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Men Addicted To Porn Are More Likely To Have Erectile Dysfunction

Man watching his laptop screen | Image: BigStockPhoto

Watching too much porn can make it difficult for men to maintain an erection.

This was the result of a new study whose focus was the effect of porn watching on sexual activity, researchers from Belgium, Denmark and the UK quizzed 3267 men about masturbation, frequency of porn watching and sexual activity with their partners.

The researchers found a correlation between frequency of porn use and erectile dysfunction. Around 23% of men under-35 who responded to the survey had some level of erectile dysfunction when having sex with a partner.

According to Head researcher, Professor Gunter de Win (University of Antwerp and University Hospital Antwerp), the percentage was higher than they had anticipated:

“This figure was higher than we expected. We found that there was a highly significant relationship between time spent watching porn and increasing difficulty with erectile function with a partner, as indicated by the erectile function and sexual health scores. People who watch more porn also scored high on porn addiction scales.”

The research found out that men watch quite a lot of porn, around 70 minutes per week on average, normally for between 5 and 15 minutes per time. Some watch very little while some watch more for hours.

The researchers believe that erectile dysfunction problems associated with porn stem from a lack of arousal and that porn conditions the way we view sex. 90 per cent of men fast-forward to watch the most arousing pornographic scenes, 20 per cent felt that they needed to watch more extreme porn to get the same level of arousal as previously. Only 65% of men felt that sex with a partner was more exciting than watching porn.

“Our next step in this research is to identify which factors lead to erectile dysfunction, and to conduct a similar study on the effects of porn on women,” Professor de Win said.

“In the meantime, we believe that doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography.”

The research was presented at the European Association of Urology virtual congress.

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