Archives for posts with tag: Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew

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Published today in The Fix and responded to in The Advocate….

On October 1st I will be 16 years sober.

That means that I have not had a drink or a drug for 16 years.

I got sober and I didn’t relapse.

Gay men find it impossible to stay sober. They relapse again and again. The reason is clear: sex. Sexual addiction. I am not suggesting that all gay men who claim that they are alcoholic are in fact sex addicts but most gay men who can’t stay sober cite sex as the primary reason for relapse.

The simple fact of the matter is that most of the time, readily available anonymous hook ups quickly take the place of alcohol and drugs. When a sober man walks into the apartment of a super hot man doing crystal meth, sobriety is quickly flushed down the toilet along with HIV status.

I hear the story over and over again. Yet, as a community, we think we can get away with this risky behavior. It is an arrogant vanity.

Gay AA is a sad affair. I go periodically—mostly when I flee the super charged straight stag meetings because I find the straight, young newcomers too triggering.

While many straight sober people create a new life with AA that involves abandoning bars and other locations that might lead to relapse, gay sober men often want a sober version of the life they had before, complete with dance parties, bars and gogo boys. Any reason to have a party will do—including the absurd “three-month anniversary.” Or, as one galling invitation I received said, “Help Joe S. celebrate his one-month anniversary.”

Forgive me if I’m wrong but anniversaries are a yearly celebration.

Many of these sober parties are indistinguishable from their non sober equivalent: scantily clad men line up for espresso machines manned by disco short-wearing super hot straight guys more used to shaking cocktails than dispensing coffee to gay guys jacked up on caffeine. Unable to attend drug-crazed gay circuit parties, many gay sober men in LA flock to the sober circuit parties, such as Hot ‘n Dry, which is held annually in Palm Springs. These events are more likely to take someone out than any other reason I’ve ever heard in gay AA. Yearly, after this event, bedraggled gay men turn up at meetings, their eyes blazing from excessive drug use, taking newcomer chips. Should I be surprised? After all, the Hot n’ Dry ticket salesman had assured me that it would be “a sex fest from the moment you arrive at the Ace Hotel.”

The absurd idea that we can behave like we have always behaved as long as we have a deluded and lackluster understanding of the 12 steps just doesn’t work. Two years ago, after I appeared on Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, I suggested that within the gay community, we might have a sexual unmanageability problem and was flooded with vitriol. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing what I believe to be serious issues.

The other serious issue within gay AA, in my opinion, is the resistance to God or a Higher Power. Most of my gay sponsees are understandably wary of God. The Christian God—the religious God—hasn’t made them feel very welcome in the past and has actually steeped them in shame and misery. To find that at the heart of AA is a God—even if it’s one of their own understanding—is anathema to most gay men. From what I can determine, most gay men just ignore the God part of the 12 steps—a relevant fact when the God part, in my estimation, accounts for roughly 90% of recovery. Working through the God options with gay men can be excruciating. Why bother looking for spiritual validation when they can get immediate validation on Grindr?

I used to love AA in LA; my love for it was actually the reason I first moved to LA. Now I hate it. It’s like a cult—sober grandees ruling over desperate men, the film industry providing the sickest of backdrops: men flaying themselves before agents and film executives in the hope of catching crumbs from the sober table I see this everywhere from the straight stag meetings, where misogyny and homophobia are expressed freely, to the sickest meetings of all: Gay AA in LA.

For all of these reasons and more, last November, after nearly 16 years, I stopped going to AA meetings. I was exhausted, disillusioned and utterly miserable. My last meeting in LA, at the iconic Log Cabin on Robertson in West Hollywood, was a gay meeting attended by 300 gay men.

I couldn’t walk away fast enough.

And yet yesterday, after a nine-month hiatus, I walked into a co-ed meeting in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was an hour early. I helped set out the chairs in ten neat rows and then I made the coffee. During the meeting, I shared my resentments and my fears and afterwards, a tiny woman called Dianne came up to me and let me have two full barrels of her tough love wisdom.

“It’s time for you to get fucking humble,” she said. “Come back and do fucking 90 in 90 like a newcomer.”

She was right. After months away from AA, I felt spiritually bankrupt. I stopped fighting and did what we are all meant to in the rooms of AA: I gave in.

Later that evening, the young man I helped set up the meeting took me for dinner. We talked recovery. This morning, we had sex. There I was, doing the walk of shame, doubled down. I had once again fucked a newcomer, counting days. It’s my story in AA. The younger men find my honesty irresistible and I can’t say no.

When I first got sober in London, the only gay men I met in AA were old queens at the Eton Square meeting. I met a couple of gay men in NA but within the deluded gay community, at that time, there was a mantra I heard over and over that “quitting was for losers.” Several years later, after celebrities like Boy George got sober, the rooms of AA and NA filled quickly with what we now recognize as gay recovery.

Back then I was accused, by my drinking friends, of being a contrarian—of rocking the boat and spoiling it for the others. As it happened, I was in the vanguard. I remember being hounded by drunken gay men who were outraged that I might, just by being sober, challenge their powerlessness and un-manageability. Of course those very same men now thank me for introducing them to the 12 steps.

After a few months away from AA, I am ready to start again but, as Dianne said, I’ve got to get humble, forget all those years of sobriety and do 90 meetings in 90 days. For the first time in a long time, I value my life. I should have left LA years ago but I’m a tenacious old queen; I didn’t want to let go. Just one more meeting might fix me. Just more line, one more Vodka Tonic and the crazy opera playing in my head might stop.

Walking back into AA in New York was a relief, a joy—just like it used to be. I want to be sober. The only problem getting in the way of that is me. But I know that if I’m going to be able to do it, I’ll have to learn how to say no to sex. As a single gay man, the consequences are dire if I don’t.

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I thought you might wanna see this:

BTW, for those of you who have recently started reading this blog and want to catch up with the Jake B/Duncan Roy ‘relationship’  fiasco….

Here is a quick recap:

I was a patient on Dr. Drew‘s Sex Rehab which aired on VH1.  I admitted that I found straight men desirable and re-traumatized myself with straight cock.

After the show aired I had many straight men contact me with a view to having sex with them.

They were rebuffed.

Jake contacted me via Facebook, he presented himself as straight.  He lived with his girlfriend of 7.5 years.  He told me he was a literary agent, interested in publishing my blog  (he wasn’t the only one) we met and became friends and I agreed that he rep me.

After getting to know each other and working together Jake then revealed that he was gay.  Not straight or bi but full on gay.  He sent me pictures of his penis and ass.  He told me that he loved me.  I was confused and greatly attracted.  I was flattered.

I lived in LA…he lived in NYC.  He skyped a great deal.

I genuinely thought that he would leave his girlfriend for me.  That’s what he said.  I made it PERFECTLY CLEAR that I wanted nothing to do with him if he did not tell his girlfriend Jessie the truth…in fact, I forced him to tell her that he was gay.

He was petrified that I would out him.

He finally told her the truth.  She, quite rightly, threw him out of their house.

He then started a sexual odyssey that did not include me…even though he called every day and accepted an expensive vacation to the South of France.

So, whoever it is (we can guess) that continues to send anonymous notes insinuating that I am somehow responsible for the Jake situation…go fuck yourself.  Jake is fully responsible for not just ruining his ex girlfriends life by lying to her for the past 7.5 years but also busting his way into mine.

I insisted that he tell the truth.

I could just dump our entire email correspondence on here if you are interested in the chronology?

Regardless of why I decided to get involved with Derek or The ‘A’ List I’m glad I did.  Our pretend boyfriend scam…it was fun.  Even though I have been portrayed as a smelly old man.

Pretending to be his boyfriend was absurd.   A joke.  I don’t know if that comes across on the show?  That we were faking it?

