3 Myths The Mainstream Media Tells Us About Porn-Induced ED

Dr. Oz

Imagine: I’m a producer for an investigative journalism show and my boss wants me to produce a segment on a hot new topic:  ED caused by porn.  So what do I do?  I flip through my phonebook looking for who’s got the credentials and of course, TV experience: the sex therapists and psychologists who are “Oprah-friendly”. But the thing is, the people being interviewed aren’t always the most knowledgable about the topic at hand.   (See what I did there?)

Here are 3 myths that the media often gets wrong about pornography addiction and porn-induced erectile dysfunction:

1. Rebooting only takes 4-8 weeks.

I’ve heard this in many mainstream pieces about porn addiction and it’s just not accurate in most cases. Here’s an example of one:  “To heal, Ben is rebooting his brain with a tough, 60-day pornography fast.” Here’s a link to the video:  http://youtu.be/UWp5lOaW3sM

And on the Dr. Oz show:  “the man needs to start over, take 4 weeks off, abstain from masturbation, and then start the cycle over again.”    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/can-porn-cause-erectile-dysfunction-pt-4

4 weeks?!  Are you kidding me?

For some lucky guys, 4-8 weeks may be all they need to see the results they’re looking for.  But this is mostly limited to older men who have had normal sex for the majority of their lives and have only experienced porn-induced ED in recent years.  For young men in their late teens or 20s who have been exposed to internet porn at a young age (imagine seeing your first porn video at age 11!), it can take up to 90 days or more to heal. In my personal experience, it took me closer to 4 uninterrupted months of no PMO to fully reboot.  But when I finally got there – and by there, I mean being able to have fantastic, hard-erection, anxiety-free sex – it was damn worth it.

2. Recovering addicts can go back to using porn after their recovery, no problem.

This is another pretty common myth that I see in mainstream coverage of porn-related sexual problems.  As if after 2 or 3 months of rebooting, life is back to normal and you can start watching porn again.

This is like Alcoholics Anonymous saying to its recovering members “Well, you gave up drinking for 3 months! You did great. Okay, now you can go back to drinking – just don’t overdo it…”  Where is the logic here?!

Often when guys go back to porn, the same unhealthy patterns return – increased use, edging, resorting to more and more extreme genres…  And most guys who need to reboot got to that point because they experienced serious addiction/escalation problems and performance issues.

So, go back to the thing that caused this horrible problem in my life? No. I’ll stick to real sex, thank you.

3. Quitting is easy. 

In a few videos and articles I’ve seen, the journalist downplays the difficulty of quitting. As it, now that we know that the problem is porn, it’s all smooth sailing from there.  They don’t mention the flatilining, the depression, the incredible difficulty that many men experience.

Here in the Dr. Oz show for example, when the panel discusses recovery, there is no mention of the difficult road ahead: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/can-porn-cause-erectile-dysfunction-pt-4

In reality, quitting a genuine pornography addiction is extremely challenging.  For many guys, it is the hardest challenge they’ve ever faced.  And from forum posts and emails from guys who have been dealing with their porn addiction and porn-induced ED for 5, sometimes 10 years, escape from their addiction can seem impossible.

The good news is that there is now more and better information about quitting porn available than ever before. Because of the work of a few brave pioneers (shout out to Alex, Gary and Marnia!), the word about porn addiction and porn-related ED has been spreading. The mainstream media is staring to take notice of the growing problem with our young men, and with that means the slow and steady education of the general public.

Behavioral psychology research is being done (albeit much less than other areas of study) which will help future Fapstronauts. And most importantly, there are communities of men banding together to deal with their issue and discuss what works and what doesn’t; their fears; their experiences; and just to give and receive support.  The future for the recovering porn addict is looking brighter.

All complaints aside…

I do want to point out that for all the errors I pointed out, I do appreciate that the media is paying attention to this problem.  It’s admittedly a difficult topic to address in a public forum, especially a medium like TV.

And finally, I want to point out that I have despite what I said in number 1, I have sooo much respect and love for Dr. Ian Kerner.  His book She Comes First is a personal favorite.

Any other misconceptions out there by big media? Let us know in the comments!

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News:

Recently, I commissioned a professionally recorded mp3 to help guys who have cravings for porn. It’s called “The Craving Crusher”.  Yeah, cheesy. I know.  :)

You can download it here for free:

==>>  Craving Crusher mp3   <<==

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    About Brian

    Brian overcame a long-standing addiction to Internet porn and fully recovered from serious porn-induced erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. For more about Brian, see my story.

