Q&A

Q&A Time: Did My Porn Addiction Cause My Daughter to Become a Cam Girl?

Warning: This Q&A could possibly cause a trigger to a recovering addict, especially if they enjoyed cam sites. 

QUESTION I’m a porn addict, I admit it. I’m trying to control it but after 30 years, I’ve kind of just come to live with it. Some days are better than others. This is a strange question, but I have no idea where else to ask. I discovered that my 23-year-old daughter is doing webcam shows, and yes I discovered it the worst way possible by stumbling upon it. She has a lot of followers so I think she has been doing it for a long time. Do I tell her I know she’s doing this? Do you think she’s doing this because of my porn addiction?

ANSWER This is by far the most out-of-the-box question I’ve ever had. I’m not even sure it really has to do with porn addiction, but it stuck with me since it came as part of a longer email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s take it a step at a time.

If nothing else ever changes about this situation, the first thing to do is NEVER to go back to that website. Obviously, try to quit porn. If you know this site, you know I’m going to tell you to see a therapist. You may want to see a therapist because of this situation anyway. If you need cam sites, you can find webcams elsewhere. I’m hoping you saw her and quickly clicked away. Do not go back to that site. If you feel a pull to that site and to God forbid, watch your daughter, you need to get help immediately, regardless of whatever she’s doing. Something beyond porn addiction is happening at that point, but hopefully that’s not the case.

Jumping to your last question, it’s impossible for me to say if she’s doing this because of anything that happened in your home. You don’t mention if she still lives with you and is doing these broadcasts from your home, nor do you mention anything about her upbringing. Anecdotally, I’ve heard first-person stories of a lot of women who became porn stars, or even just Playboy centerfolds, talk about those kinds of magazines being around the house when they were young and finding the women beautiful. I wonder if they really found them beautiful or they were reacting to their fathers finding those women beautiful. Either way, we now know that exposure to pornography sexualizes a child at a young age and for a brain that is still in the formative years of development, it can certainly create sexual attitudes unlike their peers.

As for telling her, what’s the goal? Shame her into stopping? As the father of a 20-year-old woman/little girl, I certainly wouldn’t want her getting naked and performing for people on camera, but I would fear that telling her that I know she’s doing it would cause a rift that may never be fixed. I know after telling her the next question would be, “And how do you know?” Do you want to answer that question?

The other reality is that if she’s living on her own, supporting herself, there’s probably almost no leverage you have to make her stop. Legally, she’s an adult. She can make her own choices. It sounds like you don’t know exactly why she’s doing this. Realistically, there are women who strip to put themselves through med school and there are women who strip because they are hypersexual and have legitimate issues. I can’t tell you which side of that pendulum she swings toward.

I think I’d casually offer to pay for her to get therapy by saying something like, “I was reading that a lot of parents are paying for their kids to be in therapy in their early 20s because making the transition to adulthood is tougher than ever. I wish I would have had a therapist when I was young. I’d be happy to pay for you to have someone to talk to if that ever interests you.”

And, then, you hope that they talk about the cam stuff, because I really don’t think you’re in a position to say anything.

I’ve got to admit, this is the one of the toughest questions I’ve ever had to answer…does anybody else have good ideas for this guy?

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DISCLAIMER: I have no formal training in counseling or medicine. My advice comes from experience as an addict and as someone in recovery for over four years. Please take my words only as suggestions and before doing anything drastic, always consult with a professional. If you’d like me to answer a question publicly, either post it in the comment section or visit the contact page. Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

