According to Joy Behar, monogamous marriages are a "life sentence."
Porn star Ron Jeremy, Craig Gross, founder of the anti-porn ministry xxxchurch.com, and psychiatrist Reef Karim appeared on Behar's Feb. 24 CNN Headline News program to discuss porn and sex addiction.
Behar compared monogamy to a "life sentence" after Jeremy noted that it's "a blessing" if a man is "sexually addicted to his wife" after "five or six years of marriage."
"If you're just sleeping with your wife, that doesn't sound like an addiction, that sounds like a life sentence," Behar quipped.
And despite Jeremy's claim about the "blessing" of a man being "sexually addicted to his wife," he indicated later in the conversation that he didn't grasp the true significance of monogamy when he argued porn can be good for a marriage and equated his career, in which he's had sex with "2,000 women" with Gross's marriage.
"I've been with 2,000 women - he's been with his wife like 2,000 times, same thing," he stated.
The porn star acknowledged that "monogamy is difficult" but went on to insist that because sex therapists encourage married couples to watch porn movies to spice up their sex lives, it's healthy.
"A lot of couples complain that after many years of marriage, it's not what it was in the beginning," Jeremy argued. "So a lot of sex therapists will say costumes, wardrobe, role playing, toys, exotic locations, abstention, and maybe a sex movie, you know a lot of couples do watch."
Gross, however, pointed out the problems with porn consumption, mainly that it creates a false expectation that is all about one person.
"When you watch a video, women can't compete with these porn stars. And most of the fantasy is what the guy wants," he explained. "Real sex in a marriage or in a relationship, there's two people involved that have needs and feelings and emotions. When you watch a porn, it is not going to do any good for your sex life because it's one-sided."
Gross also outlined how porn can directly contribute to sexual addiction.
"Eventually you're going to want more. What we deal with [in his ministry, xxxchurch] is people saying hey I never thought I would visit a strip club, I never thought I would cheat on my wife. I never thought I would go out with this escort and do these things but porn is not going to - you're going to want more," he maintained. "And we find that time and time again that people caught up now, whether it's affairs or just the wreckage that this has on your family, a lot it starts with pornography."
All three panelists agreed that sexual addiction is real, but Dr. Karim classified it as an "intimacy disorder."
"[Sexual addiction is] about the intimacy and the connectedness that's lacking ... it's an intimacy disorder. It's not about ‘wow, I'm having crazy freaky sex,' it's about what am I avoiding in my life," he told Behar and her other guests before noting that "60 to 70 percent of sex addicts have something else driving their mental health car." The doctor offered "major depressive disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder," as examples of other mental health issues often present alongside sex addiction.
Amidst crosstalk among the guests, Behar did note that monogamy is "worth it," but her earlier quip about it being a "life sentence" makes that statement appear hollow.