    Comments

    1. “She comes first”… there should also be a book about “he comes first”… more than 10% of all porn addicts are female. Among sex addicts, the share is around 20%. Good article!

    2. i imagine that quitting porn has varying levels of extremity depending on your masturbating habits, frequency of watching, and extremity of porn you watch. personally i started watching porn at 12, but didn’t start masturbating to it until i was 17, after i lost my virginity at 16. from 16 to 17 i had a great sex life with my girlfriend, we had sex for hours several times a week, rock hard erections, multiple erections, it was great. after i broke up with her because i wasn’t working out i started masturbating to porn and was sex free for the next two years. at first i was just enjoying this new found pleasure in my life but i did notice that my interest in real girls began to diminsh slowly. this was liberating at first, women no longer had power over me, at 18 i got a new girlfriend and started experiencing ED with her, probably due to masturbating to porn 1-5 times to porn consistently over two years. she broke up with me after a month and i resorted to porn again, my next girlfriend was a porn addict herself and we often talked about and shared our porn experiences. i was able to get it up for her and we had great sex sometimes, but i was always nervous that i would get ED again. for the last year i’ve been trying to give up porn, the longest i went was three weeks without caving, and i’ve had periods of intense use (1-2 times daily), as well as periods of mild use (once every 3 or 4 days). now that i’ve moved out and am on my own my life is looking up. i have a great job that i like, i’m finally in a major at school that excites me intellectually, and i’ve found an amazing girl who i like so much. the only problem is we tried to have sex a few days ago and i was completely dead below the belt. my porn use has been rather excessive lately in part due to the stress of a death in the family and in moving to a completely new city and state with no connections and starting a new phase in life, which while enjoyable, has also been stressful. i’m ready to go cold turkey and give up porn, i want the sex life i had when i was 16, with morning wood, spontaneous erections, and genuine physical attraction to the girls i like.
      i’ve been steadily trying to wean my porn use down over the last year with periods of no use and relapses, and i never got into any strange mastubation techniques or extreme porn. will my reboot time still be 4-8 weeks before i can have sex? or will laying off for a couple weeks be enough to at least get something working. i know the process is a long one and it will take months before i am fully recovered, but will partial recovery be enough to at least have some kind of sex? any advice? thank you so much for your articles

      • i am now 20 years old. active porn watcher for 8 years, active mastrubation to porn for 3. never masturbated to anything but internet porn. it was always there and accessible and i had no reason to believe it would be so harmful

      • Hi Butch,

        Thanks for sharing your story. I can really relate to a lot of what you’re experiencing.

        In the past, in between girlfriends I went through periods of intense porn-use which really affected my performance in the bedroom in subsequent relationships. It also sounds like you have a combination or porn-induced ED and related performance anxiety — I went through this myself.

        First off, based on my experience (and that of many other guys), I believe it’s 100% possible to overcome this.

        So the question is: how long will your reboot take? I think that you’re lucky in that you had sexual experiences before you really got far into porn. So, yes, it’s possible that it might only take 6-8 weeks. For me, it was more like 4 months until I was completely back to “my old self”. It really depends on the person how long a reboot takes, but I would say that having a supportive girlfriend to help you rewire — who doesn’t put too much pressure on you — can really help. I think this was important for me going from so-so erections to 100% again.

        Best of luck on your journey and keep us updated!

        Brian

    3. Is this reboot-thing genuine? i have been suffering from some form of ED for over 5 years now. I was told it was because i smoked by my doctor but i hadnt really mentioned just how much porn (and how extreme) i’d been exposing myself to. I got prescribed viagra and its not let me down most of the times i’ve used it, tho it didnt seem to do any good on one occasion i was with a boring partner. I can still get a genuine rock hard erection watching porn in the right frame of mind watching the right porn, sometimes it lasts quite often it doesnt, i’m really hoping its more to do with dopamine spikes etc and 3 or 4 months of abstenation will get me back to normal. I’m about 2 weeks into not masterbating now and i’m really investing a lot of faith in this – i contemplate suicide quite often as I cant bear the thought of being dependent on viagra. I’m in my early 40s. i really dont need to hear any bullshit about needing herbal remedies etc – this is a cause of major unhapiness to me.

      • Hi Neil,

        Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s genuine. There’s a lot of people with vested interests that don’t want to believe it, but a quick search on the web will find thousands of guys going through the same thing: ED related to heavy porn use.

