Gay Hollywood Love Rant

Pornography: A Spectacle

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.

5 replies on “Pornography: A Spectacle”

I guess I don’t have much important to say but, what I’d like to say is just as important as the next person who might say it to you. The way that you think and the depth with which you look at things is so remarkable. I remember the first time I turned on VH1 and saw you and I just listened to the things that came out of your mouth and marveled at the fact that you seemed so incredible, which through trash editing must be nearly impossible. I wish that I could meet you someday, even thought I know I won’t ever.
Take care,

So glad to hear you’re doing better Duncan. Great piece. Surprised Bill Maher doesn’t have a more balanced view of things; think sometimes he’s so intent on being — what he thinks — is the voice of reason, that he gets too simplistic. It’s comforting to some to view things as black and white, addiction as an excuse for cheating – nothing more – but life is full of greys. As Jill Vermeire might say, sometimes a man cheats and it’s not addiction, but sometimes it is. Maybe you could make the case that Tiger is not addicted, but whatever you call it, no one can convince me that the man was happy that way, even before he was caught. That many affairs make it impossible to have any real or genuine intimacy with anyone, and his father never gave him a chance to be a child, the same way Michael Jackson’s father turned him into a meal ticket for their family. Hopefully Tiger will come into his real self before we find him dead. Yes his family should not accept the unacceptable from him, but yes, we should also endeavor to be understanding of one another, not to be judgmental, not to throw the first stone. Life is not black and white and there is more to bad behaviour than meets the eye, especially when it comes to sex.

Duncan; Your acceptance of what is, your living life on life’s terms, is a valuable example to those of us in the between-place. That is the purgatory (literally the space of purging the addiction) of emptiness before the real recovery work begins. When I see you honestly continuing to work (and, sometimes, struggle with) your recovery, face your regrets and acknowledge the truth of where you are now, it gives me great hope. Thank you for being of such service to those of us not nearly as far along.


For Christ’s sake life is way too short, your over analyzing man – go out have fun, love, live, jerk off, and fuck – don’t stay holed up to do any of them… get out and breathe the air….



Hi. I’m new to the blog so my comments may be a bit behind in the stream of consciousness. I haven’t seen a lot of “Sex Rehab” so I’m not up to speed on all that happened. I’d rather find out about you from what you choose to share here.

I keep thinking about what you said about the “perfect porn moment” and trying to recreate that in real life… playing a role instead of being yourself. Of course you’re going to play a role for a while because you haven’t been awake enough to develop a way to be your authentic self in the moment. Hell, you’re still finding out what your authentic self is. Sexual abuse causes one to disassociate from what’s going on and create an inauthentic self to deal with all the pain and confusion. Just like adolescents that take their cues on how to act with the opposite sex from the movies, you’ve taken your cues on how to act and react with a man from being abused and from porn. Plus, you’ve got the brain chemistry changes going on that come with excessive masturbation. Just like a drug. Emotionally, you still crave those brain chemicals. Like a drug you crave it when you need to be feeling something that you’ve blocked or that you’re afraid of. My therapist once told me to think of emotion as e-motion… energy in motion. We’re meant to feel our feelings and pass through them. Like waves flowing over us and flowing away. It’s when the energy is blocked that we get in trouble. Remember the acronym HALT. Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Call a friend or your sponsor or go to a meeting. Learn to meditate.

I was going to say something about creating a vision board to focus on the qualities that you want in a man and the type of relationship you want. Then it hit me… YOU’RE AN ACTOR, DIRECTOR AND WRITER! CREATE A STORYBOARD! Instead of quickie idealized porn moments, write yourself a script. If you have to cut out pictures and lettering out of magazines, go for it. Create the sex and the relationship that you want in fantasy… if you were well, if you could be your authentic self, if you could stop beating yourself up emotionally; then, make it concrete by writing out scenes, dialog and adding visuals. What camera angles would you use? Where would you meet? Malibu, NYC, Whitstable? Would it be an interior or exterior shot? Day or night? What would he look like? Perhaps you’ll use your wonderful Mr. NYC. You already have good associations with him. You seem to be on your way to feeling safe. We use real people in fantasy situations all the time. Remember, you’re training your subconscious to react the way a healthy you would react, so you’ll react that way in real life.

How do you meet? A gallery, a restaurant, a party with friends and you see each other across a crowded room? Is he laughing with a group of people? Did he just tell a joke? Is he on a park bench reading one of your favorite books or one that’s on your list? How do you approach him? Or does he approach you? After you meet, maybe you just talk for hours and hours as if you’ve met a long-lost best friend. (You know how to reference the passage of time visually. The movement of clouds across the sky, or traffic, or that old movie TCM cliche, the moving hands of a clock.) Maybe you go back to his place or your place or a hotel but you’re so tired from the day that you just cuddle and fall asleep… and it’s okay. Because you know you can be your authentic self with him and he with you. No one needs to perform. And when sex happens, maybe it’s teasing and fun. Maybe you play with whipped cream, or chocolate sauce or with honey dust and a feather duster. You have fun. You can take it slow because THIS ISN’T A PERFORMANCE. It’s you, awake, inside your skin, feeling everything… emotions, touch. AND YOU’RE SAFE! You’ve created a space where the demons can’t get you because you’ve slain those dragons already.

Once you’ve written this and visualized it, how the air and his touch feels on your skin, what the furniture looks like, how his voice sounds, the music that’s playing — if there is any — what the crisp new linen on the bed smells like, what the wine tastes like, or tea. Make it as real to yourself as if you were remembering a real experience because that’s what you’re trying to tell your brain. You’re creating this experience to replace the expectations that your mad head has set up from being abused and the years of pornography. Relive it EVERY DAY. If you get bored, create a new fantasy… but always with you being healthy, safe and authentic, and at ease.

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