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Getting up in the morning to a camera shoved in my face totally validated my existence.  It was the one component of being on Sex Rehab that I hadn’t reckoned on.   As soon as I had my microphone pinned to my shirt I felt alive.  It was the thing that I missed the most when I left the Pasedena Recovery Center and the one element of making the show that I felt ashamed to admit.

I thought often of Andy Warhol during the three weeks that I was in the show.  I dressed accordingly.  Picking unusual and colourful shirts and pantaloons.  If ever there was evidence of narcissism in my life this was it.  Obviously I kept quiet about it.  I didn’t want anyone to think that my intentions were not 100% honorable.   The other unexpected bi-product of being filmed 24/7 was to tell the truth.  I might have altered a few things-simply because I wanted to protect myself from unwanted attention when the show was over but 99.5% of the time I was truthful.  That, in itself, was a revelation.  Telling the truth, being true to oneself and being of service to those around me governed my experience.

The women taught me a great deal.  Obviously I had a great deal in common with the women.  We had similar stories.  Similar dealings with men.  There was a pecking order amongst the women that went something like this:  The Playmates looked down on the porn starts, the porn stars looked down on the prostitutes but the Playmates had been, at one time or another, prostitutes.  It was a fascinating dynamic.

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My relationship with Jennie blossomed when we both realized that neither of us would‘miss’ being in treatment; that we would do the work and unsentimentally move on.  The others, within a couple of days, were already projecting to the end of the experience and talking about how much they would miss us.  Of course, by the time it ended Jennie and I were the ones who would miss the experience most.

 

 

The moment I met Jennie I realized that she was born to be more that the woman she was.  Infinitely talented she, like many women, only expected so much from her life and it was a joy to critique her writing, her painting and encourage her to free her thinking.   It was a joy to see her flourishand as her friend to this day I continue to watch her grow.  Occasionally I am really jealous that I had not met a man like me in similar circumstances when I was her age who would have taken the time-but, the truth is I met many men who spent hours trying to help me and I pushed them all away like the petulant child I am apt to be.

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I have always existed at the edge of society gay and straight.  Outspoken, sober and eclectic my complicated life was fashioned about me like a force field that kept only the most tenacious from getting to know me.  I had deliberately and successfully made low budget, gay art films for gay art house festival audiences all over the world.  I used the language and locations of my gay, rarified life and suddenly here I was thrust violently onto a reality TV show that millions would see and hear me speak the most unpalatable truths.

The saddest part of being on the rehab show has been the untamed anger of the more entitled of my gay breatheren.  Petrified of  change, scrutiny and self awareness.  Bristling with sanctimonious fury they tell me in no uncertain terms to mind my own business. To stay out of their underwear.  The majority of the gay media will not even acknowledge my existence on the show.  The party boys who control our gay press do not want to go near sobriety or sex conduct.   It is all too confronting and worse-may lose them precious advertising revenue.

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Did I think that I would one day try to spread this sex addiction message?   No. When I was out there balls deep in popular gay bar/club culture getting what ever I wanted could I have imagined a healthier life?  No.  Did I give any of this a second thought when Joe and I buried our 100th friend from AIDS complications?  I did not.  Was I just as imperious and entitled as the men who now routinely brand me homophobic and self loathing-yes I was.  But the truth is we live in evolving times.  Our understanding of unhealthy, destructive behaviours has become more astute.  We cannot continue to live in the same way just because we always have.  GBLT: A coalition of the unwilling.  Gays hating Bisexuals, damning trannies, ignoring lesbians.   Who are we?