Porn: The Good And The Bad

Truth time. How many of you watch porn at least once a month? I know I do. I watched porn this past Saturday actually.

Is that surprising? After all, you might expect that with the self-improvement lifestyle that we promote on this blog, we’d advocate never watching porn again. Well I think it’s more nuanced than that. If you enjoy watching porn, it can absolutely be something you do from time to time. But that’s not to say porn can’t be dangerous if you consume it too much. It absolutely can be. The trick lies in finding the right balance.

Healthy Porn Use vs Porn Addiction

Some guys out there in different seduction and self-improvement communities will tell you to avoid porn like the plague. They say it makes guys lazy and unwilling to meet girls in real life, it can cause erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, and can damage your confidence and self-esteem. None of these are outright lies. But they fail to make a distinction between healthy porn use and porn addiction.

I think alcohol is a good analogy. Someone could say that no one should ever touch alcohol because it causes liver damage, belligerent behavior, and problems at work and in family life. All of these things can be true about alcohol. But they’re only true for people whose alcohol use is problematic. That’s to say, people who drink too much and/or too often. Going out on the weekends and having a few drinks is unlikely to cause any of these problems. And the truth is, drinking alcohol in moderation can actually be a good thing for people. It helps us to relax, helps us make friends and connect with people we’re dating, not to mention it tastes good if you’re drinking the right stuff.

The same goes for porn. Despite what some people will tell you, porn is not a toxic thing that you need to completely avoid. But if you’re going to watch it, the important thing is learning how to do so in moderation.

Can porn be a good thing?

Like I mentioned earlier, alcohol can be a terrible thing if someone develops an addiction to it, but it can have positive effects when used in moderation. I think that’s something most of us can agree on. And the truth is, I feel the same way about porn.

So how can porn be a good thing? After all, people are constantly criticizing it for everything from making men timid and apathetic to degrading women. On some level, I don’t disagree with either of those criticisms. I’ve already talked about how I recognize it can cause problems for men who consume it too much, which I’ll get into in more detail later in the post. And I agree that there is some porn out that is absolutely vile and degrading to women. There are some types of porn that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Ok so now let’s answer the question – how can porn be a good thing? I think there are a few ways. First, I think it’s a good way for guys to release sexual tension when we can’t have sex for awhile. This is particularly important now that many of us are still living under some form of lockdown due to the pandemic. Maybe you had to move back in with your parents because you got laid off or your school closed down. Maybe everything in your city is still closed and there’s nowhere to meet girls or take dates from the dating apps. Maybe you’re stuck with shitty roommates who would go crazy if you brought someone new into your apartment. In cases like this, I think porn can be a good thing. It will give you an outlet for your sexual energy and leave you feeling at least a little bit of sexual satisfaction. Now, I know it’s totally possible to just masturbate without porn. If that works for you, go for it. But I’ve found that I feel more satisfied after watching porn and masturbating than after just masturbating. I can’t explain why, but my orgasms are better and I feel a lot more content afterwards.

Another reason it can be a good thing is it can give you ideas for the next time you have sex. Have you been wanting to try a new sex position but can’t figure out how it’s done? There’s definitely a porn video that will teach you how. Have you been embarrassed to talk dirty to girls because you don’t know what to say? Porn videos will give you some ideas. You might even see some things in porn that you didn’t know you wanted to try until you saw porn stars doing them.

A final reason I think porn can be a good thing is that, at least for me, it can actually be a great motivator. Every time I see a porn star fucking some gorgeous babe, it gets me even more motivated to go out and do the same thing myself. It also gets me motivated to do things I haven’t done yet. For example, every time I see a threesome in porn, it makes me that much more motivated to find a way to knock it off my bucket list.

Should you watch porn?

Now, just because I said there are some good things about porn doesn’t mean that you necessarily should watch porn. In fact, there are some cases when I think watching porn is a bad idea.

