Porn Projects, More Frustration, An Eerie Thing and a Zipline Video

Time for one of those random thoughts/updates pieces. Too much rattling around in my head to put 800 words to any of it, and I just need to do some housecleaning in my head.

First, my new book “Pornography and the Pandemic: How Three Months in 2020 Changed Everything” is still scheduled to be released on July 5. I think it may bump to July 6, since that’s a Monday. We had to change the secondary headline from when I last told you about the project because the publisher was leery of a book title with both “Pandemic” and “COVID-19” in the title since some online booksellers are rejecting items with too many references to the virus. I guess it stems from people trying to sell non-book products that claim to help cure the coronavirus. That’s fine with me. I can see the new secondary title as more exciting, but wonder if putting the year in it will help or hurt.

I’ve got to start working on the marketing of the book, but it’s a little challenging. It’s told in first person, but it’s far more of a journalistic-style book that I think will be interesting to a wide audience than either of my first books…but I’m not exactly sure how to tell the world about it with my marketing budget of $0. It’s also strange because there was 22 months between the release of my first two books and only 5 months between the second and third. Last year at this time, I largely took the summer off from this blog and writing, going on a nice road trip. The virus halted most sales of my second book in its tracks because the bulk were going to libraries at that point. I’ve noticed it pick up a little bit as libraries become semi-active, but I think that second book would have sold hundreds of more copies if not for people’s attention, and their lives, being so disrupted by the virus. A library isn’t going to buy a book if it’s not open until further notice. I believe the new book is going to be much less expensive than the first two, but I’m just the writer… I learn a lot of these things when I see it for sale for the first time. I hope you’ll support me and I’ll share more when I know.

I’m trying to calm myself a bit from the anger and frustration I’ve been feeling dealing with and seeing so many ignorant people on television and online regarding both the virus and the changes happening, and being pushed for, regarding race in this country. There’s a balancing act between recognizing as one person I really can’t do much, but just because that’s true doesn’t mean I should do nothing. I’m just hoping that the polls I’m seeing regarding November’s elections end up as true. We’ve given the current administration more than three years to make America great again. They actually went in the other direction. I think Joe Biden’s campaign slogan should just be, “Make America like it was before Trump took over, then we’ll work on the greatness thing.”

My frustration comes from people believing that they don’t have to follow either commonsense guidelines or actual laws because they believe there is some “Constitutional guarantee” they don’t have to wear a mask. There isn’t. I think this is a combination of politics, people needing to feel rebellious and untreated mental illness at work. I just feel bad for the people who try to do the right things and get the virus have to battle for the same hospital beds as those who flaunted and ignored scientific wisdom. Science says the sun will rise tomorrow. Do you not believe it until you see it? People need to remember that science is neither a religion nor a political party. It’s the best collection of provable data we have — even if you don’t like the results. With the race issue, the statistics that prove its obviously a problem are just being ignored by people who would rather argue about knocking over a statue in some Virginia or Alabama park. Who cares about these statues? Black people are dying because of the color of their skin and sick people are dying because people don’t want to treat the pandemic as serious. It’s more important they be able to workout in a gym or get a burger. Great priorities.

So here’s kind of a weird story. A couple of weeks back, on June 13, I got a nice notecard in the mail from my mother’s best friend, Gwen. They were paired as college roommates and share the exact same birthday. You’ve never met two more different people and I think Gwen’s flighty and illogical life choices sometimes frustrated my mother. Depending on where Gwen was living, we’d see her three or four times a year when I was growing up. When I was in jail, Gwen wrote a couple letters that were really quite touching and I wrote a few back. That correspondence never would have happened had I not done time and since I was released four years ago, we’ve exchanged letters once or twice a year. I think I saw her twice, but it may have only been once since I was released.

It was just a typical check-in note, but she mentioned that she had finally got a phone that could do texting — which I’m guessing she’s had for years but just finally realized it. She gave her new number and I texted her two days later on June 15, but heard nothing back. I didn’t follow-up. Yesterday, which was June 29, my mom called me and told me that Gwen was found dead in her apartment on June 20. Gwen’s son was under the belief his mother had gone on one of her little coastal retreats, but when she didn’t contact him upon returning he eventually had the police in her town do a wellness check, where she’d had a heart attack…on the day I received her note.

I feel very bad for my mother. She lost her brother, who was her other best friend in January, and now Gwen. It seems like she and my father, who were very well known in our area since they were school teachers for nearly 40 years each in the same town, have been going to a lot of funerals lately. It’s mainly for their former colleagues or some of their friends, but I can see their own mortality has been weighing on them a bit. I now know where all the important papers they have are, what the will says and in the next few weeks, they’re paying for their funeral expenses. With my uncle gone, I was given power of attorney should they both be unable to make decisions. They’re approaching their mid-70s, so they could theoretically still have 20 years each left in them, but it’s been a different kind of vibe lately.

