Friday, January 31, 2014

Don Jon

Ryan Carpenter
Warning, Don Jon spoilers.  The movie Don Jon is about a man named Jon who enjoys masturbation more than sex and ends up dating a girl named Barbara Sugarman who tells him not to masturbate/watch porn.  In the end, they end up breaking up over Jon lying about stopping and he ends up with a girl named Esther in his college class who lost her family a bit over a year prior. This relationship allows him to really connect/lose himself during sex and he ends up stopping masturbation because of it.  Although lying about masturbating was obviously wrong, masturbation itself is completely normal.  Everyone I regularly hang out with would admit to masturbating and believe that it is normal.  In fact, between ages 18 and 49, around 80% of men and over 60% of women say they masturbate [1].  Telling someone that they can't masturbate such as when Barbara said it to Jon when 80% of men do it isn't necessarily a simple request.  Although, if they request was because he seemed to concentrate more on masturbation than her (which he did), it would be a bit more reasonable, but based on the other ways Barbara tries to control him such as not allowing him to clean, the request appears to be more about her initial reaction to it than him not connecting emotionally.  If I was asked to not masturbate just like Don Jon, I don't know how I would feel about the request itself, but I could go without it.  I don't masturbate as often as Don Jon does and I have gone multiple months without masturbating at all.

Although masturbation itself isn't wrong to do, Don Jon takes it to the extreme averaging multiple times a day.  For undergraduate students, men masturbate on average 12 times a month [2].  Jon tends masturbate more than this in just a week.  He tends to use it as a way of relieving stress and separating/losing himself from the rest of the world.  It may work when he is single, but when in a relationships, it disallows him from connecting with others during sex.  Esther ends up being the one who allows him to connect in the end.  In my opinion masturbation shouldn't get in the way of the rest of your life or connecting with others like Don Jon did.  I think that he ended up getting caught up in one night stands and started relying on himself for emotional support instead of others.

[1] "Frequently Asked Questions to The Kinsey Institute." (working paper., The Kinsey Institute, 2010),

[2] Herbenick, D. Sexuality and U, "Statistics." Last modified 2010. Accessed January 30, 2014.

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