Sex Advice

09.29.13

‘Millionaire Matchmaker’s’ Patti Stanger On ‘Don John,’ Porn Addiction, and Relationships

Jersey native Patti Stanger, the host of Bravo’s ‘Millionaire Matchmaker,’ on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new film ‘Don Jon,’ about a vain Jersey boy-porn addict who has trouble romancing a Jersey gal who believes in fairytale endings, played by Scarlett Johansson.

First things first: I loved the movie. I enjoy movies that are told from the perspective of men, because it’s a great way for us women to learn about what goes on inside their strange heads.

Don Jon (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is simple-minded—he’ll work at a bar for the rest of his life—and he doesn’t care. He’s a mini-version of his father, played by Tony Danza. And he’s a good kid. He goes to church every Sunday, and goes home for dinner every Sunday night. He’s also a shallow boy who has to hit the gym, and he’s the leader of his posse. He basically has his routine where there are five things in life he loves, but it doesn’t include a woman, and he likes to have sex, but it doesn’t include loving a woman. He’s not looking for his wife.

Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) is living in Cinderellaville. She sees a prototype of the guy she wants—he’s good-looking, and nice—and she wants to take him to the next level: the house, the kids, the dog, you gotta get a better job, you gotta go back to school, etc. She tries to change him from who he really was, and she has her own agenda. Her perception of love is very different from his. He just wants to land 10’s. She wants the fairytale. Now, some girls just want to have fun. They go to Vegas, they go to bars on weekends, and they just want to get laid. But when he comes across ScarJo, who says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa: no sex before monogamy”—which is my role—he has to pay the toll. She sets the tone, and is the leader of the relationship. So, she demands that they take things really slow. She investigates him, meets his parents, and meets his friends. Her cooch is the golden cooch. And with her, Don Jon learns that it’s good to wait. His porn addiction has nothing to do with him giving her monogamy—he wanted to give her monogamy—but when Julianne Moore’s character comes along, she teaches him to make love to her, and not just a body.

But Porn is everywhere. You can turn on the TV and buy it, or go to PornHub, like they do in the movie, and get it for free. And every kid spies on their parents and sees their computer history. Plus, you have porn stars like Jenna Jameson and Sasha Grey going mainstream. Or, you watch Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson, and they make a sex tape, and it goes viral, so people think it’s cool on some level. Do I think it’s cool to do porn? It’s a special kind of girl that does porn, and it’s usually somebody that’s had a horrible childhood. But a lot of mainstream girls are using porn to get noticed. Porn is like what Playboy was, where you’d appear on the cover and become pseudo-royalty, and now, if you do porn you’ll get a reality show, like Kim Kardashian. It’s the Paris Hilton blueprint to get yourself noticed. Teen Mom’s Farrah Abraham just did it, and some people are criticizing her for it, and some people are OK with it. It depends on your perception of porn.

There are those girls who are very prissy and think that a guy’s cheating on you when they watch porn, and then there are the other girls who watch porn with the guys who really like it. I don’t think Don Jon found that type of girl in the movie. Not all girls are like ew, porn. Some girls like porn.

But Barbara’s thinking that he’s cheating, he’s a pervert, and he’s a creepy man. She thinks it’s revolting. But he has an addiction. Porn is entertainment once in a while, it shouldn’t be a daily routine you have where you can’t get off without it, and don’t feel sexually satisfied without it. Don Jon is so addicted to porn that he needs perfect hips and boobs in a partner, and it’s an impossible task. A man would feel emasculated if a woman watched porn, too. We, as women, can’t live up to this impossible standard, and shouldn’t feel like we’re not good enough.

I’ve had a lot of guys addicted to porn, and I told them to get therapy. It’s almost like a woman to a vibrator. If a woman spends all her life playing with a vibrator, she can’t come with a man. Usually, the vibrator is way better than the man at making you come quicker. So, it’s insurance, and the man looks at porn as insurance, like, I’m going to always come. So I had one guy that always put porn in the bedroom and one woman didn’t like it, and he eventually told her he couldn’t come without it, so I had to send him to a sex therapist. She gave him rules, and the first rule was that he had to go 90 days without porn. He could still masturbate and have sex. The couple eventually got married, but it took him a year-and-a-half to break the habit.

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Patti Stanger (Mike Coppola/Bravo)

When it comes to relationships, I always tell women you take it slow, you investigate—just like Barbara did—but if he doesn’t want what you don’t want, it’s not going to work. And if he has a different agenda from yours, then it’s not going to work. Don’t live in a world of illusion or fantasy because it’s not going to work. We all live in a world of lust for the first six months of the relationship. After six months, this period comes in which is called the “negotiation stage.” Women who want to get married will rear their ugly head at six months, and men who say they will marry them and change their mind will, too. So, you need to make sure that the guy is really in it to win it, and isn’t just using you as his temporary girlfriend. 

To get your skill set back, you should be with an older woman—like Don Jon with Esther (Moore). You go slower, you don’t hit it as quick, and it’s not wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. You learn your repertoire; you learn to hit the g-spot. I think it’s only about 30 percent of women that can climax through intercourse, and the rest climax through oral or manual stimulation. And here’s the worst part: Don Jon hated oral sex. But you want me to go down on you for an hour? It has to be tit-for-tat. You better learn to love pussy, or you’re not going to get it, and your relationship is going to fall apart.

The middle ground between Don Jon and Barbara is that they never really talked about what they wanted in life. Did he really want to go back to school, or was he just doing it for her? They never talked enough, and it was more about sex. She gave sex to get what she wanted, and he wanted the sex, so he did what she wanted, and tried to change into the man he thought she wanted.

Visit Patti Stanger’s website, Attracting a Soulmate, which tries to help users find their soulmates.

As told to Marlow Stern.