I noticed a little bit of that vibe changing when my 20-year-old daughter, 17-year-old son, and 72-year-old dad all went zip lining in Massachusetts the other day. We needed to go do something outdoors and fun and my son and dad have never done it before. Ten years ago, my dad would have been planning our next trip. After the two miles of zip lines and mile of hiking through the mountains between the various zip lines, he said he never had to do it again. Of course, he finished just fine. I was the one who forgot to bring water, overheated and had a pretty serious case of the dry heaves between lines five and six…but we won’t talk about it. I’m sure my kids also thought, “Dad is getting old” when they saw I needed to take a break and wretch into the woods.

Finally, I’ve teased that I’m involved in something big and could change the trajectory of my porn addiction education quest. I got word from the powerful overseers that I will be able to announce what I’m talking about next week.

Enjoy the Fourth of July. Wear a mask.

My New Book Will Be Released on July 5!!!

I am excited to announce that my next book Porn and the Pandemic: An Unseen Long-Term Effect of COVID-19 will be available on July 5!!!

I’m excited about this book because unlike my first two books, this was not planned and worked on for months or years. From conception to completion, it was just under one month, but the 12-to-15 hour days working on it gave me a renewed sense of purpose while everybody was just kind of sitting around. My therapist told me that she hadn’t heard me as excited about anything in a long while.

No, this isn’t the “presentation” I asked help in titling a few days ago. I’m still waiting on the OK to tell you about that.

Porn and the Pandemic is a shorter book than my usual, and I hope the price point will reflect it, but that kind of stuff is out of my hands. While still told in first person, which is my plan for every pornography education book I write, I think it allowed me to flex my analytical and journalistic skillset more than any book I’ve written to this point.

I hope you’ll keep this on your radar as we move closer to July.

The First Draft of the ‘Porn During the Pandemic’ Book is Basically Done

I was asked to write a mini-book by my publisher and to make it 10K to 20K words 15 days ago. Since then, I have interviewed 19 people, some at great length and written 28,961 words. My short days were 8-10 hours and once the interviewing was mostly done and it was just writing, the days got longer. On Saturday, I wrote 9,735 words over 15 hours and yesterday I wrote 8,224 words over 14 hours.

I think I’m going to start reading it later today, but I needed to give myself at least 18 hours to kind of get it out of my head so I could start at the beginning with a fresh set of eyes.

I’m still looking for another porn addict who has successfully navigated the pandemic (Rollie, you fit the profile? If so, drop me an email), a cam model who has retired, and a therapist to talk a bit about healthy sexuality. If you’re any of these people…let me know.

I actually think more than my other books, this one best shows my ability as a journalist and writer. While I do tell this story in the first person as a narrative thread, there’s a ton of research and a pretty deep dive into analysis of statistics. I wrote on here at the beginning of the year that I think some of Pornhub’s reporting is faulty, but I really lay out my case in this book.

I also interviewed a bunch of cam models, which is something I’d never done before. I’m usually on the side of telling people it’s not healthy to watch them or participate in them, and I still believe that at my core, but I met a really interesting bunch of people, almost all of whom I would think could be, or could have been, my friends in real life when I was younger. Having them talk about the more technical end of their job and what it means to their real lives off-camera was something I haven’t read much about. It’s the longest chapter, probably because in many ways, I found it to be the most interesting since it was my first time tackling that subject.

I think writing this book has been very good for my mental health. I’ve kind of been wandering aimlessly the last several months, even before the pandemic, uninterested in the freelance/ghostwriting I was doing and unable to get up and excited for a new book idea I have — which I still think is great, but it’s not the time for it yet. And then I have another book idea for after that, which is even more exciting, but I’ve got to get them done in the proper order. Nonetheless, I didn’t need to hustle for money because I was doing OK and nothing was stoking any fires of passion for my work. Turning out a well-researched 30,000-word book in two weeks has changed that. If gave me a burst of much-needed adrenaline. I think it also helps that in these two weeks, the weather has got much nicer and I can sit outside in shorts most days. That helps my demeanor a lot.

I believe the hope is that the book will be out in late June, but with the slowdown in production, I have a feeling that July is more realistic. With the way states are acting about the epidemic, I’m sure it will still be around and make the book still relevant in the moment. If not, I think it will always be an interesting look at how this time caused people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

During the creation of the book, I got another piece of very cool news that should be a big boost to me professionally, but I have also signed a non-disclosure agreement that says I can’t announce it for a little while. They haven’t given me a timetable, but I think it will be July or August on this one.

And, as always, you can buy my first two books from Amazon. The most recent book is on sale at the moment, 27% off the regular hardcover price and 19% off the softcover. No idea how they get those figures. You can see that book HERE.

All right, time for lunch, a little sunshine and some editing…

An Excuse to Take a 10-Minute Break From What I Should Be Working On

Greetings. Sorry I haven’t checked in for a while, but I’ve been working 12 hour days trying to conduct the research, interviews and writing the new mini-book (there’s got to be a better term) that I’m due to get to my publisher in a few days. Like I mentioned before, the book is only 25-30% the length of an average book, but I only have about 3% of the time to write it, and unlike my other books, this one has a lot of advance work, not just me living my life and writing about it.

