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.

REDDIT: Anti-Racist? Yes. Anti-Porn? Nope.

It’s nice to see corporations put their money where their mouth is, or to put their actions where their words are and in the wake of the civil unrest of the last month, many organizations seem to be making changes, both substantial and symbolic, or in the case of NASCAR banning the Confederate Flag, both.

One of the items that caught my eye was Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian stepping down from the board of his company and asking that a person of color replace him to better represent the diversity in America, and the diversity of Reddit.

For those unfamiliar with Reddit, which bills itself as “The Front Page of the Internet,” it is essentially a giant bulletin board-like forum where you can find just about any topic that interests you and participate in discussion on that topic, or simply look at pictures and videos other people post. From politics to pets, there really is something for everybody there.

I’ve not been a big “Redditor” over the years. I participated last year in the room (these individual rooms are called subreddits) that dealt with betrayal trauma for porn addicts’ partners and exercised my creative muscle in a room for roasting people, but after a few weeks with both, they seemed to fall by the wayside. Like a lot of online technology that was new to me, I just couldn’t find the long-term value with integrating it into my life. That said, I know hundreds of millions of people do enjoy the site and it does have a tremendous amount to offer, from mental health resources to help planning road trips.

With Ohanian’s bold statement (which I still wonder how much was taking advantage of the opportunity for a positive PR spin from somebody planning to leave the board anyway) Reddit has reportedly taken a serious hardline stance against racism among its users. While the site, depending on who is a moderator of a subreddit has long been criticized for randomly, arbitrarily and often hypocritically enforcing its own rules, it seems to be clamping down on racism. As a privately-owned business that is free to run things however they wish, they’ve decided that racism will not be tolerated. They are not covered by free speech in The Constitution and I respect and appreciate that fact.

I also appreciate the fact that despite having millions of users, some of whom are probably extremely questionable human beings, the site tries to make sure there aren’t things like prostitution, sex trafficking or other nefarious crimes taking place under the surface that have plagued sites like Craigslist.

However, the site does seem to not have a problem with one of society’s major ills: Pornography. There are dozens upon dozens of rooms devoted to the spread of online pornography. When I frequented the betrayal trauma room for partners of porn addicts, most lamented the irony of while they were getting support they needed from the Reddit community, it was also Reddit that was giving their partner the very pornography fix that was driving them apart.

Enjoy naked celebrities? Reddit has got you covered. There’s your typical naked celebrity page (686,000 members), but if you’re into specifics, you can find pages geared just toward female celebrity genitals (208,000), their nipples (107,000) or movies where celebrities performed an actual sex act (225,000). Prefer the younger girls? There’s “Barely Legal Teens” with 218,000 members, “Barely Legal” with 133,000 and “GoneWild18” with 427,000.

Other subreddits have such classy names as “Hold the Moan,” “Happy Embarrassed Girls,” “Incest Porn,” “Sex in Front of Others” and “Bottomless Vixens.”

And don’t worry about Reddit being racist when it comes to porn. You can enjoy, “Black Boobs,” “Ebony Nude Selfies,” “Latin Sex Girl” or “Jew Sluts” among its many other specific offerings like “Amputee Porn” and “Grandma Porn.”

I didn’t mention the membership numbers of those room because it doesn’t actually matter. You needn’t be a member to view any of it, so it’s probably safe to surmise that exponentially more people are viewing than the numbers I listed above.

One of the worst parts about the vast majority of the porn on Reddit is that with the exception of clicking a button that says you’re 18 years old, there is no security, firewall or other way to prove that its viewers are actual adults. For kids who are all over the subreddits about anime, video games or Korean pop music, it’s a couple clicks until they can see hardcore pornography, all courtesy of this “socially responsible” website.

I’m not going to take a deep dive into overall website figures because I won’t be able to break them down by room or demographic, and I don’t know if that would prove anything more.

I don’t expect Reddit to change its policy anytime soon. They know sex sells and they know as long as they keep quiet, the millions who are in their pornography rooms daily will also keep their mouths shut. Sex sells and like every other website out there, Reddit makes a lot of money on advertising. Gotta keep those eyeballs on the page, right?

I simply wanted to highlight the fact that while some sites out there are unabashedly promoting pornography, there are others that feature a ton of it (like YouTube) without calling attention to itself, and if you think kids don’t know this, you don’t remember what it’s like being a kid.

What Do You Do When You Have Two Moral Positions on a Collision Course?

Aside from the obvious “Being a good husband/father/provider” answer, I believe that just about the most important thing in my life right now is being an advocate on the topic of pornography addiction. I’ve got a new book coming out in July, a much bigger announcement coming (within the month) and for the first time in my life, I genuinely feel like I have a calling.

