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How Porn Brought Sexual Dysfunction and Disappointment into Our Love Life

“I want to be intimate with my husband and have a healthy sexual relationship with him. It seems he has completely accepted that he has porn-induced erectile dysfunction.”

By April 12, 2021April 15th, 2021No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

Some stories, like this one, illustrate just how harmful porn can be, not just for the consumer, but for all of those who are harmed by its negative effects.

I’m sure you get messages like this all the time but I’m really not sure what else to do. My husband and I just celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary which also marks 2.5 years of our struggle with porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

A Lack Of Arousal

My husband is a healthy 23-year-old man who has struggled with porn since he was 12.

The first six months of our marriage were fine, probably because neither of us had sex before we got married and we were figuring things out together. However, it was shortly after that our love life has been nothing short of devastating for both of us. I’m running out of options. Even though he stopped watching porn a year ago, he still struggles with all of the classic symptoms—lack of arousal, inability to maintain an erection, inability to ejaculate, and so on.

Related: How Much Porn Can You Watch Before It’s Unhealthy?

We’ve tried many things to try and work through his issues. We have stopped having sex for three-month periods twice now. We’ve tried creating intimate dates with no sexual pressure with the goal of emotional connection to make a more natural approach to sex. For a while, I wrote down whenever he would decline having sex with me. I recorded how he was feeling, what he did that day, anything in order to find a behavior pattern. Now, I’m seriously out of ideas and nothing has gotten better.

When the porn-induced erectile dysfunction first became an issue, we were having sex maybe once a week. But now it’s only once every three weeks.

Not to sound vain, but I feel it is important to clarify that I am not an unattractive woman. I’ve been told I am beautiful for most my life and have never had any serious confidence issues about my appearance. I take pride in my personal appearance and in making myself attractive to my husband. However, none of this seems to matter. I haven’t felt desired or physically loved in years and my self-esteem is so low now that it’s basically non-existent.

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Up To Try Anything

My lack of sex has resulted in the most insane sexual desire. I find myself absolutely craving sex no less than three times a day.

In an attempt to encourage my husband to have sex with me, I’ve made it clear how open and experimental I am willing to be in the bedroom and that I am up to try anything. I constantly tell my husband how attracted I am to him and how intensely I desire him. His response is always that he wants to have sex and loves me but that he just can’t, isn’t feeling it, or too tired.

Related: “Learning Sex From Porn Is A Terrible Idea”: Jameela Jamil Is Sounding The Alarm On Porn, And We’re Here For It

He compliments me back but his words don’t mean much when he declines me after greeting him at the door wearing lingerie, when I’m kissing him and trying to initiate intimacy, or when I’m literally just begging him to have sex with me.

I’ve only given myself to one man who I love with all of my heart but sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. I want to be intimate with my husband and have a healthy sexual relationship with him. It seems he has completely accepted that he has porn-induced erectile dysfunction. He has made efforts to fix it but nothing has worked so far.

Any thoughts? I’m desperate!

– E.

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Why This Matters

Study after study has shown that contrary to popular belief, porn is bad news for long-term relationships. Not an unsupportive and porn-disapproving partner, but the porn itself. The majority of research reflects that porn negatively affects satisfaction within the relationship and ultimately can lead a person to withdraw from a loved one.

The long-term studies paint a very different picture than what you might be hearing from pro-porn advocates. The preponderance of evidence from a dozen or more in-depth, longer-term studies consistently show porn consumption lowering relationship satisfaction, emotional closeness, and sexual satisfaction.Wilson, G. (2013). Studies Linking Porn Use Or Porn/Sex Addiction To Sexual Dysfunctions, Lower Arousal, And Lower Sexual & Relationship Satisfaction; Retrieved From https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/studies-reported-relationships-between-porn-use-or-porn-addictionsex-addiction-and-sexualCOPY 

Related: Can Women Get Addicted To Watching Porn?

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Let’s take a look at a couple of the many studies that illustrate porn’s harms in relationships.

Two highly respected pornography researchers from the University of Alabama, Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann, studied the effects of porn and media for more than 30 years. Their findings conclude that consuming pornography can make an individual less satisfied with their partner’s physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. What’s more, some individuals felt not just dissatisfied, but critical of these aspects of their partner.

A 2012 study by Amanda Maddox and her team concluded that individuals who never viewed sexually-explicit material reported higher relationship quality (on every measure) compared with those who viewed the same explicit material on their own.

As porn becomes more normalized, we want to be a source of information pointing out that porn is not harmless. This isn’t a moral argument. This comes down to you and your personal relationships, and the opportunity to make an informed decision about what will make them indefinitely thrive. Is porn really worth it?

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