Stocksy

It's Not A Big Deal Your Man Watches Porn, It's A Bigger Deal That You Don't

In the movie "Don Jon," lead character Jon, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has a seemingly incurable porn addiction. He appears to be crippled by his dependency, spending days alone in his bedroom with his laptop and some tissues, feeling dissatisfied by in-person sexual encounters, eventually costing him his girlfriend Barbara (played by Scarlett Johansson).

Jon has a problem. His attachment to porn is a real phenomenon that could, in the case of some real people like New York Magazine's Davy Rothbart, cause men to lose their ability to feel pleasure with a real woman.

Research shows, however, that experiments that attempt to prove the existence of a so-called "porn addiction" are sloppy, so whether or not Jon's inability to enjoy sex or climax with Barbara has to do with nerves, depression or porn is still up for scientific debate.

Regardless, there's no denying pornography's cultural effects. Sexualized images have infiltrated the media, advertisements, and various marketing strategies.

In 2013, the Pew Internet & American Life project reported that 12 percent of Americans use the Internet to watch porn, which probably means that 88 percent of America is lying, since in that same year porn sites got more unique monthly visitors than Netflix, Twitter and Amazon combined.

To break it down even further, 25 percent of men and 8 percent of women (up from 2 percent of women in 2010) reported watching porn online. Again, still very small numbers, and still lots of liars. Why shy away from admitting to watching porn when sex is, literally, everywhere?

It's impossible to say "porn" and cover every single facet of the genre -- some porn videos are certainly more NC-17 than others, with women having far longer acrylic nails than I'd ever want -- so that's probably too general of a question. But there is no way that 88 percent of Americans are sinless angels. We've all seen porn. Just admit it.

Porn gets a lot of criticism for its direct correlations to degradation of women and sexual aggression, but the relationship between the two is more complex than most give it credit for. Studies like this one from UCLA assess more than just that correlation.

It focuses on who's watching said porn videos. If people are already sexist or scored low on the aforementioned study's "agreeable" scale, says leader of the study Neil Malamuth, watching porn just enhanced those sexist and disagreeable views.

Of course, this could be a matter of the chicken or the egg, but there are definitely other factors besides just enjoying inhumanely explicit porn that contribute to a dude's aggressive personality traits.

So, if you're already a decent person and you watch porn, it won't turn you into a jerk. It's impossible to study a direct causation between watching porn and suddenly becoming a sexist pig. In fact, porn may be more beneficial than we think, even within the contexts of a relationship.

A survey of 300 women conducted by Ann Summers, a British lingerie retailer, revealed some interesting information about how women view pornography and love.

More than 85 percent of the women in the survey reported watching porn as a fantasy escape.

With all the speculation about porn, perhaps women are becoming more aware of how much porn reflects real life -- which, let's be honest, is not that much -- and are simply enjoying the fantasy of it.

Most porn is indeed geared towards men, which might allow a woman to slip into the fantasy of submission to her man.

Watching porn with your partner can also make your subsequent real-life session filled with much more passion.

Of the women surveyed, 58 percent who watched porn with their partners felt it positively affected their sex lives, and over half said it gave them the confidence to ask for what they wanted in bed. I can personally attest to all of these points.

Interestingly, 93 percent of the women surveyed did not view watching porn as cheating, and I agree. I could not care less if my boyfriend watched porn.

As long as he's having regular lustful sex with me and is still attracted to me, he can watch all the porn he wants. He's not having an affair with Jayden Jaymes.

Essentially, if I'm okay with him jerking it sometimes for a quick endorphin release (which I am), I'm okay with him watching porn to facilitate such a release.

Porn is "a means to an end," said one of my male friends when I asked why men watch porn. "Guys can't just press a little button on their genitals to get off. It requires some effort. Porn facilitates that." 

When I asked another male friend if it's actually more than just a means to an end, I received a resounding "no."

Real-life sex with someone else involves effort, intimacy, some layer of emotional connection (ranging everywhere from slight infatuation to love) and an element of performance.

Masturbating to porn requires almost none of these things. So, if porn really just exists to help a man reach orgasm faster, it almost makes no sense to compare porn and real sex.

Men truly do not see porn as some huge relationship-crushing deal, and neither do I. The conversation about porn is turning more towards how ridiculous it is sometimes, and how it's just fun to indulge in some strange fantasy for a little while.

However, if you're Jon in "Don Jon" and you stop being into Scarlett Johansson, you've got more problems than just a porn addiction.

Photo Courtesy: Universal Pictures/American Reunion