Gone are the days when guys had to carry X-rated magazines and videos out of stores in discreet brown paper bags – now gay porn is available 24/7 from a seemingly infinite variety of online sources. As the infamous Rule 34 of the internet states, if it exists, there is porn of it. But many men are discovering that there is a downside to this X-rated smorgasbord. With pornography so widely available, both gay and heterosexual men have become prone to so-called sexual addiction.

From a medical standpoint, a true addiction to sex is impossible. The criterion for addiction is based on whether you experience physical symptoms of withdrawal after being cut off from your drug of choice. Being deprived of sex certainly does not feel good, but that does not make you a sex addict any more than suffering over a lack of food makes you a food addict or feeling restless because you have not worked out makes you an exercise junkie. Like food and exercise, sex is nonaddictive. Men can, however, become compulsive about or obsessed with sex. In extreme cases, this can negatively impact other aspects of their lives.

But why does internet porn seem to create more problems with sexual obsession than real-life sex does? One factor is that X-rated material online portrays a wider variety of sexual acts and kinks than most men could reasonably experience in a lifetime of real-world sexual encounters – and to complicate the matter, many of the sexual acts in online porn are depicted unrealistically. Another factor that makes internet pornography especially “addictive” is its sheer ubiquity – why go out to a bar or club and hope that you actually succeed in picking up a cute guy when you can access a veritable stable of hot, underdressed men with just the click of a button, anytime, anywhere? As a result, men today are becoming sexually saturated so that any form of “normal” sex no longer excites or stimulates them, and their never-ending search for something new and more provocative just becomes more and more futile.

Once a guy falls into a regular habit of viewing increasingly novel or extreme acts in porn, the sight of a sexy body or heated foreplay may no longer be enough to give him an erection during a real-life encounter. In addition, frequent masturbation may leave his penis too exhausted to do its job during intercourse with a partner. This failure to perform can set off a vicious cycle, in which the shame of a noncooperative erection will make a guy shy about engaging in real-world relationships and drive him to rely even more on porn for sexual release, which only makes the problem worse.

So how can guys deal with a bad porn habit? First, I would prescribe a dose of reality: do your best to cut back on the pornography and spend more time exploring and enjoying real-world sex. Second, keep in mind that your partner may not be comfortable performing certain acts and routines portrayed in X-rated materials. Consideration is key – respect your partner’s desires, and he will respect yours. Third, persistent sexual obsession often stems from deep-rooted psychological problems, so men who have a particularly hard time kicking the habit should consider consulting a qualified psychotherapist.

The good news is that true sexual obsession or compulsion is still not that common, even in the age of internet pornography. If you’re concerned that you’re spending more time with sexy virtual images than with a flesh-and-blood lover, there’s no need to panic. Chances are you’re simply stuck in a rut – start with logging out for a while and spending quality time with a current partner or rediscovering the thrill of making a new connection. As I always tell my urology patients, the best way to optimize your sex life is to have sex as often as you physically, mentally, and emotionally are able – and love is the greatest aphrodisiac of all.

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Author Profile

Dr. Dudley Seth Danoff
Dr. Dudley Seth Danoff
Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and from the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Danoff completed his urologic training and fellowship at Columbia University Presbyterian Medical Center. He served as a major in the U.S. Air Force, after which he joined the Clinical Faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is currently the attending urologic surgeon and founder/president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tower Urology Group. Dr. Danoff and his wife, Israeli singer Hedva Amrani, live in Beverly Hills and have two children.

Years ago, he developed a keen interest in erectile dysfunction based on his disturbing observation that an increasing number of men were suffering from what he calls “penis weakness,” or PW. He noted that there was very little discussion within the urologic community about the significance of this problem in male genital health.

As he looked deeper into this major issue, he realized that the stigma surrounding erectile dysfunction and other penis problems was a force that had been plaguing not only men in modern times but also probably men throughout all of history. He began to speak out and write about the principal characteristics of this alarming pandemic and discovered a deep reality about men and their relationships to their penises: the vast majority of males were severely undereducated about their penises, from its physical function to its effects on their psyche. And for too many years, men who have suffered from self-doubt and anxiety caused by PW have done so without any guidance from the medical community—especially not from the professional urologic community.

Coming to the realization that something needed to be done, he set out to write what he hoped would be the all-inclusive guide to the major factors affecting male sexual health. His aim is to replace ignorance and mythology with factual information and to replace self-doubt with confidence. His goal is to help every man realize and achieve the sex life he desires.

As a busy urologic surgeon in Los Angeles, California, he has seen more than 200,000 penises in his professional lifetime. While each is unique, just as hands and feet are unique, they are also remarkably alike anatomically. However, there is enormous variation in how they function in their sexual capacities. He has observed that these differences in functionality and capacity have very little to do with the anatomy of a particular penis or even with a man’s size, looks, level of success, wealth, or status.

Mainly, functionality and performance is about how men perceive their own penises. In addition to understanding its biological functions, every man must learn that his penis is an organ of expression. What gives it its power is much more than the condition of its blood vessels and nerves.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health advocates a transformative concept based on positive thinking. Applying the power of positive thought to your penis can change your entire life.