Occasionally I throw myself back into being ‘gay’.  I don’t have a very gay life on this mountain.  Most queens are totally appalled that I live here, so isolated, away from the urban gay idyl.

Tom calls it my Shangri-La.   Some men love it and for those I hold a special place in my heart.  They get it.  The dream of self-sufficiency, off the grid, chickens and home-grown vegetables.

When I pull off my country clothes (albeit RRL) and slide into something leaner I am dressed for the city.  Whether it is WeHo or ChelseaSoho or The Marais I am there to be seen, acknowledged and play that peculiar game of being ‘gay’.

I can live two distinct lives, maybe more?

In England my snooty friends called me a chameleon, meaning to insult me.

Surely being able to change ones color to blend in…is rather good?  To adapt and change as the situation requires.

In England, my England I learned to speak with a different accent, merely to be heard.

I am a cock sucking homosexual but I wonder if others see it that way?  What kind of gay am I?

Perhaps my lack of interest in sex makes me less gay, less human?

Remember when I was on Sex Rehab and admitted that the sex I had with men was traumatic?   People wrote to me and told me that I wasn’t gay.  “If Duncan Roy doesn’t want gay sex, he isn’t gay.”

They tried to throw me out of the gay club…for having an opinion.

Meeting the cast of the ‘A’ List was memorable because they have become, in their own way, icons.  For good or for bad.  I met most of them just once. At least three of them have admitted drug and alcohol problems.

I really liked Austin and his husband Jake who I could very easily imagine seeing here or in London.  They are good people.  I like Austin’s authenticity.

The worst of the bunch has to be…Derek.  As you will see tonight (if you can be bothered) I enjoy ribbing him on camera.  I used stock lines, old jokes that an overly sensitive American queen did not find very funny.

When the food arrives I say, “That looks like something that came out of your nose.”  That’s funny isn’t it?  I used it before and my friends laughed.

We hung out a few times but really, his lack of sophistication, curiosity and insight were wonders to behold.  He seems so incomplete.  Derek’s consumption of alcohol masking a sadness at his core…like so many untreated addicts.  A problem that a huge number of gays share but have no intention of resolving.

Derek has no business to be anywhere but where he was born.  Like so many gay men he has been forced into New York by small-town prejudice and an insatiable desire for cock.

A bland, mid-western bag of meat and bones.

He had no truck with history, our history, any history…he knew nothing of the city where he lives, of commerce, politics or God.   Eking out an existence with appearances at provincial gay clubs and gay pride.

Derek lives every moment in the moment, no awareness of where he had come from and no interest in where he is going.

Did he read Eckhart Tolle?  I’m kidding.

The power of now and only now and God forbid that you make me consider anything other than right now.

I am without context.  I am without past or future.

Damn!  This Queen needs a drink!

He is the antithesis of everything the other was.

I looked at Derek as one might a monkey in the zoo.  The gay zoo.  Trapped like a miserable, half naked gogo boy in his techno cage.   Evidence of his genus.  The sub species of gay to which we must all aspire.

Cocktails with orange slices perched on the rim.

Moisturized, combed, overly tanned.  The shrill laughter and meaningless conversation hurt my ears.

I can’t imagine what the viewers of the ‘A’ List will make of me but…we’ll see.  I am old.  I am not Peter Pan.  I have a beard.  I live on a mountain.  I have no sexual traction…time has eroded my usefulness to the gays.

It was an adventure into a life I have only the barest knowledge.  A sociological exercise.  Ripping open the wasp’s nest.

I hung out at bars and in clubs.  I questioned who I was and the choices I have made.

When I was approached I politely declined.  When they spilled their drinks on me I didn’t say a word.

Good God, such an incredible day. I didn’t make it to the island.

The beautiful Dane visited instead. We have a good thing going. He is incredibly sanguine. For a Dane that’s pretty damned unusual. He sweeps back his long hair, looks directly into my soul with his grey/blue eyes. When we hugged goodbye I could feel his heart pounding in his chest.

He saw that I had been hurt, that I was angry. He wanted to know what had been happening. I didn’t tell him about the recent past. I don’t want to sully this sweet arrangement with anything sour.

I went to AA meeting after he caught his train. It wasn’t a great meeting. A Brit with an attitude.

Spent the afternoon arranging my birthday party. After last years miserable fiasco in Whitstable with him and his anal leakage. This year I am going to push the fucking boat out. So, today I started planning. In a few short hours: Venue booked, performers booked. Dinner for thirty then a good old fashioned hootenanny for 50 more after dinner guests. Aleksa and Devon, Amelia…it’s going to be a blast. Publicist, photographers. Just like it should have been last year.

New York!

This evening I went to a bar called KGB on 4th Street to my friend Anthony’s poetry reading. He is definitely going to read at my party. He was fantastic.

On the way home I stopped in at This little Piggy on 1st Ave which sells, of course, roast beef. I stood at the bar stuffing myself with beef, drinking orange soda and tapping my foot to Frank Sinatra. To top it off he didn’t charge me because he recognised me from Sex Rehab. Ah, the spoils of war.

I am home now, just jumped off the phone. Amelia and I…plotting and schemeing.

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If Elizabeth really had broken up with Arun a few months ago as she claims..why is she having clandestine meetings with Shane Warne in hotel rooms rather than in her Kensington house?

I wonder if Arun remembers my dire warning for him to run as fast as his little legs would carry him when Elizabeth introduced us.  Much to his chagrain I sat him down like a good brother and told him that no good would come of knowing Elizabeth…only public shame.

That was when we were filming The Method in Romania when she was publicly toying with him to the amusement of her snotty friends and family.

Dressing him up in Mao collars at Richard James.

Shagging him in her trailer…you know the story.

I wanted to write a bunch of stuff about Elizabeth being a sex addict but I wrote a thousand words and then the computer crashed and it all vanished.  I can’t be bothered to write it again.

I was reminiscing about the first time I met Elizabeth and she was laying on the floor of her sitting room…her legs apart, her lips pink and swollen.

I wonder if she remembers telling me about her whipping club in LA?  How she loves to ‘take a man in hand’.  I wonder if she dominates Shane?  He looks like the sort of man who needs to be dominated, coerced, his power stripped from him by a woman, a good..strong woman like Elizabeth.  And..of course, we never mention the lesbian interlude.  Know about that?  I do.

I hear that she was in San Lorenzo last week looking a bit worse for wear.  Drunk.

I wonder who is looking after the kid?

The problem with Elizabeth is that she is a mere actress/celebrity when in fact she was born to be a high priestess or warrior princess, acolytes tugging at her skirt.  Gladiators hand-picked from the forum to pleasure her.

Poor Elizabeth!  She’s the straight equivalent of a gay ‘power bottom’.

Elizabeth!   Go and sort yourself out at Sex Rehab.  You are one of us!  You control every straight man within sniffing distance with your pussy perfume, the intoxicating scent of your vagina.

Oh, I have seen it with my own eyes warrior princess!

Until you get yourself a kingdom I’m afraid it might be rehab for you dear.

On an entirely different note…do you like my new socks?

You may have noticed, those of you who read this blog regularly, that I am slowly winding down.

Keeping the blog has been interesting but I think it may be time to let it go.

I won’t take it down completely but as I enter this next chapter of my life I may just post as and when I feel like there is something really important to tell you.  When we start truly making the film for instance or like next Wednesday when I fly off and face the music.

I committed to this blog as I have committed to anything…well, it’s not really a commitment.  It’s a compulsion.  I do everything I do compulsively.

It has closed as many doors as it has opened.  I met him.  The door opened, the door slammed shut.  It has without doubt scared people.   It has amused people.  I have reconnected to past loves, old enemies and shared with you all the most intimate moments of my life since Sex Rehab.

