Reboot Nation Forum > Partners of Rebooters and Addicts

New study on porn and those who watch

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Here are links to study and presentation:

Here is article from a news site:  (I did not use the site itself due to triggering suggestions for clicks)

You think it’s a bit of harmless fun, but watching porn really does affect a man’s performance in the bedroom.

Men partial to perusing a lot of X-rated material are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction — and it’s because they are so used to looking at kinky images, experts suggest.

And those men who prefer watching their fantasies played out on screen are also less likely to enjoy actually having sex, the study showed.

While experts quizzed both men and women on their porn-watching habits, they only found a link to sexual dysfunction in men.

Researchers surveyed more than 300 men between 20 and 40 who visited a San Diego urology clinic for treatment.

While only 3.4 percent said they would rather masturbate and watch porn than have sex, there was a statistical link between the amount of porn they watched and sexual dysfunction.

Most of those men quizzed admitted to watching porn.

One in four said they watched porn less than once a week, while 21.3 percent said they watched porn three to five times a week.

Five percent admitted to watching porn six to 10 times a week and 4.3 percent said they indulged more than 11 times per week.

Dr. Joseph Alukal, an associate professor of urology and director of male reproductive health at New York University, said: “Visual stimulation will often increase sexual arousal in both men and women.”

“But when the majority of their time is spent viewing and masturbating to pornography, it is likely they will become less interested in real-world sexual encounters.”

“These studies suggest the issue may be trivial in women, but not so for men, and could lead to sexual dysfunction.”

“Sex is half in your body and half in your head and it may not be a physical component driving the behavior, but a psychological one.”

“For this reason, it’s important for physicians to understand the underlying issues leading to the sexual dysfunction prior to suggesting treatment options.”

Dr. Matthew Christman, a staff urologist with the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, told HealthDay the reason porn addicts are at greater risk of erectile dysfunction is that their “tolerance” for sexual stimulation is higher.

He said: “Tolerance could explain the sexual dysfunction, and can explain our finding that associated preferences for pornography over partnered sex with statistically significantly higher sexual dysfunction in men.”

Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men.

It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree.

It is defined as the inability to get and maintain an erection.

The researchers also surveyed women between 20 and 40 about their porn habits but found no link with sexual dysfunction.

The findings were presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Urological Association on May 12.

Previous studies into porn and its impact in the bedroom have also found that men who watch a lot of racy clips are less likely to be satisfied having sex with their partner.

An Indiana University and University of Hawaii study of more than 50,000 participants who had taken part in 50 previous porn studies found men who watch porn in an intimate relationship are more likely to be less satisfied with their sex life and their partner.

While I appreciate these studies, it is kind of frustrating that the focus continues to be primarily on the premise that watching porn lowers men's sexual satisfaction in real life, either through ED/DE or unrealistic expectations.

The problem with porn is so much bigger than that. The objectification of women, the emotional regression, the inability to have meaningful and full relationships with others are also areas that should be explored.

My husband and I both ended up doing counseling with people that specialized in those with porn/sex addiction and one big thing they talked about was the emotional regression that comes with excessive porn use. These people (mostly men) don't just sit around doing things normally associated with teenagers/young adults, they begin to 'think like' teenagers - even beyond porn use. It is the incarnation of "play stupid games, win stupid prizes".

One reason my marriage is virtually dead is because my husband regressed to such an extent through excessive porn use and addiction, that it is no longer as if I am in a relationship with an adult peer. He literally lost the ability to 'adult'. It would be interesting to know exactly what pathways get damaged with excessive porn use.

What I do know is that my husband used to be able to hold an interesting conversation. He used to be able to think for himself. Everything I heard in counseling on what porn addiction does to men in the long run has turned out to be absolutely true for my husband. Basically, that men that turn to porn after they have reached adulthood use porn as a replacement for normal coping skills. They use it for conflict avoidance, anxiety reduction, stress relief, and even as 'treats' to reward themselves. As a result, when they stop porn use, they must work hard (and few every truly succeed) in developing the skills to basically deal with life. My husband dropped porn like a boss, he did fantastic in giving up porn. Where he has struggled is with the ability to develop appropriate skills to replace all those things porn was substituting for. He still runs away when faced with conflict, he just doesn't jack off to porn while he is hiding. He doesn't jack off to porn to deal with anxiety or reduce stress, he just doesn't do anything. This has left his immune system shot and he is extremely susceptible to colds, sniffles, etc. He went from hardly ever taking time off of work due to illness to taking time off of work twice in the past couple of months - all with thing the kids and I easily shook off with no need to change our normal routines. His time used to be focused on viewing porn, jacking off to porn, fantasizing about trying what he had seen in real life (with strangers) and hiding all those things. That is what occupied his time, his attention, his focus. Now, those things are no longer his focus. The problem is, nothing is his focus. He actually thought he had ADD/ADHD because he couldn't concentrate. No, that isn't the issue - the issue is for years he thought of nothing but porn, now that porn is gone - there is an emptiness. He doesn't want porn and has no desire to go back to porn, but now he is stuck, just existing. He is now simply a guy that 'used' to jack off to porn, but doesn't anymore.