17 comments

  1. What a complicated question. I think you answered very well. The one thing I would like to comment or share my thoughts on, is the advice to ‘pay her for therapy’.
    My ethical belief is that we should pay for our own therapy. I believe it preserves free speech and free thinking. If you ‘know’ that you’re therapy is being payed is, you may devellop a loyalty to that person.
    To make therapy work, it has to be a bit difficult, not too easy so you are willing to pay some effort to go through it.
    Let’s assume that the daughter believes are that a man has/can pay her to be attractive or sexual; what will the difference be if the father ‘pays’ her to be ‘a client?’ Maybe (in my weird mind) that can just play into the thinking she aleady has.
    But talking is always good, I’m not saying therapy is not desired here.
    Maybe therapy for the father and the therapist can decide if it would be possible to bring the daughter in after a while? I hope other suggestions will come in the comments!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good question! It’s so difficult because it’s not just ‘any’ addiction.
        Answer from the hart: I would open up to my addiction, tell her everything. I would see the need to change myself (as I don’t agree with what she is doing, therefore what I’m doing is also wrong). I would propose to go together if she would like too. And I would tell her that I’m changing and set the right example. I would try that. But maybe that’s no good, what do I know? It’s a delicate matter.
        But when she needs help, in any way, I would do that of course.
        It’s just a whole process I think, it’s seems like a problem that didn’t ‘pop up’ one day, so the solution is not easy. What if she doesn’t want to go?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I could never imagine my young adult daughter ever wanting to go to therapy with me to discuss these things, so I think it’s likely in the scenario you provide she wouldn’t want to go. I think this is like anything involving an adult child, you offer to help without being too overbearing or too prying and hope they make a good choice.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No, not to talk about that but things like self-worth, how she sees her dad, the relationship between them, how he values her etc
        But that is maybe not the first thing to adress.
        The point is that he has to make a starting point somewhere. And like you said, we can facilitate and pray that they make the good choice.
        I’m not an expert at these things but still stubborn enough to comment 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In terms of causal role the other thing that comes to mind is problematic messaging around self-esteem that could have indirectly led to the cam shows.

    If it seems realistic that there’s a genuine financial need aspect, approaching it from that perspective might be a relatively easier way to be subtle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Boy, does this hit home. One of the things that caused me to seek help for my addiction was the thought that it could be my own daughter that some guy is pleasuring himself while ogling her. Call it a “moment of clarity” if you will…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That never crossed my mind because she was so young at the time. I think she’s fairly anti-porn now considering what happened, so I don’t worry about this specifically, but you’re right — every single person you see in porn is somebody’s son, daughter, future mother or father.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As someone who unexpectedly had to view my spouse engaged in a sexual act (my IT guy wasn’t kidding with the warning to not open email attachments from folks I don’t know), I simply can’t imagine it being my child. I really hope your reader follows Rollie’s path and realizes that every girl/ woman he watches is someone’s child. I think your suggestion of simply offering to pay for therapy was a good solution for a bad and uncomfortable situation. “A” for effort. There is no perfect answer because of the circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Have you told that story on your page? I don’t think I’ve read it. I can’t imagine having video of that. In all actuality, I don’t want to see anybody I know, family or not, in any state of undress on the Internet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I’ve not mentioned it so specifically. His primary AP’s husband posted a video he found on the wife’s burner phone on Facebook. My husband’s face wasn’t in it, but it was him masturbating to completion. The two of them exchanged lots of videos. I’m lucky that’s the only one he posted and that he took it down after a day or two. We were on vacation in Europe when that happened, but some anonymous person sent it to my work email.

        It’s a great lesson about sexting that once you send that stuff to someone else you loose all control of it.

        Like

      2. Wow. A while back I asked my therapist about how many people she thought now sent nudes and sexted she guessed 35% of people under 25 and 20% of people 25 to 50. I couldn’t believe it but she said it reflected the people she talks to about this. Once you do ANYTHING in your computer, Internet or not, it’s there forever. I, too, learned that the hard way.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Here’s the scary thing, I believe your therapist is underestimating the problem. In 2018 there was a report published in JAMA Pediatrics, which analyzed 39 studies with a total of about 10,300 young men and women under age 18. Although the majority of teenagers didn’t report sexting, 15% of teens did admit they send sexts and 27% reported receiving them. I’m guessing those numbers go up significantly as the kids age into their 20s. It’s a big issue.

        Liked by 1 person

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