Archives for posts with tag: Sexual addiction

So, yesterday, I’m on HLN‘s Jane Velez Mitchell show courtesy of CNN ostensibly to put the boot into a 67-year-old Colorado Sheriff called Pat Sullivan who paid young boys for sex with meth.

I started the show by acknowledging Pat’s sex addiction but then, halfway through, listening to the comments of the other ‘outraged’ guests I suddenly felt an overwhelming pity for Pat Sullivan.

Before being caught in an undercover sting he had been described as a hero…as a crusader against drug use.

During his 18 years as elected Arapahoe County Sheriff he had inspired the local population to trust him with their safety.

They re-elected him time after time.

The local jail was named after him.

What became of this man and his reputation? Arrested by young deputies, in the most desperate of situations.

67 years old, a walking stick, taking meth, living a double life, having sex with degenerate addicts and homeless people. Described as a ‘dirty old man’.

The closet can be a terrible place. A terrible dark place.

As Jake found out. The people you meet, the lies you tell. A double life can take a toll on you and those around you.

Unlike Jake, who stayed in the closet because he was a coward, Pat…50 years ago in rural Colorado had no choice.

He didn’t want to move to the big city and follow his sexual condition, he didn’t want to go be a criminal in another city (homosexuality was outlawed 50 years ago) so, he married, had kids and became the town hero.

Having a career as a hero in rural Colorado for a gay man in the 1960’s was not an option.

Pat looked after the people of Arapahoe but didn’t look after himself.

Now, revealed for all to see. As sick as his secrets.

I’m sorry Pat didn’t, couldn’t get help.

Perhaps he will now.

Everybody seems very excited by Steve McQueen‘s new movie Shame.  Apparently about sex addiction.  Let’s hope that he got it right.  Strangely this was the theme and title of my sex addiction memoir.

The one that JB and I were working on.

It got me to thinking about shame and how most people (some people) have done things that they are ashamed of, unwilling to admit to, unwilling to own.   Even my Christian aunt admitted an unspeakable horror (to her mind) from which she still reels.

That’s how organizations like the Scientologists enslave their members…by getting them to admit their darkest secrets then threatening them with unsightly revelations unless the game is played their way.

I know a sex addiction ‘therapist’ like that.  He knows a little bit too much about powerful people…and lives a good life on the back of their venal sin.

As I have mentioned before…gay people tend, once out, to jettison or rather speak more freely about subjects others may find taboo.  We must have always been like this…hence shame based organizations like the church…out lawed us.  If they can’t shame you into submission…well, what’s the point of your existence?

Gay people in the christian warrior church, the republican party and signing up for the super chic nazis.   I am being ironic.

I never really understood the appeal.

Anyhow, lets hope that the film Shame is good…and not sensational or stupid.  I think Steve is the kind of guy who can get this right.  The trailer is very worthy….very serious.

Sex conduct is a touchy theme…as we found out.

Ugly Sisters

My name is Duncan and I am a sex addict.

The first time I qualified as a sex addict…I felt like shit.  Attended by my ugly sisters:  Shame and Fear, I sat miserably in my first SAA meeting waiting for the 60 minute nightmare to end.

Imagine what it must feel like to announce to the whole world that your sex conduct has gotten the better of you.

Today Anthony Weiner is shamefully headed for Lord knows where to get ‘treatment’.  Will that ‘treatment’ be for depression, intriguing, internet pornography or compulsive/chronic masturbation?

Is Anthony Weiner a sex addict?

My fellow sex addict friends think he is.  I am not so sure.  Not sure until he is sure.

It is not up to me or anyone else to diagnose his problem, it is up to him.   We live in prescriptive times.  It is certainly not up to my sex rehab therapist Drew Pinsky and ‘experts’ like him who will no doubt castigate poor Weiner dog for his unmanageable sexting/twittering if he hasn’t done so already.

If I were Anthony Weiner I would be feverishly trying to plug the broken sewer that is currently flushing away his political credibility, his relationship with his heavily pregnant wife and his healthy 61% majority.   I too would be heading for a spell in a ‘therapeutic facility’.  Treatment might just mean a little time away from the media incubus that presently seeks to impregnate Weiner with all the evil of the modern world.

What the fuck do we expect of our elected representatives?  That they are no longer entitled to the shortcomings we all share?

Why should congressmen have such unrealistic expectations heaped upon them?

Anthony Weiner has not broken any law.  Not yet.  He allegedly chatted innocently with a 17 year old girl.  What ever improper thoughts he may have had he did not act upon them.   This isn’t, as the media are describing, a ‘SEX SCANDAL!’ because there isn’t any sex.

This might be a Jerk-Off Scandal!  Ostensibly an Intrigue Scandal!  Allegedly a Bare Chest Scandal!  At the very worst a Picture of a Hard Penis on a Cell Phone Scandal!

Monday update: President Obama describes the Weiner sex scandal as a ‘distraction’.  Frankly, I am more distracted by the dodgy shenanigans of the laconic Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas.  The lies, ethical violations and conflicts of interest that, ironically, Weiner was hoping to expose.  

Weiner, unlike Thomas, is no crook.

Nancy Pelosi is demanding Weiner’s resignation when others in Congress have done far worse with real people rather than fantasy folk on the internet.

Internet addiction in all its very many forms is a world-wide epidemic, it affects millions upon millions of men.

Ordinary men, who at this very moment, are ensconced in private places away from their friends and family compulsively exploring the darker side of the internet: in ‘the zone’ as we say in Sex Addicts Anonymous.

There may be minor consequences for those who get caught…unless, of course, their internet use is deemed illegal or so sustained that they have scabs on their penises or they get violent if  taken away from the intensity of the screen.  Most relevantly…if their careers are compromised…jeapodised…lost.

Men take risks that seem entirely manageable until they bust their nut…then they can slink away from their screen to clean themselves up and rejoin humanity.  Real people versus the fantasy that takes them away from the stresses of an ordinary world.

A toxic, ritualized compulsion driving the hapless clicker further from wife and children to unimagined places that only the internet can reveal.

Let us not forget Voltaire’s observation that ‘Illusion is the first of all pleasures’.

