PIED Or Performance Anxiety? (How To Tell The Difference)

PIED Or Performance Anxiety?
(How To Tell The Difference)

If you ever found yourself in the situation of failing to get hard when finally getting to jump in the sack with your date, you know all about the horrible feeling that follows.

It's not only embarrassing in the moment, but it can leave you thinking about it for months afterwards.

Especially if it happens multiple times.

Naturally you then start wondering why it's happening and what could be the cause…

…”Is my ED caused by performance anxiety or could it be caused by all the porn I watch?”

Well, in this article you'll discover how to tell the difference between performance anxiety and porn induced erectile dysfunction (PIED).

PIED VS Performance Anxiety

It is indeed true that performance anxiety can cause ED, but guess what, so can online pornography.

You can also have a combination of the two.

So, how do we tell the difference?

Here's how to tell the difference between anxiety and PIED…

Here's how you rule out performance anxiety.

If you want to know, which of course most men want, then simply perform the porn induced ED test…

The PIED Test…


  • Go to the bathroom – do NOT take your phone with you – lock the door.
  • Masturbate to sensation only (without using any stimuli, without fantasizing or thinking of anything).

How was your erection? 

If you couldn't get hard at all, then you should proceed to step 2.

Also proceed to step 2 if your erection was not strong and solid (If you had a sluggish erection, it took some effort or you had a hard time ejaculating).


Note: this is just a part of the test and as a former porn addict myself it's obviously not something I recommend you do in general. If you're riding on a good streak, please avoid it and see the last pointer there, about recalling.

  • Go to your computer and open up your favorit porn site.
  • Watch your favorite adult star, or something you use to like watching, while masturbating to orgasm.
  • Or just recall how your erection was during your last porn masturbation session (this option is here because I don't want anybody who are riding on a good rebooting streak to “relapse” on purpose).

How was your erection?

  • If you could get hard in STEP 2, but not in STEP 1, then you probably have PIED!


Well, because you're dependent on the porn in order to achieve and maintain an erection. That's the very definition of porn induced ed.

  • If your erection was strong and solid in STEP 1, then it looks more like you have anxiety induced ED!


Because, unlike when you're with a partner, you're not trying to “please your hand”, so therefore performance anxiety is out of the picture. Yet you didn't need porn to get it up.

  • If you have ED or a weak erection in both STEP 1 and STEP 2, then you might have either severe PIED or some organic or mental problem!


For some guys PIED can become so severe that they can no longer even get hard to porn. And if that's the cause they can obviously not get hard to porn-free masturbation either.

Also, if you can't get hard with a real life partner and you can't achieve an erection in either STEP 1 or STEP 2, you need to see a good doctor because here there could also be some kind of organic problem going on.

Now some of you might be wondering…

Is it possible to have PIED if I can get it up to my hand without using porn?

The short answer is, yes, for a minority of guys that can still seem to be the case.

However,  if you happen to find yourself in that group, the good news is that you're almost there. All it takes now is just a bit more rewiring to real life people. And if you can achieve a strong and solid erection to touch alone, your rewiring process is probably going to happen pretty quickly (most who pass STEP 1 with flying colors, are good to go).

So how can this be?

Well, the longer answer is, as far as we know, PIED is caused by desensitization and conditioning of your sexual responses.

In other words, you have been pairing porn with your erection for so long that your brain now needs the porn in order to achieve an erection. But there is one more thing that has been involved in the equation…

…and that is your hand!

So when you try porn-free masturbation your brain still has one part of the equation in place (your hand) that help connect the pieces and let it know that it is supposed to send signals for an erection.

But again, remember, if you can get a a strong and solid erection to porn-free masturbation then don't worry because at least you're no longer dependent on the porn to do so.

And that means that if you still can't get hard with a real life partner, at least you are very close to being able to do so.

The test is not 100% accurate
Here's where it could go wrong (important):

Even though the test is pretty reliable, it is not 100% accurate.

It could give you the wrong “results” in the following scenarios…

Scenario #1 – if you're clinically depressed –

Let's say you couldn't get an erection with your date last weekend.

And let's say you also happen to suffer from clinical depression right now.

So you perform the test and you can't achieve an erection in STEP 1 (to touch alone).

Then you proceed to STEP 2 and try to masturbate to porn. And here you get at least some kind of erection…

…so you have PIED, right?

Well, not so fast!

It could also mean that you had performance anxiety during your date and since you are clinically depressed, you also have very low dopamine levels.

Dopamine is a key player in powering libido and erections.

So it could simply mean that your dopamine levels were too damn low for you to achieve an erection to your hand alone, but then when you fired up some good old porn, even though you didn't really get that excited by it, it still spiked your dopamine levels just enough for you to achieve at least some form of erection.

However, you could still also have PIED.

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The PIED test is not 100% accurate if you suffer from a pretty severe depression. This is why it's always a good idea to seek out a good doctor  if you experience ED. Even if you suspect porn to be the cause because, while there's no harm in quitting porn, (in fact that's always a good thing) you might be leaving some other health conditions untreated.

Scenario #2 – if you're highly neurotic –

If you are a very neurotic person who get's extremely anxious in all kinds of situations the PIED test may also fail.

Since we all know that anxiety can inhibit erections then the following could also happen…

Let's say you failed to achieve an erection with you date last week. You read about the porn induced ED test online and you run to your bathroom to do the PIED test.

Then when you're standing there trying to achieve an erection with porn-free masturbation you fail to do so. Since you're a very neurotic person, just the thought about you potentially having PIED is freaking you out so much that you're just too anxious to get hard (even though you're not nervous about pleasing your hand, you were still anxious).

Sure, you might still have PIED. But it could also mean that you were just to damn anxious in the bathroom to be able to function.

Conclusion: This is why the PIED test is also not really 100% accurate if you are an extremely neurotic individual. In this scenario, you could try the test a few more times when you feel calm and more relaxed.

What if I Really Do Have PIED?

The smartest thing to do in all cases is to…

  1. See a good doctor and/or a good urologist.
  2. Stop watching porn and start a so called PMO reboot to fix your PIED.

If you need more info on exactly how to reboot best in order to fix PIED, then read my article, how to fix PIED. It will tell you exactly how to do it, step by step, in the best possible way.

It also has additional helpful tips in it.

So once more, find the post how to cure PIED right here.

If you struggle and need help with quitting porn you can…

You can also read more about PIED on the site Yourbrainonporn.

A Combination of PIED And Performance Anxiety

It is of course also possible to have a combination of PIED and performance anxiety.

In fact, a typical scenario is when a guy has been a bit traumatized by failing to achieve an erection because of PIED. So he starts rebooting in order to fix his PIED.

Then when trying to get the ball rolling with a real life partner again, he's understandably going to be a bit nervous. However, the solution always remains the same; keep staying away from porn and keep spending time with real life people and things will improve.

Related post: NoFap and performance anxiety

PIED or Performance Anxiety

I hope you found this post helpful.

If you are an otherwise healthy man and you have problems performing then giving up porn and start spending more time around real life people is probably all you'll have to. However, just to rule out any organic, mental or some other neuroloigical conditions, it is always wise to see a good professional.

If you then find that quitting porn is not as easy as you thought, then you're not alone.

In fact, for many guys porn has become a real addiction and they struggle with it so much that I decided to start making helpful videos on how to quit on my YouTube channel.

Consider checking it out. I think it would make your journey a whole lot easier.

Thanks for reading.

-Scandinavian Bob-

Download >>My FREE Guide<<  For Harder Boners Now!


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