“not conducive for sobriety”: Sex Addiction and Neoliberal Masculinity in Don Jon and Thanks for Sharing


  • Joel Gwynne




sexuality, masculinity, pornography, addiction, neoliberalism


Thanks for Sharing (2012) and Don Jon (2013), share similarities in their representation of the lives of unmarried men who are all approaching midlife, and who are all struggling to build meaningful, monogamous, long term attachments with women. In Thanks for Sharing, Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is addicted to brief encounters with numerous partners in contexts devoid of emotional intimacy, while a fellow member of his sex addicts support group, Neil (Josh Gad), struggles with a compulsion to touching strangers in public locations. In counterpoint, Don Jon charts the protagonist’s insatiable consumption of online pornography, since Jon believes that the virtual domain provides a far superior sexual experience than anything, he could find in real life encounters with women. This article is concerned with the relationship between sex addiction and masculinity, and how neoliberalism is imbued in the characters’ embodiment of masculinity regardless of their divergent social backgrounds.


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How to Cite

Gwynne, J. (2021). “not conducive for sobriety”: Sex Addiction and Neoliberal Masculinity in Don Jon and Thanks for Sharing. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 9(1), 181–199. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2021.320