But I’m also a human being who has morals, values and beliefs that are not connected to my pornography addiction crusade. I have cultivated these over the years both based on what I was taught by my parents, what I have experienced on my own and what I have witnessed in society.

I worked very hard during my years as a journalist to never take a political stance on just about anything and being an introspective moderate, I took that seriously. A few weeks back, I made the statement here that after seeing how President Trump handled the COVID-19 and George Floyd issues, I could no longer defend him as a suitable leader. I still believe he has been overly attacked on often trivial things, but the events of the last few months have hardly been trivial.

I also stated a few weeks ago that I heard somebody on television say that it wasn’t simply enough to be against racism, which I always have been, it’s time to be actively anti-racist. Now is the time to call people out on their faulty thinking and reasoning, especially those who you could get through to who may see the error of their way and change things. I’m proud to say that I have had discussions with several people discussing issues like the faulty “few bad apples” excuse or how BLM is about equality, not minimizing other lives.

Ten years ago, I’d have spirited debates with people about politics on Facebook. I was running a “fluffy” magazine, so there was nothing controversial and I was a city councilor, so people often wanted my opinion on matter that went well beyond the borders of our city. Upon my arrest in early 2014, I discontinued my Facebook account.

I can objectively look back and recognize that I probably didn’t change too many opinions and while I do consider myself an open-minded person, I rarely heard arguments that changed mine. The entire exercise was one in frustration, and when I briefly returned to Facebook last year in advance of my second book, it didn’t take more than a few days to see that this wasn’t the place for me. In the six years I had been off Facebook, I have changed greatly as a person. It’s been hard work, but I’m regularly reminded how much I’ve changed when I dip my toe into things from my former life. Maybe it was the same, but Facebook seemed like a forum for unbridled, unchecked and unsolicited toxicity at a level I couldn’t remember. I attributed it to the fact that this country has only become more divided, not united in the last six years. Again, that’s party on our leader’s shoulders.

I hoped I could use Facebook as a forum to promote my work, but it was clear that option would leave me angry and depressed, which is one of the reasons that aside from headlines on Google News, I rarely followed politics during this period of recovery from pornography and alcohol addiction.

I did, however, join LinkedIn for the first time in late 2019. Probably 90% of my connections were people I did not know in my daily life, but had some connection to the mental health industry. Many of them have become trusted allies and I do not regret starting a profile there. Had I not made the connections of the last six months, I do not believe the new book would have the depth of interviews it presents.

The other 10% has been either random people from other places in my life or people outside of the healthcare industry who asked to make a connection with me for whatever reason.

I’ve been introduced to many trends of character quirks that I didn’t recognize exist in the mental health industry and obviously, I neither understand nor agree with all of them. There are clearly some who are out for money and glory and others who will only selectively help people, exhibiting some kind of moral authority. Despite being “experts” many have no idea what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety or addiction, yet they’d never be able to admit they don’t know. And there are many who are very broken people, should actually be on the couch, and are trying to save themselves by saving others. All of this said, there are generally a really high-quality bunch of people who stick to the mainly professional platform LinkedIn was intended to be. Sure, people will post a joke, or a cute cat video, or cheesy inspirational memes, but that’s just society today. Every social media platform has them.

I would also say that of these professionals, they seem to either all be in agreement regarding racism, and being anti-racist, or they have taken the stance to keep their mouth shut. It’s this other 10%, specifically the ones I didn’t know in the past, where the problems are arising.

Many of them don’t mind sharing their politics and their views. While I don’t necessarily want to read about what they think of every little move the Democrats or Republicans make, and the name-calling, selective facts and general buffoonery that comes with it, I did make the decision to be anti-racist, so I have begun calling people out when they do racist things.

Last night, I got into a long discussion with a person who posted a TikTok video on LinkedIn that was a parody of what police will be like in 2021. It showed a sheepish man in golf apparel coming to someone’s door and asking them if they would like to come with them down to the station. The message was clear to me… the changes that are being demanded now will leave police as ineffectual nothings if they happen. The message is change is bad and while this was an obvious overstatement full of hyperbole, at the core of it, to me, was the message that the changes that are happening or will be happening are bad.

In my opinion, that’s passive-aggressive racism, and while I generally respect the guy who posted it, many of the comments that came after were from right-wing types who were more blatant with their distaste of recent events and changes those events might prompt. They want things to stay the same way. We have enough statistics — provided by the police departments themselves — that prove systemic racism against minorities. Even if you’re the most racist person on earth, it’s hard to argue with the math provided by the police.

