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Are You Watching Too Much Porn?

Young Man Watching Porn

As a woman who unapologetically enjoys sex with both men and women, often at the same time, I’ve had to defend my reputation and my sex drive. Slut shaming sucks. I also detest men being shamed for sexual desire, and I don’t stand for that either. We are sexual beings—in person or in fantasy, our sex lives are important.

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But some of you guys are troubled by compulsion, addiction, social anxiety, extreme or degrading sexual kinks, or erectile dysfunction—I think it might be too much porn.

When porn replaces human interaction, or takes away from other aspects of life, there might be a need to find balance.

Decide how much is too much.

If you aren’t having any problems, don’t create them by reading too much into this column or articles you see. They don’t pertain to you. But if you are uncomfortable with how much time you’re spending, or you think you may have an obsession or compulsion, you need to decide how much is too much.

We aren’t talking about jacking off a few times a week for release, with a little help from virtual ecstasy. Some guys are calling in sick to work and wanking for hours on end, or they cancel on their girlfriends to jerk off alone.

Decide what looks like balance to you.

Take a break.

If you notice that you’re watching porn all the time but your real-life sex life is not satisfying, there’s nothing wrong with going cold turkey for a few weeks.

Think about the times you detoxed from sugar or beer—a few weeks off, and after that a little went a long way.

Consider a change if you can’t get it up for real women.

If you’re watching porn BECAUSE your dick gets hard and you need to take care of it, that’s a lot different from watching so much that it doesn’t work when a real vagina is open and waiting.

A lot of guys report that excess porn obsession led to extreme isolation and fear of real bodies. There was a loss of sensitivity to subtle sensations and thrills.

Understand that the digital age is the problem, not sex itself or naked women.

In the middle ages sex-phobic churches taught that looking at a woman naked would shrivel your soul, and your dick. That’s not the issue here. Many of those advocating for lowering porn consumption view the issue as a problem of addiction, not a moral thing. They WANT men to have great sex lives.

Gary Wilson, author of Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, illustrates how the easy access of internet porn on young men’s brains doesn’t jive with evolution, where guys had to work a bit for the reward to their brain. Many guys report a return to sensations and arousal they had lost after cutting back on porn.

Check yourself: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If none of this resonates with you, there’s no reason to go without the sex, porn, and fantasy life that makes us happy humans. But if you feel you’ve withdrawn from family, friends, women, general interests, work, or anywhere else that needs your attention, you might decide to cut back on the habits that are holding you back.

I personally think most people can benefit from porn, because it can enrich our imagination and repertoire and relieve sexual tension. But it’s true that some guys say they are missing out on real life and are addicted to their computers. That can be video games, online poker, and porn.

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

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