Back in 1997, when I got started in the Male Enhancement field, the Internet was still, for most, a relative novelty. While even then, there were men who were addicted to Internet pornography, the numbers and intensity of those anomalies were still relatively low – statistically speaking. Fast forward to 2023, and a whole new generation of men has grown up with free, ubiquitous access to online porn, and the addiction levels, as well as their negative effects, have skyrocketed. Numerous news reports and studies have been done on the harmful effects of porn addiction, yet porn per se is not inherently bad. The problem lies in the representations and methods mainstream porn employs.
Adolescence is a time of experimentation, and as the gateway to sexual discovery, the Internet has allowed more access to pornography than ever before. Young men are learning to pleasure themselves furtively, leading every time to rush up and get it done quickly. This conditioning affects their stamina, leading to poor ejaculatory control, which impacts their self-esteem.
This phenomenon is not limited to young men. Many adult men have become so addicted to porn that they are unable to function in real sexual scenarios. The issue is compounded when you consider the physical and psychological “conditioning” (detraining) that occurs when stimulating themselves to porn. The effects of detraining are usually an inability to perform outside of having porn as a stimulus, poor erection quality and lack of ejaculatory control.
It should be noted that masturbating in the form just described can still result in negative adaptations, even if no porn is used. In some cases, the negative conditioning from masturbating to porn can become so thorough that some men have actually reported becoming aroused and/or unconsciously touching themselves as they get ready to sit down at their computers!
The psychological side effects of porn addiction can be devastating to a person's psyche and sexual well-being. A form of “hypersexualization” can take place when a person becomes addicted to porn, which is not only due to the “on-demand” stimulus that comes from having ready access to a computer, but it also skews the perceptions of those who become addicted. Addicted men can come to view the scenarios in porn as “normal.” This not only applies to their expectations of what to expect from a woman (or potential partner sexually) but also to their perceptions of what to expect from themselves.
In most porn movies, camera angles, splicing edits, and choreography add a degree of surreality that can make men envious – and perhaps a bit insecure about their own size and performance. The effect has not been lost on women – more of whom are expected to behave like “porn stars”- inside and outside the bedroom. This sexualization, without taking into account other very important emotional aspects of what normally constitutes a healthy relationship, can cause an extremely warped and harmful view of reality. This contributes to a “fast food” or even “disposable” mentality when it comes to relationships.
Given the above, it should be no surprise to learn that men who have little to no sexual instruction outside of viewing porn often find themselves in situations where they experience very high levels of performance anxiety. This is further compounded by the detraining effect, as these men find their partners may not be as “fluent” in the activities they’ve accustomed themselves to seeing in porn. Many men voluntarily resign themselves to eschewing any “live” encounters, believing that porn is a “safe” alternative to actually having to perform, as there are no expectations and no emotional risks to their virtual encounters.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives to mainstream porn that are more diverse and realistic. The post-porn approach, for example, seeks to challenge traditional notions of sex and gender and emphasizes consent and pleasure for all parties involved.
In conclusion, it is clear that online porn addiction is a serious problem that affects many men. The negative effects of addiction can be devastating, both physically and psychologically. However, it is important to remember that there are alternatives to mainstream porn and that recovery is possible. By seeking help and adopting healthier habits, men can overcome porn addiction and regain control over their sexuality and lives.