SEXY by Sadistic Phantasy

Kanye West recently came forward confessing his sex addiction, which he claimed affected, “every single choice he’s ever made”. Seeing his father’s Playboy magazine as a curious child was a gateway towards a full-on pornography addiction, to the extent that he would even have it running whilst in the studio with others.

Speaking candidly about his habit, he claimed:

“My mum had passed a year before and I said some people drown themselves in drugs. And I drowned myself in my addiction [to sex].”

Despite progressive attitudes towards sexuality, porn still remains a taboo subject even though we commonly accept it as a staple of modern life. It is a vent to frustrated sexual desire, a window into impossible sexual fantasies, and nowadays, more accessible than ever before.

Long gone are the days of porn magazines with limited nude models, and for the rest of our lives? Indulge in watching anyone you want, doing anything you want, all thanks to high speed internet.

It’s absolutely free to see more sexual partners in one evening than our ancestors ever had throughout their lives — that is, except for paying with our attention, sexual health, and more.

Kanye is not alone. In the past decade, many have attested that the modern consumption of porn is problematic.

High speed internet porn appears luxurious, but it is a super-stimulus freely available to a generation of children more competent with technology than ever before. This means teenagers naturally flirting with exploring their sexuality are increasingly susceptible to porn addiction.

Addiction is obviously bad, but pornography dependence is unique in that it can lead someone to constantly rely on the dopamine frenzy of accessing any outlandish sexual situation, and prefer getting off to pixels on a screen over real intimacy. This often creates unrealistic expectations and premonitions on what sex is. Even if we understand these videos as obviously fictional, porn can disrupt a very natural human experience, particularly for teenagers, where internet porn is often their first frame of reference to base ideas of sex upon.

Anecdotally, porn dependence has been proven to damage relationships, sexual performance, desire to find new partners, depression, anxiety, and even escalation to extreme sexual fetishes where older material becomes boring.

Many men have admitted to experiencing a recent phenomena called PIED (Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction) — where otherwise young and well-functioning men experience a loss of virility due to porn consumption. When up to a third of young men are becoming impotent, there is credence to PIED being a real issue.

Communities, predominantly consisting of young men with these issues, are taking action regarding the usage of high speed internet porn in combination with masturbation, and the problems they experience as a result. The most well-known of these being r/NoFap, an online community challenging men to ‘reboot’ their sexual preferences by abstaining from porn and masturbation (called PMO — porn, masturbation, and orgasm) for 90 days.

The movement is in direct retaliation to the pernicious use of pornography, mostly due to the fact that many sexually curious teenagers become addicted in their early age; leaving with warped expectations about sex, women, men, and sometimes fetishes which are artificially induced by porn consumption.


Porn Addiction Is Invisible

I never thought I might be a porn addict, because as a teenager I didn’t understand what addiction was. I had been watching porn since adolescence, and it was only reinforced by other horny teenagers (guys and girls) doing the same thing. So I didn’t really see it as a problem.

To me, a porn addict was someone obsessive about watching pornography during every waking minute of his life, tormented by a unsatisfied sexual itch frustrating his very core.

I was never this.

I watched it almost every time I masturbated, and during my earlier innocuous days, it was the greatest rush/high I had ever experienced.

Later I would learn this rush was similar to a drug high, as the excitement in searching for the perfect video, in combination with masturbating, conditioned my dopamine to be hooked on the ritual of getting off to sexual situations that never actually happened.

Dopamine as a neurotransmitter is responsible for seeking out important behaviours, and motivating an action again to bring about a reward. Porn apparently hijacks these same dopamine receptors, leading me to think that talking to girls was not that important, because I could literally see any sexual situation I wanted which took far less effort. A lot less than actually talking to them.

Retrospectively, I feel my natural curiosity was exploited by porn industries who ostensibly prey on young people to get hooked to porn, making sex synonymous with lust over intimacy.

Sexual desire is not just a means to the end result of getting laid. I have now learned it is also the pretence which motivates one to flirt, socialise, and seek out a romantic partner.

But my regular habit of masturbating to porn led me to believe my libido was a problem needing to be regularly fixed, by watching porn, getting off, and reducing my sexual desire to nothing.

I didn’t notice these problems during most of my teenage life, but I recall rarely taking opportunities with girls because I was afraid I was inadequate, ugly, or too weird. I didn’t feel any pressing desire to do so either, becoming too reliant on venting my sexual energy alone rather than with someone else.


Giving Up The Gun

Entering the epoch of young adulthood, I finally realised that my relationship with porn had been an addiction hiding beneath the bushes, masquerading itself as a healthy way to explore my sexuality. It had, in fact, stunted my confidence, promoted an objectifying view of women, and was in part the reason I felt so insecure about taking opportunities to ask girls out on a date, or get their number. All things I thought I was incapable of.

So it had to change.

I have been clean from pornography for a good few months now, and my perspective on sexuality has changed immensely. So much energy and confidence has returned, my sex life is constantly at an apex, and my concept of sexuality has since been radically changed.