I have a huge amount of compassion for Weiner.  He has been caught sending lewd pictures of himself to strangers.  His ‘perversion’ is undoubtedly a product of the modern age.  An age where I too, posting this very blog, live in a world of imaginary readers, little consequence and sexual hopelessness.

Sometime in the near future a contrite Weiner will stand before the press like Tiger Woods before him and admit his powerlessness.  He will, unwittingly, confess for us all.  For the shared sins of viral infidelity, cheating on his wife with the faceless, nameless internet that seems so benign just before ejaculation.

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?

I shaved my beard.  I am watching TV.  I am going to bed early tonight.  Clean white linen sheets.

A Beautiful Moment in Europe

It was a lovely day.  Nice people came to see the house.  Really nice.  This afternoon I worked with JA on the film which just goes from strength to strength.  It’s very reassuring to get ones writing mojo back.  As I mentioned before, it just FLOWED.  I have something to say and I know how to say it.  During the past few years I have written a couple of  scripts but I wasn’t motivated to direct or produce them.   They were bad scripts.  Today I am writing from my heart.

We mapped out all three acts and it works on so many different levels.  I will really enjoy producing this new film.

It’s not usual for me to write  two blogs in one day but as so many of my blogs recently have been hideously miserable I wanted you to know that I feel great this evening.  Very peaceful.

JA is not only my friend and producing partner he is also a fellow addict who really gets me.   So, after we had finished cooking lunch and writing he asked me why I was still so angry with Jake and I was forced to admit that even my anger is running out of fuel.

I cannot really remember all the resentments I constructed into my hateful narrative.

Yet, having said that, my anger has to be addressed.  What I have not talked about is perhaps the most sensitive reason for why it all became so nasty.

As some of you know if you saw me on the TV show Sex Rehab my sex issues have always been a problem.  For as long as I can remember I have never really enjoyed or felt connected sexually with anyone.

From erectile disfunction to an inability to be held Jake and I managed to overcome many of my problems.

Even though Jake and I had ‘issues’ what bound us when we were together was our physical connection.  Well, for me it was pretty amazing.  For him it was probably just routine.  He once said that he was only good at skiing and sex and he really was very good in the bedroom.   I never saw him on the piste.

He, like most of you, had no problem expressing himself sexually but I have never had the kind of wonderful sex that I had with him.  So, when I finally understood that it was over I felt (and still feel) without self-pity that I will never ever again have the connection that I had with him.   Now, you may say, Oh don’t be silly..you will.  But, I know deep down in my soul that this gorgeous time with Jake may have been my last chance at connecting with someone I loved and had a stab at fulfilling sex.

Once  you understand this missing part of the puzzle you may very well see the root of my frustration and sadness.  I tried to do everything I could to keep hold of a man who was patently wrong for me but with whom I had a profound sexual connection.

I really do want my money back but ultimately does it really matter?  What matters is that I must grieve for a life devoid of sexual connection.  It just made me so angry that I go on paying the price for my childhood abuse.  My distrust of men, my fear of expressing myself sexually.

My fury with him stems, almost certainly, from his understandable but insensitive desire to share stories of his sex life with others whilst we were together.   It was horrific listening to someone I loved describe something I knew I could never give him.  For me he was the only man I have ever made love to.  Ever.

It was unthinkable to have sex with anyone else.  It still is.

You may think me pathetic for trying to love him but I tried so hard to separate myself from him on many, many occasions as I documented in this blog.

He knew how addicted to him I was and he would play mercilessly with my emotions.  Knowing that I would always pick up the phone.  Knowing that I would always respond to his text because I knew that he was deeply sad after he left his girl friend.  That he was lonely and despondent but I also knew that if I felt similarly I could not rely on him to be there for me.

As was proved that fateful day in August.

Every morning I pray that this obsession, this anger, this grief these resentments will end.

As I was reading part of the new script to JA I started, finally to cry and the pressure cooker of emotions began to express themselves. I began to express myself.

I tell you again for those of you who might not believe it:  He made me very happy and I was prepared to overlook his flaws.  There were moments of pure joy for me whilst we were away in Europe although nowadays I really have to work hard to sift those moments from the crushing disappointments.

Lastly, I don’t really want to write this blog.  It had become, like most things I do, yet another symptom of my addiction.    As I read the earlier entries, before he bust into my life and I let him in…I let him in…well I remembered what it was like to be happy and I have been so very far from happy these past few months.

Even though he has been cruel and insensitive  he was also very vulnerable and turned to me for help when he needed it most.   You know, I tried to help but I am not a therapist nor am I the most stable person in the world.

Addiction for me is a daily emergency.

What have I concluded?  I need to be on my own.  I cannot begin to have relationships.

He never gave me the opportunity to say a kind goodbye…ironically, the very thing he wanted from his ex-girlfriend, even though that seems unlikely.  I really tried to say goodbye to him with dignity.  To end it in a civil and kind way.  To let him go.  I really did.   I was exhausted.  To end with kindness was my plan.  A plan he did not share.

So, JA unlocked the pain and by doing what I do best I can let go of my heavy heart.  I don’t have anywhere else to go with this other than forgive and forget.

I hope I can.  I really want to.  This is making me really ill.

So, all packed and moved out.  I left the apartment empty and covered in dust. I have to go back tomorrow to collect deposit and hand over the wi-fi thingy.  I am pleased not to be going back there.

When Jennie and I moved into The Chateau de Fleur we did so to escape the lives we had and wanted to change when we went into rehab.  For Jennie it was the beginning of a life away from being a porn performer.  For me it was to escape the exquisite monotony of Malibu, the pornography, the internet hook up sites and the gruelling symptoms of sex addiction.

Amazingly, for the longest time, I steered clear of the worst of my sex addict tendencies.   Until, of course, I met Jake and collapsed..once again..into active addiction.  As much as I try..I cannot forgive him.  I was doing so well.

I tell you, I hate him now more than anyone I have ever been wronged by.  More than the vile people who ran over The Darling Big Dog and more than I ever harboured for my step-father.

Masquerading as an innocent, timid boy JB knows exactly what he is doing.  I would urge anyone that gets involved with him never, ever believe a word that comes out of that mouth.  His lies are not even very amusing.  An amusing liar, like Leigh Bowery or Diana Vreeland can enhance a dull world but a tepid, self-serving liar like Jake can only make the mediocre a paler shade of taupe.

