Pornography has been increasingly available via the internet since around 2007.
This has led to a rapid uptake in use, but there is little information on how increasing porn use might affect erectile function.
In a recent study from Belgium, Denmark, and the U.K., researchers found that the amount of porn a man watches is linked to worse erectile function.
They found watching porn is also linked to greater dissatisfaction with “normal” sex, with only 65% of respondents rating sex with a partner to be more stimulating than porn.
The study was presented at the EAU virtual Congress. One author is Professor Gunter de Win of the University of Antwerp and University Hospital Antwerp.
In the study, the team used an online questionnaire, which was advertised mainly to men in Belgium and Denmark through social media, posters, and flyers.
About 3,267 men replied to the 118 questions, answering questions about masturbation, frequency of porn watching, and sexual activity with partners.
The team found that there was a big range of responses.
Moreover, around 23% of men under 35 who responded to the survey had some level of erectile dysfunction when having sex with a partner.
There was a highly strong link 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. It could be that the people who have responded are not completely representative of the whole male population.
The researchers found that 90% of men fast-forward to watch the most arousing pornographic scenes.
There’s no doubt that porn conditions the way people view sex; in the survey, only 65% of men felt that sex with a partner was more exciting than watching porn.
In addition, 20% felt that they needed to watch more extreme porn to get the same level of arousal as previously.
The team believes that the erectile dysfunction problems linked to porn stem from this lack of arousal.
They suggest that doctors dealing with erectile dysfunction should also be asking about watching pornography.
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