“Pornosexual” is a term to describe those who find more stimulation in porn than sex with a partner. But as someone who probably would have been considered pornosexual during my days of porn addiction, pornosexuality sounds less like a preference and more like the end result of getting a singular means of arousal. Being pornosexual is really tied to insecurity and avoiding the pressure and vulnerability that comes with meeting other people and connecting intimately.
I thought about this while watching the film Don Jon (and admittedly while browsing for news on “porn” and running across this article). Don Jon shares messages on porn addiction, understanding that porn isn’t a true depiction of sex, and re-evaluating priorities in seeking a relationship. But one of the more interesting parts of the film is when Jon states, “real pussy is good, but, I’m sorry, it’s not as good as porn.”
As boys, we grew up dreaming about the day we would lose our virginity and have sex with a woman on a regular basis. We anticipated getting pussy. We didn’t dream about or anticipate finding arousal in pornography.
And yet here is this character, apparently having sex on a weekly basis (aka living the dream), saying that porn is better than actual pussy. It’s madness. How could someone, with the ability to make a comparison, find more satisfaction in watching pornography than actually having sex? Well, it’s possible.
I don’t think “pornsexual” is a new sexual orientation, rather it’s a term to describe something I believe has steadily existed in the age of internet porn: people being so hooked on porn that they avoid, and maybe not even prefer, actual sex. But I think it goes deeper than that. It’s not just a love for watching porn, but also the ability to get sexual arousal from it through masturbation.
It’s a learned behavior, knowing that porn can give you a depiction of sex (albeit an inauthentic one, more times than not) while still allowing space for physical stimulation. It’s hard not to think that pornosexuality is a result of addiction to pornography. Constantly stimulating ourselves to porn creates a reliance where porn is the only way stimulation can be achieved.
I’m not certain the being pornosexual is a preference, as in someone actively chooses arousal via pornography than to experience pleasure through human interaction and bonding. Lizzette Borreli sums it up well by saying, “it (porn) may become the only way a person can get aroused, and an orgasm becomes nothing more than a biological urge to fulfill.” It’s more so a point we reach than a choice we make (or preference we come to discover).
Jon is pornosexual simply because he has masturbated so much to porn that not much else works for him. But for others there is something else going on, another reason why we would seemingly find more appeal in porn than sex: we settle into porn because the alternative (sex) doesn’t seem feasible. We may find more appeal in porn because unlike sex, porn is more readily accessible and available to us.
That’s why I would have been considered pornosexual throughout my teenage years and young adult life. I wanted sex and consistently believed that actually getting pussy would be better and more gratifying than masturbating to porn. But I wasn’t having sex, and porn was consistently there to be my reprieve.
Addiction always feels like a “chicken or egg” scenario, but this was simple for me: I started off watching porn, I wasn’t having sex and developed anxiety over it, thus further entrenching porn’s stronghold on me and my reliance on it. Until I was able to chip away at my porn addiction, all of my stimulation came from porn and I became resigned to it.
Porn became my only means of arousal because there was no other existing form of arousal in my life. Even when I finally had sex, it took memories of the porn I had viewed in order for me to maintain an erection. Sex didn’t match up because I was used to getting my arousal one way: from specific visuals.
Pornosexual is what we become, not what we select. And it’s easy to understand why. Where else do we get such convenience in being sexual stimulated and pleasured?
And I know you’re probably thinking of escorts and paid companionship. But the fact that the companionship you’re referring to is a) illegal in most states, and b) requires a financial exchange means it’s not as convenient as pornography. Porn doesn’t ask us to take legal risks, pay money, or even leave the house.
Think about everything porn shields us from. We don’t have to put in the work and effort of getting a woman out of her clothes. We don’t have to open ourselves up to rejection, bad sexual experiences, or being vulnerable. We don’t have to forge a relationship or connection.
Convenience is what the sex and adult entertainment industries thrive off. It’s all about making our desires as accessible as possible. There is little incentive to seek out intimacy or work on being more attractive to potential partners when porn can satisfy a basic need at its basic form.
But that convenience is really just tied into insecurity. Jon just wanted “dimes” similar to the girls he saw on PornHub that he could have sex with without needing to worry about putting in work towards a sincere connection and relationship. Porn asks nothing of him, real women would, and Jon wanted to avoid it.
My insecurity was the lack of confidence and self-esteem I had towards being intimate with someone. I had no understanding of how intimate relationships start and operate because porn doesn’t teach us that (nor does it have a responsibility to). I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to get what I wanted and avoided any interaction that would expose this.
I never prefered to get my arousal from porn; I simply didn’t want to leave something I knew worked in exchange for human interaction I had little confidence in and was, quite honestly, scared of. I was inept in understanding how to form sexual relationships. Why leave myself vulnerable when porn would keep me safe?
But this fear did make it where porn was the only thing that worked for me. If we take this as the definition of “pornosexual”, then yes, I was pornosexual and so are many others in the present day. But throwing the term around shouldn’t mask what’s really going on: that the inability to find arousal outside of porn and the self comes from a place of insecurity.
It’s simple to see how porn can become one’s only means of stimulation. But it’s also very lonely. I understand the concept of loving oneself. But I cannot come to see porn as being better than sex. I just see a way porn can become the only option that works.