The only good thing that came out of his mouth was my cock.

I though I might write about the day my dog was killed in front of that building, in front of me and the little dog..but I can’t, not least because the memory of her written on the same page I write his name would sully the memory of her.

To think, he left his gf and flew to me.  I tended him, looked after him, cooked for him, dabbed at his tears.  I reassured him again and again that things would work out fine..and I am sure they will for the conniving little cunt.

Goodbye Hollywood.   Hello New York City.

Letter from Susan:

I drove my father to the Stiperstones last Saturday  – creamy golden late afternoon sunshine lighting all that hilly beauty – he was so happy. But all I could think of was the time we drove up there in his little Mini – I rammed the car off the road at a funny angle and we then draped ourselves around the seats and dashboard. Do you remember how much we laughed when people came to help and we woke up ? I still find it quite funny.

I do remember..and it was really funny.

Reading over this entry I am reminded that perhaps a more pious life might suit me better that a life devoted to intensity.  Piety, we tend to use the word pejoratively,  saying more about our Godless world than the idea behind the action.

Today I crave piety, humility, silence..

Tres Triste urged me to go into one on one therapy.  I will have nothing to do with that.  I am bloated on my experience of one on one therapy.

I am, however, recommitted to the rooms of AA.  I know that they understand because I am just like them.  One on one therapy obviously suits many people but I don’t trust doctors, I don’t trust therapists who profit from the misery of others.  I resent paying them.  That I become their blank cheque.  In fact, I resent paying all doctors because I come from a country where visiting a doctor is free.

AA is free.  For fun and for free.

The simple fact is: I chose to abandon the principles of AA during the last few months.  Not taking a drink is just a small part of what we do in those rooms.  The rest of the time we help and guide each other toward sanity.  During the past months I deliberately abandoned my principles and let my alcoholic head run the show.

Many people ask why I moved to LA.  It really had nothing to do with film making.  I came to LA to be closer to the rooms of AA where I found comfort, solace and peace.  I made friends and found an extended family of people who understood me, who were always willing to forgive…no matter what.   I felt as if I needed, as if I NEED a great deal of forgiveness.

After a few years I became disgruntled and disillusioned with AA and went to fewer and fewer meetings.  As I did so my mind became more and more confused.  If I do not do the work to keep me sane I very quickly unravel.

I believe in the power of AA.  It is a church. It is my church.  For all to see during these past months I threw away my sanity because I wanted to use..so I did.  I used HIM.  He is not even real.  He is a bag of coke, a bump of crystal, my works, my baggy, my bottle, my paraphernalia.   He is not real.  Do I miss him?  I miss him like a glass of Montepulciano.  Full bodied red wine that I secretly want to drink when that day comes…and it very well might.  Never take your sobriety for granted.

You think that I have been cruel but I needed him out of my life and sometimes keeping your dealers number is the way back to active addiction.  If I had not jettisoned him that day I KNOW what would have happened.  We would have remained friends, we would have hooked up, my head just could not take it.

I napalmed the poppy fields.

This morning I chatted with Tim about the past.  A place one tends to reinvent as one gets older. It is invigorating having him there at the other end of the phone/skype.  He is in Worcester waiting for his triple bypass.  We are both waiting to have our skin cut open and our insides messed with by experts.

We talked about the power of prayer.  Our spiritual lives.  I needn’t tell you how important a loving God is in ones life but even though I know that prayer really works I am loathed to pray just in case is doesn’t.

That even God might let me down.

There is no doubt what so ever that for the past few months I used another man as my drug.  Intensity, fixation, obsession etc. etc.  Remember when you spent your last cent on drugs? When the getting and using was your main focus?  Remember the risks you took?  I am a crazy addict.  Yet, it is somehow easier for us to understand a man who cannot say no to drugs than a man who cannot say no to his addiction to people.  It is a far more complex and ultimately destructive addiction.

I think you have all been my witness to that.

I crave a healthy relationship with people who ever they might be, lover, family member, friend, shop assistant, telephone banker etc.    I am powerless and my life becomes unmanageable.  I am powerless over people, places and things.  This powerlessness causes me such misery. Powerlessness, vulnerability, weakness of any kind cannot be tolerated and as you have seen…I will bring you down if you challenge who I am, get to the heart of me.

I don’t think I am so different from most of you?

Yet, I most definitely am.  I do not think like normal people.

The idea that somehow, someday I will control and enjoy my thinking is the obsession of every abnormal thinker.

That was a quote from Bill Wilson with the word drink switched out for think.

Wether you believe it or not the rooms of AA are filled with men and women just like me.  When we sit together sharing our similarities and not our differences then I become aware of the presence of God.

I have struggled with SAA.

There is a big difference between being an alcoholic and a sex/love addict.  Alcoholics share the experience of abstinence.  Sex addicts do not.  The differences between sex addicts, when we share our stories, are all too apparent.  The similarities..scant.  Where there are few similarities I find myself divorced from God.

As I have reported in earlier posts, as the years pass and ones last drunk become a distant memory I am forced to deal with other more pressing, more destructive addictions.

The consequences of my actions are all too apparent.  I have rampaged like a spoiled child through another mans life.  Regardless of his part in it..I have only myself to blame.  As I have said before, it is none of my business assigning blame or becoming an interventionist for others.

We all learn by our mistakes, by the lies we tell, by the havoc we wreak.

So, today’s prayer:  God, relieve me from the bondage of self.  Help me be kind.  Let me be present.  Let me tell the truth.

Bind me so my arms do not flail,  gag me so I cannot speak, shackle me so I cannot walk, lay me down in some quiet place so I do not think.

I am compulsive and it gets me into trouble.

I used to compulsively look at porn.  I have not done that for nearly two years.

I have looked at porn but I have not looked at porn compulsively.

I compulsively write this blog.  I used to really enjoy it.  The blog used to be lively and light-hearted.  Of late it has become a tool for me to compulsively work out my problems, my resentments and my fears.

I get up in the morning and compulsively check the numbers of people who read these pages.  My breath is shallow and I become pensive, my fingers ache and my mind races.  The modern opera that plays almost constantly in my head is, as I check the blog, full volume.

