Should You Try Masturbating Without Pornography?

Pornography is accessible nowadays to more people in a wider variety of ways than ever before. So it’s no wonder that when people have the urge to masturbate, porn can be the first thing many turn to for visual stimulation. 

Can watching pornography be bad for you? As a general stance, we at TENGA think healthy use of good pornography can be a great addition to your sex life, but in this article let's take a look at the potential negative effects of pornography, why masturbating without it can be beneficial, and whether you should continue to use it. 

Contents

Pornography’s Prevalence in the Digital Age



Pornography is a massive business, especially online porn. In fact, the industry surpasses Netflix and is even bigger than Hollywood, with a global, estimated $97 billion in revenue. About $12 billion of that is coming from the U.S alone. Online porn is easily accessible with use rising fast. This has led to porn's impact on viewers being known as a ‘triple A influence’ - accessibility, affordability, anonymity. In fact, in TENGA’s Global Self Pleasure Report in 2021, 52% of men who masturbate using adult content.

Why is pornography so tempting for people to use to satisfy their urges though? 

Why Porn is so Tempting



Pornography is so effective at hooking users because it triggers two key factors that are addictive to satisfy – sexual urges and dopamine. Using pornography can release a large dose of dopamine in the same way sex does. Masturbating with pornography feels so good because of this release of dopamine that rewards you, which can become addictive. As pornography is far more accessible at any time than sex is, this can lead to people getting hooked on pornography.

With this in mind, what are the negative side effects you can experience on an over-reliance on porn?

Negative Side Effects of Masturbating to Porn



Addiction to pornography is becoming a much greater issue nowadays, affecting between 3-6% of people who use it. While this can cause the usual side effects of addiction, such as neglecting other areas of your life such as work and even relationships, it can also affect your ability to masturbate or even enjoy sex. Here are some of the most prevalent issues overusing porn can have:

  • Mental Health Effects: You may experience similar feelings to depression while not using pornography, or if you already suffer from depression, this may compound the issue. This can include such feelings as boredom, stress, tiredness, low energy, loneliness and anxiety.
  • Desensitization: This means you become less receptive to pleasure and less sensitive to porn. As such, you may have to find different material that can lead to watching (and acclimatising to) more unusual scenarios. Similar to drugs, users may end up needing increasingly higher doses of stimulation to get a similar level of pleasure.
  • Sensitization: In a slight reverse to the above, you may start associating actions such as opening a laptop or opening an incognito browser to using porn. This can cause distracts that may have an effect on your daily life.
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Watching porn can end up having serious effects on your ability to have erections with a partner or even while trying to masturbate without porn. If this continues then you may only be able to gain an erection when using hardcore porn, causing issues with your self-pleasure and relationships.

As we mentioned at the top of this article, this doesn't mean that occasionally using pornography is necessarily this harmful, however, overuse can lead to the above issues. There are also multiple benefits to not using porn, which we’ll cover now.

Positive Benefits of Masturbating without Porn



Here are some of the ways that masturbating without pornography (or at least, not all the time) can benefit you:

  • Gain self-confidence: Learning about what your own body likes and responds to without outside stimulation can help to boost your self-confidence. This can also increase your confidence in any relationship.
  • Increased Sex Drive: By not relying on masturbating to pornography too frequently you may actually see an increase in your sex drive as you decrease getting too many dopamine hits.
  • Enjoy Yourself: As you get used to using your own imagination over pornography you should start to enjoy yourself and masturbation more.
  • Less Distractions: Without being fixated on your next porn session, you will find more time to enjoy your own life, friends and relationships. There should be less distractions while working also.

There are many more benefits of masturbating without pornography, but breaking the habit can be hard. An easy way to start is by transitioning to static pictures (like a porn magazine) first, this way you negate the sheer overwhelming choice offered by websites. From here, you can try using your own imagination to think of scenarios that stimulate you that aren’t available online. As you try this more, this can help to disconnect you from the reliance on pornographic websites.

With the positives and negatives covered, should you continue using porn in the future?

Should I Continue using Porn to Masturbate?



The key phrase as with most things in life is “all things in moderation”. As long as you don’t overly use or become overly reliant on pornography, then watching the odd video here and there as extra stimulation probably wouldn’t hurt. However, If you start realising that you might be experiencing some of the negative effects covered, it might be best to start cutting back.

Relying on your own imagination and exploring your own body’s likes and dislikes can be rewarding in itself. If you need that extra stimulation over just your hands, you can always some mood-setting, using literature or try using a sex toy for additional experiences.