The short answer to the question posed in the subject of this article is, “Yes, porn is probably making you bad in bed.”

If you’re not sure, you can take my “Porn Self Assessment Test” here >>

For about 7 years now I’ve been thinking that the sex apocalypse is coming.   And it seems like I’m not the only one who has noticed.

Now a lot of folks are waking up to what’s going on, and it’s becoming more common knowledge that porn is causing erectile dysfunction (and all kinds of other sexual dysfunction) in men.  It’s also teaching men how to be bad in bed… but more on that later.

The movie “Don Jon”, written, directed, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the first time that porn addiction made it into popular culture, and I think it was an important and positive development that, if nothing else, brought the conversation more into the mainstream, but the fact is, the movie soft-balled a much more serious problem.

In the movie, Jon, a handsome lady’s-man, alpha-male admits that he likes porn better than sex with real women.  After sex, he always sneaks off after the girl has fallen asleep and has another quickie with his laptop.

I started noticing something going on with young men and porn around 2007, when I first sent a newsletter about women who can’t have orgasms during sex… and to my surprise I got back a tsunami of emails from MALE readers asking if I could write a newsletter for MEN who couldn’t have orgasms during sex.

Just so you understand where I was coming from at the time… I had never even HEARD of men who couldn’t have orgasms during intercourse.  It was virtually unheard of in my generation. Sure, of course, men who couldn’t get erections for sex: I had been talking to them for years with great success.  And, sure, men who came too quickly during sex: I created an entire program for them.

But men who had trouble, or even found it impossible to have orgasms with real women was something new to me, but it wasn’t going to stay new.  3 of my 20-something friends called me up in the following week to ask the same thing.

One of them said he had trouble ejaculating with real women, and 2 said they always had to “finish themselves off” afterwards.  One of them also told me that in 6 years of sexual activity with many partners and 3 long term girlfriends, he had NEVER had intercourse without Viagra.

I recommended a list of things for these guys to try.  Everything I could think of.  One of them was, “maybe you should quit porn.”

Now, years later, the evidence is in and it’s clear:  Porn is re-wiring men’s brains to be bad in bed.

For the record, I enjoy porn as much as the next guy… Which is to say, I find it absolutely irresistible.

As the comedian said: “You’ve seen one naked woman, you wanna see ’em all.”

I have talked to men that don’t like porn and don’t watch it.  They do exist.  But the majority of men simply love looking at lots and lots of naked chicks involved in lots and lots of different sexual acts.  This, of course, turns out to be genetically wired into us.  

I don’t have exact numbers, but it appears that the majority of men who have consumed high-speed-internet porn are like me:  They find porn to be highly enjoyable, highly stress-relieving, highly escapist… and highly addictive.

Because high-speed internet porn didn’t arrive in my life until my late 30s, I was able to notice and track the changes it was making in my life.

I was in a relationship with a beautiful woman, but I would still regularly “binge” on porn, not only at the expense of my sex-drive for my partner, but also at the expense of my work and social engagements.

Perhaps I had more attention on noticing what was happening because of what I do for a living:  I was already writing a sex advice newsletter… So I started examining what was going on, and I quit.

For men who don’t notice what’s happening, or for men who are young enough to have grown up on ‘net porn, their entire reality and their future ability to forge sexual relationships with women can be stolen without them ever realizing it happened.

Like most men who are hooked on porn, when Don Jon starts dating his “perfect 10” woman, he still can’t stop watching his porn.  The movie chose to ignore the most common facts though: Don Jon has no problems getting hard, he has no problem ejaculating, and the women he is with are sexually impressed with his performance.

That’s not even close to the way it generally goes in the real world.

Right now there is excellent information out there raising awareness for men about how porn is causing ED (they can’t get hard or stay hard), and excellent information on how to quit porn and regain your libido, and re-wire your brain back to its normal state.  

The most important thought leader in this area is Gary Wilson.

If you’re even a little bit interested in the science, the proof, and the results of what’s going on with men (especially young men) and porn, you will absolutely want to watch Gary’s TED talk:
 

 
There is an entirely other problem with young men, women, and couples that is also coming from porn… and that’s the massive dis-education about how good sex is done.

Young people learn everything they know about sex from porn with sad results.

As Cindy Gallop said in her 2009 TED talk, “Hardcore porn has become the de facto sex education.”

She talks about her experiences with younger lovers who had been badly educated by porn here:
 

 
Unfortunately, while she offers an alternative on her “Make Love, Not Porn” site, I think that in the end, while adding intelligence and a different idea for visual sex, she is actually doing nothing more than contributing to the library of home-made porn, which is it’s own “amateur” sub-genre, and frankly, her site is more part of the problem than part of the solution.

In other words, I have some fear that she’s created a site that gives men and women permission to just watch more porn.

The fact is, porn is exquisitely well crafted for visual stimulation.  Unfortunately, that does not equate with what actually works for making each other FEEL great.

While masturbating to porn is a visual activity, only a small part of real sex is visual. The other 4 senses are intimately involved, chief among them being touch, not site.  

And all 5 senses combined don’t make up even half of what fuels GREAT SEX…

Which is the emotional and mental aspects of love making.

I talked about this in one of my weekly videos, “The Truth About Masturbation”.

This conversation is really just beginning however.

We don’t know the full extent of the damage, or how much worse it might get.

As I write this I have at least 4 colleagues selling programs with porn stars teaching how to have better sex… based on the marketing premise that young people believe that porn stars would be experts on the subject of good sex… A very scary thought…

But damn good marketing, and they are making millions of dollars while men continue to get the wrong information about how to really have a great sex life and great sexual relationships with women.

Is porn the devil?

Nope, I’m sure it’s not.

Should it be censored?

I’m against censorship in general. But I do agree with anti-hate speech laws and I think we just don’t understand this problem well enough yet to have a ready answer. Like guns, I think pornography ought to at least be better controlled… and hopefully in a way that does not present an invasion of privacy for those adults that decide they want to continue to consume porn.

Can some men watch porn without it having a negative impact on their lives?

Probably. There are people who can do cocaine recreationally once in a while without it affecting their lives too. Though it does seem clear that porn has a much higher addiction potential than coke, and it ought to at least be treated with caution by any man.

Don Jon talks about a bunch of reasons for why he prefers porn to real women. He sums it up by saying that he can just “lose himself” with porn. What he never mentions is how EASY it is. How relaxing and calming it is to just let yourself be sexually stimulated without having to worry about judgement. Your computer never judges you for your kinks and proclivities. Your computer never rejects you.

There’s probably something important to learn there for lovers wanting to take Julianne Moore’s character’s advice in the movie, when she tells Don Jon that the best sex is when you “lose yourself in another person, and they lose themselves in you.”

The only way THAT KIND OF SEX happens is when you really feel free to be yourself. And that takes something special from your partner.

Using this article to judge your partner or make them wrong for their porn use is probably going to have the opposite effect in that regard. We are all imperfect humans doing our best to live the best life we can. Put the judgements of your partner (and yourself) aside.

If you start from there, then it’s easy to have a more loving conversation about it.

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To take the “Porn Addiction Self Assessment Test” Go Here >>

To join the live webinar on 2 strategies for overcoming the negative effects of porn (and quitting if that’s what’s indicated), Sign Up Here Before Tuesday >>