Much has changed.

I can sit here and beat myself up…or you, if you get in my way or piss me off.  I could continue doing that but there is no allure, no.

It’s hard to articulate what is happening to me at the moment.  A single man with no real idea of how to change that.  Stuck in CA or not?   Money in the bank.  Food on the table.  Dogs on my lap.

I have been going to my meetings.  There, returned to my family.  The family of men and woman I chose above and beyond my flesh and blood.  Open arms to greet me.  I crawled back into those meetings the walking wounded but, within hours, the promises made to me when I first entered those rooms felt achievable once again.

It is none of my business what you think of me.

All I really want, all I have ever wanted is peace of mind.  It’s really that simple.  I have no other ambition.

I don’t want to grow up.  I really don’t.  I want to be a kid…forever.

I understand that you cannot fix me.  That you cannot save me.  That you cannot pay my bills or wipe away my tears.  All you can do, all you have ever done for me is hold out your hand when darkness falls, as I tread each treacherous step and know that you are there.

That everything is just the way it is meant to be.

I am responsible.  I am able.  I am ok.   I am on my own for a reason.  I have faith.

The Sex Rehab show effect has been cumulative.   When it first aired I expected to be immediately recognized.  As the weeks and months pass more and more people come up to me in the street and introduce themselves.

Shown daily on VH1, making it easier for old ‘friends’ and acquaintances to reach out to me.  Long forgotten, now reminded by Sex Rehab re-acquainted on Facebook, twitter etc.

Reality TV is truly life changing.   Opportunities include film projects,  book deals,  lovers-I am anywhere but where I thought I might be at my age.

Outside, this rainy afternoon, the gardeners are pulling out tons of weeds.  It is good to hear them chattering away in Spanish.  So, that’s what life will be, a life of chattering Mexican gardeners until Dorset Mary pitches up in her airstream and tends the goats and the chickens.

I have to call the bee man today about getting the bees up here.  I know where I want them to go.

I wrote yesterday about crying, a commission for a new magazine.  There’s been a great deal of crying during the past few months as my focus shifted from the big picture to just one man.   Ones view narrows exponentially when one falls in love and at the same time balloons into something huge.  My tears were not often for him but for past traumas and relationships and deaths.  My focus became very shallow and as I retreat from love I seem to be more aware of the horizon.

I cried when my Darling Big Dog was killed. I sat in my bed for a week and sobbed like a child.  I am still prone to sink into that deep, black well of sadness, tears  flooding my eyes and my heart.

If I had not witnessed that terrible moment I would be a lesser man today.  In many ways to have suffered like that unleashed all I had been denying myself throughout the years.  So many times I should have, could have, would have cried but remained stoic and dry-eyed.

The architects have just been to the house to check out the layout.  She was a rather wonderful, practical woman with a great attitude.

My film is taking shape, the garden continues to give pleasure and I am getting into my creative groove.  Although I am still mourning the death of love I am looking forward to a brighter, leaner future.

Golly Gosh.  I was ready to write an obituary.  Now there’s some hope in the air and it smells so sweet-like winter flowering Jasmine.

To my readers:  I want you to understand something.  You don’t know who I am writing about.  You can guess but you’ll be wrong.   Even if you are right-you’ll still be wrong.

Men together?  I don’t understand how that works.   Can it work out?  Need I worry?  Just go with God’s plan and see what he has in store for me.  God’s plan never ever includes meeting a normal nice man with no issues who can be ready and willing to deal with mine. hahahahh.  Fuck you God.  Have I ever told you just how much I trust how God works in my life?  That whatever happens everything is going to be ok?   It’s all going to work out just the way it’s meant to be.  God, can you PLEASE not torture me by making me learn how to be patient? By making me be the one who has to be selfless?  Can you just give me a frigging break!

The problem with long distance relationships?   There is no comfort what so ever in the time spent apart.  The distance, the anticipation and the disappointment.  It drives me BONKERS.  In the Land of Needy I suddenly become King.

Wonderful times spent together are mirrored with miserable times spent apart.

Added to all of this it feels like I am being given the mighty heave ho.  Why oh why are relationships so DIFFICULT.  It’s not just me.   I know it.  Why can’t everyday be like getting up in the Jane Hotel feeling complete?

Now I understand why you don’t get involved with certain kinds of men.  Well, we all have to make our own mistakes don’t we?  One day you walk away and you don’t look back. But I can’t walk away from this one-there’s still fuel to burn.  It’s not exhausted.  Yet.  As much as I want him to tell me that’s it’s over.  There is something intoxicating about being loved.

It’s not who you think.  It’s nobody you have ever met.  Nobody I have ever introduced you to.  He’s a different man.

Yesterday was rather wonderful despite emotional long-distance telephone calls with this young man that I recently met in NYC.

I had a deliciously long cup of coffee with an occasionally tearful Jennie… tears of joy I hope.  We looked each other in the eye.  We talked recovery and lost love and new love and what it was to have sex whilst being present.

By the end we were hugging and smiling and everything was just how it was meant to be, you see… what ever real friends go through they remain real friends.  The foundation of our friendship was constructed almost exactly a year ago when we entered Sex Rehab.

It is obviously unshakeable.  The Lord and the Porn Star.

So, I arrived at Amanda’s for dinner, she was in a fractious mood but I think she may just have been hungry.  She has lost a ton of weight.

Amanda and Lady Forte had spent the day with their grown up children looking at universities.  There was some unexplained drama around how easy it was to buy yourself into UCLA.   Anyway, had long chat with Charles about helping him make a film this summer, a short film to get into film school.  I would rather like to do that.  In lieu of teaching at UCLA this year which I really miss.

Beautiful, clear days after the big rains came and went.   I am in Malibu with Cooper.  We are cooking, walking and gardening.   He has found a garden bench where, one day soon, the goats will roam.   He sits there and reads quietly, leaving me up here in the house to write my novel and call Verizon to add telephone services-a most frustrating task.

Sean, the goat and permaculture guy arrived yesterday afternoon.   He was much younger than I imagined.  He arrived with a black eye and a big smile and I knew immediately that he would be the ONE.  The ONE who would build the goat shelter, re-fence the property and redistribute the spring water into where the vegetables will grow.  He looked enviously at the spring and pushed his fingers into the soil and told me how lucky I was.

Sean explained how he intended pumping water to the terraced vegetable garden using a solar powered pump.   He explained how to deal with gophers and raccoons.   He explained how we would mulch the land and work with the subtle California seasons to our best advantage.

He wandered the property in awe and in turn it sprawled out before him at it’s lushest best.  His property, Sean explained, is rockier and dryer.  Everything is so green, here on the mountain, at this time of year.  The days are occasionally hot but mostly overcast.  Still, at 68 degrees a whole lot nicer than grey winter days in London or Herne Bay..or Margate.

Sean has chickens, goats and, interestingly, a small horse that protects the goats from the coyote.  My neighbor Trevor, who lives near the PCH, is worried about my keeping goats and chickens because he seems to think that they are impossible to protect.

The great thing about optimistic Sean was that he came up to the house without getting lost, armed with solution and solution is what I need.  As he was leaving I told him that I was excited to work with him, he grinned and said, it was going to be easy as everything I wanted he had just completed on his own property.

Last night hung at Amanda’s.  Delicious risotto.   Great company.

Amusing post Sex Rehab anecdote:   I am minding my own business at the luggage carousel at LAX waiting for my luggage when I notice that a bunch of 14-year-old girls have recognized me.  In fact, about fifty 14 year-old girls have noticed that I am waiting for my luggage.  Unable to escape I cling to one of the nearest fellow traveler for support.  “Help me.”  I say.  There is a frenzy of prepubescent window tapping and photo taking when out of the melee a teacher approaches me and asks, “Are you that guy from Sex Rehab?”  My voice is cracked and tiny as I tell her that I am.  She then calls over the girls who ask for autographs and photographs.  But, I’m thinking, I’m a guy on a show called sex rehab-surely you shouldn’t want to have your picture taken with me.

