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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A narrative study of compulsive sexual behaviour in men 1998

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A Narrative Study of Compuls ive Sexua l Behav iour in Men by F. Patrick Burr B . S c , Spr ing Hill Co l lege, 1970 M . S c , University of Minnesota , 1980 A Thes is submitted in Partial Fulfi lment of the Requi rements for the Degree of the Faculty of Graduate Stud ies (The department of Counsel l ing Psycho logy) W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard Master of Arts in e University of British Co lumb ia June 1998 © F. Patrick Burr, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ii A B S T R A C T Cons iderab le attention has been given to the subject of Compu ls i ve S e x u a l Behav iour ( C S B ) by public and academic interests in the last five years. M u c h of this attention is highly negative. However, C S B as a personal and societal problem is w idespread in western culture. It can be broadly linked to family v io lence, societal sex ism, and to major criminal activity. This study identifies the lived realities of three men which are key to their recovery from various manifestat ions of compuls ive sexua l behaviours. The participants are all from local twelve step programs oriented towards heal ing from C S B . The study uses life history interviews and critical incident identification to gather information, and hermeneut ical analys is to distill it. The key e lements of recovery found in these men are compared with those proposed in avai lable conceptual and theoretical research. iii Table of Contents A B S T R A C T ii Table of Contents iii List of Tab les v List of F igures . . . vi D E D I C A T I O N vii C H A P T E R ONE. INTRODUCTION 1 Approach and Protect ions U s e d . 5 Author 's Phi losophy of Psycho logy . ; 8 C H A P T E R TWO. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 16 Historical Att i tudes: S e x i s m and Patr iarchy 17 The Historical Attitudes: Intellectualism or the Denigration of the Phys ica l . : 22 Historical Att i tudes: Pornography and Prostitution 27 A Cha l lenge from History to the Present: Sexo logy vs S e x o s o p h y 32 The Literature of Heal ing 34 Literature F o c u s s e d on Ma le Treatment '.. 38 Literature focussed on Men 's Recovery 45 Co re Issues in Heal ing 58 C H A P T E R T H R E E . METHOD 60 Design 61 Part icipants 61 Interview P rocess . 62 Format ion of addict ion / recovery narrative 63 Ana lys is of the addict ion / recovery narrative 63 Val idat ion of the received Narratives 67 C H A P T E R FOUR. R E S U L T S : STORIES OF S U C C E S S F U L R E C O V E R Y 69 Narrative Biography of Participant "Bob" 69 Commentary on Bob 's Narrative 82 iv Narrative Biography of Participant "Zed " . . . 87 Commen ts on Zed ' s Narrative 97 Narrative Biography of Part icipant "Xeno" . 103 Commen ts on Xeno ' s Narrative 109 C H A P T E R FIVE. ANALYSIS OF THE THREE NARRATIVES 113 Genera l Sexua l Recovery 113 Addict ion and Recovery as Defined by the Part icipant 's Stor ies 114 T h e Entrance to Addict ion . . . 114 Addict ive / Compuls ive Patterns. 121 Ana lys is of Recovery 122 C H A P T E R SIX. DISCUSSION . 131 Limitations of this Study '. 131 Implications for Theory 132 Implications for Counsel l ing 136 Future directions 138 R E F E R E N C E S 140 APPENDICES Append ix A 1 : A n understanding of Researcher Va lues . . 149 Append ix A 2 : Persona l Bibl iography of Author 's Posi t ion 152 Append ix B: Requi red Participant Documentat ion 154 Append ix C : Data Col lect ion Procedure 159 v List of Tables Table #1 : Expanded List of Paraphi l ias 39 Tab le #2: Recovery Character ist ics . . 53 vi List of Figures Figure #1: The Interlocking Domains of Life . . . . . . . 5 Figure #2: The Addict ive Cyc le . . . . . . 52 vii DEDICATION 1 F o r everything there is a s e a s o n , and a time for every matter under heaven : 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal ; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance ; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather s tones together; a t ime to embrace, and a time to refrain from embrac ing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a t ime to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep s i lence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace . Eccles. 