The mindset change that most helped free me from PIED

First, there’s only one way I know of to heal from porn-induced erectile dysfunction: stop using porn, and ideally stop masturbating. However, even once I was physiologically healed, PIED left lasting emotional scars that sometimes made it difficult for me to be successfully intimate with a partner. I had failed to have sex so many times in my life because of PIED that I started to associate sex with shame, anxiety, and self-doubt. Even once physiologically ready to have sex, these feelings were still there and from time to time got in the way of my erections. Before approaching an opportunity to have sex, I would worry about whether or not I would be able to perform and sometimes test to see if I could get erect to fantasy. These tests were very poor predictors of actual performance. I soon realized that the more I worried, the worse the outcome, and my best experiences occurred when I was able to just let go and have fun in the moment.

Now, I am at a place where I no longer worry about PIED, and I can have the best sex of my life. A lot of factors contributed to me getting here. First, I have been away from porn and masturbation long enough that my sensitivity and erectile strength have improved immensely. Second, I have faced instances of PIED enough times with various partners to no longer fear it when it happens: I’m open about my journey and have nothing to hide from the women I’m intimate with. Third, I know that losing an erection doesn’t mean the end of sex—a few moments of cuddling and intimacy and I’m usually ready to go again. But most importantly I finally admitted to myself that, in the moment, I have no control over my penis. None. My penis does what it wants entirely independent of my wishes. That sounds kind of funny, but it’s true, and I’m OK with it. Since I realized I have no control over my erections, there’s no reason for me to worry about it anymore. I can just focus on having fun and enjoying time with my partner, and my penis will (most of the time) do what it’s supposed to.