance. Not at all these environments of extreme perfection of bodies molded by the scalpel, which are presented in porn, correspond to all women.

Like men, thousands of women who use pornography are victims of emotional imbalances because of the false stereotypes of feminine beauty imposed by this type of cinema. This is very palpable and evident in the vertiginous rise of vulva labiaplasties in minors. Different stereotypes, same results. The lack of counter-example leads more and more women to perfect their bodies with multiple methods, as they feel incomplete or directly undesirable.

Sexual relations in porn versus sexual relations in real life

As is well known, within pornography, sexual contexts are as varied as they are suggestive. From sex scenes in hotel rooms, to sex in hospitals, elevators or outdoors.

Sexual encounters in reality are usually not so different, there are quite a lot more beds and bedside tables with alarm clocks and books. In porn they are much more varied and this is a positive thing, since they can, in a certain way, increase creativity for many couples.

The actors (and actresses) in pornography are experts in recreating and in some way, pretending, almost perfect scenes. Understanding this is essential when it comes to maintaining a balance between the reality of sex between couples and the expectations created from this cinema.

All these cognitive distortions related to false expectations about sex especially affect younger consumers of pornography.

Male erection and desire can be affected by pornography abuse

Addiction to pornography in many cases has a particularly negative consequence for men: erection problems and decreased sexual desire with real women.

This happens because the excessive consumption of pornography is capable of making the brain circuits in charge of maintaining a healthy sexual desire overload with fictitious sexual content, leaving aside the need to establish healthy interpersonal relationships that allow to find possible sentimental couples.

Pornography can cause a state of dependence so great that, at the moment of a natural sexual act, some men, in order to achieve an optimal erection state and maintain it, need additional visual stimulation (provided by pornographic material), thus dispensing with their real sexual partner. And this is not very balanced in the long run. Problems come in the form of anxiety and frustration.

Problems of erection and desire related to inappropriate consumption of pornography

The problems caused by the inadequate use of pornography to achieve states of sexual excitement (which could normally be generated without the need for this audiovisual content) are as varied as they are harmful, and range from physical affectations to psychological and cognitive imbalances.

Physical problems

Physical health problems caused by the overuse of pornographic material are often due to inappropriate and frequent masturbation.

Masturbation (male or female) is a sexual habit that begins during adolescence and usually extends into adulthood. This activity as such does not represent a negative factor and can even be considered as healthy, however, the lack of sex education added to the poor use of free time occasionally makes it an addiction (in which pornography would have a high impact).

Excessive masturbation can injure the external genitalia: by deforming, irritating or inflaming them. It can have long-term negative consequences even on self-esteem and self-image when having sex with a partner.

Psychological problems

As we have been able to explain in this article, pornography is the direct or indirect cause of thousands of cases of emotional and behavioral imbalances that reach psychological and psychiatric offices every year.

The creation of false expectations related to human sexuality means that failures in natural sexual relations (natural sexual relations are the physical union of two individuals, in an intimate and consensual moment) are frequent and cause, in the worst of cases, sentimental ruptures. Many men come to our office in Seville commenting that they only get an erection when they are alone and on the Internet.

Anxiety, concern, expectations and frustration: compulsive and disorderly sexual behaviour

Problems of anxiety and despair due to lack (or deficiency) of satisfactory sexual relations, caused by disappointments due to the excessive consumption of pornography, can lead many people to adopt obsessive and extreme sexual behaviours (paraphilias) in the eyes of other people.

Promiscuity is often a frequent element in pornography addicts, because they seek to recreate on a personal level, those “stories of unbridled and uncontrolled sex” that are shown in such material. Promiscuity is not bad as long as one’s self-aware, but it should in any case, be borne in mind that it is a sexual practice that carries with it potentially dangerous consequences, such as unplanned pregnancies or the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

A frustrating sexual life can trigger future problems of chronic depression, problems in relationships and conflicts in work or in the academic performance.

The "NO-FAP" current, an Internet response to pornography addiction

The NO-FAP movement was born in the United States during the 1990s, as a form of social awareness about the psychological, physical and interpersonal problems that can arise from the indiscriminate practice of masturbation, especially associated with the consumption of pornography.

NO-FAP promotes the values of respect for one’s body and opposes the consumption of pornography and other related sexual activities (such as promiscuous sexual relations or “unprotected sex”). As an alternative to this, it proposes the good use of free time in positive practices such as sports, study or the cultivation of solid and healthy friendships, especially in the young population.

What are the "fapstronaut" based on to say "no" to masturbation?

The fapstronaut or fappers (as they are also called) argue that masturbation and pornography encourage young people to adopt unhealthy sexual habits and consume valuable time that could be invested in positive activities for their physical and mental growth.

In addition to this, fapstronauts not only state on a scientifically proven basis that masturbation is not necessary to achieve adequate sexual maturity but also that it could greatly affect it.

Are there solid scientific bases to support these claims?

Some assertions are not, such as, for example, that more testosterone is secreted if you veto masturbation, being more attractive to others… but other assertions are: various academic and research organizations in many countries have conducted studies on the impact of masturbation practice on people, finding that it can affect psychological development and the relationships they enter into with their peers.

Our advice: it is best to achieve balance by going to a specialist in sexual psychology.

The problems associated with the disproportionate consumption of pornography do have a solution, all of this in the measure of the level of the addiction to it. Many specialists in sexual psychology and human behavior agree that addiction to pornography can be channeled to an optimal state through the implementation of psychotherapy, healthy lifestyle habits, and the strengthening of self-confidence.

If you feel that you have problems of dependence on pornography, do not be afraid to seek professional help, family ... or friends, teachers or anyone else you trust.

There are entire websites (such as YourBrainOnPorn) that specialize in providing important information about this type of addiction: interesting facts, scientific studies, and ways to find professional help.

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Existing studies on pornography addiction

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Dr. Natalio Cruz

Author

Dr. Natalio Cruz


El Dr. Cruz, con 25 años de experiencia médica, ha sido hasta 2016 Jefe de la Unidad de Andrología en el Servicio de Urología del Hospital Virgen del Rocío de Sevilla, Coordinador Nacional de Andrología de la Asociación Española de Urología (AEU) y Secretario General de la ESSM, cargos que ha delgado para centrarse de lleno en el ilusionante proyecto de ofrecer una consulta médica privada de alto nivel en Sevilla.

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