Around the turn of the century around 5% of under 35s faced the issue. Today their number has ballooned to 20% or even 30%” says urologist Gunter De Win of Antwerp University Hospital (UZA).
The big survey conducted up in Antwerp has allowed scientists to map out the causes.
“Our analysis shows that problematic porn use can lead to erectile dysfunction when it comes to having sex with a real partner” says Gunter De Win. “‘Problematic porn use’ isn’t the same as looking at a lot of porn” he explains. “We’re talking about people who can’t stop, who watch porn to deal with their loneliness, who cancel social activities because they want to watch porn or who can’t masturbate without looking at porn.”
The urologist stresses it’s a psychological issue, not a physical one: “a Viagra pill won’t sort it because even with Viagra excitement is crucial. In the group of people who say porn excites them more than real sex up to 70% suffer erective disfunction”.
Gunter De Win emphasizes the research doesn’t argue against porn. “Pornography has many positive aspects that lead us to discover our own sexuality. The taboo about discussing porn must be dealt with. I often see youngsters who have come to the conclusion their erectile dysfunction is due to their watching porn. Often that isn’t the case. Reality and factors are complex!”.