One of the many underrated movies of 2013 is actor-director Joshua Gordon-Levitt’s “Don Jon”. As the title character, Levitt as Don Jon is the ultimate Jersey Shore “meat head”. He also happens to be a ladies man. (Hence, the play on the name Don Juan Demarco). Scooping up what he likes to call “dimes” with his boys, Jon is so confident in his game, he knows the “score” before his boys do. During a typical night out he meets Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, and it is immediate kismet. Usually in these situations, Jon takes the woman back home, they hook up and it’s end of story. The next day, he’s back to his old tricks. But Barbara has other plans and wants to wait until she knows he’s the one. Barbra is also a little obsessed with romantic dramas, which plays into her own romanticized view of relationships. And Jon likes porn. Actually, he LOVES porn. A lot. In fact, during the course of the movie he states:

“There’s only a few things I really care about in life: My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn.”

He’s so addicted, it’s become part of his daily routine. Down to how, when and why he does it. But John can’t tame his taste, and after a night of finally sleeping with Barbara, she catches him watching porn. Barbara is immediately distraught and asks…

(Quick article reading break: This is the part when you say “huh?” She’s shocked that he watches porn? Really? Okay…back to reading this article.)

…him what he’s doing and why. He reassures her that he received it via e-mail from a friend, akin to “I got hacked!” on Twitter, and Barbara accepts his “excuse” and moves on. That’s until she peeps out his internet history (note to readers: always delete your Internet History). This immediately becomes a deal broker and she ends her relationship with Jon. What results is Jon going back to his old ways, but with just a lot more porn. It not only cripples his social life, but his inability to be in a normal, functioning relationship. In other words, Jon is a sex addict. Or is he?

As of now, the DSM-V does not include hyper-sexuality–the clinical term for sex addiction. But it does recommend that it require more research as a disorder. Most people would simply argue to step from the computer, stop visiting strip clubs and/or sex clubs, stop “reading” Playboy, etc. But if addiction is defined as the continued repetition of a behavior despite negative consequences, it would come to pass that sex addiction is an addiction. “Don Jon” doesn’t delve into this, but does a pretty good job of at least bringing up the topic of sex as addiction (Tony Danza does appear throughout the movie in a wife beater. So…there’s that?).

It’s bad enough that male culture is pretty f@#*ing terrible as it relates to sex and women. Watching porn makes this worse:

“Researchers have found less grey matter in the brains of men who watched large amounts of sexually explicit material. The research, which appeared on Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, could not determine if porn actually caused the brain to shrink however, and the authors called for additional study on the topic. Furthermore, when sexually explicit material was shown, the men’s MRIs showed diminished function in a part of the brain that processes motivation.”

So how do we properly deal with it? Oooh…that would be a great article to write. I’ll uh…do some more “research” and let you guys know what I find.

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Sources/Credit and Links:
1. Featured image: “Don Jon” Movie Official Site
2. Brain/Masturbation Study: Australia News and Jezebel
3. DSM-V info: American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
4. “Seinfeld” clip: YouTube