Love and Sex in the Digital Age

Technology and the intimate relationship

Is Male Porn Use Ruining Sex?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there is no denying that digital technology has greatly increased the accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of porn use. The million dollar question, of course, is what all this porn is doing to the people who are using it. Read More

Ending statement

You ended this article with "(Heavy alcohol or drug use that continues after a man quits porn is likely to slow or even halt this process.)" I have had some of the ED issues discussed above due to daily porn use, and have not viewed pornography for a month now. I still drink daily, and am curious to read about why alcohol use will slow or halt the recovery process.

another one of those

another one of those stereotypical porn is ruining men articles...the insecurities of women and blame for problems in any relationship are ALWAYS laid at the feet of the male.Wtf is porno doing to women's minds (and yes alot of women do view it in droves these days)and their expectations of a guy ?? Id say ALOT but as per usual most of the blogs ive ever seen on this subject scapegoats men and blames us for the problems:(

Weiss is just one of Oprah's dildos...

-perhaps you'd like what a real man such as blogger Capt. Capitalism has to say about this whore's paradise better: Porn Economics.

The first comment there pretty much 'splains it.

Captain! Troll ahead!

Seems one of the net-trolls started believing his own hateful BS - and decided to make it into a webpage.

Read with this in mind:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201401/beware-the-trolls

subterfuge

The article begins with a hint that it will be balanced -- then begins the anti-erotica rant.

Better questions, in my view:

Why is America so afraid of sex and removing well regulated gatekeepers from sex (think not jut erotica but "slut shaming")?

Who is behind these continued attempts to maintain strict regulation of sex?

Why do men feel shame and hide whether they use/enjoy erotica (why are not men encouraged to draw their own conclusions and do what they believe appropriate after balanced consideration)?

Why is male use of erotica such a "deal breaker" for women (there is no great hue and cry among men to try to ban or shame women for using sex toys, for example)?

Why is there such a strident segment of society so invested in outlawing erotica based on what appears to be, as their best case, indeterminate science at the same time that society is otherwise making progress in removing other taboos or prohibitions (for example, decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, women-oriented BDSM (a la 50 shades of Grey)?

Why are problems that apply only to a small percentage of males who use erotica pitched as dangers and/or applicable to all/most men?

Has female behavior contributed to the expanded use of erotica by men?

You ask excellent questions

You ask excellent questions and I hope someone can answer them!

I would have thought it's not the watching of the porn that's the problem, it's the amount of time spent on the internet/laptop/iPad etc which is time NOT spent with one's partner. So it really doesn't matter if they're spending 3 hours a day on a porn site or 3 hours a day on FB or Twitter, it's still 3 hours a day of screen time! But once again porn is the baddie in all this.

The hysteria about porn just seems to be like assuming that someone who likes a glass of wine occasionally is a raging alcoholic and so alcohol should be banned forthwith...wait a minute, didn't they try that one time? How'd that work out?

Brain difference bunk

So far -- and I emphasize the so far part -- all this stuff about neuro rewiring and re-booting is theoretical bunk. Its a theory in search of facts, based on anecdotal reporting. The science so far shows that there is no difference in brains between sex addicts and people merely with high libido.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130719104933.htm

Might this change with better and more research? Sure. But it also might not.

I really don't understand

I really don't understand this trend to pathologize sex. I can only say some people have a hate/hate relationship with it.
The biggest pornographer I know of is E.L. James, yet very few actually think to ask the question; "how does 50 shades of gray influence women relationship with men?"
I think the hate people have against pornography stems from puritanical ethics, basically: Anything that is fun but requires little effort is to be suspect and demonized. Yes, men would be more productive (to the economy)if they spend less time in front of a computer and more time working or shopping. maybe if porn wasn't free it would be better accepted.

Unqualified and narrow-minded, nice combo

Surprise, surprise, another diatribe on sexual psychology from someone with no qualifications as a psychologist. Maybe that's why it never seems to occur to him that females look at pornography, too.

It happened to me.

My marriage had been nearly sexless for 5 years, and totally sexless for over 2 years, so I masturbated. I thought that everything was fine as far as erections go.