I was highly disappointed that this man took an active blind eye to why this video might be considered racist, preferring to debate that humor is subjective, yet not explaining why it was funny when I asked, nor responding to my question about if humor against disabled people, including mocking them, could be funny.

I do not believe he is intentionally racist, but when I challenged him about providing a platform to allow people who were clearly racist to spread their rhetoric, he got bogged down in exact meanings of words and why we can never assume things about anybody. Despite continually trying to bring it away from his word smithing and back to the topic at hand — especially since I could tell he was doing everything in his power to avoid the core issues that I sense he knew were wrong (and he added a disclaimer to his post as we were talking which suggests knowing there was something wrong) but he didn’t want to play thought police. I told him that his actions were his and I know I had no control nor could change them, but I thought they were wrong and they were promoting racism. He disagreed. When it was finally just after 1:30 a.m., I’d have enough and called it a night.

I should also mention that I just checked LinkedIn and it appears he has either completely erased the post at some point in the last 12 hours or he has hidden me from it. I really hope it’s the former and my grousing for over an hour made a difference.

This guy gets a lot of traffic. He’s figured out the LinkedIn algorhothims and has thousands of more followers than I do. In one sense, it’s good to be seen by that many people for my pornography addiction mission. In another sense, I have some real fear that I may be hurting my position as an authority by having a different political or social opinion than many of his commenters. People are quick to dismiss EVERYTHING about others these days when they are first introduced by highlighting a philosophical difference. You and I may like the same sports teams, restaurants, kinds of movies, etc., but if we’re introduced because we differ on gun control, odds are there will be division, not unity, in that relationship and certain conclusions will be drawn.

I really don’t care if people don’t like me. I got over that a few years ago. When I finally recognized most people don’t have enough facts to logically judge me, and that I can only let someone’s opinion affect me I respect them, it was like a load off my shoulders. Wish I learned that at 18.

What I do care about is people jumping to the conclusion that pornography addiction is fake, that education is unnecessary, that it’s a ridiculous topic or whatever their sudden issue is with it, simply because we disagree about something else. I don’t want to hurt my mission because an opinion that has nothing to do about pornography addiction soured someone on me as a person.

While I want to remain anti-racist, I don’t want to hurt this pornography addiction education path I’m on. You could say, “Only open your mouth about racism with people who you know agree with you” but that completely misses the point. It’s the people who disagree with me — even if they are unwilling to change their racist (even if unintentional) ways — who need to be called out the most, repeatedly.

It doesn’t seem like these two things can co-exist within each other. I feel like the only answers are shut up about the racism, which makes me feel like I’d be part of the problem, or to speak my truth and deal with the fallout, recognizing there is a trade-off. I mean, which is more important… ending racism or teaching the world about pornography addiction. Most would easily say racism, but I’m in a unique position with the pornography addiction. If I’m not out there doing this advocacy, who will?

I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and I’m not sure which way to move. As Gorilla Monsoon so eloquently put it during the Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant fight at Wrestlemania III, it’s the irresistable force meets the immovable object.

Something has to give…but what?

Empathy Does Not Mean Agreement, It Means Understanding

Way back when I was going through my legal ordeal, I had to take 101 assessment tests to determine if I was deemed a risk for “reoffending” because I committed a sexual offense. Everybody who ever administered a test or has been a therapist of mine knew the results before the tests happened, but it’s part of the whole system and it wasn’t like I was in a position to say no. Time after time after time, they proved what we all knew. I wasn’t pathological ill. I made a horrible mistake which was a result of my addictions to porn and alcohol.

There was only ever one red flag in these assessments and it came up again and again. It indicated that I had an abnormally low sense of empathy. I did the sympathy thing well, but I was not good at putting myself in other’s shoes and hypothetically seeing and feeling this from their position.

Part of me still disagrees with this conclusion. Back when I was deep in my addictions, I think I drank and looked at porn not just for the control that lacked in my life, but also because it numbed my emotions. I can’t tell you the number of movies or TV shows I cried at back then. Heck, specific pieces of music, especially operatic arias and piano solos, made me weep. I intentionally stayed away from news about kids and animals that would make me sad, really anything that would get me going because once I started, I couldn’t stop. I had to make sure the sad movies only came late at night. It was easier to cry myself to sleep than be crying all day if I saw the movie at 1 p.m.

