Are Porn Tube Sites Causing Erectile Dysfunction?

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UPDATE #1 - All studies assessing young male sexuality since 2010 report a tremendous rise in erectile dysfunction and low libido. See - Research confirms enormous rise in youthful ED

UPDATE #2 - Several studies have found relationships between porn use and ED, anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, low libido, and lower brain responses to sexual stimuli.

UPDATE #3: Peer-reviewed paper by US Navy doctors - Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016) - It’s an extensive review of the literature on porn-induced sexual problems. The review provides the latest data revealing a tremendous rise in youthful sexual problems. The paper also examines the neurological studies related to porn addiction and sexual conditioning. The doctors provide 3 clinical reports of men who developed porn-induced sexual dysfunctions.


ARTICLE: Might tube sites be to porn what crack is to cocaine?

Porn of PompeiiYou've read it before, right? "Porn has been around since ancient times and Internet porn is fundamentally no different." Some porn users, however, are telling a different story, and it's one that therapists with porn-using clients need to hear.

The degree and intensity of novel erotica available via tube sites has never been duplicated in mankind's history, and it appears to be having a dismal effect on sexual health. (Even after giving up porn, guys sometimes go through months of no libido to restore performance.)

  • "I discovered tube sites in 2006. I remember it, VIVIDLY. It was like....porn on steroids, big time. I mean it was WAY hotter than seeking out little 15 second clips, waiting for them to download, then proceeding."
  • "It was only a few years ago that I discovered tube sites, and I think those are the worst for warping your brain.
  • "The tube sites screwed up everything. They changed the history of porn."

So what is a "tube site?" A porn veteran explains:

In mid-2006, the world of porn underwent a transformation. The major players (PornoTube/RedTube/YouPorn) all introduced YOUtube-style streaming videos. Before this momentous event, you had to download the video, then open it, and risk getting a virus. Sometimes you didn't have the right software, so you spent a lot of time making sure it was what you wanted to see before downloading it and 'enjoying' it, or you would go to a specific site whose content you liked, watch the one or two new videos and leave it at that.

More recently, porn delivery evolved in the direction of video gallery sites (increasingly referred to as 'tube sites') which aggregate pages of thumbnails of streaming tube videos from different porn sites.  No guesswork, no pause while downloading. You look across a matrix of thumbnails of videos with maybe 100 or so screenshots, see a picture that floats your boat and click on it.

However, porn purveyors want hits, so your click may take you to that video, or it may take you to another site that you didn't intend to visit, often another gallery site, which is giving the first site a referral kick-back. Now you've got two pages of thumbnails open. At first, you find that annoying and close one, but after things deteriorate, something on the new page catches your eye and you click on that, making a mental note to go back to the first thumbnail. ....and so on until you find yourself with 20 tabs open.

In a moment we'll look at the science behind why this profusion of ready erotica is uniquely risky, and the chaos it's causing for some users. But first let's hear from another user about how tube sites are different:

  1. There are two parts to a physical sexual experience: the build-up of arousal, and then the sex. In normal porn there is usually more emphasis on (a crap) story. It often conveys some intimacy and touch etc. (Even though you are not physically experiencing it, you are mentally connecting more with those thoughts.) But on a tube site a clip is often a mere 3-5 minutes long. You go straight from 0 to 100mph. Arousal isn't a slow, relaxed, teasing build-up of expectation. It is straight to full-on orgasmic f--king.  
  2. Because tube clips are so short, you do a LOT more clicking to novel clips for various reasons: one is way too short to build up arousal; you don't know what will be in the clip till you watch it; endless curiosity, etc.
  3. The variety on tube sites is limitless.

It was around 2006 that men began showing up at our website complaining of Internet porn addiction and wondering if their unexpected symptoms were related to porn use. Now, a trickle has become a tsunami, and guys all over the Web are complaining of extreme sexual performance problems and other symptoms. While the advent of Internet porn, and then the arrival of highspeed and torrent downloads of porn, increased rates of porn-related problems, many guys didn't notice severe problems until the rise of tube sites:

First guy: I used to not look at video much; but now you can go on ___.com and put in a video search- wallah!- you see dozens and dozens of clips to click on. All kinds of variety. Watching video was a "step-up" in terms of a high, versus pictures. I started noticing some ED symptoms within a year or two.