Paris 2009

I have not seen the final episode of sex rehab.  I may not.  It merely conflicts with the experience I had whilst I was there.

My memories of being in Rehab are wonderful, but wonderful is not real life.

Perhaps it can be?  Maybe that’s the point?  Or do I trade in tragedy like some trade carbon credits?

Don’t expect some elegant summation of the past two months because there is none, not from me anyway.  I have written everything there is to write.

Since we set those sleepy doves free for the finale of Sex Rehab I have been traveling.

I went to England, to my hometown of Whitstable, and sat outside Dave’s deli drinking delicious espresso and eating custard tarts.  In her famous oyster bar my old friend Delia Fitt opened native oysters and I reacquainted myself with friends who had a place in their heart just for me.

The Little Dog and I have been to New York and Paris and taken a ship across the English Channel so he could sit on my lap.  I stayed in Battersea with my friend Melanie de Blank and I walked all over London for a month losing a ton of weight.

Life was not without it’s challenges.

Whilst I was in Paris I called my dear friend John, bitterly complaining as I had seen a young man in the Tuileries who had shown interest in me.  I had walked away.  It was infuriating.  Is this what my life was now-to walk away from the main chance?  Walking away from sex was not going to be as easy as walking away from drugs and alcohol.

I was in such a beastly funk.  I called him so that he might congratulate me for doing the right thing.  I wanted a fucking AWARD.  He asked me where I was and I gruffly told him that I was in Place de la Concorde.

He said, simply, “Look around you, Duncan.”

I was standing in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I had forgotten momentarily to enjoy the greatest benefit of sobriety, to be present right here and right now.

The Little Dog's Train Ticket

My funk was instantaneously lifted.

Before the gift of sexual sobriety I went into every situation with an intention.  The intention was not to have a great time but to meet, intrigue, seduce.  Once that was gone, once the intention and the damage that thinking causes had been revealed I could truly enjoy myself.

I don’t want you to think that I sit around indulging the tragedy.  I don’t.  I am looking for all of the beauty that life has to offer.   Every day!

When I got sober from drugs and alcohol I was delighted by the simple pleasure of feeling the autumn breeze on my face.

I have seen many people die of the disease of addiction but as I tried to explain to someone today, each death re-confirms that I have chosen life and I must take it and live it.  Every death, every relapse another man has reminds me to stay sober.

I have a very short memory.  I need to be reminded..over and over again.

My public rehabilitation is over.  The show is done.  The cast and crew have gone their separate ways.  The relationships forged whilst in rehab are now to dust and that is only right.  We are no longer performers in a show-we are in life.

I am alive because I set aside my preoccupation with death and with some gift of courage and with a stroke of love, forgave myself.  I have lived in so much fear all my life!  Now, I am certain, it does seem feasible not to be afraid.

And what of these ugly sisters: Shame, Resentment and Fear.  No, no more.  Thank you.

Delia Prepares Oysters

The future seemed so uncertain, but I don’t live there anymore, not tomorrow or yesterday.

As for films and novels and the like, there is a backlog of them just waiting to be written.  They were waiting patiently whilst I concentrated on beating you all up with my past.

So, let me make you a promise: there will be no more films, novels or poetry that examine and re-examine my traumatic past.

No more collusion with the past.

Tomorrow I am going to write about other things.  I am going to write about life!

I get asked all of the time what the other guys in Sex Rehab were like to live with.  You know, we shot the show so long ago I almost forgot but I’ll tell you my impression of all of them here.

Frankly if I hadn’t been on the show I would never, ever have met any of them.  All of them were out of my social or geographical orbit.  I was only one degree of separation from Amber as it turned out but still, I don’t think we would have ever made time to get to know each other.

Nobody smelt badly except maybe James when he arrived.  Nobody had appalling table manners.  Everybody was mostly courteous, kind and inclusive-even Kari Ann.  Remember the way the show is edited tends to exploit the best and the worst of who we are.

Whilst I was there I hung out mostly with Jennie and Kendra but I had long and involved conversations with almost everyone.    Why did I hang out so much with Jennie?  What was it about her that I loved so much?  Well, for a start, she is hungry for life, for education and for new ways of thinking.  She devoured ideas and suggestions, she listened when I mooted Film School and I still believe that if she plays her cards right there is nothing that she couldn’t do.

Jennie has the correct balance of ambition and talent and the show opened a door into her hidden soul.  Listen, do I love her painting?  No, but I respect her for getting up every day and picking up a paintbrush.  Do I think she errs toward overblown prose? Yes, but she is a 26 year old ex-porn star starting over with a huge amount to learn, look at and consider.  With consultation she will get exactly where she needs to be.

There are still dark forces determined to unsettle her, unseat her ambition, and refuse to let Penny Flame forget where she has come from.  These vile bodies write vicious posts on her blog, they rewrite her wikipedia page.  I am well aware of these embittered, desperate people-they try to do the same to me but they can’t touch me now because, in the words of Quentin Crisp, I am one of the stately Homo’s of England.

There was so much time where we did nothing in Rehab and by nothing I mean no group, no therapy, no planned activity.  We mostly filled our time playing dominoes or cards.  Nicole was a genius at dominoes so I’ll start with her.

1.

Jennie and Nicolle really did not get on very well.  They shared a room but there was a tension that bubbled up between them and actually came to a head as we were standing in line off camera moments before we filed into Rehab Graduation.  I didn’t and still don’t understand their gripe but I suggest it has something to do with class and pre-history.  Nicole is one classy broad, elegant, chic, fierce.  One of those gals who came to Hollywood in search of that ‘Hollywood Dream’ and ended up being one of it’s finest victims.  Her Colin Farrell sex tape caused her to feel tremendous shame and ultimately isolated her from her friends and family.  She faced Hollywood’s dark forces head on.  Sex tapes are so often a double-edged sword, nobody really knows who, if anyone, will benefit.  What I found out from most of the women I shared time in Sex Rehab with was just how many of them had sex tapes with celebrities squirreled away for a rainy day.

2.

Kendra and Lucas are the sweetest couple and live with hundreds of rescued dogs and cats in a sprawling house in Northridge.  Kendra has devoted her life beyond ‘Kendra the Stripper’ to helpless animals and causes that fight injustice head on.   Whatever may or may not happen to our friendship I know in my heart that she will always be there for me.  She is the sort of woman who stops at the side of the freeway to open an abandoned cardboard box in search of kittens and puppies.  She rescued my dog Luna twenty minutes before Luna was going to be destroyed.  She has a huge, huge heart but seldom makes room in it for herself.  I know that her philanthropic life is at odds with what she has to do to earn money.   I am sure she is only moments away from the kind of woman she would like to be.

3.

Kari Ann needs to get the fuck away from David Weintraub. Her tendency toward men like him will destroy her life.  Now she is Miss VH1 super bitch I fear that no one will ever get to see the girl she could have been.  With men like David Weintraub crafting her existence she may very well end up dead, drowned in her own vomit whilst David parties in a joining rooms.    This deadly scenario is all too common in Hollywood.    One could imagine an altogether nastier narrative for David documented with grainy TMZ videos of him being hustled, half dressed and sweating into police cars crying foul.   I end up writing about Weintraub when I wanted to write about Kari Ann, there is a terrible irony to that-that he and men like him will always eclipse her.  Her meth antics on Sex Rehab were not as constant as the show editors wish you to think.  Sometimes we would just lay outside quietly chatting, giggling and smoking.  I will remember her best like that.  A sweet little girl with a meth habit.