In public, I had to keep the stiff upper lip and often that meant turning a blind eye to emotion. I couldn’t succumb to it. I think I had so much unresolved in my life that I managed with my addictions that if I started to think about others, it brought me to bad places because it made me think about me. Sometimes, in forcing myself to keep a stiff upper lip, I came across at heartless to others. I didn’t say horrible things very much, I just gave off the vibe that I didn’t care.

I built a wall because, much like my bipolar disorder (and maybe because of it) I had two emotional checkpoints: full-on and off. It was easier to just stay switched to the off positions. Part of me wonders if that popped up in those assessments because they happened so early into my recovery.

That said, there are many indicators that I’m a much more outwardly empathetic person these days. Nobody seems to ever call me on the carpet for being callous or saying the wrong thing anymore. I also almost never cry at movies or TV. It has to be very, very emotional. In some ways, I think people would see that as being harder now, but I think I learned to be healthy in real life, so I don’t need to have the outlet of fantasy to be emotional.

In the last year or two though, I find one other thing happening… I seem to be developing a more liberal, human-friendly attitude toward the world. This has been underscored this last two weeks watching the social unrest happening coast to coast and being absolute disgusted by the ways so many people are reacting. Whether they are government officials, run-of-the-mill racists, or looters, the trend I’m noticing is that I’m offended when there is a lack of empathy being shown.

I’ve heard if you’re not a liberal at 30 and conservative at 60 that something is wrong, but I think I may be operating in reverse. I think because of the integrity I tried to maintain as a journalist I prided myself on being very middle-of-the-road. As I said in a recent post, I’ve been able to vote in six Presidential elections and I’m 3-3 voting Democrat vs. Republican. I was always fiercely independent because there is just so much wrong with a blind loyalty to each party.

I’ve witnessed this graduation to conservatism in many of my friends who I followed on social media before I got off of it years ago. During a brief return last year, the fact they became different people than I once knew is part of what drove me away. There are now extended family members who I wouldn’t want to share the same room with because of their willingness to openly spout their rhetoric.

Now, I still greatly respect the Republican Party, the principles it was founded upon and what it is supposed to stand for, but over the last three years, its leaders have seemed to reach a place where they have co-opted that belief system for whatever it is that Donald Trump stands for…which I think is largely just whatever makes him feel powerful at the moment. There has been so many concessions to their core beliefs that I would never identify as a Republican these days. I wouldn’t want somebody to confuse me as one since they have morphed into the party of no empathy.

The rallying cry of many Republicans over the last two weeks (once they say that they are not racist and George Floyd shouldn’t have died) is that “All Lives Matter!” Well, no shit, Sherlock.

What they can’t do is put themselves into the shoes of black people (or any other minority) and understand why we are highlighting black lives right now. They do matter equal to all others, but historically, they haven’t been treated as equal, especially by law enforcement and the court system. The statistics are so overwhelmingly anti-black that it is far more than the lame “a few bad apples” excuse to the fact that in a place like Minneapolis, the police are historically going to use force against a black suspect seven times more than a white one. That is not “a few bad apples.” That’s profiling based on the color of your skin.

I sometimes wonder if these people are really meaning to say, “All lives matter, but it’s OK that they matter differently as long as mine matters most!” All lives do matter, but when some are treated differently, we have to lift them up so it’s equal. Black lives matter because currently, black lives don’t matter as much to many in law enforcement.

I can understand why early on in these kinds of events, you see property damage, fires, etc. These are caused by many people who cannot regulate their emotions and have reached a breaking point. Get many of these passionate, emotional people together and you’ve got recipe for bad things happening. But, as you’ve seen over the last two weeks, once that initial inability to process thoughts and emotions fades, the protests have become mainly peaceful. If you have empathy, you can understand how a frustrated, angry person who had been treated unfairly in a country that pretends it’s all equal, will lash out.

It was a very different group of people looting. These are not people who are empathetic to the cause and the suffering. They don’t think about how they hurt the message or how they are causing damage when they are stealing. They are opportunists who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Thankfully, I live with a wonderful woman who has always had empathy and while she doesn’t follow politics, has a very compassionate heart. We don’t talk politics. We just talk about people who are very insensitive and don’t seem to “get it.”

Her best friend from school — who she was actually the matron of honor for at her wedding about 15 years ago — has been mentioned a bit in the last few years. She married a guy who was very conservative and has adopted many of his beliefs. I really liked her when I first met her 18 years ago, but he was the kind of guy set in his ways at 25 — probably because he just mirrored his father’s beliefs without much analysis — and those people are not fun to be around, especially when they are under 70.

They’ve not seen each other often in the last 10 years, sometimes going out for drinks with other friends and my wife, who successfully went through bariatric surgery, helped her friend into that process. In the end, her friend dropped out of the process because it was too rigorous.

