In the past I had assumed that sex addiction was something invented by people who wanted to create a pseudoscientific justification for what they already believed, akin to gay conversion therapy. The last time I had given it a thought was 2007. Eventually my porn use escalated until I ended up with direct knowledge of the (legal) sex trade. It made me deeply miserable and I started looking to understand what was happening to me.
When I entered treatment, I was still deeply skeptical of 12 step due to its religious origins. Thankfully on my first day my line of questioning led to my therapist giving me a copy of your book. I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours. It seems like for once science is on the side of the Bible thumpers.
There were many things in your book that I identified from my life. Above all the tolerance and escalation, the need to seek out novel experiences. Over 18 months I’ve had a dramatic cut in both my sex drive, as well as the kinds of sex I’m interested in. Also interesting, and not something I recall from YBOP, is that I’ve found I get angry less often and can overall just cope with life more easily.
I also credit your book with saving my marriage, not that there isn’t a lot of trauma I’ve caused to my wife, and I still worry about the future there, especially if I should relapse in some way.
I spent 25 years and countless hours on porn, reading this book opened my eyes to what it was doing to me. After 18 months cold turkey I can report anecdotally that it’s made a huge difference in my mental state, and it’s shocking to discover my sex drive isn’t high after all.
I’m also aware now of how porn has warped the world around me, how it has been normalized, how the sex industry is constantly looking to expand, and also how it attacks anyone who disagrees. So I thank you for the work you do, it’s only going to get more difficult as I see it.
I’m 43 and yes you can use my story (anonymously).
[Private correspondence with Gary Wilson]