Second guy: For me, the tube sites were the final nail in the coffin as far as developing erectile dysfunction. I'd looked at pictures for years (well over a decade), and video clips from time to time. But when the tube sites became my daily fare, it was only shortly afterward that I developed ED problems. I think the tube sites, with their endless clips immediately accessible, threw my brain into overload. And that's probably when the real numbing of my pleasure response began. I'd be curious to see the distribution between men who never visited the streaming video sites (if any exist!), and men who stuck solely to still pics. There could potentially be an interesting correlation there.

Third guy: I spent over a decade looking at still pictures (only) without developing any form of ED. I didn't visit the tube sites regularly until March, 2011 - when we got very high speed access. Within 6 months, I had my first experience of ED...literally for the first time in my life. I'm well aware that 'correlation does not equal causality'...so I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good idea. I always assumed that age could also have been a factor for me.

Fourth guy [in reply to Third guy]: I'm 21 and got ED from switching to tube sites. Age is irrelevant I think.

Novelty-overload paradox

Endlessly novel tube sites, and their "hottest byte of the video" thumbnails, constitute supernormal stimulationcompared with the usual mating cues (and frequency) human brains evolved with. Because tube sites hammer people's prime arousal chimes, they can trick them into abandoning the rewards of real sex for synthetic sex cues. This happens to other animals too. For example, male julodimorpha beetles mistake reddish-brown bottles for mates and spend the balance of their short existence in futile attempts to mate with them.

Confused Julodimorpha beetleWe humans perceive greater novelty as a road to greater satisfaction. But it's worth noting that satisfaction doesn't actually work that way...even when buying jeans. No matter how perfect something is, if there are more choices potentially available, our brain imagines we might do better, and urges us to keep seeking. Remember John Mayer's Playboy interview?

You're looking for the one ... out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don't finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that [thumbnail] was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work.

According to the research of psychologist Barry Schwartz, limitless choice is not a recipe for happiness. If tube sites make us too choosy, we can never be pleasantly surprised, and can easily become obsessed with the fear that we might have done better. That takes the joy out of life.

With dizzying quantities of novel "partners" vying for immediate attention, some porn users spend far more time searching for the perfect clip to "fertilize," than self-pleasuring.  Not surprisingly, many report that compulsive tendencies worsen. Increasingly finicky, they describe feeling tense and dissatisfied even after climax.

Their behavior is driven by the brain's reward circuitry, which runs on the "go get it" neurochemical, dopamine. Together, anticipation and novelty amplify the message that tube surfing is really importantand the brain strengthens related circuitry accordingly. In keeping with Schwartz's insight, a German team found that porn-related problems correlated most, not with time spent viewing, but with number of screens opened and degree of arousal.

Risky buffets

A second risk of tube-site buffets is overconsumption. A professor in the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Sheri Pagoto PhD,  writes: 

Studies on appetite show that variety is strongly associated with overconsumption. You will eat more at a buffet than you will when meatloaf is the only thing on the table. In neither scenario will you leave hungry but in one you will leave regretful. In other words, [if you want to circumvent overconsumption and its problems] avoid the buffets of life.

Professor Pagoto points out that,

By frequently seeking extreme forms of sexual stimulation, the porn addict will eventually develop an inability to experience sexual pleasure from normal sexual activity; and if the habit goes long enough, an inability to experience pleasure from anything except porn. This pattern of behavior actually changes the brain’s “baseline” of what turns them on. As you can imagine, serious problems develop.  First sexual problems, then relationship problems, and then work problems.

It's not that food or sexual arousal are "bad." Things go awry when an activity "become[s] necessary, a 'go to,' preferred over normal life experiences." Not surprisingly, a 2011 study (USA) found that, "Higher frequencies of [porn] use were associated with less sexual and relationship satisfaction."

"Uh-oh...where's my erection?"

Endless in-your-face variety not only promotes higher-than-usual consumption (because the brain evolved to motivate us to pursue novelty). It typically also decreases sensitivity to pleasure. One common result is decreased feelings of satisfaction; the brain wants more and more.

