Difference Between ED and PIED
A lot of guys have heard me mention PIED in some of my videos on YouTube and I very often get emails from some of them asking “What's the difference between ED and PIED?”
Well, the answer is simple.
This is ED…
ED stands for erectile dysfunction and it is simply a general term describing a condition where you can't achieve, or maintain, an erection hard enough for satisfying sex. The term (ED) is used to state that dysfunctional condition, no matter what's causing the problem.
This is PIED…
PIED stands for porn induced ED and it is obviously also ED. But that term can only be used when a man's ED is specifically caused by porn. Hence the words porn induced.
Yes, if you didn't know it, it's about time you found out: fapping to porn can really cause ED.
How can porn cause ED?
Now some of you may be wondering: how the heck can porn cause ED?
Well, PIED is mainly caused by 2 things…
- Sexual conditioning
The desensitization is easy to understand.
During a fapping session today any man can see more hot babes (with perfect bodies – according to his own taste) than his ancestors could see in several lifetimes.
This releases so much dopamine that the brains reward system can become “numb”.
Think of it like this; On a sunny day you go outside and look towards the sun for a while. When you go back inside, everything looks dark in your house. You're eyes have temporarily dialed down your vision.
Well, online porn is the sun and the light inside the house is your girlfriend.
After exposure to a super stimulating thing, the “normal thing” pales in comparison.
The reason for why the brain dials down, not your eyes, but your sexuality for a moment is because clicking from one porn scene to the other for a long time releases a big amount of dopamine. So in order to protect itself the brain reduces the amount of dopamine receptors in the reward circuitry.
Dopamine receptors are the small slots that dopamine itself has to lock into in order for it to be able to do it's job. And with fewer of those, you basically have a numb pleasure response…
…this is called desensitization.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for making you motivated to go for things that will help you survive and reproduce.
Those are the two biggest goals for your brain…
…to survive and to make more of yourself.
Dopamine makes you a learning machine…
Since this is vital for your brain, another thing to understand about dopamine, then, is that it is also a “learning molecule”.
Meaning, whenever dopamine is elevated your brain will “make notes” on what made it spike, so that you can go for it again.
I.e. whenever your dopamine levels are elevated, you are a learning machine!
…and what you are learning is how to become more aroused by pixels on a screen than by real life people…
Since you can keep your dopamine elevated for hours, just by the click of a mouse, during your beloved porn sessions, your brain is basically learning that your sexual response (your libido and your erections) should be paired with pixels on a screen…
That's, right, by fapping to porn you run the risk of “teaching” your brain to become more aroused by looking at porn on a screen than by a real life partner, no matter how hot that partner happen to be.
Then, when finally getting in bed with a real life person, you have little to no response in your libido and your erections.
That, right there, is sexual conditioning.
And, as I said, that in combination with desensitization is the core driver of PIED.
ED can also be caused by anxiety
Most people know that ED can be caused by organic issues, like for example narrowing of the blood vessels and poor blood flow.
Many also know that performance anxiety can make it difficult to achieve an erection. But not many people understand just how destructive anxiety can be here.
The more you worry about your performance, the more likely it is that your performance will suffer…
…oh the irony!
Related article: NoFap and performance anxiety
How to tell the difference between PIED and anxiety
When guys learn that porn can cause ED they often get worried and confused.
So much so that the worrying, can in and of itself, cause them to fail to get hard the next time they end up in bed with their date.
Then they naturally start wondering; is my ED caused by anxiety or porn?
If you want to know if your ED is caused by porn or by anxiety then take the test in my post PIED vs anxiety.
I also need to point out that it does not have to be either or. In fact, it can very often be a combination of the two.
A common scenario is also that the first cause of their ED is porn. Then they do a PMO reboot and heal.
However, since PIED made them experience how bad it can feel to fail in the bedroom, they naturally also develop anxiety, fearing continued failures. This fear can then make it a bit problematic to tell whether or not they are fully healed from their PIED.
Again, read the article PIED vs anxiety for more info on this.
What should you do if you suspect you have PIED?
The process to heal PIED is simple, but not easy (yeah, it's one of those).
If you want to get rid of your PIED, then you need to do a so called PMO reboot.
A PMO reboot consists of the following steps…
- Stop using porn or porn substitutes.
- Rewire your brain back to real life people.
- Some people may also have to, temporarily, avoid ejaculations.
The first one is pretty straight forward.
In order to fix PIED you have to give up porn or any form of porn substitutes.