When my wife mentions her friend, it’s because she’s said something on social media that does not reflect the person she knew as a teenager, and it actually doesn’t reflect the person I knew the first couple years we were married before she met her husband. It reached a point this week where my wife decided she had to stop following her friend. She’s turned into someone unrecognizable and someone she doesn’t need to regularly follow.

The last straw was when her friend complained about a protest march between the two cities, that basically make one community, where we live. The march went over one of the three major bridges between the towns, and traffic was tied up for — get this — 9 minutes. Her friend was bellyaching online about this, citing that emergency personnel couldn’t get through if they wanted and that a demonstration could have been somewhere away from people who didn’t want to be bothered.

Several people pointed out to my wife’s friend that the bridge is regularly closed down for things like the Fourth of July celebration, various parades and 10K races, etc, and that she was just miffed because she didn’t support the cause. She didn’t respond after that.

This got me thinking that I don’t believe you need to support a cause to still understand it. I’m not even asking for someone to appreciate it…just objectively understand, which is the first step toward empathy. I believe we are now in a climate where if you admit that you understand someone’s opinion that is not like yours, that there’s this belief you’ll be labeled as one of those people. I think that there are conservatives, particularly those who participate in the comment section FoxNews.com who would rather be called a pedophile than a liberal. Conversely, there are people who are afraid if they say the word “pedophile” they will be labeled as such.

I don’t approach nearly as many podcasts to appear as I once did because they’re approaching me, but in the past, when I was politely rejected, I often got the feeling that they feared a discussion about pornography addiction would somehow morph into their listener’s ears into an endorsement of pornography. I get the same feeling with these “All Lives Matter” folks. If they take a few minutes to understand why people are chanting “Black Lives Matters” they fear they’ll be lumped with the group. Since when is ignorance the better option to anything?

Now, you could turn this on me and say, “Do the Black Lives Matter people understand what the All Lives Matter people are trying to say?” and I have to say, I think that answer is yes. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like the All Lives Matter people are challenged by change and are for the status quo. They think that things are fine, or fine enough that we don’t need to overhaul the system.

Putting yourself in another’s shoes is just simply asking “Do I understand where they are coming from?” Understanding others does not mean agreeing with them, but it is a solid step in the right direction as a “united” country. Thank can only happen with empathy.

I Need Your Opinion, Please

I alluded a week or two earlier to an opportunity I have that could potentially be a very big deal that I can’t quite explain just yet, which makes this a little bit difficult to get into, but I’ll try.

I am going to be in a very public position to share a message about pornography addiction later this year. I won’t say how because I’m not allowed to yet. Maybe it’s a national TV show. Maybe it’s an article in a major publication. Maybe it’s a big-deal speech. Maybe it’s a mega-podcast. Maybe it’s a hybrid of these things or something that I didn’t mention. The point is, don’t focus on that, focus on the fact this is a big deal.

I have to figure out that message and outline my “presentation” to those in power by June 15. It’s a first for me, but if this is how the big boys play, it’s their yard.

I’ve decided I want my presentation (probably the best catch-all word) to speak to a general, non-addict audience. I am going to assume that if they have been introduced to the concept of pornography addiction, they have given it little thought. I have no idea of the exact audience demographics, but someone who is willing to engage with this topic is probably, but not always, going to be a little younger and a little more liberal than the 50th percentile.

I can come up with an outline easy enough — it will largely just be snippets of things I’ve said on here, in my books and on podcasts for the last couple years stitched together, but the order is important and that is decided by the overall title/theme.

I’m going to cover a lot in the presentation, illustrating that porn addiction is a problem, how it actually is an addiction, what we may be in for if we don’t address the problem, and some ways we can start by addressing it. It’s not an anti-porn presentation. It’s a pro-education presentation.

So…what do you like for an overall title/theme?

  • Pornography: The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About
  • Pornography, the Virtual Drug of the 21st Century, And We’re Hooked
  • Pornography Addiction: The Next Great Healthcare Crisis, Unless…
  • We’re Silently Losing Our Children to Pornography Addiction
  • Pornography Education: It’s Not About Sex, It’s About Addiction

I have narrowed it down to these five because I think they’re all catchy and they all reflect what at least part of the content of the presentation will be. If you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it, but assuming you were flipping through a magazine, or the radio dial, or were at a museum with different displays, which one of these would call your attention the most that you couldn’t help but pay attention? If this was the title of a PBS or Discovery special, or the name of a college course, what would create the most pause? And of course, why is that the best title?

I appreciate your feedback.