In the case of porn buffets, another effect men often report is loss of sexual responsiveness. Decreased response to pleasure is common in all addictions, both behavioral and chemical. As erections and orgasm depend in part on sensitivity to dopamine in a key part of the brain, it appears that a decreased sensitivity to dopamine is making some users less sexually responsive too. 

But a numbed pleasure response is probably only one factor, especially for the younger guys. They appear to be wiring their sexual response to sexual cues that are so different from human sexuality that they don't respond normally to the "real deal" when a three-dimensional partner turns up. See Did Porn Warp Me Forever? (Salon.com), written by a 23-year old. Another young guy explains,

Fapping to porn is totally passive, you sit there and pleasure yourself. Sex with a partner is very different. It can be very unnerving to actually have to participate when all you've known is your own touch. The sights, smells, and feelings are completely different. Visually, your perspective is not that of a cameraman, so you're not just focusing on that view you love (whatever it is). It's soooo different.

Wrap up

As with some other technological advances, humanity has apparently outsmartedTube porn site itself with the creation of tube sites. One insightful observer commented,

If people have the right to be tempted—and that’s what free will is all about—the market is going to  respond by supplying as much temptation as can be sold. Market incentive continues well beyond the point where a superstimulus begins wreaking collateral damage on the consumer. —Eliezer Yudkowsky

What makes tube sites the Bermuda Triangle of porn? Judging from men's self-reports we'd say:

  • Using a tube site, users seek for, and consume, more novelty per session than ever. They tend to overconsume, and risk numbing their response to sexual pleasure.
  • Tube sites offer videos, rather than stills, so the viewer doesn't use his imagination and becomes a passive voyeur, no longer imagining himself as protagonist.
  • Clips are shorter than normal sex and "cut to the chase," rewiring users' sexuality to an unnaturally hasty sexual rhythm.
  • Hotter thumbnails/clips, endless novelty and abundant material that violates expectations constitute supernormal stimulation, and may rewire users' sexuality to pixels that goose the reward circuitry more than real mates.
  • Searches for the perfect clip tend to ratchet up anxiety.
  • Tube sites are intense brain-trainingbut not for real sex, as demonstrated by viewers' unreliable erections with partners.

If you're going to view porn, think about sticking to drawings on cave walls and murals in Pompeii. You're here because your ancestors' erections remained reliable. If you have exceeded your limit, check out some stories of others' successes.


MORE FROM OTHERS:

Video history of porn up to the advent of tube sites


Excerpts from "The Geek-Kings of Smut," a NewYork Magazine article on the impact of tube sites:

It’s a huge misconception that the industry is doing badly,” Feras Antoon tells me over rib eye and lobster tail at Delmonico, the Emeril Lagasse steakhouse at the Venetian in Las Vegas. “It’s moved on. It’s as simple as that.” And he insists that the tubes haven’t cannibalized paid content: People who consume only free porn, he argues, are people who, in the past, would not have consumed any. The people who paid for porn then will still pay for it now. Plus the tube sites have so vastly enlarged the total universe of porn consumers that the number of those who pay has ballooned along with it. Ten years ago, total daily adult-site traffic averaged less than 1 million unique visitors—on the entire Internet; today Manwin’s tube sites alone get 42 million daily uniques. “I personally have one or two memberships,” Antoon says jovially, “and I still go to the tubes. I get my appetizer on the tubes, my main course on one of the sites. ...

But this is hardly the consensus opinion. Allie Chase, operator of solo-site NaughtyAllie.com, takes issue even with the five-minute trailers that plenty of producers deliberately upload to tube sites in the hope of whetting appetites. “Do you honestly think that your average guy watching a five-minute porn, or several of them, won’t be able to get off? Of course he will. And once he’s shot his load all over his keyboard after watching my free five-minute video, he certainly isn’t going to be pulling out a credit card to join my site.” Manwin, in fact, has studied the question of optimal clip length. “We tested one minute, three minutes, five minutes,” Antoon says. “The best converting for the content owner is three minutes. The best for the tube sites—for the surfer to come back and back—is five minutes. So we always ask for three to five. We don’t mind if they send us seven to nine.”


June, 2014 - Porn Kingpin Steven Hirsch Wants You to Keep Using Tube Sites


r/NoFap post - This is how porntube sites convert you into a drug junkie

I'm sure many of you know this by now, but in case someone is doubtful:

The "tube" sites serving free pornography is equivalent to a drug dealer.

