#NoNutNovember: How Online Pornography is Hurting Men

What is #NoNutNovember? This is not a new concept by any means, and seems to have originally started in the mid-2000s among the internet crowd who brought us into the “meme culture.”  What “No Nut November” refers to is a challenge to men to not masturbate for an entire month.  Why does it matter if men decide to stop having that private time with themselves? Simply put, in a society where everything men participate in is deemed “evil,” “oppressive,” and “misogynistic,” it is important to shed some light on very real issues men actually face. There have been a prevalence of articles telling us all why this November challenge is a “bad thing,” a way to cause “violence and misogyny” on women, as this article suggests. There’s nothing like feminism, rearing its ugly head, to suggest that a challenge for men is somehow really about women and oppression.  In our ever-growing dystopian society where there are no flying cars, but gatekeepers at every turn, and ever-watchful eyes, some feel the need to shy away from real people, and turn to other means of solace.

Men who have accepted the challenge are exercising, reading, practicing musical instruments, making art, and even socializing with other people more. So, I ask you, how exactly is this a negative thing? There is nothing wrong with taking an interest in health, culture, and social situations. This is called seeking an authentic human existence. This is not some diabolical plan by “the patriarchy” to oppress women, but rather a way for men to find genuine interests, and in some cases overcome an addiction to freely available internet pornography.

I got a bit curious as to why men decided to take this challenge in the first place. Studies showed that pornography consumption is linked to erectile dysfunction when it comes to real interactions with females. Why, you may ask? Because women in the real world typically do not act like the women in porn. This is a huge issue that causes men who regularly consume pornography to become disenchanted with real women when they do not behave as men are shown they do in films. A 1999 major cross-sectional study reported erectile dysfunction in 5%, and low sexual desire in 5% of sexually active men, ages 18 to 59. Previously there had not been data on such a young demographic. Another study published in September of 2016 shows a marked correlation between internet pornography and sexual dysfunction.

I had wonderful opportunity to talk with some folks and hear their personal experiences. What I learned was a bit shocking to me. I never dreamed that men could be so addicted to pornography, and need more and more extreme imagery to even get aroused. I will change the names of the volunteers who were kind enough to speak with me for the sake of their privacy.

One man whom I’ll refer to as “Rob,” was good enough to chat with me, and explained how his addiction affected is life drastically. “I used to look at provocative images on the computer but was caught a few times and tried not to make a habit out of it. During my senior year in high school I wasn’t too well and was struggling with depression, my family was not at a high point.”  Rob told me that after a prom date was not truly a “date” but more of a girl who just agreed to go with him as a friend, he started sinking more into the world of pornography. The girl he was interested in was not interested in return, as he was “not a strong black male.” Rob explained that he started delving into the world of interracial pornography, and got hooked. Feeling rejected by the people around you can have a profound effect on your self-esteem. Young men turning to porn, which never rejects them, and makes you forget your problems for the moment can easily become an addictive escape from reality. “Every time I ejaculate, I lose a piece of my soul. It makes me so anti-social,” says Rob. “I knew it was bad for me, but I just kept watching and wanking” he adds.

“James” informed me that “women have unrealistic expectations for men. We are supposed to look like ripped gym rats all the time, and be over six feet tall to even be considered ‘datable,' yet the women are all too often out of shape and demanding. It is easier to just watch porn to take care of the animal desires, and not deal with a headache.” When I asked him about if he needs more hardcore porn to even become aroused, he stated, “You do develop a tolerance level, I guess you could call it. What turned me on last year is not what it does it for me now. I do find that I need to find more extreme visuals to maintain an erection, at this point.”  

A young lady, “Kim” adds, “I knew a guy who could not get aroused unless he saw a woman on screen. Not even strip clubs or stuff like that works, she had to be on a screen, because he was so used to porn.”

In a progressive society where #MeToo is a huge fear, men are worried about even complimenting a woman, is it any wonder why people avoid natural, and authentic human interaction?  “David” told me, “I don’t know how to speak to women. I am worried about someone falsely accusing me of harassment for saying a girl looks pretty. I see whole careers ruined, and people tossed out of school. Lives obliterated over a passing compliment or touch on the arm. I’d rather just avoid potential problems all together and keep to myself.” David is not the only one with these concerns, “Matthew” was kind enough to share his views, “Women are so emboldened in this current environment, that it is scary to ask some on a date. Rejection is a fear, but mostly it is the fear of being accused of something one day down the road. Did I say something? Did I make an advance she did not like? Did she just regret our encounters and decide it was non-consensual? It’s not worth destroying your life over. Porn does not have these fears attached to it.”

It is examples such as these that are showing us why exactly western cultures have lower birth rates -- we are not even able to interact on a basic social level, much less find a mate and reproduce. Perhaps it is not some cataclysmic event that wipes out humanity; but rather the ease of stimulus and becoming too reliant on self-gratification.  The comfort in knowing you will not report yourself for nonconsenting actions, that will lead to our eventual extinction.  

Let these men accept the challenge. Stop shaming men at every turn, and let them rise (no pun intended) to the occasion to do something productive and/or creative this month. Stop shaming men for every little thing they take part in, and who knows -- maybe some of these men will break their addiction to pornography this month and find a happier existence in the world. Maybe, just maybe, there is hope for humanity, and some people will venture outside the protection of home and speak to other real-life humans once again.

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