That’s not all I do.  I compulsively look at Huffington Post and the BBC then check the MLS and other regular sites.  I use the internet as a distraction from living life.  Instead of wasting my time I could be writing other stuff or doing more constructive things.

At therapy this morning I talked about being authentic as a way of dealing with my compulsivity but its going to take more than that.  What is it to be authentic?  For me it’s neither about being bigger or smaller than I am.  I need to be the right size.

I ruthlessly seek authenticity in others as well as strive for it in myself.  As a result of these unrealistic expectations I am disappointed by those I love then tend to isolate.  Risking being seen is just too overwhelming.  This accounts for why I felt so let down by him.  When you reveal yourself absolutely to another and they have little or no respect or appreciation..well..out comes the great protector who forces me to sweat in the armour of distrust.

It’s bloody difficult when one has acted a convincing role all of ones adult life to be authentic.  The role that was assigned to me by my family of origin.

For the time being I have to do the right thing.  Be that right guy, avoid difficult or challenging people, strive for a peaceful head.

Peace of mind.

Of course the last few months acting out my love and sex addiction with him may one day be looked back upon as some of the most destructive time that I have ever spent with another being.  It may not.  I am tied in knots about it.

My part in everything, every situation I am in, it all has to be owned.  Owned by me.

If I refuse to take action and stop this destructive behavior then the peace of mind that I crave, that when I first got sober used to be mine…will never, ever be achieved.

Picked four small peaches from the tree.  Had date last night.  Spent time packing art.

Had a great night out with my friend Ryan.  We headed over to Tod’s shoe store on Rodeo in Beverly Hills for a party that a bunch of worthy LAers  were throwing to welcome Jeffrey Deitch the new MOCA director to a bunch of LA’s finest.  Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale, Angelica Huston etc etc.

Met up with Miggy and her girlfriend and their charming journalist friend from the Sunday Times who had seen the sex rehab show.  He seemed really impressed. It is so odd to have left something indelible in the life of another.    It is even odder to have people come up to you who are well known (famous even) telling you how much you have helped them.   Ended up chatting to Gavin Rossdale about our friend Sebastian Horsley who is best known for crucifying himself in the Philippines-with real nails in his palms.   He then fell off the cross.

Leaving something indelible stayed with me throughout dinner at the 101-where we ate the Thursday Fried Chicken Special of course.

I was going onto another party but bailed after dinner,  I need to be on my own.  To get used to it once again.

Indelible, irrevocable-something irrevocable.  Changing somebody irrevocably.  I may have done that too often to count on the fingers of two hands.

This time I am changed irrevocably.   Something has shifted in me.   Most of the people I have gotten close to recently have in some way been associated with or saw the sex rehab show.  My generous NYC friend, my recently ended relationship and Jennie, let’s not forget Jennie.  I think it maybe time to reconnect to those I knew before.

I think that even though these new friends know my story they don’t really take how seriously I believe in the power of recovery.   I really do believe in the tenets of AA.  I really do.

I came so close during the past month  to using alcohol and drugs because I so desperately wanted to fit in with my new friend.  I told him that I would take drugs so our sex life would get better.  I thought about taking a drink.  I seriously considered it.  But if I had what would I have been left with now?  Nothing.  No relationship, no sobriety, absolutely nothing.  At the end of the day all I own is my sobriety and my name.

There are fire trucks outside the building.

So, I pass through to the other side.  Where I am on my own again.  With out recourse to long, late night conversations.  I am on my own and happy to be so.

The other burgeoning relationship in my life is with a young man who came to me for help with his sex addiction.  He came along at just the right moment.  To help him recover from a masturbation addiction.  He checks in every day and God, yet again, is doing for me what I refuse to do for myself.  Rather than drowning in self-pity I am helping a man less fortunate than myself and so, yet again, I am changed, refocused.

I had a short text exchange with the other this evening and rather than making me hanker for him it just made things easier to deal with.  My darling New York boy is on his true path and that, I suppose, is something to do with me.  A helping hand out of the darkness and into the light.  An irrevocable change.

How many people fall in love with the person who helps save their life?  Not many.  Who is falling in love with the firemen or the nurse or the doctor?

Very sleepy now.  I need to sink under the sheets and tomorrow-well perhaps I will be able to write the other stuff I write.   Maybe.

Dinner with Anna in Los Feliz.  We discussed how focused one has to be to make a film… how determined.  More importantly… we both really have to want to make film.   Neither of us are motivated by studio films.

I am in perhaps the most ideal position ever to make another film yet without a script that I really believe in what’s the point?

The same goes for my book.  I don’t want to write it.  I was writing it with him and now he has gone so my interest has burned off like the marine layer over the Malibu Mountains.   Oh fuck.

The problem with the last script?  It is really two films crammed into one… like Siamese twins I have to very carefully separate them.  This requires me being meticulous and I can’t summon the interest.   Where did all the energy come from before?  How did I muster the enthusiasm?

I have lost my enthusiasm for film, for love, for life.

I have been asking normal people about falling in love.

It seems that most people believe that they are worth loving.  I have never felt like I was worth loving.

Tonight I saw a gay couple leaving the restaurant.  One of them was much older than his boyfriend.  My heart sank.  They looked so happy.  Both of them probably believed that they worth loving.  They didn’t come from a damaged place, they hadn’t had their childhood ripped apart by shame, violence, lies, resentment.  I hope not.  I really do.

I wouldn’t wish my early years on my worst enemy.

I wanted to kill myself as soon as I understood that it was possible.  I tried when I was 12, then again when I was 17 and finally gave into the interminably slow suicide that alcohol and drugs offer the committed self hater.

I have a few amends to make in NYC.  To those I sidelined when I met him.   I did a terrible thing.  We both cheated… it wasn’t just him.   I can make a thousand excuses but I am sick of making excuses.

At dinner (crispy crusted pizza) Anna and I discussed pornography.

In search of that authentic moment in the narrative.  Isn’t that why so many people go to such dark places on the internet?  Looking for a moment that is indisputably real?

How could any man ever measure up to what I see there?  Whilst love makes a fool of me I seek solace in pornography.  I prayed again tonight for some sort of deliverance from the obsession.

Send me somebody kind I say-but would I know how to let them love me?