In fact, all pornography - free or not - is designed to hook you in.

Porn rewires the part of your brain which deals with pleasure and reproduction - not coincidentally the two things we humans care the most about.

This part of this brain is extremely neuroplastic, and will very quickly conform to the stimulus you are getting, thereby solidifying itself for the future. In evolution, this binding was supposed to make you want your mate more after a successful encounter. Over time, exposure to pornography will make you want pixels on a screen more than real women - in the worst case making you completely unable or so fucked up in your brain that you will never be able to have a normal relationship with a woman.

Now, I'm sure most of you who are here know this. But what I would like to focus on in this text is the porn addicts that have been the worst exploited - the real junkies that will spend money on pornography - because they are the source of the whole industry! If there were no junkies, there would be no pornography (except the one people make themselves). If there was no pornography, more junkies wouldn't get created. That this cycle continues into perpetuity, is what keeps the porn industry alive.

The purpose of free tube sites is simple:

  1. Give you unlimited access to "free sex" (from an evolutionary perspective).
  2. Over time, hijack your brain by helping you to find new fetishes and the cumulative rewiring to crave porn.
  3. Funnel you into strange fetishes or craving "high-quality" porn that you can't get on the tube
  4. Serve ads for the companies that offer those products

What do you think the product of free tubes are? Providing clips? Selling ads?

No, selling ads is their BUSINESS.

YOU are their PRODUCT.

The tube sites' business is to convert you into a junkie, and finally deliver you to the companies that will profit on your addiction. And all the way through the process, the tube sites are making ad dollars out of your burgeoning misery.

Do not ever give into the urge, to sacrifice your health to a drug dealer who in the long run makes it's only real PROFIT by making you a junkie.

Selling ads is not what makes them profit over time. They are in fact a healthy-person-to-junkie-converter. If they weren't, those companies would go extinct.

 


 

Comments

Startnow119 days

This article matches my experience. Tube sites kicked things up a notch with me.

oobnate5 days
This article is so fitting for this subreddit. I never thought the expansion of PTube sites might be the reason for dis-satisfaction with you partner or increase P addiction. This is coming from someone that has been PMO almost every day for the last 10-15 yrs
I agree 100% with what the article says, I'm currently reversing the problems of watching porn, so that I can actually deliver with a real woman.
oobnate5 days
me too - let me know how it goes! Good luck buddy!
rfvaval1 day
I love the fact that I'm seeing more and more articles like this pop up.
"You're looking for the one ... out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don't finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that [thumbnail] was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work."
 
So true, how can one reasonably become attracted and unattracted to a person in the span of seconds (not even minutes). When I used to have a stash I would only refer to it in 1/5 or 1/10 of my sessions. I used to think "damn, I know this is appealing to me (because it contains what I like) yet my urge for new stuff is way stronger".Of course I didn't even know it was possible to be addicted to porn, I thought of it as part of my M routine. Good link

rebuildingMyself66 days

YEah I know the feeling. I'd have a huge, very well organized stash. How often did it excite me to pull it up? Rarely. The thrill of catching a hotter clip and storing it a way was much more exciting. Hell, I remember stashing things away I never once fapped to. It just sat there. I knew it was there but never used it.

 

GUY 1)

Nice work. Unfortunate lack of direct studies means a lot of people won't get it until they experience the detriments themselves, but there's always hope people see this and realize before it gets too bad.

GUY 2)

I am quite convinced that the tube sites are a major 'accelerator' of PIED. It certainly was for me...

GUY 3)

Certainly was for me. I had fine erections just from kissing when only watching downloaded porn full length movies.

Got on tube sites and bam... 2 years later no erections.

GUY 4)

I started watching porn at 11/12, and the websites that had links to 30 second samples were quite addictive for me. When the tube sites came along it just took it to a whole new level.

GUY 5)

For sure, soft-core, DVD's and 20-second clips may have made me less interested in real sex and somewhat escalated my sexual interests, but i had no ED and a high sex drive for real sex.

Essentially, the early P was like a few of beers every now and then, the tube sites were like a few bottles of scotch everyday, and it doesn't take long to become an alcoholic.