4.

Phil Varone, don’t you just love him?   We all loved him.  What isn’t there to love?  He concisely articulated every problem he and others had.  He was and is a superb diplomat and sensitive to boot.  Watching him with his Dad has just made me love him even more.  Phil and I played Mexican dominoes with Nicole and it was over those plastic tiles we got to know each other.  We never locked horns, as I am wont to do with other males.   Phil went to Sex Rehab to do the recovery work.  If we had not been there I wonder if that work you see and relate to would have ever happened?

5.

During the interview process I told the producers that I likes surfer boys and lo and behold there was James.  The big problem was that I never found him attractive.  He, like Kari Ann, had arrived after a protracted period of drug and alcohol abuse and three weeks really wasn’t enough time for him to figure stuff out.  He had been paid a great deal of money to wear certain clothing whilst on the show and that initially galled me.  Maybe I shouldn’t have judged him so harshly.   After the ‘rape the shit’ comment he made to Jennie we got on very well and I even taught him how to knit.  Even though I didn’t get to know James as well as the others I respected his dolphin like sea talents.   We spent a day at Huntington Beach.  Watching him surf was a joy.

6.

Amber had a profound effect on me.  She reminded me of a very beautiful version of my mother.  Her emotions close to the surface, her aquiline elegance and sweet demeanor and real desire for recovery.   Her story is harrowing and desperate.  The enmeshed relationship she has with her mother, the loyalty she has for her mother, the huge price she paid for her addictions.  Hearing her story would make me cry.  The anger workshop we did, the paint in her hair, the way she almost flew through the air like an angel when she was throwing the paint and the eggs.  I will never forget the impact she had on me.  Amber, Phil and I had lunch recently at The Ivy.  I am always slightly in awe of her.  I always will be.

7.

Jennie, what more can I say?  We were, are and will always be friends in whatever shape God intends.  I am sure that my protectiveness will get in the way like it did when I now famously approached David Weintraub at Cecconi’s and challenged him after he was rude and demeaning with her.  I want her to soar higher than I ever did-even though I get envious when she does.    I want her success to fit her like a loose garment.  I want everyone to be as amazed as I that a woman with so much talent could have buried herself so deeply in the sordid world of pornography.   It amazes me that she touched the lives of so many men as a porn actress even if these broken men wanted to fix her with cheap, meaningless promises.    I have not and will not see her in her porn incarnation, I met Penny Flame briefly but do not want to meet her ever again.   I am privileged to know Jenny Ketcham.   Our relationship is not without it’s hitches but we are addicts right?  We are blighted by the disease of perception.  Both of us.

8.

Which brings me to..me, the eighth member of the Sex Rehab cast.  You know what addicts are like, they either hate themselves or love themselves too much and I am no exception.   I could make huge and grandiose statements about myself or I could tell you that I am a piece of shit.  I wrote that and I laughed out loud.  I really have no idea what the others would say about me if they could right here right now-but I could guess.  Kendra might say that I am a flakey friend who says he is going to show up but always gets way laid.  Amber might be suspicious of me and Kari Ann would say,  ‘I love you to bits but you talk shit about me’.   Phil would find something totally loving and appropriate and Jenny might too. James would howl and say something dudeish and give me a huge hug.  I would say, about me on sex rehab, like I have many times before, I am so glad that I got to go on the show and change my life because of it.

I get to write this blog and today, this very lunchtime, I get to thank strangers in the street who show their heartfelt appreciation of sharing all the work we did so honestly and publicly.  Thank you all so very much.

Bumble's Christmas Cake

1.

There were few people and fewer dogs climbing Runyon today.  I read some vile, homophobic comments on the Sex Rehab message boards.  I reported them as ‘harassment’ and they magically vanished.

When we were making our Sex Rehab show Amber told me never to look at the ‘boards’.  I vowed that I wouldn’t but vanity gets the better of me.  I want to know what people think.  Well, they think I am sanctimonious, they think I bullied James, they think I like having sex with little boys etc. etc.  They say that they would never let someone like me near their children.   They think I am brave, sexy, handsome, and more attractive with longer hair, less attractive with a beard, well dressed, and should have known better.

The nasty things people write sometimes turn me on-that’s the kind of sex addict I am.

Whilst Sex Rehab airs, I have enjoyed that so many thousands of you have bothered to read my blog.   The singular benefit of appearing on the show-that I have been able to share myself fully with you all.  As the show winds down and it’s treachery becomes apparent I will miss your kind words and kinder prayers.

2.

It’s hard when someone you love thinks that they know more about everything than you do.  I have learned to keep my mouth shut because ultimately it means little or nothing but at the moment, at that infuriating moment when I am being told things I have known for thirty years, I just want to say, “yeah, and?” but I don’t, I nod as if this is the first time I have ever heard these scintillating insights.

Whitstable Harbour Street

3.

I remember, as my mother approached 65 years old, she burst into tears.  She was crying because she had been looking in the mirror and seeing an older woman look back at her, look her in the eye.  An older woman than she remembered ever being.  She was crying for lost youth.  She said that she felt ‘the same’ but looked ‘terrible’.  There is a theme that runs through our family about lost opportunity, lost youth, unfulfilled dreams.  We were unable; it seems, to close the deal.

4.

Bumble Ward posted a picture of her freshly baked Christmas Cake.  I was thrown into a nostalgic tailspin for everything I had left behind in my Whitstable kitchen.  Bumble baked a rich fruitcake to which she had added cardamom and bitter cherries.  Every year I lived in Whitstable I baked a Christmas cake and made the marzipan from scratch.  I rolled out white, shimmering with glycerin, blankets of royal icing.  I would bake with whoever was around to join in on the fun.  Usually it was Georgina and her grandchildren.  We would drive to Sainsbury’s, buy heaps of dried fruit then haul it home and beat and stir and bind and grate.  Then, if we were feeling particularly ambitious we would make a huge Christmas pudding.

Blackberry and Apple crumble with Georgina and Henry

A great, steaming pan of fruit, molasses and shredded suet bound in white muslin.  Oh I love cooking so much.  I love the smell of allspice, orange zest and nutmeg, I love peeling almonds and soaking sultanas and currants in rum.  The house filled with the intoxicating aroma of Christmas baking and pine trees.  I love wrapping presents and serving mulled wine to my friends.  I loved cutting out cardboard stars and covering them with silver paper. I loved the little children singing carols on my doorstep and the rare Christmas when snow fell.   I love my glittering advent calendar and everything that a Christian celebration has to offer.   I loved going to midnight mass with my bawdy, drunken friends to sing carols loud and clear.   I love my Victorian town decorated festively.  I love Christmas.  I really do.

On Christmas Eve, after the smoky pub, weaving my way home through the matt black night I would sit by the fire and knit and listen to the sea gently lapping over the shingle.

Whitstable Christmas Beach

Phew. I am in Malibu. It is hot and windy.  Luna has vanished but she always returns, there are three acres for her to explore. The little dog likes to stay within a few feet of me; he has found his favorite patch of sunny carpet overlooking the property. The sea is sparkling in the distance and the palm trees glisten like cellophane in the mid-day sun. I think that these are the Santa Ana winds, my eyes are burning and I am thirsty-desert thirsty.

Luna just returned from her garden adventure, skipping up the path.

I wish I could accurately record the beauty of this place for you. Looking down at the valley below, it feels up here like a Tuscan hill fort or a Chateau overlooking the Cote d’Azure. Listen to the humming birds, smell the sweet Datura trees and the giant honeysuckle. Nasturtiums drift from the top to the bottom of the property. Huge succulents; agaves, aloe and euphorbia bloom at this time of year. Great orange spikes of alien flowers. I wish you were here.

