Porn Addiction, Porn Creep and Erectile Dysfunction (E.D.)

“Porn creep” is defined as “a condition that results from the constant or excessive watching of pornographic material. It is characterised by an inability to get an erection under circumstances that do not involve the watching of pornographic material.”

Erectile dysfunction (or E.D.) is the inability to develop or maintain an erection in males and is rampant in those with a pornography addiction in our Internet Age – far more so than was the case pre-Internet.

Disturbingly, what my 2 year research into porn addiction found over and over again was adult males who were not only virgins but who also suffered from extreme erectile dysfunction. Even more disturbing was that younger virgin males too – even those as young as 14 to 16 were also already suffering with erectile dysfunction.

Many males describe their “love lives” as being 100% pornography and that this had been the case since they first began porning when exposed to it in their younger years. These virgin men range in age from teenagers to men in their 30s. A few have sex dolls. One had 10 dolls yet had never touched a real live person. He was 20. Another virgin was 27, had erectile dysfunction and was being led to “total self destruction” masturbating with other people on webcams and also had never felt the sensual touch of another human being in the real world. Others were on Viagra yet still struggled to get or keep an erection.

One young man wrote “I’m 18 and a porn addict for a few years and have E.D. I started out watching straight porn, then lesbian porn, transgender porn, gay porn, bestiality, bondage, older women, young men and what have you. Am I gay? I’ve never ever felt any attraction to men before. I’ve even started going to the Ads. I don’t know if it’s due to the escalation or if I am secretly gay. It’s eating me alive. I’m a virgin.”

Sadly, many young men are caught in a catch 22 situation. They know their porn use is what is preventing them from getting into real live relationships yet are powerless to stop. This leads to cycles of extreme sadness, loneliness and often boredom which then drives them to do more porn which leads to more self loathing and helplessness. And so the cycle just keeps going round and around. One addict wrote “It’s a catch 22. I’ve never had a girlfriend so I feel lonely and do porn – then porn stops me from getting a girlfriend.” Another wrote “I always porn when I am depressed, sad, lonely, feeling rotten or feel that I will never get a girlfriend.”

Still others delude themselves that a relationship will fix their pornography addiction and E.D. problems. One addict wrote “I’m 23 now and my porn addiction started very early. I hoped that when I got a girlfriend that I’d stop masturbating to porn and it would solve the problem. However, I did get her and my body wouldn’t respond. It only wanted masturbation. It wanted me to sit in front of a computer watching porn. It’s been the loss of that girlfriend due to my disease which has triggered my own realisation that I am a porn addict.” Another addict wrote “Getting into a relationship will not “fix” my porn addiction. The fantasy is it will but it won’t as relationships are separate altogether to porn addiction and most likely the porn addiction will doom the relationship anyway. This is similar to thinking getting into a relationship will fix any addiction. It won’t.”

Other males know a relationship will not fix their porn addiction and become used to not having relationships in their lives. One wrote “I began porn at 12. Am now 19 and never had a girlfriend or date in my life. My love life is 100% porn. I know porn is the reason I’ve never had a girlfriend. You just get used to porn and don’t want to put the effort into getting a girlfriend. I also have no confidence either.”

One 24 year old virgin wrote the following deeply sad testimony… “I lead a terrifying double life that alienates angers and depresses me. Normal sex with a female no longer stimulates my mind. I get E.D. immediately. I’ve never been erect enough to penetrate and hence why I am still technically a virgin. Just to even try and have sex I have to fantasize about porn. I now have extreme loneliness and a detachment from the rest of the world. For a while I thought I must be gay and even came out to a couple of people only to find sex with men even less stimulating. I masturbate 3-5 times daily – increasingly in VERY inappropriate places – work, people’s houses, public bathrooms, airports, airplanes, restaurants, hotel rooms – you name it. The skin on my penis wears down causing immense pain that takes months to heal because I can’t stop masturbating. If I have the “itch”, I have to scratch it – no matter the setting. I stopped once for 13 days. Towards the end of that time, and for the first time since the beginning of puberty, the simple things about a woman turned me on – hair, smile, style etc. It was like a fog has been lifted. But on day 14, I relapsed and entered a major relapse and it was to be the darkest one yet. All that hope that I would be able to be with a woman vanished.”

Other addicts have the same frustrations. One wrote “I’m a 24 year old virgin. Been doing porn for 4 years. My view on sex has been altered by porn to the point that I need porn in order to get aroused. Being with real women just doesn’t arouse me. It’s driving me crazy.” Many men’s stories are similar to this mans.

