Does porn use cause my premature ejaculation?

Advice for a reader who worries that his porn habit has caused his PE. Should he stop masturbating or is there a better way to deal with this?

Andre writes:

I’m 34 years old and been with my fiancé for almost two years. We try to enjoy sex, but to be honest we’re not doing great in that area. And it’s mostly my problem with premature ejaculation that’s the cause.

I’ve always had this problem, with all the girls I ever had sex with. I’ve read about this on forums and I’m worried that I’ve caused my PE. From about the age of 15, I’ve always masturbated to porn and still do this 2-3 times a week. If I’m not with a girl, I use porn to help me get hard and turned on. Honestly I’m not addicted to the porn but I do get carried away and look at some strange shit sometimes. When I’m horny I just get carried away.

I’m reading nofap forums and my PE could be caused by my masturbation habit. Have tried laying off once in a while but not sure if it helped with anything. Should I stop masturbating? How long will it take to reverse the PE if possible? I’m worried that this problem will harm my future marriage or worse.

Hi Andre,

To wank or not to wank… that is the question for so many guys who struggle with PE. Let’s begin with a quick review of the pros and cons:

In your online searches, you’ve no doubt come across the ‘rapid ejaculation training’ theory. We discover porn in our teens and, quite naturally, we jerk off to it at every conceivable opportunity. Now this might be accompanied by feelings of shame or confusion (or we just can’t wait to get to the next glorious wank). So we get ourselves off super-fast to avoid getting caught in the act.

Over time, this furtive habit trains our neurology to rush the process from erection to orgasm. According to the theory, we are programming our brains to produce a flood of sex chemicals and ejaculate before mum can get to the top of the stairs.

If we develop an ‘addiction’ to porn, this biological process speeds up even more. Through repeated association between visual stimulation and rapid ejaculation, we become increasingly sensitised to porn. Some men have reported ejaculating with barely any physical touch. The rush of sex chemicals is triggered solely by the images on the screen.

Is all of this confirmed by concrete scientific research? Not that I’m aware of. Does it fully explain why men experience premature ejaculation? No it doesn’t. But it is a plausible explanation for why masturbation the wrong way can lead to problems when we have sex with another person. If we’ve trained our bodies towards the immediate goal of our own release, adapting to the goal of extended intimacy and shared pleasure is quite the headfuck.

Advocates of the NoFap movement claim that ‘recovery’ from masturbation and porn can fix a range of health issues. These include tiredness, brain fog, erectile dysfunction and, of course, premature ejaculation. The forums are full of guys giving testimony to how abstinence helped them to last much longer in bed. If NoFappers get positive results from following the plan, I’m not going to knock that. And if masturbation and porn use is compulsive and out of control, cutting it out makes complete sense – at least to address underlying issues.

Now here’s something that might sound contrary to the above. Some guys struggle with PE because they don’t masturbate enough. Perhaps they feel guilty or awkward about it, or just don’t get a window of time. But sex therapists will tell you that by going long periods without masturbation, we store up tensions and our sexual excitement rockets when we have sex. So for these guys, masturbation isn’t causing their PE but it’s not helping them manage it either.

Masturbation has many potential benefits for our sexual performance and wellbeing. It enables us to connect with our bodies and sexual confidence, completely on our own terms. Every wank is an opportunity to rehearse slower breathing, movements and the ebb and flow of our arousal. We can learn to masturbate in a mindful, present way and not numbed and distracted by seeking out more strange shit.

Porn might assist us in getting hard, but remember to disengage from Xhamster and get in touch with your sexual imagination. I speak with guys who can’t remember when they last masturbated without porn. That’s too much of a dependency IMO.

Something else to consider, Andre, is how present you are during sex with your fiancé. Guys who get carried away with viewing porn while masturbating (and we all have) sometimes find that porn is running through their mind just before or during sex. Frantic, fake shagging has become part of their arousal template, even when they can’t see a screen. This might also be triggering the chemical rush, so all the more reason to get into the habit of focusing on your body interacting with your partner’s body, in every hot detail.

You say that you’re not addicted to porn, and masturbating to porn 2-3 times a week isn’t excessive. That said, I wonder whether you’ve noticed a tendency to turn to porn when you’re feeling stressed or bummed out? I think a lot of guys would answer yes to this.

Porn is super-convenient and always there to distract us from feelings of overwork, stress and anxiety. It may not be an addiction (we can function without porn), but it could be a problem ritual. Again, the repeated association between sexual arousal and anxiety trains our neurological reflex. Anxiety runs right through the body and is a major factor in PE. If we’re in a state of high emotional arousal and muscular tension, relaxed and lasting intercourse is pretty much impossible.

Another question I’d ask is whether you are having porn sex? So many of us want to emulate all that hard, fast, relentless banging in our own sex lives. As we battled through adolescence, porn might have been our primary sexual education. If so, it helps to fully understand the unrealities of porn. Learn how to enjoy the full experience of sex without fast-forwarding to the money shot. Understand your partner’s needs and remember: unlike porn and masturbation, sexual adventures don’t have to end seconds after you’ve come.

So to wrap up, I agree that taking a break from the porn is way to go. I suggest that you continue to enjoy masturbation, but take the opportunity to reconnect with your sexual self. Maybe start out by looking at softer stuff (fitness models do it for me) to get yourself stirring and then lay back, close your eyes and let your imagination go to work. Take your time and notice your breathing, muscle tensions and sensation throughout your whole body. Broadening your sensual experience is key here.

Whilst working on this approach, also check out some of my recommended ways to overcome premature ejaculation. I also suggest you open up the conversation with your fiancé. Giver her assurance that you are working on the issue and you’re receptive to her feedback. Show her that you are doing this with confidence and for the mutual benefit of your long-term sex life together.

Some men prefer to tackle their PE in private, and you absolutely have that option too. Either way, explore your sexual repertoire together. Don’t put sex on hold until you are ‘better’ – that just piles up anxiety and pressure for you both. Mix things up and keep playing. With some tweaks and an open mind to learning more about your own sexual response, there’s no reason why this should derail your future together.


If you’d like to ask Jason a question or share your experience, feel free to get in touch.

Disclaimer: this site is run and moderated by Jason Dean, a qualified psychotherapist. But he is not your psychotherapist. All content and comment is an expression of opinion, not a medical diagnosis or consultation.

All content is for information purposes only, and is absolutely no substitute for medical advice from your own GP or NHS Choices. Please see the full terms of use.

Posted by jason

  1. Agree with this advice. From my experience, porn addiction DEFINITELY makes premature ejaculation more likely to happen. I hate what I did to myself with all that porn. Now I rarely watch porn and things are a little better. Still can’t last that long in bed but when I was porn addicted it was like, 20 seconds. Now more like 4 or 5 mins. Do yourselves a favour and ditch the porn.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.