Sadly, this may be my last winter in Malibu. The house is FOR SALE and I want to leave by the end of June. You know where I’m off to.

I started today in Noah’s bagels on San Vicente drinking a vast cup of coffee when a man approached me and asked if Cari Ann was OK. I told him that she was. It is still surprising to me when total strangers know who I am.

Yesterday I spent time chatting with my friends in New Jersey and Charlotte NC. I had dinner with Emily and helped her assemble her bed and watched Sex Rehab with her and the dogs.

Yesterday’s Sex Rehab was nothing like I expected. Judging by what was tweeted and commented earlier in the day I thought you all had seen what had really happened. To tell you the truth I was much ruder to that trainer than they showed. When I said I had a melt down I really did MELT. What you didn’t see was exactly who would catch the full force of my Anthony wrath. It certainly wasn’t smelly trainer lady.

A really beautiful camera assistant came to work one day with his jeans worn low revealing his perfect butt. He was a terrible trigger for me. I had a ghastly crush on him. They told him to pull his pants up but he was always letting them slip back down..

So, the meltdown referred to last night on the show was not with camel toe trainer lady but aimed at the camera assistant. I yelled for production to get rid of him. “And you can get rid of that!” I screamed at the poor boy- he was only doing his job. His ass was driving me insane in the same way Phil was being driven bonkers by Cari-Ann’s ass hanging out of her..out of her? Out of her. We were all so sexually charged by the second week of Sex Rehab; feelings were violently erupting all over the place.

BTW I apologized to the camera assistant and the Rehab tech.

I really loved episode 5.

Like many people, watching Jill’s ‘smile’ work with Cari Ann moved me to tears. Carri-Ann was a tough nut to crack. I was also quite teary when I saw my therapy revelation with Dr John Seeley. That was the first time I had been introduced to the idea of retraumatization and it made perfect, astounding sense. It was the smoking gun. It was the moment for which I had waited too many years.

That perfect realization for all to see and the anger revelation were two moments that I will take to my grave; they would irrevocably change my life. These insights had immediate effect on me. From that moment on I would no longer let Anthony defend me and I would always be aware of exactly what I was doing every time I entered that dangerous sexual bubble that leads to retraumatization.

OK. A little controversy:

There has been some debate/consternation on these pages about my views on the ‘politics of obesity’.

As with sex we need always to have a healthy relationship with food. As sex addicts we hold onto our old sexual behaviors as over eaters hold onto theirs. There is a huge amount of entitlement connected to sexually addictive behaviors. I assume, from what is posted here, that this entitlement may apply to over eaters.

Firstly let me tell you that I have a huge compassion for those of you who wrestle with your weight and the consumption of food. However, let me make my point once again:

The purchase of healthy food in the USA is restricted to the wealthy, urban elite. In countries where rich and poor shop at the same markets, where all produce is democratized there is little or no obesity.

Where processed food is sold cheaply to the poor or the poor are not educated to buy what may be considered healthy food or the poor cannot afford healthy food and forced to eat processed food-then there are higher incidences of obesity.

Freedom of choice can only exist where there is real choice and where freedom is respected. If I live twenty miles outside Albuquerque and all I have to choose between at the local strip mall is a Super Market full of processed food and a Subway..I have no choice. I cannot make healthy decisions. My freedoms are restricted. This also applies to religion, sexuality and education.

Both ‘sexual politics’ and the ‘politics of sustenance’ are in many ways very similar.

So, let me repeat this unpalatable truth: people are kept enslaved by debt, obesity, ignorance, fear and shame-all of which are endemic in the USA right here, right now. Educated people, hungry people, fearless people, shameless people are difficult to control.

In my opinion the ruling elite of the USA did not ditch slavery in 1865 they simply enslaved everyone else. To break the shackles of your slave master: lose weight, get educated, get out of debt and stop believing in a damning God.

BTW I am 54 days sexually sober..

Malibu November Garden

I remember sitting in a car with my mother.  Her car.  I am in my mid twenties.  The refrigerator that I just bought refuses to work and I have to return it.  I am so full of fear and shame and resentment that I know the only way I can deal with this very simple situation is to lose my temper-but I hate losing my temper!  I hated that the only way I knew to find the confidence to return a refrigerator was to get mad.  I knew, painfully, that I let myself down.  I said to my mother tearfully, “You know HE did this to me, he made me this way.”  I knew instinctively that the crushing blows of my step-father had shattered my confidence and caused a rage so violent it would define my existence.

It would take twenty years for me to know how to deal with my anger and then quite suddenly-it would be gone.

When I was a little boy I remember smashing every single thing I owned.  It was the only power I had over the world.  I smashed everything I loved.  I hated him so much.  I refused to be subjugated by my stepfather.  I could not fight back with my fists so I evolved a tranch of behaviors to defend myself-empower myself-some of which I have to this day.

Pat Carnes says, “Anger and sex can be fused in such a way that it is self-perpetuating, self-destructive, and once ignited, independent of culture and even family.. “

My rage comes from my desire to be free of bondage.  Every time I lose my temper I have the same feeling of casting off my shackles.  Yet, I cast off a great deal more.  I lose my temper at the talent agents and I walk away from a restricting situation and a career.  I lose my temper on the phone to the bank that refuses to acknowledge an error and nearly wreck the car.  I lose my temper violently with a man I do not want to tell the truth and the police call me to discuss the ‘situation’.

There are always consequences for my rage.

After my rage-I think about sex.   I go online and look at men.  I masturbate.  I want to be close to them.

I have a suspicion that on tonight’s sex rehab you may get to see me lose my temper.  Finally!  I am really not as nice as they made me seem so far.  I lose my temper twice during the taping of the show and tonight I lose my temper with the vapid trainer woman who wears her nasty sweats too tight revealing the outline of her vagina.  I think I may refer to it, angrily, as her ‘camel toe’.

This woman was almost certainly a ‘plant’ by the Producers to get the guys to talk more about sex.  I overheard the cameramen say that he ‘felt sorry’ for Phil and James as this ghastly, inappropriately dressed woman bends over in poor Phil’s face.  However, at that moment I was feeling vulnerable and worthless.  I was alone-my friends had gone with Drew and Jill to do art therapy and I felt ignored.  Within the context of the Rehab I felt ignored.  All of the cameras were on them and THAT alien woman.  My rage got the better of me and ANTHONY came to the rescue.

Who is Anthony?  Anthony, caged deep inside of me, only stirs when I feel embarrassed, vulnerable, besieged or when I need protecting from the conspiring world.

Anthony, my alter ego, was the Lord I pretended to be when I lived in Paris in my late teens/early twenties.  My charismatic, acerbic grunt; Anthony is invincible!  Anthony gets things done.  Anthony is the enforcer. He makes films and paints and etches and believes in God but he is also destructive, violent, rageful, addicted to drugs and believes that there is only room in my life for him and me.

Anthony doesn’t trust anybody.  He will convince me that no one is good enough, rich enough, intelligent enough or beautiful enough.  He will convince me, always convinces me, that I best be on my own-that if I don’t listen to him they’ll hurt me like I have been hurt before.  That I will only ever be able to trust him.

When he leaps forward to defend the helpless child I used to be my accent, posture and face completely change.

Anthony terrifies me.  When I am Anthony I stand beyond myself wringing my hands, imploring him to stop, to stop shouting, to put down the knife, please don’t say that to her..Anthony please.  After he has gone it is like a bomb has been dropped in my life and I am left to pick up the pieces.

As I found out in rehab the solution for my anger turns out to surprisingly simple.

They said that I had to get to know Anthony.   They said, acknowledge his attributes: his tenacity, strength, clarity but, they said- when ever he charges to defend you-coursing powerfully through your body, tell him politely to go way-that you can deal with this.