2:26-3:8 This work is dedicated to all those who need the help of an understanding ear. 1 C H A P T E R ONE. INTRODUCTION S e x is a topic of interest to a l l - e v e n if many of us are too embar rassed to admit it. Hol lywood and Wal l Street make huge profits on this fact. Histor ians tell us that it w a s a lways so. Sexual i ty, which was once the strictly controlled domain of organized religion, has now become a matter of personal , family, medica l , bus iness and political choice. Only a hundred years ago sexual i ty w a s a taboo subject. A hundred and fifty years ago the word sexuality was unknown in the Engl ish language (Heath, 1982). Today it is carried boldly on both printed page . and virtual web s i te- too boldly for some . The scientif ic study of sexual i ty, termed Sexo logy , was initiated in 1880 as the private world of academics , primarily physic ians, by Prof. Richard von Krafft-Ebing (von Krafft-Ebing, 1885/1965, S z a s z , 1980, chap. 1). Today sex and sexual i ty remains as much a concern , and often a source of confusion, as it ever was . The speci f ic topic of this study is recovery from compuls ive sexua l behaviours ( C S B ) . S o m e authors will call this addict ion (Carnes , 1983) while others prefer the words compuls ion or paraphil ia (Stol ler,1979; Money , 1984; C o l e m a n , 1991). Helping professionals and scholars in many d i sc i p l i nes - spirituality, psychology, sociology, psychiatry (Nelson, 1978; Gay l in , 1990; Money , 1985-3; Conne l l , 1991 ) -have given sexual problems headl ine attention. The public is outraged every time a sexual offender comes to light. However, this quest ion is much broader than any individual criminal; it is rooted in the very construct ion of our society (Nelson, 1988; Heath, 1982; Foucault , 1976/1990). A comprehens ive definition of C S B has not been created. Gri f f in-Shel ley (1993, p. 6.) offers: "a pathological relationship with an exper ience that c a u s e s d a m a g e to the person". A twelve step manual for recovering sex addicts ("Hope and Recovery" , 1987, p. 1) says : "we were people who cont inued to act out sexual ly, even as our l ives continued to be negatively effected by our sexua l behaviours". Both contain the primary characterist ics of addict ion / compuls ion: a feeling of not having any choice about behaviour, a desired-hated relationship with a thing or person exterior to the self, and cont inuance of action regardless of consequences . Compu ls ive sexual behaviours encompass a wide variety of act ions. Not all are il legal al though most are social ly unacceptable. They include lust murder, exhibit ionism, voyeur ism; compuls ive use of pornography, prostitutes and exotic dance halls; serial relationships and adultery; and so forth. John M o n e y (1968, 1984) and Robert Stol ler (1968, 1985, 1991) have done much in this century to categor ize and direct treatment towards sexual compulsivi ty in many of its forms. Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1885/1965) and Freud (1906/1938) are noted names in sexua l pathology from the last century. 3 T h e inc idence of compuls ive sexua l behaviours is hard to est imate. A n d these est imates are often based on smal l , cl inical samp les and broad assumpt ions . Statist ics which are avai lable range from Kinsey 's surveys in the 1930's to recent research reports. A few samp les might help to indicate the rather con fused state of avai lable data. K insey, Pomeroy and Martin (1948, chap. 10) indicates perhaps 1% of men purchase sex from prostitutes. Lottes (1991) reports almost 16% of U S w o m e n have been forcibly raped. Other detai led work exists on more cr iminal sexua l activity, but it has smal l applicability to this study. For example , Wol f (1988) reports that 3 0 % of the sexual offenders in his cl inics were abused as chi ldren. If 1 2 % of men on a U S national bas is are est imated to be a b u s e vict ims, then there is a possibil ity that 5 % might become abusers in turn. C o l e m a n (1991) a lso states that most compuls ive sexuality sufferers were abused as chi ldren. Sterl ing (1976) reports that 30 to 4 0 mandated clients were referred monthly to her cl in ics in A lbuquerque, N e w Mex ico in 1975. Pornography figures heavily in sexual addict ion. A study by Shephe r and R e i s m a n (1985) indicates perhaps 10% of the U S populat ion are regular consumers of pornography. Ca rnes reports that 8 7 % of the 952 sexual ly addicted persons in his cl inical practise study suffer from multiple addict ions (1991, p. 35). S i n c e many of the treatment approaches for C S B are oriented towards the forensic population it is appropriate to refer to Travin (1995) who assoc ia tes C S B with i 4 obsess ive-compu ls ive disorder and indicates that 2 % to 3 % of the U S populat ion suffers from it. ' The statistics may be unclear, but the presence of a significant problem in the sexua l domain of our rapidly changing world is definite. S igns of depersona l ised rage, v io lence, confusion and repression were evident throughout North Amer i can society more than thirty years ago (May, 1967, chap. 2). W o m e n and men struggle today to face changes and cho ices beyond their individual and col lect ive understanding. Th is can easi ly generate fear. Men often react to their fear through soc ia l and historical modes consistent with their ideal of ma leness : aggress ion , v io lence, hatred, oppress ion. Much of this reaction begins at home, and moves out into bus iness and politics. It is frequently acted out upon women and chi ldren, espec ia l ly in the home. Violent men are glorified in the media , in sport and in entertainment. V io lence against and amongst men is so common and soc ia l ized that it is scarce ly news. It