A Surprising Cause of Erectile Dysfunction Has Been Revealed
17th May 2017
coupleWatching pornographic videos may seem like a harmless bit of fun to enjoy, but it may be having much more serious consequences than you realise, for men at least, and forcing them to try and buy Viagra as a result. New research has suggested that regularly watching porn may be negatively impacting on men’s sex lives and putting them at risk of suffering with erectile dysfunction, with women seemingly being unaffected by watching it. Researchers from the Naval Medical Center of San Diego gave a questionnaire to women aged 20 to 40 who were patients at a military urology clinic, and another to 312 male patients in the same age category. Though only 3.4% of men claimed they would prefer to masturbate and watch porn than have sex, there was a strong link between regularly watching porn and suffering from a lack of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction problems. The majority of the men quizzed in the survey did admit to watching porn, with 1 in 4 saying they watched it less than once a week, 21.3% said 3 to 5 times a week, 5% said 6 to 10 times a week, and a further 11% claimed they watched it more than 11 times each week. Watching porn regularly can be addictive, with a tolerance level built up for more hardcore content that leaves people unsatisfied with real-life events. The researchers even compared the habit to that of taking cocaine. Study author Dr Matthew Christman, said: “Sexual behavior activates the same "reward system" circuitry in the brain as addictive drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, which can result in self-reinforcing activity, or recurrent behaviors. “Internet pornography, specifically, has been shown to be a super normal stimulus of this circuitry, which may be due to the ability to continuously and instantaneously self-select novel and more sexually arousing images.” Regular porn watchers are less likely to respond to real-world sexual activity and therefore have to commonly rely on pornography for release, he added. Dr Joseph Alukal, associate professor of urology and director of male reproductive health at New York University, added: “Visual stimulation will often increase sexual arousal in both men and women. “But when the majority of their time is spent viewing and masturbating to pornography, it is likely they will become less interested in real-world sexual encounters. “These studies suggest the issue may be trivial in women, but not so for men, and could lead to sexual dysfunction. “Sex is half in your body and half in your head and it may not be a physical component driving the behaviour, but a psychological one. “For this reason, it’s important for physicians to understand the underlying issues leading to the sexual dysfunction prior to suggesting treatment options.” Are you concerned about the amount of pornographic material you watch? Answer the 17 questions below, rating them by how much you feel they apply to you from 1 to 7. 1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = occasionally, 4 = sometimes, 5 = often, 6 = very often, 7 = all the time. 1. I felt that porn is an important part of my life. 2. I used porn to restore the tranquility of my feelings. 3. I felt porn caused problems in my sexual life 4. I felt that I had to watch more and more porn for satisfaction. 5. I unsuccessfully tried to reduce the amount of porn I watch. 6. I became stressed when something prevented me from watching porn. 7. I thought about how good it would be to watch porn. 8. Watching porn got rid of my negative feelings. 9. Watching porn prevented me from bringing out the best in me. 10. I felt that I needed more and more porn in order to satisfy my needs. 11. When I vowed not to watch porn any more, I could only do it for a short period of time. 12. I became agitated when I was unable to watch porn. 13. I continually planned when to watch porn. 14. I released my tension by watching porn. 15. I gradually watched more 'extreme' porn, because the porn I watched before was less satisfying. 16. I resisted watching porn for only a little while before I relapsed. 17. I missed porn greatly when I didn't watch it for a while. Add the scores for all the questions together. A score of 76 or higher suggests problematic levels of pornography use. Source: Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary