Random Thoughts, December 2019

My mind is buzzing today. Trying to focus on one topic is impossible. Thankfully, I’ve built this escape hatch that lets me get away with being scattered once a month.

One of the ironies of what I do now with pornography addiction awareness and education is that I have to keep up-to-date with changing technology and how people are utilizing their porn and how porn is essentially sold online – all while not using it myself.

The situation makes sense when you think about it. I couldn’t lecture about the evils of video game addiction, telling young people what playing too much Pac-Man on Atari or Legend of Zelda on Super Nintendo will do to their brains. I have a feeling with our current crop of young pornography addicts, Playboy sounds more like an antique than a source to get your fix.

I was kind of reminded this when I had a conversation with a couple of people in their 20s who know what’s going on and laughed when I asked if people were still hooking up over Skype. Apparently that’s like asking if they still post to Facebook. I was just showing my age.

Thankfully I have a daughter who knows what’s going on. I’m 99.99% sure that she doesn’t engage in any of these activities, but she’s able to keep me abreast of how the young people are making their own porn and how camgirls now mostly use Snapchat and cut out the third-party cam sites so they can keep all the money themselves, minus  the small percentage they kick back to Venmo.

I don’t quite understand Snapchat because I’ve never used it, but the entrepreneurial side of me says good for you getting more of the money. The anti-porn side of me screams that you’re selling your body for what an appetizer at Buffalo Wild Wings costs. This is why parents need to start talking to their kids early about pornography. You don’t want it seeming like a viable option as a part-time job.

 

I haven’t asked anybody on here to buy my book in the last week. One of you has an extra $20 in your pocket and appreciates what I do on here, right? Be a pal and go support me. The first 10 or 11 days went well, but it’s leveling out and I need to keep showing my publisher it’s a viable entity to put their marketing resources behind. If nobody knows about the book, it was a pointless exercise in writing it because it helped nobody. And I know you may only think you’re one person and one book doesn’t make a difference but with this genre (sexual health recovery) it really does make a difference to the bean counters. As I mentioned before, if you don’t need the book, donate it to your local library, women’s charity or church. Doesn’t donating stuff at the holiday season warm your heart? Follow the link… https://amzn.to/2qvxVbm

 

In a couple of weeks, PornHub releases its annual statistics report to show how pornography viewing trends have changed in the last year. I was surprised to find out as of November 1, PornHub has actually fallen to the third most popular pornography website after years of being on top. It’s ranked as the 10th most popular website on Earth. The other sites are No. 7 and No. 9, but since they don’t hand out analytics, I’m not going to mention them. When you realize that these three websites get more individual traffic than Yahoo, Amazon, Netflix and Reddit do, it shows you just how silently the world is using pornography. There are also porn sites at No. 21 and No. 48.

 

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 8.06.05 AMThis has nothing to do with pornography addiction or prevention, but it does speak to a tone-deaf response to addiction in general. On my massive road trip through America earlier this year, my favorite state was South Dakota for a bunch of reasons. One is not their ability to clearly get an idea across. The state, which has a massive meth problem, launched an advertising campaign last month designed to get the average citizen to start caring about the problem and start doing something about it. You know how when somebody asks you to do a task and instead of saying “Ok,” you say, “I’m on it.” Yeah, well, for the nice people of South Dakota who are going to tackle the meth problem, they’re on it. That’s like a state deciding they’re going to tackle porn addiction and using the slogan, “Let’s examine pornography” or sex addiction and saying, “Sex Addiction, let’s do it.”

 

It often flies under the radar, but I added an amazing link to pornography addiction resources for both the addict and the partner on the Resources page on this site. I hope if you get a chance, after purchasing my book, you check it out. I feel like I’ll never have to update that page again, it’s so comprehensive. https://amzn.to/2qvxVbm

 

I was watching a documentary last night and I felt tears welling up in my eyes. It dawned on me that it was the first time I was getting emotional about something in a long, long time. I know that I had my recent bout of mild mania that I think has settled, but it made me realize that before I got into recovery, and even through the first couple years of recovery, while I was waiting to find out my legal fate, I got emotional very easily. I think this shows some level of getting better, but crying is a fantastic way to get stuff out of my system. I’ll have to engage it more often. The only sure-fire way I know of making myself cry is listening to this song: Click Here I’m not even going to tell you it’s cultural significance and thankfully, if you’re under 40 you probably have no idea. If you like it, that’s the standard version…here’s one that really gets me: Click Here

 

My website numbers are off the charts lately. I don’t know if posting daily has made that much of a difference or if there are now more bots visiting or if it’s just a series of a lot of little things happening, but 9 of the top 10 days for views and 10 of the top 10 days for visitors have happened in the last 45 days. Thank you all for sticking with me. Now go buy my book…please. https://amzn.to/2qvxVbm

 

 

First Guest Blog: Google Trends Data Gives Insight Into US Addictions By State

Note from Josh: This is the first time I’m presenting a guest blogger. Aeden Smith-Ahearn approached me with some research he was working on and wondered if I’d like to share it. Upon looking at the map he’s created, I think he shows just how prevalent sex and porn addiction is in the US. I also think it’s important to point out all of the other addictions. This is really some fantastic work on his part and I hope you’ll enjoy it and be educated as much as I was.

 

By Aeden Smith-Ahearn

Addiction is on the rise, and with it comes a slew of problems that we seem unequipped to deal with. With the opioid epidemic being declared a public emergencyalcoholism on the rise, and pornography addiction still not being considered a “medical issue”,  it seems we have an overall problem that is being seriously overlooked.

In order to better understand this issue, and how it has permeated our society, we analyzed the data inside Google Trends to see just what addictions were concerning to modern Americans. We looked at this data on a state-by-state basis to find out which states were worried and educating themselves about which specific addictions.

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Here are some of our findings:

Pornography and Sex Addiction

By far the most prevalent and most searched for addictions fell in the pornography and sex addiction category. This is a growing problem, yet still not listed as an actual “disorder” by psychologists and medical professionals today.

(Note from Josh: This was written before the World Health Organization began listing sexual compulsivity disorder).

Sex addiction was more prevalent in the east, with pornography addiction trending more prevalently in the west. On the full scale, clearly American’s are worried about these addictions—given the massive search volume and popularity. Given this trend, is it only a matter of time before this problem gets too out of hand—if it hasn’t already?

Drug, Alcohol, and Opiate Addictions

With opiate and heroin related overdoses becoming a daily occurrence. News stories about drugs and alcohol are more prevalent than ever. Some states even showed trends regarding specific opiate medications, like Tramadol in Florida, or Vicodin in Michigan. Such specific trends get at the heart of the problem, with certain states having their own specific issues that are unique to them.

Nicotine and alcohol remain at large in the US as well, and work to further fuel other addictions. Rarely does one addiction come alone, but, often, one addiction leads to another in a cycle of behavior that is hard to eliminate.

Social Media and Internet Addictions

Apparently more prevalent in eastern states, the use of smartphones, addictions to social media, Facebook, and other Internet platforms are on the rise nationwide.

And because of the piggyback nature of addiction, we wonder if these simple, easy to access addictions are providing a basic neurological route that leads individuals down a path to much stronger addictions like drugs and pornography.

Food and Sugar Addictions

Overall health continues to get worse, and declining life expectancy in America is just one major signal of this bigger problem. Obesity and other issues continue to be a massive setback for the country. Food addictions are not making things easier, and many American’s are searching for education related to these addictions.

Are We Doing Enough?

The problem of addiction is very real. There is a conversation happening, and many are hoping this conversation leads to real change. However, many of these issues are new, and they come with very little real scientific understanding.

Change is happening, but is it happening fast enough? Are we doing enough? Are we creating the future for our children that will empower them?

Maybe time will tell. But let’s hope we are not leaving this problem up to chance. That seems like a poor approach to the significant problems at hand.

 

Aeden Smith-Ahearn is the content coordinator for Experience Ibogaine treatment centers. Aeden was a massive heroin addict for seven years and, ultimately, found sobriety through Ibogaine. He now spends his time writing, educating, and helping others find freedom from addiction through alternative treatment methods.