As pornography becomes cheaper to produce and easier to access, more and more people are forgoing flesh-and-blood intimacy in favor of digital erotica. So much so that experts have identified a new sexual orientation, "pornosexual," which describes individuals who get off by watching porn instead of having sex with someone.
Medical Daily published an article earlier this week exploring the ins and outs of pornosexuality, including a history of how it came to be, why men are the most likely to be affected, and whether or not it's a symptom of underlying insecurities.
In some ways, pornosexuality is quite different than traditionally recognized sexual identities—it's learned, for example, while heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are innate—but experts insist it's a very real phenomenon. Even certain Stern Show staffers in years past have admitted a strong affinity for porn.
There is a downside, of course. While experts agree porn is both a healthy expression of sexuality and a great way for individuals to learn about their own fantasies and desires, the article ultimately cautioned against a porno dependency, stressing "moderation is key."
"Using porn to replace sex in real life is like using a drug that numbs the desire to be intimate ... If pornography is used long enough, it may become the only way a person can get aroused," wrote the aritcle's author Lizette Borreli.