Porn addiction? Nope, Don Jon is a sexual superman.

Don Jon is a film about Joseph Gordon-Levitt being graced with the gift of nailing Scarlett Johansson, but losing that gift all because he is addicted to porn. I know, sounds crazy. What guy would lose out on the chance to have sex with Johansson over porn? That’s kinda the point: Gordon-Levitt’s character Jon loves porn so much that he risked losing Johansson over it.

And then Jon has an awakening of sorts and ends up being with Julianne Moore. I don’t know how you view Moore’s attractiveness (hint: she is attractive), but I’d say that Jon is a rather fortunate man over the course of the film. You know, aside from being addicted to porn.

But back to the point: Jon REALLY loves porn. You can tell from how he describes it. As someone that dealt with porn addiction, it’s weird listening to Jon describe how watching porn makes him feel. Not because it’s creepy (well, it is creepy), but because of how honest it is.

“For the next few minutes all the bullshit fades away and the only thing in the world is those tits… that ass… the blowjob… the cowboy, the doggie, the money shot and that’s it, I don’t gotta say anything, I don’t gotta do anything. I just fucking lose myself.”

That’s perfect. Not the fact that he’s addicted to porn, mind you. Just the way he describes losing himself in porn is damn-near perfect.

The fact there is no work required is precisely why porn works. You get this adrenaline rush of hyper-visuals that men want to experience with sex, and all men have to do is turn on the computer (or pick up a mobile device, which Jon does in the middle of class).

And he is also a compulsive masturbator, which isn’t as expressly shown as his addiction to porn. Granted, he doesn’t masturbate while watching porn in class (thank God). But each moment of porn viewing in his home is followed by the disposal of a tissue.

And I doubt it’s because his nose is runny. Or maybe it is. Watching so much porn might do weird things to him, I wouldn’t know.

Oh, and he is also addicted to sex. Not sure how that slipped me. His addiction to sex isn’t expressly said, but it’s certainly understood. With the exception of his mother and sister (thank God, yet again), Jon has either had sex or is hoping to have sex with every woman he runs across.

I never dealt with any form of addiction other than PMO (porn, masturbation, orgasm) in my life, so I cannot say this with full certainty: the way Jon talks about his addiction is the way I imagine every addiction being. Your mind enters a zone completely separate and away from reality, and that zone offers so much bliss that you don’t want to come back to earth.

This is all great stuff on the part of Don Jon. But as great as the depiction of porn addiction is, there is one issue that is rather curious: his ability to continually have sex goes against what we’ve been told about how porn addiction affects men sexually. Either all the articles we have read are wrong, or Don Jon is superman.

It’s possible Jon has sexual mutant powers and we will find out about it in a future Deadpool movie. But odds are the connection between porn addiction and sexual activity was something Don Jon opted not to fully tackle, which is perfectly fine but would’ve also given the film an even more interesting tone. There are negative affects associated with porn addiction, and Jon manages to defy most of them.


don jon
While Don Jon was ultimately able to kick away the stronghold of porn addiction, how many of its negative effects was he able to trump along the way?

1. Loss of sexual drive: No. The film opens up with Jon taking home some girl he meets at the club. Jon’s sex drive seems pretty fine to me. I think the real discussion is …

2. Loss of interest in sex: No, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, he is clearly still interested in sex. You don’t “smash new girls” on a consistent basis unless the interest in sex exists.

The issue is that while Jon is always interested in sex, he doesn’t find sex to be particularly interesting. It’s almost as if sex is something he engages in simply because he can or he feels as if he should. He wants it, he’s always on the hunt for it, but it doesn’t actually do anything for him.

Jon says it himself: “real pussy is good, but, I’m sorry, it’s not as good as porn.” Think about how nuts that sounds. Digital vagina, something he can’t even feel or experience, captures his interest more than the real, living thing. That’s porn addiction in its hyper-form, the point where it becomes the new reality.

It’s not that Jon doesn’t want to have sex or isn’t interested in getting it. If a girl is going to pass that ass to him, he’s going to accept it. But it clearly doesn’t do it for him any longer because it’s not nearly as lavish as porn.

3. Inability to perform sexually: Inconclusive, but let’s say no. We can only assume that he doesn’t have an issue with performing sexually although it isn’t explicitly stated. If Jon was unable to perform sexually, one would think it would come up at some point in the film. And considering he routinely has sex with girls he encounters at his workplace, you would think word would get around.

4. Thinking sex exists in different realm: Yes, and we finally hit a bullet point that Jon’s superpowers can’t defeat. In Jon’s world, there are two different versions of sex: real sex and porn sex. He wants the latter realm as porn sex is clearly more alluring to him.

There is a point in the film where Jon beautifully lists his gripes with real sex compared to porn. For him, eating pussy is crazy from the male’s visual point-of-view (even though he doesn’t mind a good pussy-eating clip), hates that women would prefer not to give oral, can’t stand missionary, and thinks condoms are the worst (whilst acknowledging that unlike in porn, real vagina can kill you).

Here’s the thing: it’s not like men would necessarily disagree with him. Missionary isn’t visually enticing, getting oral would be appreciated, and the only men that tend to like giving oral are those who are actually good at it. But that’s also a porn mindset, one where the focus is on what the man likes.

That’s not the reality of how sex works, and Jon isn’t digging that reality. Porn is a different realm of sex that Jon can’t have, and it frustrates him.

5. Struggle getting aroused by porn: No. He seems to be beating off just fine. If I remember correctly, he masturbates to porn 11 times after breaking up with Barbara (Johansson). You know how hard it is to get aroused on 11 successive occasions, enough to the point where you reach orgasm? I don’t even know because I’m not brave enough to try.

6. Counteract feelings of inadequacy: Yes, and that’s really the point of the film. Jon knows there is something wrong with him, specifically he can’t lose himself in sex the same way he loses himself in porn. His enjoyment for porn overshadows and protects him from his lack of enjoyment in real dealings with women.

He can’t cut it in reality. Remember, porn doesn’t ask anything of him, it doesn’t require any effort or work. Real life does, and if life can’t offer him anything resembling what porn does (essentially, simplicity), he isn’t all that invested.

Jon doesn’t take an active approach to changing this, but his fledgling relationship with Barbara along with Esther’s (Moore) growing presence steers him in a better direction. His struggles with passion and sexual relationships get exposed, and Esther gets him to consider the possibility that his dependency on porn may be a part of a problem. It’s hard to lose yourself in a breathing, living thing when the highest moments of arousal come from your computer screen.

Which isn’t saying that porn is the devil. I don’t think that’s what the film is communicating nor should it. Rather, addiction to porn and its version of reality has far-reaching consequences that aren’t realized until you can realize life without it.

Jon manages to trump many of porn addiction’s negative effects, but he can’t trump the biggest one of all. Jon may very well be superman, leaping tall hoes in a single bound, but he couldn’t survive in our realm, at least not until he was willing to leave his behind. In a bizarro continuation of the Gordon-Levitt movie universe, it’s just like Inception: you can delve into the dream world, but don’t try to make it your new reality. That’s how people get lost.

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