Oh, I have been loved so much-so often.  So many men.  Yet, until recently, I thought that anyone who loved me was a fool.  If I couldn’t love me how could anyone else?  So I thought again about the long sleep-longer than the one I have been awake for.

Down the dark corridor.

Banana and Walnut Loaf

Banana and Walnut Loaf

I wore a Helmet Lang jacket this evening that I have not worn for years.  It felt great.  I trotted off for dinner with my friend Dom and his sweet friends.

I was late.  As I walked over I ended up on the telephone with you know who.   I needed to break things off, or rather recalibrate my relationship with my dear New York friend.    Break things was what I tried not to do; he is already a broken man.   I failed.  I was heavy handed and abrupt.   In spite of my best intentions the seething resentment and obsession and mad thoughts spewed out of me because I couldn’t hold them inside for one minute longer.

The day ended thus.  I felt free for the first time in weeks.

The day began very badly.

This morning, after the 10-second earthquake, I stood naked in the middle of my sitting room sobbing like a baby because all I could think about was him and all I wanted to be rid of was the thought of him.  Our friendship has been so fucking overwhelming-watching him fall apart, pick himself up and be there for him without ever thinking what was best for me.

My fantasy was that a man twenty years younger than me who I met for the first time three short months ago would fall in love, move to LA and get a job in the film industry.  How INSANE is that?

I prayed, “Send me somebody who’s strong and somewhat sincere.”

The good news is that tonight, after our chat, I am feeling a little more like myself.  I have come clean with those I love and admit that I have been looking at pornography rabidly for the past week-as of old-so intense was the feeling.

Whenever I am feeling vulnerable I resort to my old friend-pornography.

Tomorrow I will try for one day of abstinence.  I will try to get through the night without looking at that heaving pile of stinking pink flesh claiming me with so many muscular arms.   For the past week I have stuffed my feelings with porn, cigarettes and food.

My flat is dirty, my clothes strewn over the floor.

This is a lesson in unmanageability, I am powerless over…well, fill in the fucking blank.

You see, I thought that I was falling in love but I was just held hostage by intensity.

The past three months have been wrought with emotion-watching someone I deeply care about tear himself and his life to pieces and being judged for doing so by people who fail to understand his predicament.

The point is-his problem is not my problem and I foolishly shouldered the entire burden of his life.

I have choices yet my choices diminish the moment I get obsessed-a hideous chain reaction then unfolds before me:  Obsession, resentment, anger.  When the pain becomes too much to bare, when I finally get angry enough to reclaim who I really am, then I feel shame for getting viciously angry-then remorseful for how I treated those I love.

My dearest friend I want to thank you for the privilege of watching you be brave.  For demonstrating how the truth can set you free.  Now, fly like a bird my darling.  Soar as high as your tiny wings will carry you.  Never settle for second best.  Don’t give yourself away to fools or liars.   From this moment on always tell the truth. Never tell people what you think they want to hear.  Be true to yourself.

Life is never without lessons to learn and I have learned a great deal during these three amazing months.

You know, my dear, we have our finest days to come but probably as great friends and not as fuck buddies.

And so to bed.  I am so tired.  So bloody tired.  I may even sleep tonight.  Let’s hope so shall we?

 

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Kristian’s death has affected me more than I might admit.   Rather foolishly I had a picture of him on my phone that lit up every time somebody called.  I deleted it today-I was making myself sadder than I needed to be.

Found myself looking at pornography last night-late-trying to soothe myself-trying to throw a warm blanket over my feelings.   It didn’t work.  I still woke up this morning overwhelmed with fear.  I wrote to John:

5am.  Waking up in huge amounts of fear.  Crushing, overwhelming fear. Think I may have come to the end of the line. Cannot go on.  Making bad decisions.  Can’t face anything.  Financial ruin facing me.  Nowhere to run to.   Don’t trust anyone. Obsessed.  Looked at porn this morning to try to sooth me-did not work.  Nothing works.  Do not see any more life ahead of me.

As dawn broke over the mountain I expected those particular ghouls to vanish, yet, those pesky demons lingered all day-like they were waiting patiently to claim me.

My father died when he was 53.

Found myself looking at pornography..

Now, that sounds like it happened to me rather than me searching around for that perfect porn moment.  Porn is like research, it’s scholarly, frustrating, intense.

Feeling desperately sad.  Not sobbing like when the Darling Big Dog was killed.

Cannot listen to Kate Bush or Soft Cell (remember listening with him) but rather strangely listening to the Spice Girls, which softens the edges-like having a wank.

Throwing the towel in.  “Goodbye my friend.”  Remember when we were best friends with Matt Rowe who wrote all those huge number one hits?    “Goodbye my friend.”   Remember New Years Eve at The Mercer Hotel in NYC with Melanie Sporty Spice and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman?  Odd mixture that night?  What a night.

So I’m chatting with a friend about his childhood and he tells me that his father was sent to prison when he was 11 years old.  The only way he knew how to deal with the shame was to lie to his classmates.  He knew where his father was but told his friends that his father was on a business trip-he told lies because the truth was far too complicated.  Gosh, I related to that.  Lying to make life easier:  My father is on a business trip.  Telling palatable childish lies leading to a life of fantasy, pornography, disconnection.

It took me so long to let the truth set me free.  Now I try so hard to tell the truth.  Lyle brought word from England that I had a terrible temper.  Oh yes, I remember that.  My temper was a daily occurrence for so long.  Before I went to Sex Rehab I really had no idea why I was so angry-after sex rehab I fully understood why I was angry and the mechanism that controlled it.  So, to all that I shouted at and screamed at and made cry-I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong.

Sorry to repeat myself but..

When Kristian died suddenly a door opened into a world I considered closed to me.   I had considered suicide for as long as I can remember but never seriously.  Death, after all, is a very long time.  Suddenly there are enough fun people in the after life that I might have a good time.  Giggle with.   I am not scared of death-I was just scared of being bored when I got there-now with Kristian dead-death seems like a realistic option.  Holding the door open for me.

I am looking for clues for what might keep me alive?  What can I believe in?

This morning I heard John talking about being asleep and how much of the time I have been asleep.  I fall asleep when I first meet some one-a deep sleep.  I always thought that it was because I felt comfortable but now I see that it was to escape intimacy or worse that something might happen to me.

