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Too Much Porn Can Cause Sexual Dysfunction in Men

Hannah is senior lifestyle editor at SheKnows and STYLECASTER, covering love and sex, politics, career, home, food, travel and more. Her work has been published by Glamour, Refinery29, Dr. Oz the Good Life, Redbook, Elle and others. Foll...

Men who prefer porn to sex have higher rates of erectile dysfunction, says new research

It seems like there's a buzzed-about new stat or study about porn every week, whether it's the idea that watching it can help you go on better dates or the fact that people in highly religious states watch it more than anyone else. The latest porn finding is pretty gloomy. Men who prefer porn and masturbation to real-life sex are likelier to experience erectile dysfunction according to research recently presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting.

Rates of erectile dysfunction skyrocketed when porn became widely available. The first dedicated porn websites reportedly appeared in 2006, and rates of erectile dysfunction nearly doubled between 2004 and 2014 — timing that appears to be no coincidence.

The research, which aimed to find out the effects of porn on both genders, was conducted on 314 men and 71 women between the ages of 20 and 40. Interestingly, women actually had higher rates of sexual dysfunction (52 percent) whereas 27 percent of men experienced sexual problems. However, men watched porn much more than women, which is one way the doctors identified the correlation.

More: What 7 Women Wish Their Partners Knew About Getting Them Off

Experts say that internet and porn addiction have the same physiological effects as addictive drugs. Like with alcohol, nicotine or cocaine, once your body gets used to that high, it's nearly impossible to recreate with anything other than the drug it craves.

Dr. Matthew Christman, a urologist at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, hypothesizes, "Internet pornography increases sensitivity to pornographic cues and decreases sensitivity to normal stimuli." In other words, once men get used to all that crazy on-screen action, sex IRL just might not do the trick for them anymore.

But before you go telling your S.O. about this research as a scare tactic to get him to stop watching all that porn, remember that porn can also have a totally healthy place in your relationship and sex life — and that starts with talking about it. As long as your male partner feels he needs to furtively get his secret porn fix, you won't get anywhere.

If you really care about keeping your partner healthy (everywhere, but especially down there) approach him and his porn-watching habits without judgment or snark and ask how you can incorporate whatever's turning him on so much on screen into sex IRL with you.

More: Your Interest in Threesomes Could Be Based on Your Income of All Things

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