Now I spit and have a girlfriend. I get hard no problem, but have a hard time having an orgasm. I've gone three hours with her. At first I thought that I had just turned into a middle aged stud. But after a while, I thought that having the best sex of my life, but rarely having an orgasm is not right.

I searched the net for answers, and got the same results as the article. I had trained my brain to have orgasms through masturbation. And even though I'm having sex with the hottest woman, and best lover that I've ever had, I can go forever without an orgasm. But it works fine masturbating. I enjoy sex with her, I just last forever with no orgasm. 3 years ago with my wife, I didn't have that problem.

take your time

I've found that is often the case for me as well when starting a new relationship. It takes me a while to orgasm and sometimes doesn't happen. But after a while, we settle into each other and it gets easier. My take on it was that I needed some time to relax around someone new.

For what it's worth, I was enjoying the sex, liked the person, and by the time we were ready to stop, I wasn't too concerned about an orgasm if it didn't seem likely. I was surprised at first, how upset some women seemed to be about this. We, as men are not supposed to obsess about their orgasms, but ours are fair game? I think the constant babble about men being sexual simpletons whereas women are mysterious nymphs does none of us a great service.

For what it's worth, part two: Like I said, after a while, orgasms would come easily. During that period of time, I didn't change up/stop my porn viewing and we didn't make any big changes in our sexual routine. So I would attribute it to relaxation/acclimating to a new partner. I'd say don't agonize over it, just have fun. If you're happy, it should work itself out.

What about men like me who

What about men like me who are unable to have sex with a partner? My wife stopped having sex with me years ago. I remain faithful and don't want to get a divorce and breakup the family. We get along fine despite there being no sex. So my only sexual outlet is masturbation and porn. I'll tell you one thing. If I gave up the porn and masturbation the chances of me cheating on my wife out of sexual desperation are about 100%

So in a way porn keeps my family together and keeps me from straying from my marriage. I don't like the situation but my family is more important to me than affairs or paid sex.

For so long, women were in

For so long, women were in control of sex.
Men have needs. But some men were not getting sex because they were deemed too poor, too ugly, not popular enough, not a "natural mate" or "alpha male" etc.
Sometimes men were scolded or made to feel like monsters for wanting sex.

Well what did society expect to happen? You cannot deprive someone of something and then get mad when they find a substitute. If some men are constantly deprived because they do not meet some natural selection then yes they will turn to porno.

The main disadvantage of porn is it serves only the eyes and ears where real sex serves all five senses. The main advantages though is it is way cheaper, readily available, private, less risky, AND there is no pressure to perform well. Plus when you find something you really enjoy like a fetish, there isn't an awkward talk about it and hope she will at least do it without complaining too much. Plus with porno, there is no weird talk about "but I want to please YOU! My ego needs it!"

I guess it sucks for whatever woman gets with a porn addict. If her man cannot perform well in real life, she can pretty much thank women in general who enjoy depriving men.

Watching a good porno is maybe 20% of the satisfaction of real sex but with only 1% of the effort. Oh and if you learn to self-serve in creative ways like I have, it comes to where NO ONE can please you better than you can please yourself.

I'm a 23 year old male and

I'm a 23 year old male and been watching porn since I was age 12.

Unfortunately I've been trying HARD to quit for 2 years now and despite a couple of long streaks without pornography I remain devastatingly addicted and seemingly unable to go more than a few days with all my willpower without slipping back into old habits again ;/

So what's the problem?

Erectile dysfunction is the main issue, and I know this because after my long streaks without porn, my erectile health improved almost to the point of perfection, along with differences in social anxiety, depression and natural confidence.

There's also plenty of science to back the potential effect long term use of pornography can have on brains (in particular adolescent brains as they're going through formative stages) and how the chronic abuse of porn, induces a constant dopamine high and eventually rewiring and reconditioning the brain in the same ways seen in those addicted to gambling and even cocaine.

I guess I use porn as a means of dealing with life and my emotions, unfortunately you can't escape life. I need to learn to deal with my emotions in healthy, loving ways.

Thank you Psychology Today for bringing more and more attention to Pornography and it's impacts and in an excellent article too.

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Robert Weiss is the author of Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Sex, Intimacy and Relationships.

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