rarely rates notice except on a large sca le or where specif ical ly publ ic ized for some group's purposes. But reputable professionals a lso find C S B to be much broader (Carnes , 1989, 1991; C o l e m a n , 1991). It is in this more prevalent, less public a rea that research is lacking. What logic or events al low some men to recover from compuls ive sexua l behaviours, while others of similar background, constitution and lifestyle, become sexua l cr iminals? This is a fruitful and therapeutical ly important a rea for study. This study will attempt to refine some of these events by 5 investigating the personal meaning of recovery in the lives of non-forensic recovering sexua l addicts. There is a strong need for qualitative, methodological ly participative studies in the area of sexua l compulsivity. Regard less of how much we learn about the neurological bas is of mind, and how much brain and behaviour we can control through pharmaceut ical interventions, there will a lways be a place for person to person educat ion, psychological intervention and belief sys tem clarif ication. There is strong indication that many men struggle alone with sexual addict ions, attempting to lead social ly acceptable, healthy sexual l ives (Carnes , 1983, chap. 2). Three of these men offer here their personal exper iences in the hope that others will benefit from their story of struggle and hope. Approach and Protect ions U s e d The investigative methods used in this study attempt to understand the participant in a holistic fashion. Researche r and participant look for critical junctures and events in the participant's life, as well as his gifts and vulnerabil i t ies. No harm must come to any involved in this study: therefore, external counsel lors must be avai lable for both researcher and participant. This is the rationale for the requirements stated in the Letter of Invitation, and again in the Part icipant Agreement . 6 Chapter Briefs This sect ion provides a short summarizat ion of each chapters ' intentions. The interested reader may here d iscover the glue connect ing salient thoughts within the remaining pages. Chapte r O n e ' It is that which you are reading, encompass ing a general introduction to the topic, the method and the researcher. The remaining chapters are a lso outl ined in brief. Chapter Two This is the literature review, which contains a substantial historical sect ion with references to spiritual writers and the sexual beliefs of earl ier t imes, as well as a standard study of current writings. In this way the literature review attempts to e n c o m p a s s the historical foundations of current attitudes in sexuality. T h e s e roots are found in physical , cultural, spiritual, denominat ional (i.e., religious), and ethical works. Chapter Three This chapter is concerned with method and des ign. Spec ia l emphas is is g iven to descript ion of the group from which the participants were se lec ted. Documentat ion and research process are outlined here and included in full as Append i ces B and C . 7 Chapter Four Here are the case studies themselves. Se lec ted text and detai ls from e a c h participant are presented in an anonymous fashion. Commentary is limited to that which clarifies the direct meaning of statements and events. Chap te r F ive This is the analys is sect ion. Interpretative (i.e., hermeneutic) analys is of participant events is used to uncover meanings. Speci f ic select ions from the life history narrative are used as the data for interpretation. Al l interpretation and understanding of meaning is made within the participant's personal f rames of reference. The author must specif ical ly acknowledge his own frame and insure that it has as little effect upon analys is as possib le. (See next sect ion and Append ix A. ) Chap te r S ix Th is d i scusses the findings drawn out through the analys is sect ion. A suggested life pattern is presented in narrative form for sexual addict ion and sexua l recovery. Direct ions for future study, and implications for counsel l ing rounds out the conc lus ion of this document. Gende red Language The context of this paper is primarily male; therefore, the use of male terminology is meant to refer express ly to males. Where both female and male are indicated, a non-gender specif ic term will be used. Where all humankind is intended the word human will be used, as this is the c losest Engl ish equivalent of Homo S a p i e n s 1 . Author 's Phi losophy of Psycho logy It is important to acknowledge my own position as a researcher, a counsel lor, and a person before moving further into this study. M y bas ic beliefs in psychology are most heavi ly informed by the work of Alfred Adler (1927, 1931/1980; Ansbache r & Ansbacher , 1956). Ad le r v iewed sc ience was a way of uncovering information, and perhaps also knowledge; yet he acknowledged sc ience as only one of many ways to accompl ish this end . Ad le r was a European physic ian of the late Victorian schoo l . He appears to have moved over a short t ime from active medical work to a more psychiatr ic practise and finally to psychological treatments of Figure 1 The Interlocking Domains of Life 1 The word Homo in Lat in has the meaning of 'race or group o f people'. It is similar in sense to the tribal usage o f the group name as meaning "human beings" (e.g.; Lakota, which is Sioux for 'the people'); or as 'We the people' in the beginning o f some statements of incorporation. Sapiens is the Lat in word for 'Wisdom', yet another good English word rarely used in scientific discourse. Science itself is rooted in the Lat in word for "knowledge", scientia. This presents some interesting distinctions, for which the interested reader is directed to the O E D . 