For those addicts who are not virgins and are – or have been – in relationships or marriages – their stories are equally as distressing. One wrote “Sometimes I will watch porn before having sex as it is the only way I can get aroused and in the mood but even then I can’t keep an erection yet with porn I can no problem and can and do compulsively masturbate. Other than that I have no sex drive at all. I only ever have one night stands and never had a relationship where we were sexual on a continuous basis. I also masturbate VERY aggressively and VERY fast that is not replicable by a vagina.”

Men have trained themselves – through masturbation such as this man described – to only respond to a grip tighter than any vagina is likely to be able to grip. The penis nerves become over stimulated so now the man cannot respond to more subtle sensations. And many porn addicted men are becoming to know this all too well. One wrote “The masturbation effect is greater than the normal effect of sex and why my body doesn’t respond as it should. I can’t perform.”

One of the things which astounded me in my research was how the gay and straight loved ones of pornography addicts were always having to BEG their male partners for sex. This was unheard of pre-Internet and frankly more shocking in a way than a lot of things I came across in my research. Women NEVER had to beg men for sex pre-Internet. Quite the opposite in fact. It was often a running joke amongst females in particular how men were always hungry for sex and were a nuisance as a result and why the term “I can’t have sex. I’ve got a headache” was born. A woman only had to briefly touch a man and he would get an erection and want sex immediately. Women, in the end, became hesitant to even touch their partners due to their constant desire and need for sex. With women, in the main, being like water and needing to be warmed up slowly sexually before they are ready for sex (it takes a womans vagina 20 minutes to become fully aroused ) verses men who are like fire and need dosing down, the imbalance was ever prevalent between the sexes and why men were, at times, “nuisances”. Not any more it seems now we have the Internet and Internet pornography…

One man wrote “Sex with my wife is changing. I’m wanting to have sex with her less and less and want to be acting out my addiction more and more. She has commented that she frequently is the initiator of sex and I pretty much can never achieve an orgasm when I have sex with her. This has a compounding effect and I now seek orgasms exclusively from the pornography. I see my life slipping away and I see all the lost potential. I’m 26.” Another man wrote “I’ve got erection problems with my wife and in general and find myself withdrawn and down a lot of the time. I stop using porn and the erection problems go away and I think I’m okay now and go back to porn and they start again. It’s a vicious cycle.”

Another man wrote “I can get an erection very very easily as soon as I power up my laptop but cannot get one when having sex the normal way (porn use has been heavy for 6 years). Also when in bed with my wife I have to think of porn scenes to help me get and keep an erection.” Another addict wrote “I am a 28 year old gay porn addict. Porn filled my sexual needs when I didn’t have a sexual partner. Now I’ve met a man and my problem is I can’t get aroused when I am with him. I can only get aroused when I look at porn. I feel ashamed and a failure.”

Porn addicted men constantly describe how their libido with their partners is almost completely destroyed due to their pornography addictions. One man wrote “I feel as if my sex drive has completely gone to sleep unless I awaken it by looking at hardcore porn.” Another wrote “My porn and masturbation addiction has been going on for 16 years (since aged 13). Now when I try to have sex I lose arousal. I have a lot of suicidal thoughts.” Another young man wrote “I have, for as long as I can remember, been unable to climax during intercourse. This makes sex frustrating for me. Yet I can compulsively masturbate to porn.” Another wrote this common theme said over and over again in porn addicted people… “I find real sex disappointing and prefer doing porn to actual sex. It makes me cry though to think I would rather satisfy myself in front of a computer screen than with a gorgeous woman. It needs to end now.”

Another addict wrote “I established high standards of fantasy due to porn intake and now nothing will live up to my expectations in the real world and I can’t get aroused with normal sex.” Another wrote “I can’t get fully erect when I am with a partner. Sex is boring after so much fantasy.” Another wrote “I don’t feel the same high with real sex as I get from masturbating and porn.” Another said “I get bored with normal sex unless the woman acts in a porn way.” Another wrote “I’ve been addicted since aged 13-14. I’ve had sex 3 times – all with prostitutes and failed to keep an erection. I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

Another addict wrote “I don’t enjoy sex much. I’ve been addicted to porn most of my adult life. The advent of the Internet just made things tremendously worse.” Another wrote “I see sex and porn as 2 different kinds of orgasms and after watching porn, it feels like I have to rewire my mind to be able to climax during sex. If I hadn’t watched porn, I’d not have a problem climaxing.”