Moths in my clothes, little dog pawing at me…home sick for Whitstable, for Battersea Park..can we walk there together you and I?

Selling art-legitimate source of misery?  My friends didn’t want to buy my art.  They want to buy art from a legitimate source.  Funny.

Lying.  It’s a choice.  To tell the truth or lie?  It seems obvious doesn’t it?   Well, these muddled days, as Michael Moore reminded us when he picked up his Oscar, are ‘Lying times’.  Within a relationship there are all kinds of lies but I don’t want to tell HIM lies.  I just want him to know the truth.

The silence in the Malibu Mountains, the thudding base from the music playing in the apartment above my Hollywood apartment.   Both the silence and the interminable base making my head ache.   My head aches.

The questions that haunt me:  How could he have taken such a risk?   How can he be calling me to join him there and why am I listening?

One day I will write about FULL DISCLOSURE-a most unsavory practice.

I love you MR DARLING NYC-you are keeping me alive,  your love and your perfect smile are keeping the worst of these terrible demons from driving me to the gates of hell.

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It was an early morning yesterday.  I was up before the dawn.  And I really have enjoyed my stay. But I must be moving on.

Sexual anorexia is a term used to describe a loss of “appetite” for romantic-sexual interaction but can be better defined as a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sex with emotional content.

4am, Saturday morning.  It is almost impossible to sleep.  My lover is in town.  My sleep schedule rearranged as I learn all over again to share my bed.

We have been in and out of bed all weekend and whilst it is reassuring to have this oversexed lil monkey crawling all over me I end up thinking far too much-both good and bad.  The bad thoughts: wanting to escape, trying to remember old conquests, those perfect pornographic moments that always get me off.  The good thoughts: fully engaging with newly learned sexual behaviors/insights.   It is delightful to be mainly present during the sex.  Now, when I say sex what are you thinking?   The sex I have is, I am sure, nothing like most people.

When Bill Maher condemns sex addicts I doubt that he understands that most men who consider themselves sex addicts are not having the sort of sex that he is having.  They are not meeting, fucking, cumming and leaving.  Many men identify as sex addicts but the men I identify most with are actually porn addicts who seldom leave their apartments or Internet addicts on hook up sites with multiple on-line personalities.  These men exist apart from the Tiger Woods variety of sex addicts: men who hook up with women or other men whilst wives and children sleep oblivious at home.

Bill Maher’s limited understanding of sex addiction and general scoffing negates those of us who work daily in order not to retraumatize ourselves.  Bill Maher is certainly not recreating moments of childhood fear; he is not replicating perfect porno moments nor dealing with erectile dysfunction.

Tiger Woods may be a serial cheater but his story is the exception rather than the rule.  Those of us who compulsively masturbate seldom get to meet anyone at all regardless of our engaging personalities.  Addicted to the soothing effect of ejaculation, the calming thoughtless moments just after we shoot our dwindling load.

1983.   I answered an ad in Time Out for gay performers who wanted to make a play with Neil Bartlett for the Institute of Contemporary Art about pornography.  Drawing on historical texts, Diaries of a Marianne  (attributed to Oscar Wilde) for instance, we all at once celebrated and condemned the production, consumption and effects of pornography.  In one scene we compared the fantasy of pornography with the reality of our own sex lives.

After our 10 city tour in the UK and Canada I went home and never gave the polemic we were positing another thought, yet had I… my life would have turned out very differently.

How has gay pornography influenced my thinking, my relationships, my life?

Pornography has ruined my sexual expectations.   Pornography: where men together do not tenderly hold each other, look into each other’s eyes, do not cry gently, do not laugh out loud, and do not ‘fail’ with half hard cocks.    The perfect bodies, sexual performance and youth of most gay porn stars are impossible acts to follow.

Yet, the moment I get into bed with a man I try to emulate what I see in pornography.   My stance is both dominant and aggressive, my voice lowers, I am uncharacteristically clumsy, and my kisses are full lipped.  I have no idea what the end point of any sexual encounter is because I have so rarely ejaculated with another human being.  I am rarely even in the same room because I am off in fantasy.  I am rarely hard.

My lover is sexually submissive so what good am I to him if I am so full of fear that my cock does not get hard?  That at the back of my mind I know my darling pornography waits to own me the moment he is gone?  How many men cheat on their wives/boyfriends with pornography?

The past few days of sexual activity have been perhaps the best of my life because I am at least in the same room as the man I have elected to sleep with.  I am authentic, present, calm and honest.  I tell him the truth.  Perhaps too much talking but frankly I would rather talk than be absent.    There has been a great deal of consolation since he arrived.  There has been a remarkable kindness.  I no longer objectify him nor resent him simply because he sees who and what I am.

With the truth comes vulnerability, certainly never evident in pornography unless it’s a ‘mans first time’ with another man.  Then the gay for pay virgin simply looks confused or humbled by desire.   I have wasted so many years to pornography, so many wasted opportunities, so much lost love.

Men have humiliated me.  I have, in turn, humiliated men.   I have defined myself by my inability rather than my gifts.  I have invested in my defects rather than my talent.

I am trying to have a few wonderful moments before my lover leaves LA and God knows if I will ever see him again.   Of this I am sure: we got to know each other before we lay together.  This meant that I had no shame when he finally held me in his arms.  That I felt comfortable enough to let him know what was going on with me when I could not perform as perhaps he wanted me to perform.   That we continue to laugh and cry and feel comfortable doing so.

I only have until Friday and I am going to make the most of it-before he returns to his own war zone and I to mine.

Luis the decorator and his sidekick Miguel are here in Malibu.  They are painting over the mess the last renter made in the house when she failed to open the flu and filled the house full of acrid smoke.  That, my friends, is the great disadvantage to opening your home to renters who are less able or practical.

Luis is a great painter and has a great attention to detail.  I like having him around.  He has two small daughters that he raises single handedly.

The house stinks of wood filler and oil based primer.

I must admit that I am really enjoying living back here in Malibu.  It is a perfect time to be here.  The weather is everything one would want it to be.  The air is chilled.  The sea glistens.  It was grand to wake up to the oyster hued sky at 5.30 this morning, the sun rising over the mountains.