A porn substitute can be things like, clicking from one hot Instagram model to the other, hours on end, or watching one booty shaking video after the other, on YouTube etc.
Rewiring simply means spending a lot of time around real life women (or men, if you play on that team) in order to retrain your brains sexual responses where the real libido is supposed to go.
As you remember from the beginning of this article, PIED is caused partly by sexual conditioning. I.e you've been wiring your sexual responses to pixels on a screen by years of fapping to porn. Well, rewiring is the opposite. It is like “retraining” your brain.
Some guys also need to abstain from ejaculations in order to heal their PIED. This is why it is recommended to avoid even porn-free masturbation for 90 days in order for your brain to reboot.
Now, some guys can still recover while orgasming, either with a partner or from porn-free masturbation. However, most guys recover much faster if they completely avoid ejaculations for a couple of months in the beginning of their reboot.
Why limit or avoid masturbation – if porn was the cause?
Then there are some unlucky guys won't recover at all if they keep ejaculating. They need a complete break from all orgasms, no matter how they achieve it.
Now, make no mistake; with PIED, porn is causing the ED, and not the masturbating.
But after the damage is done, for some guys it's not enough to just cut out the porn. They still have to cut out masturbation as well, in order to heal.
Why is this?
Well, this is just what we have seen and no one knows for sure.
Think of it like this…
…jogging is not bad for you. But if you damage your leg, you have to temporarily take a break from it in order for it to heal. Well, masturbation isn't inherently bad either, but after you have created PIED, your sexual circuitry may perhaps just need that rest.
Many guys go back to porn-free masturbation after their PIED is fixed…
Out of those guys, who needed to also cut out masturbation in order to heal, many of them introduce porn-free masturbation again once they are fully healed from PIED.
Most often this is totally fine, and doesn't cause any more future problems.
This is because, again, it's fapping to porn that causes problems…
…porn is the big enemy.
Can you go back to using porn in moderation after your PIED is fixed?
Many guys have tried this, but more than 90% of them end up failing…
…so this is not recommended.
Well, even moderate porn use can cause sexual problems, especially if you've already been there. And even if doesn't, it's a slippery slope.
After a full PMO reboot, some guys try introducing porn again with the intention of only using it in moderation. But the vast majority of them just end up escalating, until they once again find themselves in the grips of porn addiction.
If you want to try it, then go right ahead. It's your life and your rules. But I'm telling you; after a reboot most guys can not go back to using porn again, unless they wan't the PIED to return, that is.
How long does it take to overcome PIED?
This is highly individual.
Some guys recover within just 6-8 weeks, while other may need up to a year, or even longer.
Yeah, I know, it's a huge range and there's nothing fair about it 🙁
It's very difficult to come up with any kind of average time frame for how long it takes to fix PIED. However, I try my very best to do so in the article How long does it take to heal PIED.
For more info and more detailed steps on how to do a proper PMO reboot, read the article How to cure PIED fast.
Can libido supplements help?
For some guys, no amount of supplements or ED drugs will do it. Remember, PIED is caused by physical changes inside the brain and not by blood flow problems.
Others, perhaps those who are not as severely affected, can indeed find libido supplements to be surprisingly helpful.
I myself tried everything I could get my hands on during my own struggle with PIED. In the end I actually found two different supplements that increased my horniness as well as my erections strength (even though I was pretty desensitized by all the porn).
The supplements I found helpful were…
However, you have to keep in mind that no drug or supplement out there can cure the root cause of PIED.
They can potentially support you a bit with increasing libido and boosting your erections, but if so, look at them like helpful tools only and not the solution.
Rebooting is, and will probably always be, the only real cure for PIED.
Can everyone heal their PIED?
Most likely, yes!
Now, there are some very long term rebooters out there who keep on rebooting without seemingly any results. But my guess is that, if they haven't seen any results at all after more than a year of rebooting, there's most likely some coexisting issue there as well. E.g depression, anhedonia, anxiety, some hormone issues or some real organic issues.
It would be wise for everyone, who is in the very beginning of their reboot, to go see a good urologist just so they can rule out any potential serious organic issues. And also, to see a good professional if they suspect some mental issues.
PIED vs ED Final words
To sum everything up, the difference between ED and PIED is only in the terminology.
ED can be caused my hundreds of different things. It's is simply a term for stating your dysfunction, no matter the cause. PIED, however, is ED that is caused by too much porn use.
I hope you found the article helpful.
P.S. If you think you might be addicted to porn and need my help, or if you have any rebooting questions in general, you can reach out to me through my contact page right here.
Related post: Supplements for PIED