This involves understanding a diverse definition of beauty — encompassing a range of features and behaviours, rather than just incessant sexualisation of body parts. Watching porn conditioned me to become overly invested in appearances over reality. I have since learned attraction is founded not merely in aesthetics, but in conversation, energy, and spirit.

I have never been one to flirt (and truthfully never understood how people do), but a natural charm permeates my essence as I say things which are serendipitously charismatic, confident, and well-thought out.

The stoic mentality reveals itself: that we can understand what something is when we are without it.

But I did not abstain from masturbation for 90 days like people on NoFap recommend. Though there is much to admire about the NoFap community, I personally did not agree that abstaining from masturbation was necessary for my ‘rebooting’.

I attempted NoFap for two weeks, but it made me very frustrated and angry, with what can only be described as ‘testosterone tantrums’. I had to learn to detach masturbation from porn use, I thought, and so there is nothing wrong with some release.

I also didn’t empathise much with supposed “superpowers” that self-proclaimed Fapstronauts claimed to have after experiencing a testosterone boost due to semen retention. I personally feel these alleged superpowers are a result of confidence in kicking a habit that had afflicted one for many moons, over something to do with how much semen is in one’s balls.

There is nothing inherently wrong with masturbation, true, but it is the combination with pornography which begins to explain where many of these problems arise from. Masturbation is very much self-love, but because our minds are also directed at a super-stimulus like porn, we often forget that masturbation is about feeling a deep connection with our bodies, pleasuring ourselves, and discovering our preferences and limits.

The more I abstained from porn, the more I realised what I actually liked in bed, with an increased appreciation for the emotional quality of sex (where much of my newfound turn-ons reside). Post-nut depression disappeared when masturbating without pornography — instead, I felt post-nut clarity.

I naturally became allied with the reddit community r/PornFree — primarily a group of people choosing to quit porn, but unlike some purists on NoFap, consider masturbation to be a healthy part of ‘rebooting’.


Moral Concerns

I cannot go without mentioning the ethical problems with the mainstream porn industry too; casting doubt as to whether porn consumption is ethical when many women in these videos are trafficked, infamously unfairly paid for their work, and face scrutiny throughout their lives for going into sex work — considering many were impressionable, and ridden with insecurity at the time.


Mia Khalifa, former porn actress, spoke candidly about her time in the industry. Though ultimately conceding responsibility for her career in porn, she expressed coercion by producers when raising complaints about her involvement in a controversial sex scene wearing a headscarf (which received an abundance of death-threats even from ISIS), and was unfairly compensated for her work, despite how viral the video became.

Pornhub has also faced scrutiny for hosting genuine child porn and despite being told to remove the videos by victims, had kept it on the website, dismissing it as “a sexual fantasy”, until a cease-and-desist was finally issued. This shockingly suggests that porn aggregation sites like Pornhub are complicit not just with sexual trafficking, but the solicitation of minors. These are, of course, deeply troubling ethical issues which has to be considered when discussing the modern consumption of porn.

But as long as there is a demand for the content (which there always will be), porn websites have little incentive to remove insidious videos attracting millions of viewers.

The reality of the situation remains that pornography use is either taboo, not spoken about seriously at all, or celebrated among young men. I’ve heard many discussions debating whether they are more of a “Pornhub or XVideos kinda guy”, sharing links to what they have recently nutted to, and perpetuating a seemingly misogynistic view on women, spawning from continuously seeing them as sexual objects, than real people with emotions.

by Martyna Runkowska

Back To Sex Education

Sex education should account for educating teenagers about responsible pornography use. It is fruitless to say porn content is 18+, and kids shouldn’t access it, when it should be well-known by now that age restrictions act no better than a plaster on a broken bone. Kids will still access it given the means.

Harm reduction education is required instead. I often assumed that because many had said to me that masturbation is entirely healthy and normal, that using it with porn was also equally healthy and normal. I didn’t even know there was this other side of the coin with porn.

It is still troubling to know that anti-porn communities, despite a recent surge of popularity, remain niche or dismissed as nonsense. Many teenagers are growing up becoming hooked on pornography, potentially yet to discover many of these reasons.

But to be clear, I do not necessarily think porn is bad in all cases.

I think if you can use it in moderation, and be completely clear from many of these problems, then (no pun intended) go nuts. But I still think it is intrinsically damaging because pornography essentially overstimulates our dopamine, making it akin to drug use rather than innocuously watching videos with nudity.

Being able to freely access a plethora of internet porn, with the potential of experiencing mental illness or impotence, is definitely scary to me. With the advent of VR porn, further straying from the cliff of any sexual reality, I believe we are yet to see more of this problem occurring.


I don’t think I could go back to watching porn, but admittedly the temptation is always there. Unlike other addictions, porn addiction clings onto natural sexual desire, as well as being mine and many people’s first addiction, so distinguishing between cravings to watch porn from wanting sex, will perhaps always remains an internal battle.

Life without pornography revealed much in the way of repressed sexual shame I never knew I had, but generally, I found a healthier idea of masculinity from within. Perhaps one way men could work towards building a healthier conception of masculinity is to give up porn for a while.