So I say firmly but politely, “Anthony, I can deal with this situation.  Thanks, I can handle this.”

He didn’t want to hear that at first, he badly wanted to defend me.  Now he listens and backs off.  I can feel him sink back into me. Thankfully he is beginning to trust, trust that I can deal with anything I say I can.  That I am not so vulnerable any more.

I had to learn to accept Anthony’s gifts and ditch the rest.  As for me, I am kind, thoughtful, sensitive, diplomatic but prone to people pleasing. Between us we have a chance at being a grown up man, the ying and the yang without the fury or the subjugation.

I had three great revelations in Sex Rehab and this was the first.  More will be revealed.

To all of you who wrote to me yesterday I thank you.   So many moving emails and messages, each one lending hope not just to me but also to every reader who may struggle with addiction.

Some people may think that this is easy to share so publicly what is usually such a private condition.  I assure you all it is never easy to reveal the secret life of an addict yet, if I have learned anything during the past 13 years of sobriety  it is this absolute truth: we are as sick as our secrets.  Every secret I keep holds me back from a shameless life.

I wanted to share a few paragraphs from the emails I received yesterday.  The ones that so precisely describe my own condition and seem to affect so many other people.

“I am living without TV and Internet at home right now, and Duncan, it is a pleasure! That was my addiction, 10 hours a day or more. The TV on, watching anything I could record, on my laptop doing really nothing.”

Internet and TV addiction.  Zoning out on either means that I can no longer have a TV in my house and have to severely limit my Internet use.  Inertia and procrastination.  It may seem odd to some of you (especially as I am a film director) but both TV and the Internet grip me from the moment I come into contact with them.  I don’t particularly care what I am watching-indeed when I lived in NYC I would watch the Home Shopping Network or QVC deep into the night.  Why QVC?   Because commercials irritated me and the HSN/QVC don’t have commercials.  To put your minds at ease: I was never compelled to buy a Princess Diana Doll or a cover all face powder but I loved the passion of the sales men and women.  In a complicated world their simplicity beguiled me.

“As for sex.. I had plenty in college like most people. I enjoyed it, now, being 27, the only sex that i crave is with someone I am in love with. I have not been in love in 4 years. The hooking up scene to me is old. Plus it helps that the gays in this are all superficial bastards.  If you do not look like an Abercrombie model, they have no interest in you.  One thing that has boggled my mind is the increase of bare backing! Why would anyone, not in a healthy loving relationship, want to expose themselves to a health threat that could kill em. It is just crazy.”

Bare backing-the scourge of gay community.  Formerly the preserve of a few fetishistic ‘bug chasers’ bare backing (unprotected sex) is now de rigueur in the gay community.  Commercials for anti viral drugs featuring Abercrombie type guys convince a generation of young gay men that HIV is no different from diabetes and can be managed with drugs-albeit expensive drugs that one is required to take for the rest of ones life.  Thankfully, I am HIV negative and want to keep it this way.  However, many men my age are ditching their condoms and their caution for ‘manageable HIV’.  It is a travesty that the drug companies are allowed to go unchallenged by the gay community.  Our politics have been high jacked by the gay marriage debate so issues of health and mental health are simply ignored.

“I just turned 46 last week and out of those 46 years, I was a sex addict probably 30 of those years. I have been sober from drugs and alcohol for the almost 12 yrs. I don’t want to get into detail, because I am sure you know the drill. Needless to say, I acted out constantly. I had no personal life and didn’t really see a LTR in my future. This addiction made drugs and alcohol seem like kids play.”

This, sadly, is the email that I get most from most gay men, the story that I am most personally familiar with.  Trading the idea of a long-term relationship for a life of sexually acting out.  It is our greatest problem and remains totally ignored by the gay press; the straight press yet needs the most attention.  It is the secret that we are sick as.

As I found out from my gay brethren we are utterly unable to have any kind of meaningful discussion about our sex conduct.  The gay press has totally ignored my presence on Sex Rehab for this reason.  I expected it.  Yet, if this unhealthy sexual behavior were not killing us, making us miserable I would not have appeared on the show.   It is essential that our voices are heard and heard-by each other.

The last email I want to share with you comes from a startlingly handsome 21 years old.

“I never knew u were a sex addict as well. Its funny because I have been struggling with porn addiction also, I felt the same way when I came to America, used masturbation to help me cope.”

The gay men who are most threatened by the message of healthy sexuality are those who believe that it is only the unattractive, elderly or somehow impaired gay who want to wreck it for everyone else.   It is obvious from our pornography, our clubbing, our drugging, our hook up sites, our literature, and the incidence of newly diagnosed syphilis and HIV infections that our sexual behavior needs scrutiny.

I am not in the business of taking anything away from anyone.  However, it would be irresponsible of me not to at least try and reach out to a community that I love and have served loyally as an artist all my life with a message of hope.

PS Thankyou Dr Drew Pinski for sharing my blog with your Twitter followers.  It made all the difference.

Thanksgiving 2009.  Hollywood California USA.

Today I have a great deal to be thankful.  It is odd to think that less than a year ago I was still ensconced in my porn cave.  Now, in the most public way, I am delivered from my unhealthy behaviors.  For that I am incredibly grateful.

As the weeks pass and Sex Rehab unfolds on VH1 emails arrive from all over the USA.  Mostly men and some women tell me the most harrowing details of their addiction.  I am most moved by the heterosexual men who reach out to me, for I am sure it is no easy task in such a sexually polarized country to do so.

These men and women who sit alone in their homes, forsaking humanity, searching for the perfect image, delving into the darkness of their souls speak volumes to me.  And it is to you and your courage that I give thanks this morning.

One gay man came up to me in the street and told me that at 31 year old he had never had a relationship, forsaking happiness for pornography and fleeting hookups.

A few nights ago another man sat in my living room crying because he could not stop looking at pornography, ‘the worst kind’ he said.   He was appalled and shamed by his actions and desperate to stop.

At times like these there is little ‘advice’ I can give.  I am there to listen and offer hope that lives can change.  That there is a solution.

There is a solution. I am here to affirm that this true.  If you are suffering any kind of addiction there is a solution.  For this I am grateful.

I have been very surprised that so few homo haters have bothered contacting me and for that I am grateful.

When strangers call my name in the street it is all so often to congratulate me for my bravery, to reassure me that they are on my side.  It is the hardest thing of all to put your hand out to another suffering man.  To make space at your table for those who see no way out of misery.

I am so fortunate.  Whatever happens good or bad I remain open hearted.  Whatever may be in God’s plan for me is really none of my business-but I can tell you one thing of which I am totally sure-if I can live without resentment, shame or anger then I am alive to receive the abundance of this world.  To me abundance does not mean houses, cars, and exotic travel.  Abundance means simply, to be sure footed in a world littered with treacherous obstacles.

My gratitude this morning is for life.  I am grateful to be alive.  That, at this very moment,  everything is just as it is meant to be.

OK.  LOVED the last Sex Rehab (episode 4).  They must have had some other editor edit this as it was interesting, pithy, moving and multi faceted.   Adored every twist and remembered acutely how I felt as I watched Amber and Phil let loose with the anger.

Jennie and I watched spellbound.

Well done VH1

p.s. I know that this is kind of arrogant but I really felt better looking in this episode.  Was it perhaps because I wasn’t crying?

After a couple of hopeful weeks I now despondently watch Sex Rehab.

Kari Ann, as we guessed when we were filming the show, would be the unwitting star. A post-modern Mildred Pierce.  The care and therapy I received whilst at The Pasadena Recovery Center was outstanding.  I am sad, however,  that the work most of us committed to has taken a back seat to Kari Ann’s crude camera hogging. Using Kari Anne as the narrative spine of the show may be VH1’s solution for increasing viewing figures but sadly it isn’t working-viewing figures have plummeted.

