Manage episode 285107650 series 2877633
Today's episode explores the somatic experience behind pornography addiction. Like most addictions, porn addiction is a desperation to find predictable safety. It stems from a childhood, particularly during puberty, of developing without consistent co-regulation. For men, it can be the secret password to be accepted into the club of men.
I invite Benjamin Obler to this episode. Ben experienced pornography addiction that grew so powerful that it became a wedge between him and his wife - as well as a wedge between him and himself. I had the pleasure of working with Ben for a while. What inspired me about Ben was his very balanced masculinity. This is not a man who is toxic in his expression of manliness. He is well read, articulate, perfectly feminine, and balanced in being, both, tender and firm.
He breaks the stereotype for porn addicts. He brings a childhood history of trauma to the table, yet we only discussed a small fraction of it in this episode. Ben's experiences, male role models, and what he believed about himself growing up led him to not feel safe with other human beings. The fear of rejection, the freeze of fear, and the isolation of shame consumed him. Pornography was a realm he could exist in, safely, freely, and find predictable comfort and regulation.
It has very little to do with sex or sexuality and everything to do with trying to find safety and security. As someone with my own history of sex addiction, I understand this and I welcome you to this episode and ask you to join in with an open mind, open heart, and open body so you can feel what it brings up for you. Notice where you connect, where you get triggered, and where you get inspired.
Benjamin Obler is a writer, editor and teacher. He wrote the novel Javascotia, from Penguin Book UK. His short story “The White Man’s Incredulity Furrows His Brow” won the short fiction prize with Puerto Del Sol in 2015. His essays have appeared in the Guardian, Longreads, Electric Literature, and the Times of London. He teaches with Gotham Writers Workshop of New York City and other outlets.
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