My husband no longer seeks porn, but after years of objectification of women, he has to severely limit is contact with the 'world'. He can't watch a lot of television and has to research what types of scenes will be shown in movies. He has to make a plan before going to the beach. He spent years sizing women up sexually, looking at women for his own sexual pleasure and gratification. He doesn't want to do that anymore, but can trust his own mind. When he travels alone, he won't even turn on the television set. He is now locked in a cage of his own creation because he fears where his mind will go if allowed to roam freely.

I don't think my husband was always a narcissist, but I think years of self pleasure and gratification made him develop a lot of those tendencies. He spent years serving his own purposes, it didn't matter if that required him to lie to me, deceive me, put his porn habit above hands on parenting of his own children, and even risking his job by visiting massage parlors (prostitution is illegal here and if the place had been raided, he would have been fired). When everything you do is only for your benefit and you spend years justifying your selfish behaviors and desires, that is a hard problem to break. So yes, he is no longer living life for his own selfish sexual satisfaction. The problem is a "now what?" sort of situation. Okay, it isn't about getting a dick high anymore, but what is it about? He can't help but treat me like a webcam girl. Here is what I mean by that - webcam girls only cared about tokens (money). You want attention? Spend money. You want them to do something for you? Spend money. You want compliments? Send money. Anything and everything was simply about how much money. So now, he is trying to reconnect with his wife and what is his go to method - spending money. I am literally sitting here with boxes of jewelry under piles of paper. I don't want to be brought, it isn't about how much money he spends on me. He thinks by spending lots of money on me that is showing his love or how much he cares. It breaks me heart to see just how far apart we are, it is like he is just the shell of the man he was before porn.

That is what I would like to see studied. Fixing the dick after porn is really the easy part. Yet, study after study after study is all about the penis. I think after a year even my husband would agree - the penis issues were the least of our problems. Yes, it lets you know when you have 'physically' recovered from porn addiction, but that isn't just what porn addiction is about. Porn addiction takes so much more from men than the functioning of the penis.

Emerald Blue:
Stillme, thanks for sharing your amazing insight and experience. If anyone has gone down so deep to understand the roots of this addiction, it's you. Your contribution is a gift, and I certainly appreciate and I'm sure many others do too.

Emotional regression. Yes. I agree with that absolutely. There is something very regressive about this addiction. My husband would readily admit to using porn as a distraction from uncomfortable emotions. Conflict avoidance, absolutely. He can't deal with conflict at all. He freezes like a deer in the headlights if he witnesses conflict. He is never proactive in resolving situations that affect him personally. His excuses for using porn were pretty childish and also quite blaming. If I wasn't out, he wouldn't feel so abandoned, etc etc. I mean, we're talking about me going out for 2-3 hours, and he can't deal with it??! And when it was time to account for his behavior and take responsibility for it, he'd rather throw a tantrum. That isn't normal adult behavior, is it? I also agree that reversing this emotional regression is probably unlikely.

Recovery is a very, very difficult process for a relationship because it takes two. As partners, we want to fix the relationship and we believe we can see what recovery looks like and feels like. We desperately want it to work and we believe we can do it, as a couple. What we don't bargain for is that the addict doesn't have the skills to work through all that needs to be done. They are still stuck in the mindset of not being found out, admitting to only the absolute minimum, blame-shifting rather than owning their behaviour and its consequences.  Some addicts can get past this, others won't but many, like my husband, will only take it so far so recovery means muddling through selective memory, partial truths, omission of important facts, reluctance to communicate, etc etc. So I'm forever stuck in some halfway house where the porn behaviour has gone but the support structure that was built to protect the habit is still there. The recovery of the relationship is compromised and may forever feel incomplete. I didn't expect this at all.

So I would agree, there's much more to recovering from porn addiction than these studies can possibly include. I'm sure the wider effects of porn addiction on relationships and families will be known and researched in time. In the meantime, we just have to forge our own recovery by trial and error.

I was asked to pin this here so women that were looking for indicators of possible porn use or just wondering what might be going on in their relationship could have a starting point.  This was not meant to be a post that explained it all or made light of the struggles.  It was simply a start.  That's all.

For those of us in for long time, we must realize there are beginners.  I cannot find fault with studies that show the reaches of porn  If they have to show it over and over again to get people on board then they should go for it.

There are studies that show how women are affected and I have posted those.  I will go back through and find what I have and post those as well.

I wasn't disparaging the article, simply giving my opinion. At the same time, I think when it comes to partners of recovering porn addicts, providing for the emotional realities first is a better option. I think my husband and I would have been in a better spot today is we both went in to it realizing the physical part was the easiest part. For instance, all the talk of "reattaching to a real person" as part of the reboot led to definite hysterical bonding on our part, but that 'reattaching' or 'rewiring' was fictional and more focused on getting the body to work rather than truly developing real connection with the partner/spouse.

I honestly think if having a parallel focus on looking at character issues and true change was an integrated part of recovery and looked at as a component of the reboot, it would be beneficial to all of those with partners. But, I think it is becoming clear that the focus of RN and pretty much all sites focused on porn addiction, is the physical aspects of porn addiction exclusively. That is fine, it is just that it sets partners up for a big let down at the end of the reboot process.


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