The Results of Our Porn Quiz

Last week, we asked our readers to share their thoughts about porn in an online quiz. Inspired by Don Jon, a film in which the titular character finds that his porn habit interferes with his ability to be intimate with women, we were curious: Did our readers find that porn was getting in the way of their sex lives, or just getting them off? 

Over one hundred of you responded, telling us about your porn habits, and your partners’. We also wanted to know about the role porn plays in your sex life, and how it helped (or hindered) shaping your sexual identity. We graphed all the info into what I like to call She Does The City Porn Pie. ©™® For a slice of sexy results, see below, but to me, the most fascinating responses came at the end of the quiz, when we asked readers to share any last sentiments they had about porn. The space that porn takes up in our lives is as varied as our attitudes towards sex itself. What is especially interesting is that people’s feelings about porn didn’t always have to do with sex. 

For some, porn seems to be empowering: A way to take control of your own arousal, to achieve orgasm independently, to get turned on with or without a partner. But for others, porn had nothing to do with making you feel sexy—in fact, some readers described porn as a hindrance to their own sexual confidence, saying it desensitized or jaded viewers to sex. “Internet porn has been a detriment to intimacy, expectancy and realism of what a women wants,” wrote one reader. “How many guys have asked if they could cum on my face? Like…really?” Others said that the stereotypical physical norms portrayed in mainstream porn made them feel less confident in their own sex lives. But some thought it was attitudes surrounding porn, not porn itself, creating problems. “The taboo is a barrier to having real conversations about the reasons behind the draw … Without the barrier, trust is built, we can accept porn is out there, take control over its meaning.” 

Some readers have had no problem taking control. “I like to watch porn where the ‘actors’ are engaging in activities that I would probably never engage in,” wrote one reader. “For me, porn is a fantasy.” But those who watch porn usually felt that it should occupy a different role than true physical intimacy. “It should never replace sex, but relieve you when you can’t have it, and to add spice in bed.” This was one of many responses characterizing porn as a supplement to a healthy sex life. “Porn is good way to learn what pleases you and a good way to learn what not to do in bed.” But porn’s therapeutic strokes extend beyond your sex life with a partner. “I find sex or the orgasm specifically very necessary. It’s a great stress reliever and a good break from everything else. If I had a partner I would get that from him but since that is not an option for me right now porn really helps.” Perhaps one reader summed it up best by writing, “As with anything in life, porn isn’t consistent.” 

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