        Since you’re new to this, I would recommend watching the videos on Gary’s site (http://yourbrainonporn.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-porn) and then maybe signing up for an online forum for support (http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php)

        Try to stay positive. You CAN overcome this. I and many other guys are proof.

        And if things get too tough, there’s no shame in seeing a therapist for professional help.

        Cheers,

        Brian

        • ok many thanks for that. i live in the UK and there didnt seem to be much help on offer from my NHS doctor last time i asked. only viagra – and he didnt strike me as the type to dish out pills for the sake of it. i shall read the links you suggested – tho i think somewhere along the line i need to know if it is smoking related or not so i guess i need a test with regards to that. the prospect of going the three months or so only to find out it is smoking related really fills me full of dread. i do hope it is all down to dopamine….
          i have had to masturbate twice in the last three weeks, i feel down on myself for doing it but i certainly havent looked at any porn and tried to think ‘regular’ sex thoughts whilst i was going about it. from the little i’ve read i imagine that sets me back tho – well – i just couldnt help myself.

    4. im older will i recover faster say in abou three months, it will be one month on aug. 15th

    5. hey, Bryan, Did you have to pee alot when you were rebooting?

    6. im so depressed over this its effecting my job, so therefore im taking a two month absecence from work.my doc has to sign 4 it, or ill get fired, had a three day lay off already.

    7. im willing to bet money that this only takes 90 days or so fix

    8. 50 days im praying

    9. 70 more days to go im hoping

    10. can someone please tell me how u know u are cured,and for example i go 2 months without porn and mast then i mast and find out im not cured do i then have to start from scratch again?

      • Hi Kurtis,

        One of the signs that things are getting better are naturally occurring erections and morning wood.

        When that starts happening frequently, then you could start with some masturbation practice — without pornographic images or fantasy!

        Brian

    11. fuck it im going to a urologist in about 3 weeks, my paxil has a side efffecf of ed anyway, january is still my goal anyway, 190 days should do it.even with the few screw ups

      • Hi Todd,
        Don’t lose hope! Remember, the brain is very plastic and can change over time.
        Have you seen any hints that your erections are coming back? (morning wood, half erections, etc.)

        It still might be worthwhile to see a urologist if you believe your problems might be physical.

        Best of luck.

        Brian

    12. I started around when I was 19 and stopped when I was 24.

      It just destroyed me, it made me feel all empty and hollow inside (no love at all).

      I also lost my ability to have erections and masturbate, even to porn!

      I will never touch it again. No, it’s not ok to go back to it. It’s a drug, artificial stimulation that our brains cannot handle without serious moderation. Using porn to fill in a hobby time will lead to problems.

      For me, it took a solid 4 months (same as you Brian) before I regained full sensitivity and solid erections. I even hated myself and despised ordinary women.

      I tell ya, just stay off it. Quitting is not easy the first time, so just do it and don’t look back.

      • Hi Rave,

        Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad to hear you were able to get over your PIED. It’s a tough road, but as you know: it’s so worth it!

        I agree with you that for a lot of us guys who have this problem, there’s really no going back to watching porn again. We’ve demonstrated that we can’t use it in moderation and it can really ruin our sex lives (and other areas too!).

    13. Hello. I am thirty-eight and am experiencing what I think is porn induced erectile dysfunction. I have had a hard time quitting porn. I have not had sex with a partner in four or five years. I was in a long term relationship for eight years. A few years into our relationship porn completely supplanted our sex life. I recently realized the effect porn was having on me when that relationship ended and I started dating again and realized I could not get an erection when I tried to have sex. It has led to a lot of embarrassment and depression. I’ve slowly ween myself off of porn and recently my morning erections have returned but I just slipped up. For years I masturbated for hours everyday to porn, edging the whole time. I spent all day masturbating today. I am very frightened and alone. I’m scared I will never fully recover. I don’t know why I am writing this. I just hope I can do this. I just hope it works.

    14. Hi Brian

      It has been close to four months since I stopped my porn and masturbation completely. The biggest improvement that I have seen is that I have started getting morning woods regularly. However I still don’t feel that I’m 100% good. I still struggle with sex.

      Sometimes I get hard during foreplay and lose the erection just before penetration. Sometimes I don’t get any erection even during foreplay. How would you classify this? Porn ed plus perf anxiety?