Simply, Kari Ann is not a very attractive TV personality.  Though I don’t personally dislike her it comes as no great surprise that once viewers realized they were watching the ‘Kari Ann Show’ they began flipping channels.

Viewers may return after Oprah airs the Sex Rehab special on Monday but frankly, I doubt it.   The damage has been done.

From my perspective as a film maker there are fundamental structural problems with the show.

Firstly, the ‘narrative’ of sex addiction is nothing like drug addiction. Alcoholics/Drug addicts commit to be abstinent from mind-altering substances. The ensuing drama is simple: Will they? Wont they? Most people understand the simple concept of not taking a drink or a drug. Most people do not understand, however, the concept of not having sex or sex addiction. Why should they?

Treatment for sex addiction often starts with a period of abstinence from all sexual activity after which the sex addict can then healthily re-engage with his or her sexuality. The cure for sex addiction therefore is: sex.  (As in the cure for overeating/anorexia etc. is: food.)  When we tell our stories as sex addicts we seek to define our unique sexual agenda-where our lives have become unmanageable and we are now powerless over our destructive sex conduct. Example: my ‘triggers’ includes straight identified men, chronic masturbation, pornography, Internet hook up sites and intrigue. These triggers are wildly different from Phil, Amber, Kendra and Jennie.

In Celebrity Drug Rehab each story has one extraordinary similarity: Pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization due to the excessive use of drink and drugs forces a life or death choice upon each drug addict. In Sex Rehab we all have extraordinary differences. This uniqueness simply cannot be explored adequately nor make great TV in the format as presented. We merely get a tiny glimpse into each character never fully understanding the individual addiction nor the solution.

If, say, the first episode of Sex Rehab had been an hour and half long rather than a TV hour of 43 minutes we might have had an opportunity to fully ‘know’ and engage with each patient. Allowing more time at the beginning of the series for each character to emerge might have lent a truer perspective on the patients, their unique addiction and their struggle. Subsequently our understanding, sympathy and enjoyment would grow only deeper as the weeks past-regardless of Karin Ann’s antics.

The other reason Sex Rehab may be losing it’s audience is the subject itself.  Modern American audiences may not be ready to accept a high concept reality show/documentary that so directly and baldly challenges our notion of healthy sexuality.  From what I read on Twitter etc. many are baffled, and remain so, by the very idea of sex addiction. Baffled by the notion of an ‘intimacy disorder’, by retraumatization, by sexualized anger etc. etc.

Sex is perhaps the only pleasure left to many, many young people who find themselves demoralized,  unemployed, foreclosed upon-with little to look forward to. The complicated message that Sex Rehab seeks to explore, but ultimately fails, may be perceived as challenging our personal ideas of decency-in as much as it may reinforce a Christian ethic upon a VH1 audience that has long committed to a much freer sexual code of conduct.

By dumbing down the show Sex Rehab VH1 have done a terrible disservice to sex addiction and those of us who suffer from it.

Tim Willis Duncan Roy Ryan Fox

Today, Luna chewed three huge holes in the passenger seat of my truck.   So, by 9am I was a little glum even though I am wearing a cheerful pink shirt and rather attractive cardigan.  It’s really hard to train a Pit pup though I think I am doing OK in the circumstances.

My Jasper Morrison sofa is a wreck and needs recovered.  Saw some gorgeous blood orange velvet on Labrea below 1st street but irritatingly had just missed the 70% off sale.  This sofa is a fucking mess.  The leg keeps falling off too.  This is exactly what happens to nice furniture when you share your house with a 70lb Pit.

Frankly I don’t care about the truck.  I bought it exactly for this reason: so I didn’t have to worry about odd bumps and scratches.  The holes are in the passenger seat-not my problem.  If the dog had eaten the Porsche however…

I’ve really enjoyed the past few days after the GHASTLY gay/lesbian/cuckold dinner party debacle.  Did I mention..and I’m sure I did..that Brett Easton Ellis watches SEX REHAB.  Worth mentioning twice as there are few people I am totally awe-struck by but he is deffo one of them.

Saturday was no less interesting.  Lunch with Dom at American Rag.  Still, I find it hard to trust him as he is prone to reveal that he takes a little bit too much interest in my life-in a rather creepy way.  The fact is, the fun part of our friendship is over.

Had early evening nap then Justin and I took a cab to the 30 years of MOCA event.  Drank cans and cans of diet coke at the 30 years of MOCA after party at my friend Jerrod’s gallery on Sunset.  Chloe Sevigny, Todd Eberle, some ‘a’ gays, Dom’s snobby up her own ass arts publicist friend Bettina Korek.  An enthusiastic Sex Rehab viewer woman approached me and told me how much she loved the show.   The Asian man in the HSBC bank also ‘loves’ the show.  Until last night I ‘loved’ the show.  Last night’s show was less lovable.

Anyway, Justin woke up with a magnificent hangover on Sunday morning.   I drove to Malibu and let the dogs run around the garden that has been transformed by the new gardener.   It is so incredibly beautiful there.  Paths, vistas, secret gardens, Bananas, figs and strange green pears still on the trees.

Justin and I napped on the hammock overlooking the sea then drove to Amanda Eliash’s brunch in Beverly Hills.  Saw Sharon S with Hamish McAlpine.  Love Sharon.  I warmly congratulated Hamish for his recent wedding.  I didn’t know he was a Kent boy,  I said cheerfully, ‘I’m from Whitstable’.  He turned his fat face toward me like a crude papier-mache doll and with a vicious sneer said:  ‘I hear that people smashed your windows.’

I was tempted to deny it.  I didn’t want to remember what had happened nearly 20 years ago but it was true-there was a time in Whitstable when my windows were being smashed and anti gay graffiti was being daubed on my walls.  AIDS AVAILABLE HERE.  As I have written before, growing up gay in a small town anywhere in the world has its drawbacks.  It was a very dark time.  I was scared, vulnerable and had nowhere to run.  To have this nasty, badly dressed, rich boy reminding me, mocking me-it was too much to bear.    I wanted to rip his over sized head off his flabby shoulders.  Frankly he couldn’t have done much about it.  He looks about 65 even though we are prob the same age.

I was in no mood to let this creep diminish me so I let him have both barrels and felt a great deal better when he finally slunk away.  Reptilian, homophobic Hamish McAlpine you are a very nasty little men.

We stayed at Tim and Amanda’s for a few more hours enjoying the cast of odd characters running around the house.  Ryan Fox very sweet young director, Finley Quaye’s girl friend screaming at him on the phone for the better part of an hour.   Justin looked happy.  I don’t think that he has ever lived like this.  I am going to dress him when we go to swankier events.

Jay Rayner, Clair Rayner’s son also there.  A jolly, piano playing food writer, long hair and full belly.  A little resentful of others making more money than he does but hey, most people are.   Jay lives in Shakespeare Road, Brixton in the house directly next door to where Jay Jopling used to live-where Jay and I would have the occasional tryst.  Rayner was also well acquainted with Whitstable.  Missed out on buying there when it was cheap. Apparently a great friend of the chef Steve Harris and family.  Jay Rayner, another acerbic Brit on US reality TV.  We talked about his mother and he made me quite teary-reminding me of Clair Rayner’s reassuring a whole generation that everything was going to be okay..she was the British Dr Drew Pinsky!

Amanda invited me back for Christmas day.  I accepted.

I loved seeing Tim.  I always do.

Saw SEX REHAB show. Like most people I am irritated by glut of Kari Ann material.  It’s a pity that VH1 made her the spine of show.  Poor meth head.  However, I won’t hear a word said against her, as she is very, very sick little girl.

In bed by 10.30pm.  Up at 5.30…etc. etc.

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