I think the interview count is going to end up somewhere around 20 and they are absolutely fascinating people. From the porn/sex addict guy who slipped his wife an anti-STD drug claiming it was a vitamin to the girl who just started camming to fight the anxiety of the pandemic, I’ve got some fascinating stories that take a look at where we are in terms of pornography creation and consumption in the world of COVID-19.

While the book is told in the first-person because I’ve forgot how to write any other way, and I like Hunter S. Thompson so much, it really is one of the biggest and, hopefully, best research projects I’ve worked on going back to when I ran a magazine.

As I mentioned, I’ve been working on this during almost all of my waking hours. I make sure to take a few breaks and still have an unwinding period at the end of the night, but this is creating a natural high for me, I guess it’s an adrenaline rush, that I haven’t felt with my work for a long time. I think it mostly has to do with the short deadline. I never felt as much adrenaline as when I worked at a daily newspaper. You’re constantly in a state of rushing and for someone who didn’t have his manic side in check back then, it was like a fat kid with a box of donuts.

I just wanted to check in with the regulars who read my stuff and whose stuff I read and apologize for being super-lax in the blogging world this past week. Probably another week of this to come, then I can exhale and double-back to see what I missed.

Onward Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Satanic, Agnostic, Buddhist, Etc. Soldiers!

Book Review: Going Deeper by Eddie Capparucci

I like when life surprises me, especially when it comes to the kindness of other people. Before I entered recovery six years ago and developed a lot of tools and people skills that were lacking my first 38 years, I didn’t notice these things, or always thought they came with an ulterior motive because frankly, if I was being kind to you, there was probably a reason behind it.

Not too long ago, I met Eddie Capparucci, LPC, C-CSAS, CPCS. He’s a therapist out of Marietta, Georgia, and one of my favorite people I’ve met in the last six months. He’s provided a few guest blogs to this site that you may have seen.

In early December, just as I joined LinkedIn and started to promote my latest book, I got a message from Eddie who mentioned he was releasing a book in February and wondered if I had a master list of podcasts. I don’t, but the old me would have pretended I did and guarded the imaginary list as if it were precious. Instead, I just urged him to check out the list on my website of shows I’ve done. It’s really the only list I have.

We got to exchanging emails and eventually, our books. The old me probably wouldn’t have read his book and lied about it, giving a decent review, but finding problems for the sake of it. Eddie, of course, didn’t do that with my book. He had a solid review that became part of the “expert review” section on Amazon.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 9.58.25 AMI mention the “old me” a bunch because Eddie’s book got me thinking about that guy and how he became that way. Going Deeper: Understanding How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction; The Road to Recovery Goes Through Your Childhood helped me make some of those “a-ha!” connections that come with early recovery, but become fewer and farther apart the deeper and longer you remain sober.

While Eddie is a Christian writer and there are a few references to God early in the book, it didn’t turn me off enough to want to stop reading. Once he gets through his introduction, spirituality really takes a back seat to the main theme of the book: There are nine“inner child” personality types and understanding yours will help lead to addressing issues, especially trauma, that have plagued your life up to, and including, today.

I found the chapters on the “Control Kid” and “Sexually Abused Kid” very identifiable because those are probably two of the biggest areas I’ve focused on in my personal therapy. My biggest strides in recovery were unpacking how the sexually abused kid became the control kid and how the control kid was never that far in the background of my adult life. I believe if I had read these chapters only months into recovery they would have been life altering passages as it felt like he knew details of my specific story in describing these personality types.

I actually found the chapter in Going Deeper detailing the “Entitled Kid” to be the most enlightening upon first read. In going through this section, I realized that I developed quite an entitled streak around the age of 11 or 12 that was a major part of my personality that I still struggle with on a daily basis, perhaps even more than the other child personality types that I knew were there.

Eddie makes sure to stress that no book is going to take care of the problem and urges the reader to attend professional therapy, but he also provides some fantastic tips and a plan at the end of the book to the reader who is wondering what to do next.

Whether you’re a porn and alcohol addict like me, or have never had an addiction but are dealing with trauma from youth, this is an important book to have. It’s the kind of tool that I believe therapists should share with their new clients as it could shave some time off the “get to know you period” if a client can point to the Inner Child they most identify with.

I’ve had good luck with my new book, and it’s been consistently ranked highly on the Amazon “Hot New Release” categories it has been featured in. Of course, it feels great when it’s Nos. 1 or 2, but when it falls to Nos. 6 or 7, and I see Going Deeper in the top spots, I know readers can’t go wrong either way. A decade ago, I would have been resentful Eddie’s book was doing better than mine in that moment and wouldn’t have talked to him at all, but today, I’m grateful he reached out and I urge everyone reading this to pick up a copy of his book through Amazon as soon as you can. Your inner child will thank you.