The little dog, rather foolishly, ran after a little fox that popped out to greet us.

At breakfast with my Wednesday crew we discussed a couple of great film ideas and it occurred to me that I am ready to make another film.  It just depends what.  I am thinking about my LA film.  I really can’t move on until I have made THAT film THAT LA FILM.  The one I promised myself I would make when I arrived here all those years ago.  We discussed two great film ideas.  I just need to attend to business like it were the subject of my great and enduring love.

Joe, my actor friend, popped by yesterday and we discussed his career.   There are two different types of actor is LA.  The actors who need repping and those who are essentially repping themselves.   My friend Karim repps himself.  He networks at Sundance, Berlin and Cannes leaving no stone unturned.  He chases new directing talent and doing the do.  My friend Joe is less proactive and thinks that everything hinges on finding an agent.  Which one do you think gets the jobs?

I have my second meeting with Sean the garden/goat/chicken man today and we will go through his bid carving out the essentials, abandoning the non-essentials until later on this year.  I am excited that he will start work as quickly as next week.

As for the great NYC love of my life-I am growing a nasty obsession.  How quickly my addict climbs into the driving seat and roars off heading at full pelt into the nearest brick wall.   My obsession is as real as a carbuncle and just as hard to remove.

Sex addiction transmutes into love addiction as quickly as I can say I love you.

I love talking to you.  I love listening to you.  I love you when you are not in a darkened room.

Is there no area in my life that can’t be subject to addiction?  I am immediately overwhelmed, subjugated, mesmerized, fantasized, living in somebody else’s skin.

So, I meet this guy.  He’s age appropriate, he’s sober, he has a great sense of humor and we CONNECT.  I mean..we connect intellectually.  After a few hours I kinda know that (if I wanted to) I could really make this work, that he could easily be the one.  We spend a couple of days together, we eat dinner, we get closer.  It feels GREAT.

So, if everything is so fucking PERFECT why does meeting this special someone make me feel so damned vulnerable?

Let’s try again.

So, I meet this guy, he’s cute and funny and sober.  We connect immediately and I can’t stop thinking about the future.  No..DUNCAN ROY..stop thinking!  Stay here and now.  Be present.  Isn’t that what you wanted all along?  To fall in love?  But, like loving the little dog I am suddenly bound and gagged like Houdini.  I begin to talk myself out of a beautiful time.  I can no longer move freely.  I tell myself that I can..I can be easily wounded.

When the big dog was killed I called my mother and cried.  Later, I felt sick that I’d called her.  I felt so embarrassed.  I called my MOTHER sobbing.  My Mother hates dogs.  What sort of person calls the most hard-hearted person in their life expecting sympathy?  I felt like a FOOL.  Who would I call if this went wrong?  My Mother can’t take a love affair between two men seriously!  Say, for arguments sake, I fell in love with this man..what would happen if he left me?  YOU SEE!   I am already writing the final, tragic chapter.

What happens when I fall in love?  I am as fragile as a Ming vase.   I want to stare into their eyes, kiss their lips.   I want him right here right now.  I want to be we.  I want to be a line in a popular love song.  I don’t want to raise goats on my OWN.

The worst of being an addict is that I can so easily transmute from sex to love addiction.

Today’s big GRIPE:

Why do so many gay men around my age have topless pictures of themselves on Facebook?    Let me tell you.

Most gay men suffer from Peter Pan syndrome.  Forever teenagers, these identical looking men-beards, tats and manscaped pubes seem unable or unwilling to grow up.  They behave like pre-pubescent boys, screaming around the world in half naked gangs looking for the next big cock.

I used to care that these men had no respect for monogamy but now I can’t be bothered what they do or don’t respect.

When we are not objectifying each other we encourage others to objectify us.  We demand objectification.  Gay men are in a constant state of sexual red alert.  We advertise our bodies rather than our minds, constantly comparing our pecs our lats etc.

Let me tell you lads-this is why nobody takes us seriously when we want them to.   If you want equality, put your shirts on.

Start taking yourselves seriously and grow the fuck up.

What about the guys who don’t want to take their shirts off?  The guys who don’t spend hours in the gym?  Are we expected to compare and despair?  No, prepare to be ignored lads.  Prepare to be marginalized.

This is exactly why we will never have any kind of political leader.  Remember Harvey Milk?  I mean, who would vote for Milk now?  His teeth are bad, he isn’t in the gym 24/7.  Who would want to fuck that queen?  Our message has been lost amongst the lotions, hair dyes, gym clothes, and food fads that really motivate the community.

There is a terrible fascism that pervades the ‘gay community’, racism, and ageism-it’s all there.  Sadly, due to our ingrained sense of entitlement, there is little or no regard for the similarities-only the differences.  Which means, that when the chips are down, we are never ready to fight together for our common good.

Funny thing happened after an AA meeting last night.  A gay bloke was squirting hand sanitizer over himself and others after having shaken a stranger’s hand-the same guy who had been describing shoving his tongue up some random ass the night before.

Yay!  Vote no on ‘Prop 8’.

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..

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.

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.

Just seen all the furor about Stephen Gately. Even though Jan Moir is a bona fide cunt we must not lose sight of the fact that there is a crystal meth/sex epidemic sweeping the gay community, that new HIV infections in gay men are increasing insanely and syphilis is back with a vengeance.

There is no debate what so ever about the way we treat ourselves. Any criticism by straights is considered homophobic and any attempt at healthy debate by those of us who care passionately about our collective mental health is described as self loathing.

It’s easy to slash at Moir’s ugly mug it’s not so easy to look at her crude message and learn from it. Some of what that ghastly woman hinted at may be true. It’s a pity that we weren’t having that conversation first.

I recently put grindr on my iPhone and had to take it off within a week as with gaydar/manhunt/adam4adam etc. I became immediately addicted to the endless stream of available men within meters of wherever I was. We are NOT like straight people. We behave quite differently and it does us no good to pretend otherwise.

I have learned a great deal about shame based behavior in therapy and as a community of men we are particularly vulnerable.

Certainly from my experience as a drug toting slag I ended up feeling soulless and plagued by shame.

Gately may not have died because of excessive drug use, sex addiction etc. but many gay men are. Perhaps we need to start getting honest about what is really going on in our community rather than let the Daily Mail read between the lines.

