Pornography & Porn Addiction

What College Kids Want to Know About Porn

Last night I spoke to about 300 students at Ohlone College in Northern California. The topic was Pornography 2016: PornPanic, Public Health, & Porn Literacy. It went just fine, and as always, I was eager to hear people’s questions. Here are some that everyone seemed interested in, along with a short version of my answers. “There’s certain stuff my boyfriend sees in porn that he wants to try. I don’t really want to do it, but he says everyone does. What should I do?” To start with, the question isn’t what should I do; it’s what should we (you and…

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Salon.com Asks Me About Porn

This week I was interviewed by journalist Amanda Marcotte of Salon.com about pornography. You can see the 20-minute video here: https://goo.gl/QlD9O6. After a bit of small talk, we got down to it: What if you fantasize about sex with kangaroos? Should we bring back the psychiatric diagnosis of Possessed By The Devil? And is there such a thing as porn addiction? Ah, porn addiction. It really does matter what we call these things. We know it matters if someone is “diagnosed” as a “frigid bitch,” or a “women-hating queer,” or a “nympho.” So of course it matters if something is…

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Pam Anderson & Shmuley Boteach: “Porn is For Losers”

Shmuley Boteach and Pamela Anderson have co-authored an article about pornography in the Wall Street Journal. It starts by decrying the “devastation of porn addiction” and ends by saying that “porn is for losers.” Boteach is a Rabbi who has spent years telling people that sex should be restricted to committed, loving relationships. He says […]

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Republicans: Porn a “Public Health Crisis”

As delegates land in Cleveland International Airport for the Republican convention next week, they can expect to hear the following announcement: “As our plane descends into Cleveland, passengers are reminded to set their watches back 15 years.” Yes, the proposed Republican Party platform is seriously behind the times. It urges that the legalization of same-gender […]

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Does Porn Demean Women?

I don’t think this is a very helpful question. Porn is a compendium of human fantasies about sexuality—and, therefore, about power, pleasure, connection, anger, fear, gender, desire, beauty, comfort, and the exotic, and many other things. Of course, human sexuality involves enormous doses of imagination. That’s part of what gives it so much impact in […]

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Rule 34: What It Says About Your Sexuality

Rule 34: If it exists, or you can imagine it, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Rule 34 summarizes everything about sexuality. It says that human sexual fantasy is limitless. It says that anything can be eroticized, can be arousing, can be life-affirming. It reminds us that any ideas we have about what’s normal sex are about us, not about sex. I’m always telling patients “don’t blame sex for your ideas about sex.” Rule 34 reminds us exactly what pornography is: a library of human eroticism. Pornography is a celebration of how humans can stretch their erotic imagination—sometimes in ways…

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