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Nov 5, 2022Liked by Stuart Ritchie

Excellent work on a topic that is becoming dominated by folk wisdom and pseudoscience very quickly.

I worked with sex offenders for years and well remember the claims in the 1980s of what the effects of pornography were. I recall a presenter in the 80s being asked in the Q&A if he thought that pornography increased the likelihood of reoffending. He shrugged and said, "Well, maybe. But I'd give one of my patients a stack of Playboys before I let him have a glass of beer."

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Nov 5, 2022·edited Nov 5, 2022Liked by Stuart Ritchie

When we come across a passage like this, should we revise our view of the author/text in question?

I wrote "seems implausible" next to this sentence in my copy of Perry's book, so I guess I can say I have a good nose for this sort of thing. But I rather liked the book in general. Can I just say "well that was a momentary and understandable lapse" and continue to appreciate the book? I suspect the answer is yes. In fact I think it might be an unrealistic standard to expect the author of a popular and wide-ranging polemic not to contain any oversights, errors, or indulgences in wishful-thinking.

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I know studies are important. And I’m not saying the claims made by the anti-porn advocates are 100% true. I think this is one of the situations where anecdotes outweigh scientific studies. I’ve talked about this with a bunch of my friends and read about in forums like Reddit. Everyone I speak to admits that watching porn regularly at the very least desensitize them to sex and makes them less interested in real sex. In one day I can see more images of naked women than my grandfather seen in his entire life. Our brains aren’t designed to see dozens or hundreds of naked women a day. Now does that mean it increases ED? I don’t know, but I know watching porn doesn’t help with ED. It’s common sense to me. The less porn you watch, the less times you ejaculate, the more “excited” you’ll be when you’re with a real partner and the less likely you’ll be to have ED. Though that common sense doesn’t excuse the people you mentioned in the article who pull statistics out of their ass.

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My own porn addiction makes the causal connection to impotence undeniable. By my early 30s, viewing ordinary nudes stopped producing erections and I had to find increasingly graphic material that hit my fetishes precisely. At the same time, I had increasingly frequent bouts of impotence with women in flesh space. Eventually I couldn't sport a full erection without Cialis. After years of needing that medication, I quit porn, which took just a little less willpower than when I had quit cigs ten years earlier. That was a month before my wedding. My libido initially crashed, but it surged six to eight weeks later. At that point I discovered I was able to get rock-hard erections without medication. And ordinary-looking women (who weren't fat) were sexually interesting.

So your laudable impulse toward skepticism of media narratives has led you astray here. Porn does cause impotence. That Swiss study is proof. No way 30% of men age 18-24 are experiencing erectile dysfunction unless they've deadened themselves to sexual stimulation through overexposure to porn.

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Nov 5, 2022Liked by Stuart Ritchie

Oh, so some members of the media/academia have ejaculated prematurely of the evidence? Thank you for clearing that up!! (Sorry) Seriously, a good read...gripping, even. (Sorry)

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an exercise in synonyms : )

great post. I hope you do other posts about negative effects of porn soon!

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Nov 5, 2022Liked by Stuart Ritchie

How strong is evidence for death grip syndrome?

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I agree that the “science” of no-nut November is ridiculous, but it’s an interesting question why there’s a seemingly universal tendency to stigmatize masturbation. It would be strange if it didn’t have any logic to it. I would guess that, even if porn doesn’t give you ED, it satiates a desire you should ideally get from elsewhere. If masturbating two times a day makes you 10% less likely to approach an attractive woman you might want a relationship with because why bother, it could have disastrous long term consequences for a man’s life.

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For men, porn 100% causes a progressive loss in sensitivity to sensual stimuli. Large studies are irrelevant for it, because all that matters here is a self study of 1. For men, fapping is not the problem, but fapping to any porn is the problem. If you are a man suffering from ED without a good medical reason, do an experiment of avoiding porn altogether, and you will see results within a month. It's really not as difficult as it seems.

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So here's a weird thing: i have a podcast app called podcastguru that i have subscribed to your podcast in. This comes up as the first episode in the feed but of course when I try to download it, it won't download. It took me a while to realise that it's because the podcast feed includes titles of non-podcast material like this. The first one that actually plays has 'audio version" in the title, which should probably have been a giveaway!

Yours is the only podcast that does this out of probably about a hundred I have tried over the years. It. Looks like maybe the feed is configured wrong and this might be off-putting for casual listeners, who might just think the whole podcast is cream-crackered.

Anyway, thought you'd like to know but obviously if you already do then no worries.

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The best sex is selfless and playful. The issue is not whether porn consumers pop fewer boners --bonerdom is all important in the pornoverse and its all self-reported anyway--so of course its no issue for softscience to pretend to explain. But the fact of the matter is that wjen you consume porn you are creating vast sexual image files in your brain of better looking people fucking better with better bodies and bigger cocks and tits and those images emerge in the genuine physical act of sex because theyve been primed to, and they limit the joy. They make sex pedestrian at best. the less porno mind the more singular the experience. I quit watching that shit 8 months ago and im embarrased to say i have so much images of porn in my head but it doesnt invade quite so much. Sorry for being preachy, but that porn diminishes pleasure might be a truth beyond data points.

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Mar 31, 2023·edited Mar 31, 2023

I see a logical hole in this piece, as well as in the discussion thread.

There is discussion about "porn use." What is really being discussed here however is masturbation. "Excessive porn use" is a euphemism for "excessive" masturbation. As with so many other social science issues, "excessive" is a nebulous relative term, with no fixed definition universally applied.

Studies and research into such issues are essentially meaningless because the basic terms are not objectively defined. The "replication crisis" in social science research is real, fully understood by those not on a grant payroll, and has the end result of leaving such issues fully misunderstood.

Lastly, correlation does not equal causation.

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Very well researched and written. There is a growing body of evidence that porn does not have a causative relationship with ED.

A 2015 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine concluded that “We found little evidence of the association between pornography use and male sexual health disturbances. Contrary to raising public concerns, pornography does not seem to be a significant risk factor for younger men’s desire, erectile, or orgasmic difficulties.”

A cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine4 found “no evidence of causal links between any pornography variables and ED.”

A 2014 study found that “VSS [porn] use within the range of hours tested is unlikely to negatively impact sexual functioning, given that responses actually were stronger in those who viewed more VSS.”

A 2019 research review found that “there is little or no evidence on a causal relationship between erectile dysfunction and frequency of pornography use.”

The International Society for Sexual Medicine says, “The notion that masturbation causes erectile dysfunction (ED) is a myth.”

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The origin of the picture is from 1967 Spider-Man TV show. It's when Spider bites Peter Parker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e_UHPKICKE

Now you know!

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Not that it matters, but I did a bit of internet searching and it seems the image is of Peter Parker from Spider-Man, the 1967 TV series.

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