Ian Kerner's follow up book, He Comes Next: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Pleasuring a Man, didn't prove as fruitful but it wasn't too shabby.
This book is available in used condition for a fair price and new for a not so fair price on Amazon. Most are used as this title is no longer used for this book. I'm not sure why that is as I do think the title is appropriate for a sequel as is the cover art.
The book is now titled, Passionista: The Empowered Woman's Guide to Pleasuring a Man. Recently I came across these books in my library and started flipping through them again. I always highlight meaningful passages in my books (including novels) and I find that when I come back to books years later, I find new passages which provoke me to whip out the highlighter.
Within the second chapter of the book, Male Sexual Response: A Protected Process, there is a segment entitled, Pondering Porn. Here, Kerner jots down two quotes from two men who speak about how pornography has negatively affected their ability to thoroughly enjoy sex. Sure, this is the opinion of only two men but I imagine they are not alone in their experience.
"I feel like porn has sort of fucked up my sex life. I feel like I don't know how to slow down or appreciate all the parts of the process that lead up to orgasm. I get aroused so quickly, I fast forward straight to the money shot, and I'm done. I don't watch any of the foreplay because I'm already ahead of it. I just want to get straight to the orgasm. And when I'm with a girl, I get nervous and scared because I've gotten sex to this place where it's totally defined by orgasm."
--Matt, twenty seven, graphic designer
"When I was a kid, I jerked off to magazines, but at least then, I had to fill in the gaps around the pictures. And I remember that as I was masturbating, the girl in the magazine would turn into the girl I had a crush on or, later in life, the woman I was going with. The photos were a sort of a starter. But back then masturbation was an extension of the erotic life. With movies, it became easier. I didn't need to fill in the gaps. Masturbation was less work, and I guess I got lazy. I let the images do all the work instead of using my imagination. But the orgasms also became less meaningful, more disposable. I didn't feel any connection to my own inner erotic life. I wasn't masturbating anymore to my own past or current experiences, real women I had been with or wanted to be with for that matter. I kind of lost in all the visuals. I don't think I've jerked off inside my own head, without porn of some sort, for years. But it's also lonely and hollow. I always hear that masturbation is healthy, but I wonder if that's true -- at least the way I go about it. Masturbation used to be a way of going inside myself, now it's a way of avoiding life. I used to feel energized and vital after masturbating. Now it just makes me feel depressed."---Jonathan, thirty, Web content manager
For some, the sexual experience becomes more about an orgasm -- more about the end result, rather than the beginning and the middle. The above quotes offer insight into reasons as to why pornography is problematic. These are reasons that are not often considered when addressing the consequences of porn. Porn is a problem because it strips sex of what it can be, and what it is for so many people.
And yes, porn is a problem because it features women as play things (speaking mainly of heterosexual pornography) and less than human. It is a problem as it sends the message that whatever penetrates is giving and whatever envelopes is receiving. It sends the message that whatever enters is dominant and whatever is being entered is submissive. Both give, both receive and both are not just dependent on the other but also dependent on themselves to experience pleasure. Porn does not show us this; porn does not allow it.
Porn is devoid of connection and yes, sometimes that's exactly what people want. Even so, those who utilize pornography may not be considering the lives of the women who's job it is to make sure the audience believes that she is ALWAYS willing and ALWAYS wanting more. That whatever a man wants her to do is what she wants to do as well.
Porn is an easy way out. One doesn't have to concern themselves with their own anxieties about sex and performance nor communication about these things. Pornography is about control and those who hold the clicker as scepters in their hands are able to pause, fast forward and rewind as much as they want. So, porn as we have learned here, does not only exploit women (and men) but it robs us of a full and authentic sexual experience. It also assists in creating fantasies that are dehumanizing as well. So, when the porn is removed the images remain.
So, for even those men who do not find porn to be oppressing (which I think is most), it is important to understand that porn has the potential to have lasting affects on a man's ability to experience anything different than what porn has to offer.
As Kerner tells us, "Men deprive themselves of the time to luxuriate in fantasies an desires that are personal and individualized and frequently turn to the generic visuals of porn to catalyze the process. More and more men are turning away from their intimate relationships as a source of sexual exploration and settling, instead, for erotic junk food."
Porn is here to stay and that means that those who consume it are running certain risks -- too many, to name here. But it is worth mentioning that for those who enjoy it, especially men, the consequences of porn are often overlooked or ignored in order to receive the payoff. The skewed presentation of sex, the exploitation of women, and the disregard for the personal stories of the women behind the scenes are only part of the problem. Men suffer too, and it is up to men to investigate how porn is affecting their lives. So, fellas this is something that only you can do for yourselves. Women cannot do it for you. To the men who are willing to introspect, know that you are not the only man who has struggled with their porn use.
Ian Kerner is a sex and relationship therapist who once battled with sexual dysfunction. Kerner is also a national speaker a columnist for NBC TODAY. Kerner contributes a variety of magazines, blogs and other sources of media.
To learn more about Ian Kerner and his writings, visit his official website, here.