Erectile Dysfunction

Table of Contents

Looking for help healing Erectile Dysfunction or Sexual Arousal Dysfunction? Sexual arousal issues due to brain desensitization may plague your sex life. But, it can be healed when you know what is causing it and how to reverse it.  Dr. Trish Leigh can show you how to stop desensitizing your brain and start healing it now. 

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

The first step to getting erectile dysfunction (ED) help is understanding what causes ED. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual performance. It is most often associated with neurological arousal dysfunction due to stress, fatigue, and overstimulation of the brain. It currently affects around 30 million men in the US and is on the rise.

ED has a variety of causes. Some experts, including Dr. Trish Leigh, understand that one main cause of the rise of sexual arousal dysfunction (SAD) and ED in men is the excessive consumption of sexual media and pornography. This is referred to as porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED). 

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) is a condition increasing for men of all ages, especially more young people. The role of pornography consumption is becoming more and more apparent in the increase in sexual arousal dysfunction (SAD) that has occurred over the past decade. This includes delayed ejaculation (DE), premature ejaculation (PE), and of course erectile dysfunction (ED). 

Essentially, a growing number of physically healthy men who watch porn, including adolescents and younger men in their sexual prime, are struggling with various forms of sexual arousal dysfunction —especially if/when they attempt to be sexual with a real-world partner. 

Numerous studies back this up, including a large-scale (more than 2,000 participants):

  • 90% of men fast-forward to watch the most arousing pornographic scenes—i.e., the scenes most likely to be neurochemically rewarded with an intense dopamine and adrenaline rush.
  • Heavy porn users take significantly longer than other men to reach orgasm with a real-world partner.
  • 23% of the men under age 35 (i.e., in their sexual prime) reported some level of ED when having sex with a real-world partner.
  • The amount of porn a man watches is linked to ED. More porn equals more ED.
  • Heavy porn use is also linked to dissatisfaction with real-world sex.
  • 20% of male porn users find that over time they need to watch more extreme porn to achieve their desired level of arousal.

It’s thought that internet pornography is partially responsible for the increasing rates of sexual arousal dysfunction, including ED, especially in men under the age of 40.

One study discovered that having ED is associated with preferring pornography and masturbation over relational sex with a partner due to higher levels of physical and mental stimulation. This study also concluded that the rates of ED were higher in participants who preferred or chose pornography over having real-life sex with their partner.

How Does Pornography Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Several studies have found a link between compulsive pornography use and reduced sex drive in real life and ED.

Impact on the Reward System

Because of conditioning and desensitization, partnered sex may no longer trigger the sufficient release of dopamine needed for producing and sustaining erections. This is also because pornography alters the brain's motivational system, meaning that the brain is motivated back to porn and not to a partner due to the linked high dopamine levels.

Due to all these reasons, men who watch excessive pornography may need greater sexual stimulation to be aroused and get an erection. For some, even the highest arousal from a partner is still not enough to induce an erection.

Desensitization to Real-Life Sex

With compulsive viewing and masturbation, men’s sexual arousal might become ‘conditioned’ to highly stimulating aspects of internet pornography that don’t translate to real-life sexual experiences. These aspects produce excessive, referred to as supernormal, dopamine levels within the person’s brain and nervous system. The high level of dopamine helps the user feel more pleasure in the moment but along with the euphoria of the high comes lower real-life lows, such as SAD. This can result in difficulty being aroused by lower-level real-life stimuli.

Pornography alters the threshold for sexual arousal, making it harder to be aroused in real-life sexual experiences. For most users, pornography acts as a supernormal stimulus that’s more potent than sex.

Pornography has this potential because of:

Its limitless novelty with seeking and searching behavior that stimulates dopamine production.

The ability to seamlessly transition to more extreme material.

The artificial, often violent, or extreme, distorted unreality performance video format.

How Much Pornography is Needed for Negative Effects?

Many variables contribute to how much pornography consumption increases someone’s risk of developing ED.


Frequency, consistency, and especially the intensity of the porn that is consumed can all have an impact on the negative impact of porn on sexual arousal and function.

One study found a slightly higher frequency of ED among people who consume pornography for more than 30 minutes at a time. Another study found that the rates of ED were higher in participants who started consuming pornography at a younger age.

What are the Symptoms of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction?

Some symptoms of PIED are like those of general ED. Symptoms of PIED include:

How is Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction Evaluated?

After working with thousands of men with ED, Dr. Leigh can quickly identify if a person’s brain is using what she calls the “Strained Brain” or “Drained Brain” performance pattern.

In a Strained Brain, the use of excessive slow and fast processing speeds is a result of the consistent vacillating back and forth between a dopamine deluge while consuming porn and a dopamine deficit state afterward, as is the case in a compulsive pornography consumption cycle. Excessive dopamine upon watching porn and masturbating, deficient dopamine once back in real-life circumstances. This leads to hyperarousal in the brain, and healthy baseline levels are rendered dysfunctional. This can be identified using specialized brain scans called quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG).