The first reason is if you’re using porn as a substitute for sex on a regular basis. If you’re afraid to go out and meet women and are only able to keep your sex drive in check due to your porn usage, that’s not a good thing. If you use porn and masturbate often enough, you can probably keep your sexual needs satisfied enough to not feel super motivated to go out and meet girls. This can be ok in certain specific situations, which I mentioned earlier in the post, but it’s a terrible thing if you do it all the time. At the end of the day, porn will never be as satisfying as real sex, even if it can be just satisfying enough to kill your desire to go out and meet girls. That’s why it can be dangerous if you start using it as a substitute for sex.

Another perfectly valid reason is if you just don’t enjoy watching porn. All the reasons I mentioned about why porn can be a good thing don’t apply to everyone. Some guys find it boring and unsatisfying, and that’s totally fine. If you don’t enjoy watching porn, stay away. You’re not missing out on much in the grand scheme of things.

Finally, I’d highly recommend staying away from porn if you’re feeling anxious or depressed. Here’s why it’s a problem in my experience. During times when I’ve struggled with anxiety, I’ve turned to porn as a kind of self-prescribed anxiety drug. My anxiety would disappear while I was watching porn and masturbating, but then it would come back with a vengeance after I was done. The only way I could make the anxiety go away was to watch more porn, which got me caught up in a vicious cycle. If you’re using porn primarily as a way to help with feelings of anxiety or depression, I’d recommend staying away from it until you’re in a better place mentally.

How to know when your porn use has gone too far

So let’s say none of the issues I just described apply to you. You’ve been able to maintain a healthy relationship with porn your whole life so far. Does that mean you can go crazy with the porn consumption? Not exactly. If you’re not careful, your porn use can still become problematic. Here are a few signs to watch out for that mean it might be time to cut back on the porn.

  1. You have a hard time getting it up during sex. This is one of the biggest reasons why some guys stay away from porn altogether. Especially if you’re into some of the more extreme forms of porn, having vanilla sex with one girl might not seem all that exciting any more. Now, there’s one caveat here. If you can’t get it up because you’re not really attracted to the girl you’re hooking up with, that’s different. But if you can’t get hard when you’re with a girl you’re into, that’s a sign you might want to cut back on the porn.
  2. Your motivation to meet girls is slipping. I already talked about why it’s a bad idea to use porn as a substitute for sex. But not all guys start out this way. Maybe you’re an occasional porn user and your current FWB breaks things off with you. Then without thinking much about it, you start watching more porn and your desire to meet new girls slowly starts slipping. This has happened to me at a few different points in my life and thankfully I’ve been able to recognize the problem before it ever got too bad. So if you notice that your desire to meet girls isn’t what it used to be, porn might be one of the culprits.
  3. Your sexual fantasies are mostly about porn. Have you ever found yourself zoning out at work or school, fantasizing about that new porn video you’re going to watch as soon as you get home? Have you masturbated while replaying a scene from porn in your head? I’ll be honest – I’ve done both. And it’s a sign that I needed to cut back on the porn. If you fantasize more about things you’ve seen in porn instead of things you’ve done in real life or want to do in real life, porn might be playing too much of a role in your sex life.
  4. Porn is interfering with your daily life. Do you ever find yourself late for things because you needed to watch a few minutes of porn before leaving the house? Have you ever turned down an invitation from friends or flaked out on a date because you wanted to stay home and watch porn? If so, you probably want to rethink your porn habits. Again, I’ll use the analogy of drinking. It’s totally fine to relax with some porn every so often. Just like it’s totally fine to relax with some drinks. But if you’re showing up late to things, avoiding responsibilities, and cancelling on plans because of your drinking habits, you’re probably drinking too much. And the same is true for porn.

Final Thoughts

Unlike some people in the dating and seduction community, I don’t think porn is a terrible thing that should be avoided at all costs. In moderation, I think it can actually be a good thing. But you have to be careful with it. Know that there’s a fine line between healthy porn use and problematic porn use, and be careful that you don’t cross into the problematic side.

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