Digital Detox: How Your Screen Time Affects Sexual Function

Digital Detox: How Your Screen Time Affects Sexual Function

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Men's Health Clinic


One thing that you’ve probably noticed over the last 15 years is the rising popularity of smart devices. You can’t go anywhere without seeing people glued to their computer screens or intently fiddling with their smartphones. According to the Digital 2023: Global Overview Report, people between the ages of 16 and 64 have around 6 hours of daily screen time. While smart devices have many uses, they also present health hazards. In this article, we will take a closer look at how screen time affects sexual functions and how a digital detox can benefit you and your partner. 

Understanding the Connection Between Your Screen Time and Sexual Function 

Is there really a connection between screen time and sexual dysfunctions? Although there are no direct links between excessive screen time and erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE), there are links between excessive screen time and the causes of sexual dysfunctions. For example, stress and anxiety are among the culprits behind erectile dysfunction. According to an article by the State University of New York at Potsdam, screen time induces stress reactions. 

A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that adults who spend more than 6 hours watching TV or using computers per day have higher odds of developing depressive symptoms than those with less than 6 hours of screen time. This is an important study because depression is one of the causes of premature ejaculation

Effects on Sexual Function 

So, how exactly does screen time affect sexual functions? Let’s look at some of these negative effects. 

  • Decreased libido and arousal – Too much screen time, especially if you’re spending it watching porn or sexually-stimulating media, can decrease your libido. An article in Medical News Today claimed that men who frequently view pornographic materials may need more stimulation to be aroused. The same article also suggested that too much pornography might change the way that a person’s brain reacts to arousal. As a result, a man might be less likely to feel arousal when in the company of a real-life sex partner. 
  • Disrupted sleep patterns affecting sexual performance – Smart devices, computer displays and TV screens emit blue light that can block melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. As a result, your body’s Circadian Rhythm or natural sleep-wake cycle can get disrupted. Lack of sleep can lead to poor blood circulation and erectile dysfunction
  • Increased stress and anxiety levels – As mentioned earlier, there is a correlation between screen time and stress levels because screen time induces stress reactions. Screen time can also cause sexual anxiety. Porn usually stars handsome actors with perfectly-chiselled bodies. They are also mostly well-endowed. This can result in a poor body image, which is a leading cause of premature ejaculation
  • Diminished intimacy and connection in relationships – Screen time can strain relationships. Some people get so engrossed in the virtual world that they forget that they have relationships in the real world that they need to nourish. Remember that the screen time you spend on mobile games and social media sites is time you are taking away from your relationship. 

 

Strategies for a Digital Detox 

If you want to prevent screen time from interfering with your sexual functions, a digital detox might be in order. Here are some strategies you can adopt to limit your screen time to manageable levels. 

  • Setting screen time boundaries – Setting boundaries to your screen time means limiting exposure to digital devices. For example, if most of your screen time is work-related, ensure you leave your work at your workplace. You can adjust your phone’s notification settings to the bare minimum so you are not constantly drawn to your screen. 
  • Engaging in offline activities to promote well-being – Spend quality time with your partner doing offline activities together. Instead of watching movies together, you can take a walk in the park where you are not constantly looking at your phone. You can also spend time working together on household chores. It might not sound intimate to you but helping your partner with chores can help bring the two of you closer. 
  • Prioritising self-care and mindfulness practices – It sounds cliché, but health is wealth and taking care of yourself includes spending less time online. Allot a time to exercise with your partner. Aside from helping you maintain a healthy body, exercising together can bring you closer to your partner. You can also join yoga or tai chi groups. These mindful movement practices can take you away from your screen and give you a chance to spend more time with your partner. 

Conclusion 

While technology has many benefits, too much screen time might have adverse effects on your body and your relationships. Long screen times can cause anxiety and mess with your body clock, which in turn can negatively affect your sexual functions. A digital detox can help reduce your screen time so you have more time to spend with your loved one. Aside from strengthening your relationship, a digital detox can also help you maintain a healthier body and a spicier sex life. Remember: less time in the online world means more time for your partner.  

If you suspect that your struggles with sexual dysfunctions like ED and PE may be linked to excessive screen time and social media use, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional. Book an appointment today at the Men’s Health Clinic (MHC). We have general practitioners and mental health experts who can offer valuable insights to help you navigate these challenges effectively.  

 

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