Porn induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) and performance anxiety both lead to the same result: you being unable to get a boner with a real girl. It’s a rough spot to be in, and I’ve been there before. To figure out if you have porn induced erectile dysfunction or performance anxiety, you need to do some tests.
Unfortunately there’s not really any clear cut answer. You might not really be able to differentiate if you have one or the other or some combination of both, but these tests will definitely point you in the right direction. These tests work on the presumption that you have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection during sex and that you’re not in the flatline phase of a reboot.
- Try masturbating with no porn or fantasizing. If you’re totally fine, you probably have performance anxiety. However, if you can’t easily get an erection this way and need to look at porn or fantasize, then you probably have severe PIED. Or you might have other organic causes of erectile dysfunction. But you can rule out performance anxiety because you can’t have anxiety with your hand.
- Drink a little bit of alcohol before sex (not much). If it makes your performance better instead of worse, you have performance anxiety. With performance anxiety, it’ll ease your nerves and help alleviate the fight or flight response you get from sex. With PIED, your ED stems from desensitization to real women. The alcohol doesn’t really help with that.
- Do you get strong morning wood? Are you hard on the dance floor, in the car, in your room, during foreplay? But then as soon as you put the condom on and go to stick it in, you lose your erection? That’s performance anxiety.
- Watch out for the classic PIED symptoms and desensitization of your brain’s reward circuitry. Almost every porn addict is going to have some level of PIED. Do you watch pornography regularly? Do you need porn to have a strong erection? Are you getting into more hardcore genres? Do nudity and porn not even phase you anymore? Is quitting porn too hard? Does it give you withdrawal symptoms such as waking up at night to have a wank? Ever thought about jacking off to porn while with a girl or after having sex with a girl? You probably have PIED if you have answered yes to one or more of these questions.
- Do a full 90 day nofap reboot. Yeah, it’s not going to be any fun testing it this way, but the worst case scenario is you reset your reward circuitry and have a better sex life afterwards anyway. If your sex life and erection quality with real girls hasn’t dramatically improved, you probably have performance anxiety.
- Keep in mind that PIED and performance anxiety usually go hand in hand. If you have PIED, you likely also have performance anxiety. This stems from the first time you tried to have sex but couldn’t get it up due to your PIED. The stress of not being able to perform even once will affect most dudes. In that case, treat the PIED first by doing a full reboot. Then get back into the game with Cialis or a girlfriend.
- Take a Cialis. Not much, just a little bit. Then try having sex again. If you have PIED, the Viagra/Cialis will probably help you because it decreases your threshold for achieving an erection. If you have performance anxiety, even this doesn’t help because your fight or flight response has kicked in. The erection starts in the brain, and if your brain says “no, this ain’t the time for sex” then even drugs won’t help you stay hard in that situation. Of course, take this tip with a grain of salt. PIED could also counteract the Viagra/Cialis to some degree. People have varying levels of penile health to begin with, and PIED usually goes hand in hand with performance anxiety anyway.
So now you’ve determined if you have PIED or performance anxiety. Great! What to do now?
PIED and Performance Anxiety Combination
Let’s start with the classic PIED and performance anxiety combination that is most common, and how to fix it.
If you have performance anxiety stemming from PIED, you need to take care of that first as that’s really the root cause. By fixing it, you’ll also regain confidence in your sexual abilities. Simply do a nofap reboot for 90 days.
If you feel like you have severe PIED or really want to get the most out of your 3 month reboot, then do your reboot on hard mode. You want to reset your reward circuitry as fast as you can. Don’t do this for 4 months or even a year as some nofap users have to, depending on their level of addiction.
Here’s a quick recap of hard mode. Avoid all of the following:
- Porn, masturbation, orgasm, and sex. None at all.
- Edging (sex or masturbation without ejaculation).
- Looking at Instagram models or other hot girls on social media.
- Swiping on Tinder or other dating sites/apps.
- Playing with yourself or touching your dick in the shower.
- Fantasizing about any girls, pornographic or otherwise.
- Cuddling, holding hands or going on dates.
- Erotic images of any kind.
Avoid any and all sexual stimuli to the extreme. You want your reward circuitry in your brain to reset to normal as fast as possible. Then when you get done with the reboot, go back to having sex. But quit looking at porn for the rest of your life. This is permanently your new lifestyle because you’re susceptible to PIED.
Now that you have that handled, you just need to rest comfortably in the knowledge that you have fixed the root cause of your ED. At this point, you just need to take care of your performance anxiety. Your level of treatment for this is going to depend on how bad your performance anxiety really is. If you just have mild performance anxiety, then consider just getting back into it, and maybe at most popping a small amount of Cialis to get you off on the right foot.
Severe Performance Anxiety
Finally, let’s say that you have narrowed down your issues to just performance anxiety. Or maybe you had PIED and developed severe performance anxiety. In that case, your treatment is going to be a lot more aggressive.
- First and foremost, get a solid girlfriend that will have consistent sex with you. This is key because you’re going to desensitize yourself to the stressor (sex) and not only that, but you will get good at it. After a solid 6 months or even a year, your performance anxiety will be obliterated. Not a trace will remain.
- Avoid one-night stands as they’re potentially stressful situations and inconsistent.
- Again, pop a little bit of Cialis to get you off on the right foot. But be careful with this, because these drugs give you the wrong impression of what normal is. When you ween off the Cialis, you don’t need to second guess yourself or think something is wrong just because you don’t have the same erection that lasts 9 hours that you did on Cialis. It’s a mental thing, so don’t risk it. The dependency risk of these drugs that people talk about is real.
- Start meditating. So much of performance anxiety isn’t really anxiety (in the sense of the medical term), but distracting thoughts that make you second guess yourself and prevent you from being in the moment. Meditation teaches you how to master this, so get on a good meditation program. I also recommend focusing on your genitals, especially during the body scanning portion of certain meditations. So next time you’re in bed and focus on your dick, you’ll have hours of meditation sessions where you were completely calm to draw from and associate with, instead of the usual stuff that led to your performance anxiety. Don’t underestimate this step.
If you do lose your erection during sex again, then don’t freak out. The average male erection isn’t consistent day to day and month to month. Lots of things need to go right for an erection to work, and plenty of healthy dudes suffer from this.
Next time you’re in bed and this happens, just don’t freak out about it. Laugh it off, make a joke, and just come from the frame that this is no big deal and doesn’t happen to you regularly. Also, realize that just because you lost an erection doesn’t mean you can’t regain it later.
I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve lost it, but then got it back and had amazing sex afterwards anyway because I kept engaging the girl and made her stay at the house. If you freak out, the girl will freak out. If you keep it cool, then the girl will keep it cool, and you’ll probably still get laid.
Also just realize that while you may think this is the most traumatizing thing a guy can go through it’s ultimately not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. There are people dying in wars and of hunger; you just temporarily have trouble with women in bed. This is a completely salvageable situation which you can replicate next week or the week after that. This mindset is key to avoiding performance anxiety because you need to realize that it’s just not something worth freaking out about.
Finally, if you’ve handled all your issues, it could just boil down to simple penile health. All guys have varying levels of penile health, but it can be improved with exercises. Stuff like jelqing, Kegels, and manual stretching will literally give you a harder erection. Check out our complete penis enlargement article here.