      More than pleasure, I and my wife really want to have a kid. This ed is completely frustrating us. Hoping to come out of this soon.

      Thanks

      • Just to add a little background to my case… I am 29 and I have been masturbating since 12 or so. I have been in the habit of masturbating to fantasy up to 17 and then with porn+fantasy. Pretty long isn’t it!

        • To add more.. whenever the erection comes during foreplay, it is really hard. Also once I woke up in early morning with morning wood. I was keeping myself awake and observed that erection was pretty strong and lasted for 30 to 40 mins. The main reason for me not classifying this completely as perf anxiety is that I still don’t get any spontaneous erection. Also I don’t feel much horny as well.

    15. “I’ll stick to real sex, thank you”.
      Oh, GOOOOOD FOR YOOOU, stupid prick, as if real sex is freely available. In my experience, girls don’t give it up that easy every time I want to fuck. Stick to real sex, he says. Ignorant fuck.

    16. Emm, hi guys im 21 now and i started masturbating at 6th grade
      I had stopped pmo for 6 week, that was the best 6 week in my life it hard for the first week but the result is very good my energy is back and i fell very confindent with my self , but during that time I often have wet dreams about 2-3 times a week, I want to ask you it was a normal thing or not?, because it verry anoying having wet panties after you woke up

      Sorry if my english bad :)

    17. Wow like how you mentioned imagine seeing porn when you are 11 for the first time.
      Well that was me and i have been using it and mastrubating to it since. It’s something i never talk about and i really am addicted at times. Usually need atleast one lokk at porn before bed every day and it has been like that for 13 years now more or less.

      Every attempt for a relantionship has failed for different reasons and i usually have better sex drunk than sober because of anxiety and ED.

      As if that wasnt enough i did something this summer which completely fucked me up and got me thinking. If i have several weeks of porn and mastrubation pause i Will have problems behaving publicly as i like to go out most weekends, but i guess In my case a 90 day pause would be correct?

    18. Hey there so I’m 19 I lost my virginity at 18. I tried to have sex for 5 hours but would continue to get soft. You guys all say that you come back to your old self. My issue is I started to jerk off at 8-9 I couldn’t even produce sperm. (A slightly older friend showed it to me at this time.) I guess I’m worried at the length of time it may take me to recover. Because I would beat it pretty much everyday at least 2 times. I guess I’m nervous because I don’t know what a real me would feel like.

      • Hi Trevor,
        Thanks for sharing your story here.
        I’ve written about this extensively here:
        I would guess it could take some time, as you were really young when you started. On the plus side, be thankful you’re finding this out now, and not five years in the future!
        Best of luck on your reboot.
        Brian

    19. John Pierre says:

      The Media only speaking lies and conspiracy theory topics on them and criticize them they love criticizing on every single thing because they are dumb and stupid they think themselves smart but they are Illuminati from the last!!!

    20. Timothy Spall says:

      Hiya Brian.

      First off, fantastic article(s)!! i have found them all incredibly interesting and informative.

      I am a 21 yr old caucasian from Britain, i started masturbating at the age of 13 and haven’t really stopped. At the age of 19 i found myself a girlfriend and to start with the sex that we had was brilliant, i had rock hard erections and they came really easily, all was good. One day though, things took a turn for the worst and before sex i wasn’t really feeling anything downstairs. It got to a point when i was happy when she told me that she was on her period meaning we couldn’t have sex.

      Since this occured, myself and my gf had split up and unfortunately i fell into quite a deep depression, but now that i have heard that Porn induced E.D is a “thing” i have kind of seen a light at the end of the tunnel. But i still have a problem and there are still a few questions that i wouldn’t mind you answering if that’s okay.

      1) Since finding out about (PIED) i have done some background research and stumbled upon ‘use it or lose it’ alluding to erections – if you don’t keep getting erections then your penis can shrink!? is this true?

      2) How will i know if i am fully cured? will i have my libido back without the use of porn?

      Thank you for all of your help, it is appreciated

    21. hey brian, great post. thumbs up. but plz answer my question. i started watching porn at 13 . Initially i didn’t masturbate to it but i started masturbating to it when i was 14. my addiction grew really hard and i watched most hardcore porn available until i discovered ed caused by porn. i was very depressed and did no pmo for 2 months and then introduced to just masturbation. now i am 16 and it has been a year since i watched porn but still my libido is very low. sometimes erections are great but still real girls don’t turn me on. plz give your valuable opinion

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