GUY 6)

I started using porn in the late 90's, mostly stills, VHS and DVD.  Never had any ED problems until about 3 years ago after I got into the high speed stuff.  I have a friend today that uses porn mostly DVDs once every week or two and no ED problems. 

Its the high speed steaming videos where you can jump to any part of the video you want and them move onto the next and the next.  Your brain gets overloaded.

But it doesn't matter what speed of porn you use you'll still end up with low confidence, social anxiety and all the other mental crap that it dishes out.

GUY 7)

Videos are just way more stimulating than pictures. It's just how it is in general, not just porn.

GUY 8)

Well obviously yes, but it's still an interesting question as to whether or not imagery presents any noticeable side effects (besides maybe behavioral changes) while videos almost seem to universally have some effect on the viewer.

GUY 9)

I listened to an interview with Gary and he said he knows a guy who got ED from Bikini picture magazines.

GUY 10)

I think you can use anything, but the tube sites are def crazy overload, I remember how excited I was the first time I saw them, easy to cover up to just delete browser history, didn't ave to download a shitload of random videos off limewire or whatever, it was fast awesome, sooo many scenes, RIDICULOUS and awful really though..

I think Its the worst when you use anything to masturbate when your not naturally horny though when you use porn to get aroused to orgasm, i think that's what gives us ED, at least that's what I think

Thatd be pretty hard to do with just bikini pictures and never any vids though I think


I'm twenty six, I masturbated (without porn) twice a day nearly every day through high school, started getting laid and dating in college, STILL masturbated on top of that, dated women where we would smash 3 or more times a day, every day. I have ejaculated buckets, had tons of sex, had tons of self sex and I was always rock hard even on round 3 or 4. At twenty four I took some 8 months of alone time started getting into porn tube sites a little before, became kind of reclusive and over the 8 months escalated into a full blown multiple tab, multiple times a day habit. Bam! next girl I date I have horrid ED, spend the next year trying anything to fix it, only thing that helped my erections? Quitting porn.

For anyone who thinks sexual exhaustion is the cause of your ED, I am walking proof, when the brain is properly balanced, and there's a girl in front of you naked, it'll find a way to give you an erection even if you shoot dust when you cum. I know, I've seen the other side. Porn novelty has broken the brain in a way that masturbation and sex just can't.

To further make my point, I'd note that my it's only been about two weeks since O. I have been masturbating and having sex throughout my reboot with zero tolerance for looking at porn, and while its been slow going my erections, and sensitivity have improved dramatically where supplements, diet, doctors and other life style changes have failed.
 
The problem is porn. Sexual exhaustion is a lie designed to sell you worthless supplements that cost a fraction at the drug store than what SE websites try to sell them to you for.

So, seriously, Gibson, f-off. How dare you try and capitalize on the misery of these broken desperate people?

You claim you're trying to help, but the fact is that when our response is 'no that's not the problem I have, it's more like this.' You just ignore it, and relink to some shitty site where they make up 'science' and then sell you over priced vitamins.

Hello Folks,

I would like to share here some my thoughts about the reasons for PIED.

I remember that before couple of years ago I watched porn on regularly base and used to have great sex with partners and prostitutes. By that time I had great sexual performance, strong and long erection.

Nowadays I suffering PIED. Last years I am not able to achieve an erection stimulated by real girl. I can get it on only from Porn and thoughts for girls in dark place or closed eyes. I read many articles and Noah's book Wack - Addicted to Internet Porn and I now that this is normal for addicted porn users.
But I asking myself why I had no PIED in past times. And I think that the reasons could be two.

1. Obsessive compulsive consuming to the Porn. Usually I cut the best scenes of the vides to small scenes between 0.5 seconds and 2 minutes. During this time I am getting arousal and masturbating. According to two different doctors this is an Obsessive compulsive disorder. 

2. The High Definition video. Since 2013 I have huge Full HD TV (50 inches) where I watch Porn stuff. Usually I run from 3 to 5 different video tabs, sometimes some non nude pictures, masturbate and come.

I know pretty well that this procedure rapping my brain and make me high.

I am wondering, could these two things to be the main reasons for developing of PIED? What do you think? I will be glad if you share your opinions.

Thank you in advance.

Thoughts about reasons for PIED. Compulsive and HD video?