In a Drained Brain pattern, after excessive exposure to high levels of dopamine in the brain, an artificially induced numbed-out state may be activated. Essentially, the brain acclimates to the very high arousal of pornography and masturbation and necessitates even higher levels to reach sexual pleasure. Over time, the reward center in the brain becomes desensitized. This performance pattern contributes to erectile dysfunction due to hyperarousal in the brain’s performance pattern.


How can Erectile Dysfunction be Evaluated in the Brain?

Dr. Leigh uses qEEG Brain Mapping to identify if one or both dysfunctional brain patterns that contribute to sexual arousal dysfunction are present. During the evaluation, Dr. Leigh can also determine the dysfunctional brain performance patterns associated with underlying anxiety, brain fog, dementia, depression, ADHD, and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions?

Traditional ED treatments, including oral medications, may not work for people who have PIED.

This is because medications can only work when a man has achieved some level of sexual arousal. With PIED, one symptom is the struggle to get enough sexual arousal for an erection to occur. This occurs because of the desensitization in the reward center in the brain. Increased desensitization makes it more difficult for erection-enhancing medication to work. For many men with PIED, medication does not work and they seek other erectile dysfunction help.

Long-term effects are possible if desensitization in the brain continues and resensitization does not occur. ED, in general, has the potential to significantly negatively impact a person’s quality of life. The possible complications and long-term effects of ED may include:

  • Depression, low self-confidence, and anxiety related to sexual performance
  • Less satisfaction in sexual activity and relationships
  • Inability to get a partner pregnant
  • Relationship difficulties and loss of partner

Evidence does suggest that a relationship exists between chronic pornography use or perceived addiction to porn and mental health problems.

 Some examples of these mental health issues include:

  • Severe levels of depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Less satisfaction in relationships and sex
  • Less intimacy within relationships
  • Preoccupation and dependence on pornography as a coping mechanism
  • Being more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. These may include having a large number of sexual partners and becoming sexually active early in life
  • Social impairment and isolation. This could include neglecting daily obligations, rushing through work to get home as quickly as possible to watch porn, and not spending time with other people

How is PIED treated?

3 Steps to Heal ED At Home

Stop watching pornography. With the reduction and elimination of desensitization, the brain will naturally begin to heal itself using neuroplasticity. This can help return the brain to its healthy function regarding sexual interest and reverse the adverse effects of excessive pornography use.

Once this is achieved, the person will be able to become aroused by real-life sexual stimuli once again and subsequently have erections.

Dr. Trish Leigh has created an educational program to teach men how to heal their own ED. This program, 3 Steps to Heal ED At Home, illuminates the desensitization process in the brain and what is necessary for the brain to be resensitized toward healthy arousal. 

Neurofeedback Therapy

Self-healing can be very challenging for many people who are addicted to pornography or have the urge to watch porn and masturbate. The urges are a result of one of two dysfunctional brain patterns that a leading professional in the field, Dr. Trish Leigh, has identified. These brain performance patterns can be reversed and healed using advances in technology and neuroscience.

Neurofeedback Therapy has been identified as a high-level support for rewiring the brain toward an optimal brain performance pattern. Now it is possible to reverse porn-induced erectile dysfunction and sexual arousal dysfunction. 

A qEEG Brain Map shows you exactly how your brain performance is at the root of your issues. You can see why you are struggling with your own eyes.

Porn Brain Rewire

When trying to give up porn, people have found6 that cognitive-behavioral strategies can be helpful with managing cravings and other struggles associated with overcoming addiction. Dr. Leigh has created an online, self-guided, self-paced, digital  90-day Comprehensive Essential Guide program that comprises scientifically proven cognitive behavioral strategies with brain training for the greatest success in the shortest amount of time. 

Some recommendations include:

  • Gestalt Exercises
  • Neuroeducation & Brain Training 
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Mindfulness Techniques
  • Pivot Plan to Overcome Triggers
  • Monthly Professional Support


Even if the person recognizes that their pornography consumption feels compulsive, it can still be hard to stop watching it—just like any addiction. In this case, it could be beneficial to seek personal and professional support.

Research shows that patients tend to seek help when they begin to question whether their pornography consumption is leading to their sexual difficulties.

When to see Doctor Leigh?

If you have ongoing difficulties getting erections, it is advisable to have a comprehensive brain evaluation performed. This is because ED is shown to be an arousal dysfunction in the brain, especially when pornography consumption is involved.

Other factors that may require a visit to your primary care physician might also be at play. These can include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, injuries to the penis, spinal cord, or pelvis, smoking, excessive alcohol use, or medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and prescription sedatives.

If medical factors have been ruled out and there is still ED and some concern about excessive pornography consumption, Dr. Trish Leigh can provide insight and interpretation into the role your brain health plays in your sexual arousal dysfunction.


Erectile Dysfunction stems from arousal dysfunction in the brain, especially when a person has engaged in a long-term pornography consumption habit.

The dysfunction can be visualized on a specialized brain scan, and once identified, it can be healed using technology and cognitive behavioral techniques. 

Learn more about how arousal dysfunction can be healed HERE