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How Much Porn Is Too Much Porn?

If you can get off without a laptop in front of you, you're probably fine.

Callie Little

Nico Teitel

The Scenario:
Like any millennial worth their salt-and-pepper avocado toast, you know your way around Google and probably also know about the porn "rule" here on the internet: If you've ever had a fleeting thought about it, someone's made porn about it. In the digital age, we can get whatever our hearts and genitals desire at the swipe of a touchscreen. There's nothing we can't wank to. Armed with enough lube, you can wile away the weekend jerking off to the bounty that awaits you on your favorite porn sites. But how many rounds are too many?

The Facts:
Porn is kind of like an extra-sticky theme park. It's neon, flashy, and thrilling. There are no weird sounds, awkward moments and mood-killing pauses for rubbers. Real life, however, is just…real life. If you spend all day every day at the theme park, going back to real life might feel a little less exciting. Less fluorescent. Arousal can, sometimes, for some people, work the same way.

Porn is a consumable item that is highly stimulating, so of course it can be addictive. That doesn't mean, however, that it will be addictive. For most people, a trip to a glimmering, adrenaline-spiking theme park is a great time, but at the end of the day, going home is a welcome respite.

The Worst That Can Happen:
"The amount of time someone looks at porn [can] negatively affect aspects of his or her life, relationship, intimacy, ability to orgasm or find arousal without it, work, etcetera. There are gradations of negative consequences and subjectivity on what is severe and what is 'just annoying,'" says Juliana Morris—a.k.a Dr. Juliana—a marriage and family therapist and founder of Be Your Own (S)expert, addressing the serious threats porn may pose. "For some, not being able to get an erection without porn–because of the amount of porn use––is a terrible consequence because they aren't able to engage in sex with their partner."

Morris also notes that perhaps part of the problem surrounding porn addiction and dependency is the fact that it's such a deeply sensitive subject. "It's hard to find treatment centers and therapists who are experts on porn and sex addiction and abuse. Porn addiction and abuse is a common problem. It's pervasive, hidden and shrouded with shame and stigma."

This means that if dependency does come up, it's likely to take time and effort to tackle.

What Will Probably Happen:
So what's most likely to happen of you binge on porn? "Honestly, an orgasm and maybe some new ideas about positions or seduction techniques," says Lynsey G, author of the recently released book Watching Porn.

She says that human sexual desire is so unbelievably diverse that we can really hurt ourselves by trying to be 'normal.' The amount of sexual energy that one person has can be vastly, wildly different from that of somebody else. "The main question to keep in mind is whether you are able to function in your life and whether you or other people are getting hurt by what you're doing," Lynsey says. "If things are okay and you are happy, you are likely meeting your own needs in a healthy way. A lot of porn isn't a bad thing if it's helping you live your best life."

Experts do recommend, however, investing some time in finding a porn production company that you love rather than relying on clips from the bigger free video sites. Not only will you find high quality videos and erotica from paid sites, you'll also be supporting the people who perform and produce the material.

"I also recommend talking to people about porn," Morris says. "Ask questions. Ask about favorites sites. Ask how often they look at it. Ask what they think about it. Talk. Ask. Start the conversation and help dispel the stigma."

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