It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Bill is going to be meeting up with some friends later for dinner and then some evening wine-infused bocce ball.
He has some time to kill before he meets up with them though. And his mind actually can’t think of something better to do.
Before long he is pulling the blinds closed and is feverishly huddled up like Tolkein’s Golum in the laptop’s pale blue light.
If he were to think about it, he does this more than he would admit. So he doesn’t think about it. But it’s often enough that when he looks at it, it needs to be more intense or more bizarre in order to get off.
There are days when he feels guilty at the end of it. There times when, like a smoker, he wants it more, but doesn’t like it.
He wishes he had a girlfriend
The time comes when he’s out in his friend’s back yard. Everyone’s laughing and having a good time. He’s got a glass of wine in his hand. They’re throwing bocce balls around.
There are some great ladies there too. They like Bill. And Bill sorely wishes he had a girlfriend. And yet, for some reason, he’s shy and reserved. When they talk to him he can’t think of anything to say. He’s worried he accidentally looked at the one girl’s breasts by accident. Did he? Didn’t he? Did she notice?
At some point someone makes a remark about a motorboat. Another person continues the conversation by commenting on Beyone’s huge yacht. Then Bill blurts out “Or motorboating Beyone’s huge jugs!” He thought it would be funny. Crickets. No one laughs. They roll their eyes and try to rescue the conversation. That was awkward. Where did that come from?
At another point in the night, another girl bumps hips with him, squeezes his arm, and actually stars flirting with him. Bill … does nothing. Rather than get excited and nervously, embarrassingly, flirt back, he just does nothing. Having little sexual energy left in him, he isn’t sure what he’s supposed to do.
He’s thinking about her in a pornographic way, and he feels a little ashamed about that, and so he can’t think of anything to say. And he’s not sure if and how to flirt back. So he just rides out the conversation.
Eventually, people dwindle home. Bill goes home alone and looks at more porn.
I’m riffing here, but I’m willing to venture this is pretty common.
Wait, is porn preventing guys from getting laid?
As pornography is more and more accepted as an actual addiction, there are more and more studies into its effects. It can actually harm the brain, people act like drug addicts, it has ruined relationships, and it desensitizes men to sex.
I think something that’s not talked about enough is maybe porn is actually keeping guys from what they really want – getting laid!
According to this post at psychcentral.com by clinical psychotherapist Robert Weiss, common signs porn use has become an addiction are:
Possible signs that porn use has escalated into addiction include:
- Continued porn use despite consequences and/or promises made to self or others to stop
- Escalating amounts of time spent on porn use
- Hours, sometimes even days, lost to viewing pornography
- Viewing progressively more arousing, intense, or bizarre sexual content
- Lying, keeping secrets, and covering up the nature and extent of porn use
- Anger or irritability if asked to stop
- Reduced or even nonexistent interest in sexual, physical, and emotional connections with spouses or partners
- Deeply rooted feelings of loneliness, and detachment from other people
- Drug/alcohol use or drug/alcohol addiction relapse in conjunction with porn use
- Increased objectification of strangers, viewing them as body parts rather than people
- Escalation from viewing two-dimensional images to using the Internet for anonymous sexual hook-ups and to find prostitutes
-excerpt from Sexual Dysfunction, The Escalating Price of Abusing Porn, by Robert Weiss: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2012/05/abusing-porn/
He also notes, men are reluctant to address porn addition because they don’t view their sexual habits as an underlying source of their unhappiness.
It’s powerful to think about the rippling effects of our actions. Nothing is contained in its own little space in time. The things we do have recurring outcomes.
Addicts always think they’ll ‘sneak one in’ but can’t see how its damaging their lives in the long term.
Sex, love and intimacy are powerful parts of our pysche, so it would probably be wise to treat these things with care.
The brutal irony is, guys satisfying their craving for sex so much, they’re not getting any sex at all.
Click here for Part 2 of 3: Is pornography ruining your sex life?