Endeavors

Is It Ethical to Attempt to Make Money Off Of My Porn Addiction Educating?

One of the nicer things about this past weekend when I met with a half-dozen people individually to discuss porn addiction at a Massachusetts library was the feedback that my time educating people and being a source of support is not being wasted. I need to hear that now and then, but I need to begin to figure out the next step.

On an average day, I probably devote 2-3 hours to my blog: writing, editing (though some days you’d never know it) posting, responding to comments and that doesn’t include the time I look at other people’s blogs and comment on their entries.

I’m at a place in advance of the new book coming out soon where I’m devoting 2-3 hours per week on a bunch of the last-minute edits and other things that need to be done before its printed. I’m also doing 2-4 podcasts/interviews per week that usually take 3-5 hours total.

Adding that all up, on a slow week I’m devoting a minimum of 20 hours and on a busy week it’s closer to 30. That’s a busy part-time job. Throw in something like Saturday when I was gone from the house for 13 hours and spent around $75 and it’s a full-time job where I lose money.

I still feel a mighty pull to educate and help wherever I can. It feels like one of the most natural things I’ve ever done. I have felt like I’m supposed to be a writer. I’ve felt like I’m supposed to be a traveler. I’ve felt like I’m supposed to be a father and I’ve felt like I’m supposed to educate and help others about porn addiction. That’s really it…four things.

Last year, I tried to monetize this a little bit by starting pornaddictcounseling.org. I’ve helped several people through that site and made a few dollars doing it, but not enough to really make a difference in the bottom line of my life. I’ll admit I didn’t promote or push it, but I don’t know if that would have made a difference. I’ve been debating shutting it down before another year of charges is applied to the site.

I’m not going to make a lot of money on the next book unless something very unexpected happens. I have to split royalties with my co-author and don’t think I’ll actually see a dime of them until early 2021 if I read my contract correctly.

I know that I need to spend more time looking for ghostwriting and freelance writing work to get a bit more income through the door, but that’s on me, and isn’t really the point here.

One part of me sees this really going to the next level. Writing more books that make some money. Getting guest speaking gigs where I’m actually paid to appear and a bump in visibility that gets me on higher-profile podcasts and radio shows, in turn leading to more money-making opportunities. If I can pull back on the freelance writing time because I’m making money with this, I can do even more with the education and speaking, but I need money to replace that money I don’t make writing. Isn’t making a living and helping people the best of both worlds? Hell, doctors do it every day.

The other side of me says that if I start doing any more than covering expenses, I’m going to enter a world of exploiting the situation. Why are you reading this right now? Because I did a horrible thing. Why did I get to participate at the library this past weekend? Because there’s a girl who (at the time) was underage and I encouraged her to show me her body. Why do I have a second book coming out? Because my story is unique and special for all the wrong reasons. Isn’t there an argument to be made I’m exploiting myself, the girl, the crime, the whole situation by trying to make anything resembling a profit? Isn’t there an argument that any money I make is almost dirty? These are arguments that plague me.

Porn addiction is starting to gain some traction in the mainstream. People are just starting to talk about it. With two books behind me, my personal experience with addiction and the wealth of knowledge I have about the subject puts me in a position where I may be able to capitalize on opportunities in the near future as this becomes even more mainstream. But should I be talking about this is terms of entrepreneurialism?

I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer. I’m going to keep doing what I do as long as I can afford it. Maybe the rest will work itself out.

13 comments

  1. I don’t it’s unethical to do what you’re doing. (Most) people likely don’t read your blogs, or listen to your interviews, for sensationalist reasons. Maybe a few – but probably not most. If you look at the statistics, there are millions of people trapped, and negatively impacted, by pornography and sex addiction. It’s something people find difficult to ask or talk about. And yet they need information and help. They also need hope. You are providing all of these.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate hearing that. I don’t know if I wrote it here recently but my mom said to me not too long ago “You’ve never done anything for the money” and I think that’s because in some way I’ve equated money with negative things, or some kind of compromise of morals. Maybe it speaks to my control issues and taking money is relinquishing power…not sure…but I’m glad to read this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is up to you. As long as your main intent is to help people and not sell yourself for the ‘cash’ I think it’s ethical. You have the possibility to learn others not to do the same as you did. Maybe the story of the girl can prevent that another girl needs to live through that. The suffering is done already, you have the choice to help to prevent further harm or you can put it all aside. It is your choice. (bc you’re not forced to share your story). But it is a real job to do those kind of things. It is.

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    1. Like I mentioned, maybe I’ll get lucky and it will evolve into that on it’s own. I guess what I don’t like is the idea of marketing my story to get paying opportunities. I just want them to appear out of nowhere, which isn’t realistic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Joshua, completely off topic but you’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, to spread sunhine through the community and I hope even more people discover your blog because your message needs to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joshua. You need to eat and maintain a roof over your head. I can say with much sincerity that your writing and podcast appearances have helped me immensely in my recovery. Even when your opinion has diverged from my own you have provided much fodder for thought and in questioning my own motives and actions. So thank you. The nominal amount of money you will reap does not smack of unbridled greed. Maintaining a living while helping others is ethical. No one questions whether a doctor should earn a salary. Why would you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barry, thank you very much for sharing that. It is immensely appreciated. I’ve been thinking about it and I believe it may be about standing up in a much bigger forum than just a website and saying “I have something to say about this!” That piece of myself in the back of my mind that constantly tells me I’m a fraud screams, “You shouldn’t say anything about anything, you phony!” I guess that’s Imposter Syndrome for you. I actually spent my entire 90-minute therapy session talking about exactly this yesterday. I just need to reach the conclusion if I’m the only one questioning it and everybody else is urging me to go for it and not feel bad, then perhaps my thinking is faulty and not everyone else’s. Again, thank you for being another voice that I need to hear.

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