Another addict wrote “I’m 22 and my libido is almost completely destroyed. I don’t get turned on EVER anymore. It’s just started to feel like glorified urination – even during masturbation.” Another wrote “It’s escalated to scat (faeces) and urine porn. I can’t perform with real women and leave them wondering if there’s something wrong with them (not intentionally) then go home and gross out to a nasty video where I am erect in a second – then I masturbate and go to sleep. This is typical. I just want a good healthy sex and emotional life.”

Along the same theme, another addict wrote “It’s progressed to scat porn and other extreme fetish stuff. I started doing porn at 11 (am now 27) and despite how attractive a girl was, I couldn’t get a proper arousal.” Another said “I always need more “forbidden” porn to maintain an erection and orgasm. I’m 26 and never had sex or a girlfriend.”

This kind of testimony is written over and over and over again by pornography addicts. One wrote “I have weak erections now even while doing porn and can’t stay erect.” In response, this recovering man wrote this… “I had to constantly raise the bar to get my erections. The addiction makes you get bored very easily. I had to keep clicking until something triggered me to get erect. As you begin to stay away from porn, within even a month, normal erections return.”

One tormented addict wrote “I plan to marry my partner but am scared I am already experiencing issues with being able to stay or even get aroused and am scared it will only get worse.” Another addict wrote “My first sexual experience was very underwhelming after years of porn and masturbating. I’m technically still a virgin.” Another wrote “I’ve been doing porn since I was 12 and had my first sexual experience today at 27. It was not as exciting as I thought it would be and I never ejaculated. Is this to do with my addiction?” Another wrote “When I had sex with a beautiful woman, I found it (after 2 years of not having sex) PLAIN. It felt like “Is this it?” The coupling effect of 2 years without a woman (my choice) and the desensitizing effect of porn I think is what did it to me. Having sex with her just felt like work and nowhere near as easy and pleasurable as sitting in my chair over my laptop.”

Many addicts write time and time again that “It is easier to do porn than it is having sex. So is masturbation.” Many men also write things along these lines… “I have intimacy issues. It’s easier to reach out to porn than real people.” Or… “I’ve started to watch hardcore stuff like humiliation. The more I watch porn, the less emotions I feel towards finding a girlfriend.” Or… “Once I started Internet porn, my confidence around sex became so low I was almost afraid to do it. This still affects me today.” Or… “I find cybersex safer than risking the drama of a real relationship. It’s ruining my life though.” Or… “I’ve been hooked on porn since I was 10 when I found my father’s collection. I’ve been addicted ever since – 25 years. I’ve stayed somewhat single most of my adult life – an occasional date here and there. Magazines and videos were easier to have a relationship with than the real thing.” Another wrote “Pornography was my first love/ lust. I viewed it before I’d even come into contact with a woman.”

Along similar themes, another addict wrote “I’ve been watching porn since I was 12. I first found my uncle’s magazines and since then could not put porn down. From when I was young I never felt girls found me attractive so my porn addiction enabled me not to care about cultivating meaningful and intimate relationships with females. I am now in my 20s and feel the constant pain of being alone. Only cynicism and hate fill my heart because of the deep void porn and masturbation addiction have thrown me into. My life is a sham. As I see my friends get married, have children and enjoy life, I sometimes feel like I want to kill myself.”

Another deeply saddened addict wrote “As I ended up watching harder and nastier porn, my own sexuality became completely absent. What’s worse is that I’ve never had a girlfriend or sex so it’s confusing for me. I’m 18 and already feel like a 70 year old man who has erectile dysfunction. Now non-hardcore porn doesn’t arouse me and I need riskier and riskier porn to get aroused. I now need really really hardcore and nasty perverted porn to arouse myself. Watching porn over the years has destroyed my whole sexuality. I’ve tried to quit but it’s so hard. I feel ashamed because I really want to quit this whole shit once and for all. I want to have a NORMAL sexuality with a REAL girlfriend and REAL sex. I just have no idea how to get away from all this – every attempt to quit has failed.”

Yet another young addict said “I opened my first bank account to buy webcam credit. I’m 18. Paying for a girl to get naked makes me feel terrible. I’ve now met a real girl but can’t face cutting off web contact with this other girl on the webcam. When I get taken over again though I won’t care and that’s horrible. It’s a pattern that just goes on and on and will only get worse. I know that.”