Jennie and topless gay boy toy

October 12th 2009.

Overcast, drizzle. Chilly.

Sirens screaming through the streets.

When the dull, lifeless cloudy days come to LA the American’s say-‘remind you of home?’ Well, no, it does not remind me of home. Cold, bright, winter days-lawns sparkling with frost remind me of home. Sultry August evenings strolling through freshly harvested fields of wheat remind me of home. Bracing walks by the sea remind me of home.

At breakfast, in Brentwood, with the lads a waiter (who usually ignores me) sheepishly asked if I was that guy from the TV. I had a flush of amusement, excitement and fear. It had to happen sooner or later. Just not now. Not yet. It was too soon. VH1 are doing a sterling job of marketing the show. Twittering, Facebook and black and white commercials play endlessly now. Black and white commercials imply that this show might have to be taken seriously. Dr Drew is ‘serious’; the confessions are ‘serious’. The condition is Sex Addiction and we need to take sex addiction very seriously indeed.

Whilst I might take sex addiction seriously my co-revelers at yesterdays benefit for the housing of aged gays and lesbians did not.

I had not been to a gay event for some time, probably because ‘they’ know that I have a withering disregard for most gay events.

Jennie and I decided to go together. We arrive to the leaden thud of vintage disco. We walk the red carpet. Beyond the red carpet lay shrimp skewers, a silent auction with, amongst other things, tickets to Ellen and Melissa Etheridge‘s guitar. Beyond the red carpet half naked boys are selling raffle tickets and there’s a huge spackled house filled with 30 ‘professionally designed’ sofas and jars of spiced lemons. We are advised NOT to sit on the sofas, to admire the spiced lemons from a respectful distance.

We saw Rosie O’Donnell who is a giantess. We tormented the shirtless boys, one of whom is called Lenny and comes from Wisconsin. He moved to LA to fight in cages. I told him that Jennie was a cage fighter. We did not buy any raffle tickets.

We ate the shrimp skewers and engaged, as best we could, with the other guests. Finally, we met an Austrian and his boyfriend who were funny and engaging. They were almost identically dressed.

They, in turn, introduced us to their friends. I began to really enjoy myself.

Jennie had to leave so I left with her. I changed and drove back to the party. It was then that my new friends noticed that I didn’t drink and began looking at me curiously. Why don’t you drink? Did you have a ‘problem’ the word falls on me like an anvil.

A gay who doesn’t drink=damaged goods.

I want to fit in with them but it’s really HARD. I just yearned for my sober breakfast buddies who understand me. I was told later that I really had no chance of meeting a man if I didn’t drink.

We ate dinner at a lesbian owned tex mex spot. The food was cold and uninspiring.

By the time I left Here! Bar in West Hollywood it was half past midnight and I was way past my expiration date. My new friends were going to a house party where they would pour tequila down male model backs and drink it from their asses-or something like that. Where porn stars would wander around with erections. Where landscape gardeners and their friends would fuck in hot tubs until dawn.

What kind of gay man wouldn’t find that alluring? Sadly, not me.

DR DREW

Runyon Canyon before dawn. 6 people 4 dogs-including my own.

At dawn there is nobody to objectify. There are no model/actor/waiters jogging along the dusty paths, their tight abs begging to be admired.

The only man with his shirt removed was an elderly Russian man stretching before the rising sun.

Since I last blogged 3 years ago so much has happened. My Film Dorian Gray came and went. I moved from Hollywood into a large, rambling house in Malibu then moved back to Hollywood again. I succumbed to a dog, then another. I stayed put in LA for three years waiting for the promise of adventure and big money but none came.

The adventures I expected were film related, but when the adventure finally came 6 months ago it was TV that called, the worst kind of TV. The kind I never dreamed I would be part of. When opportunity calls in a city geared to entertainment who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Reality TV is plagued by inarticulate, orange, primped and prone to excessive dramatic exposition. Highly regarded by the masses usually ignored by people like me-I still don’t own a television. An email arrives one day wondering if I might be appropriate for a show about sex addiction.

Looking at earlier blogs it is now apparent that I was gripped by sexual compulsion. Hook ups, intrigue, pornography, excessive masturbation, etc. etc. I was fast becoming a parody of THAT gay man, who in is 40’s, should certainly know better. Trading a life of intimacy and love for the merest possible moment with many men and some women.

I have never been shy of owning up to my frailties. I spoke openly about my drinking and drug taking that caused me to get sober some 12 years ago. I had habitually written the most terrible truths about myself. For the longest time, however, I had reserved my startling insight for others and been unable to tell the truth about the fact that was now totally defining my life: I could not say no to any opportunity that came my way of a sexual nature. Increasingly I was plagued with shame, isolation and self-doubt.

The house in Malibu imprisoned me, the Internet made me lazy and self obsessed. I looked, day after day, at the same Internet sites. Like an alcoholic drinking at home alone I could not persuade myself to leave the house and live the life I had committed to when I put down the booze and the drugs years before. I stopped living any kind of reasonable life.

The sites usually included scenes where straight men performed sex acts with each other for gay men to videotape.

They became a cast of friendly faces who would go on holiday with one another before cumming over each other. The men in these videos were ‘regular guys’ ‘straight men doing not so straight things’ they would be interviewed about their straightness before performing acts of unspeakable homosexuality.

I began to question why I was watching these images. What I was learning about men together from these images and increasingly began to doubt myself for watching. Watching at any time of day or night. Watching, hoping that new characters would be introduced like to a soap opera. Watching and wondering and longing.

As time passed and the weeks and months and years flew by trapped in the beautiful house I finally admitted that I had a problem and decided to get some help. The help was swift and sure. It came from other men and women similarly trapped and shamed. It came with almost immediate results. I was immediately liberated from the shackles of active sexual compulsion. Liberated but not cured. The lure of the Internet, of the flirtation, the seduction is more powerful than any drug. Managing sexual compulsion is like managing an eating disorder or compulsively spending money. The solution for sex addiction is sex. The solution for an eating disorder is food. A healthy relationship with food or sex or money for an addict like me is not easy.

6 months after I sought help the invitation came from Dr Drew to appear on his sex rehab show and after a great deal of trepidation I said yes to an experience that would change my life.

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