Archives for posts with tag: pornography

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.

Yesterday I was on HLN with Jane Velez-Mitchell debating whether it was cool or not for Montana Fishburne to have released her own porn film.

My point, contrary to the other more morally confused commentators, was that it is perfectly OK for Montana to make a pornographic film.  That her father Laurence Fishburne‘s career will not be hampered by difficult questions on the red carpet.  That as far as I was concerned Montana’s decision was a ‘feminists dream’.  Of course I was being deliberately incendiary but it’s a news entertainment show.  That’s my role.

Seriously though, we are only ‘shocked‘ and ‘outraged‘ because a rich girl decides to make a pornographic film.  Why are we shocked?  Because our preconceptions about pornography and women in pornography are blown out of the water.  We still believe that women who make a choice to go into porn have no choice at all.  That they are the naive victims of unscrupulous men and to be sure, there is some truth to this on some occasions but not all porn is the same.

I am perfectly sure that when my friend Jenny Ketcham made porn she knew exactly what she was doing.

Montana Fishburn legitimizes pornography and scaily, for some people, may encourage a different sort of woman to make pornography a legitimate career choice.

Montana’s choice blasts the lie of the ‘sex tape’ out of the water.  Let’s face it, both Paris and Kim knew exactly what they were doing when their sex tapes were released.  They were complicit.  The tape would never have been released without their consent.  To be sure Rick Hilton never lost any sleep about the impact on his career after his daughter’s tape was released.

We live in Hollywood, fame and celebrity (even notoriety) is the goal for most people who live here.  To live in your father’s shadow when you too crave what he has but your options are few…what’s a girl to do?

Porn has become a legitimate way for a starlet to reach a mass audience and become a star.  The press is more than willing to collude with the associated lies.  That both Paris and Kim shot their sex tapes covertly merely attempts to disguise the truth.

I take my hat off to Montana Fishburne.  Let’s hope she makes a whole heap of cash.  The kids of the rich and famous are notorious wasters.  If this girl is as clever as she seems to be she’ll never ask her father for another cent.  For the time being Montana Fishburne will glory in the spotlight that until now has been reserved exclusively for her father and my guess is that more people, in the long run, will see her film work than his.

Dream:  weirdly compelling dream, I am in a beautiful country house in South America, there is an anaconda, I am guarding the little dog, then we are on a train to a small village, lots of people..then on my own.

I am on a high protein diet so I can lose a few pounds before I get to England rather than work it off whilst I am there.      The upshot is I am feeling aggressively horny.   Need..want..love.

Taming the beast.    Look, I have to confide in you:  I have never been interested in second best, making do, half measures not only availed me nothing but I am turned OFF by the avowedly second rate.  I am interested in first class everything and why shouldn’t I be?  I don’t mean huge houses or fancy cars, I don’t want ravishing beauty or perfect bodies all I have ever wanted was something or someone who could tell me the truth.

Again, let me state as boldly and confidently as I know how: AUTHENTICITY.  I am only interested, I have only ever been interested and will always only ever be interested in that that is authentic and true.

This may account for the kind of pornography with which I used to be obsessed.

If I look around my home I can tell you that there is not one fork, spoon, chair or rug that I don’t LOVE.

Selling my art recently has given me the freedom to let everything go.  I may have no option.  Yet, as fast as I let things go I acquire more.   It is an addiction as grave as pornography or drugs.  I used to look around my home in Whitstable and I could tell you to the day how badly I felt by the amount of money I spent on the possessions I owned.

Last night I met some actor from a show called Dollhouse.  I don’t remember his name.  Fran someone or other.   He was/is attractive but because I no longer objectify or intrigue I really didn’t know how to engage with strangers.  The conversation lingered and died.    Is this how things will be from now on?

Fuck.

Before my sexual maturity work in therapy when ever I went out I would flit from table to table intriguing and flirting and having a gay old-time.  Yesterday night I was compelled to chat with people I knew rather than making brand new friends.

Fuck!

I really do not want to lose that motivation.  I love people but how do I love people without them becoming my drug of choice?

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.

The phone rang at some ungodly hour last night and a very methed out friend of mine called to say that he was having a relationship with a porn star.  A ‘chic with a dick’.  Worse, he said, he wanted to become a ‘chic with a dick’ himself.   He then spoke to me as his ‘other’ incarnation, which was very disturbing as I really thought I was speaking to another person.   When he became ‘her’ he sounded like he’d been snorting helium.

He sent me a link to a porn sight where I could see his ‘girl friend’ in action.  I declined to open the link even though I was very, very tempted.

Then, quite coincidentally, I received a very angry email from Pater Tatchell the British human rights activist denouncing Quentin Crisp as a homophobe and misogynist.    Pater writes:

“Quentin Crisp was a contradictory, infuriating figure. Although astonishingly brave and defiant as an out gay man in the 1930s and 40s, he was later defiantly self-obsessed, homophobic and reactionary. Quentin denounced the gay rights movement and slammed homosexuality as ‘a terrible disease’; adding that ‘the world would be better without homosexuals’.  Quentin disparaged homosexuality as an illness, affliction, burden, curse and abnormality. He regarded himself as ‘disfigured’ by his gayness. He never spoke out for gay rights or supported any gay equality cause.”

I was taken aback by the fury of the email simply because the description of Quentin by Peter was so incredibly off.   Quentin may have been a very muddled old man when it came to expressing his political views but he was very much a product of his age and time and should be viewed as such.   It seems churlish to denounce Crisp simply because he never overcame his shame and self-hatred or learned a contemporary gay polemic.

Shame blighted Quentin Crisp’s life and one can never underestimate the damage toxic shame can cause.

Toxic shame is an all-pervasive sense that one is flawed, worthless and defective as a human being.  It is more than just a fleeting feeling of unworthiness; it is an internal sense of falling short.  As John Bradshaw says, “A shame based person will guard against exposing his inner self to others, but more significantly, he will guard against exposing himself to himself.”

I have an enormous amount of respect for Peter Tatchell who has routinely risked his life and health for the sake of his beliefs-a little like Quentin Crisp.   Peter and Quentin have profoundly influenced my thinking during the past 30 years-even though they come from such politically diverse places.  Quentin may have said some very stupid things but what he did empowered boys like me to be true to themselves.

Finally, dear readers, let’s chat momentarily about the banks.  I think we can all agree that the banks have fucked us over?

Can we?

The loyalty most of you have toward the banks will never be reciprocated.  They don’t give a damn about you.  The last thing the banks need is another wave of toxic assets.  By cynically creating my very own I may do myself a favor.

Before the banks behaved so abominably I would never have thought so irresponsibly.  Now, frankly, I don’t care.  They have shown utter contempt for the trust that was placed in them by ordinary, working people.

If any of you are foolish enough to believe that the credit rating system will not be recalibrated then think twice.  As soon as the banks are ready to do business again they will manipulate the credit rating system, that you all seem to blindly respect, to suit themselves.

Lastly…

Apparently, according to NPR this morning,  scientists are working on a pill for people who feel socially excluded.

Bring it on.

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.