Sexual Health Q&A

What are some effects of sustained pornography use?

Sustained pornography use can have some serious effects on a person’s relationships, sexual function, and social and work interactions. Some of these include:

  • Relationship problems. Sustained use of pornography can give people unrealistic expectations of sex. They may start to expect their partners to look or act a certain way during sexual activities. Partners may feel inadequate, insecure, and excluded. There can be resentment, arguments, withdrawal, and less communication and intimacy among couples.
  • Sexual dysfunction. Some men develop erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation if they masturbate while viewing pornography. Over time, the overstimulation causes brain changes that desensitize them from an actual partner. The partner will not be “enough” for erection or orgasm. They may need pornography in order to be sexual with another person.
  • Social and occupational problems. Too much pornography use may cause some people to isolate themselves from their friends and family. Their work may suffer or they could be fired for using pornography at their workplace. They may also have financial troubles if the money they spend on pornography is more than they can afford.
  • Psychological issues. Many people feel guilty and ashamed for using pornography because they consider it immoral. They may feel anxious about keeping their secret or getting caught.