9 men and women . He was instrumental in developing early socia l and educat ional formation as a key guidepost to healthy lifestyles. He saw the human domain symbol ical ly formed from Famil ial , Soc ia l , Occupat ional , Sexua l and Spiri tual components . This symbol ism was constructed upon the Phys ica l , in both body and environment. He interpreted all human relationships within this symbol ic framework. It is often represented symbol ical ly as interlocked spheres or c i rc les, as is depicted in Figure 1. My personal beliefs in regard to sexuality have grown from this central Ad ler ian posit ion, and are therefore, intimately developmental and relational. They , are intertwined with my firm position on the ultimate nature of truth as cultural and constructed (i.e., "fictional" in Adler ian terms) and are listed below. Integrity and Who leness of the Human Person First and foremost, I hold a belief in the who leness and integrity of the human person. W e humans are not obyecte.available for study and it is offensive to me that anyone should be treated as an object. Nonethe less, Ad ler ians hold that the bas is of humanity is found in the physical and that modern sc ience-re la t iv is t ic , chaos or iented, grounded in uncerta inty- is able to deal with this realm of object ive reality. The information gained by this sc ience can be put to good use through humanist ic psychology to further the common good, Adler 's gemeinschaftsgefuhl- the socia l interest of culture or tribe. 10 The Lifestyle Second ly , Adler ians teach that each of us has a characterist ic lifestyle through which we choose our life movements. The lifestyle of an individual may be similar to others, but it is also unique to his or her particular c i rcumstances. The course of our development in each of the five domains of human personhood gradual ly concret izes the lifestyle in our psyche. Ad ler bel ieved, with other psychologists of his era, that it was formed by the end of ch i ldhood 2 . But later Ad ler ians (Mosak & Dreikurs, 1966/1977a, 1967/1977b, 1967/1977c), and myself, s e e this as a variable formation, and one which is pliant in later years. By uncover ing and acknowledging the lifestyle, an individual can better understand his or her cho ices in life, the consequences of those cho ices and the p rocesses which made them. He or she can then choose to adjust this lifestyle in ways which are more fulfilling to the compend ium of the self. Non-determinacv Thirdly, I hold for non-determinacy. This is an outgrowth of the former points, encompass ing all levels of the human domain . It is an express ion of hope in the future of humanity. It is a communicab le position which can be offered to my future clients. It is the basis upon which most if not all therapeutic relat ionships are formed. Together or individually, we can choose , fomenting change through the process of choice. 2 Childhood was defined to end at about age 7. This was the same for Adler as for Freud, and indeed, for many Christian theologians of their day. 11 Breadth of Learning Fourthly, I too 3 have a deep respect for learning and the many ways in which it can be accompl ished. Learning begins with col lect ion; col lection of facts (i.e., data) as they are observed by us and our scientific machinery. Then moving on to construct ion of blocks (i.e., theory and model) with which we build our private and public v iews of reality. T h e s e reality-views function in c lose accord with our personal backgrounds, our personal beliefs and epistemologies, our individual training and educat ion, and our position within the many relat ionships of our l ives. Eventual ly we name and re-present these constructs to other persons. Al l of this is the work of the lifestyle within us. There is, however, more to learning than facts, models and theories, especia l ly within Adler 's symbol ic human domains. W e have many and varied abilit ies, such as ; to observe, to remember, to speak, to wonder, to imagine, to fantasize, to intuit, to bel ieve, to lie, to deny; and using all of these and more, we make and destroy life 4. W e are filled with a myriad of ways to a s s e s s the input received by our s e n s e s , producing personal information. Knowledge is the 3 Recall that Alfred Adler ultimately chose to implement his psycho-philosophical beliefs through education of the young. His establishment of daycare and educational facilities for young children in 1920's Vienna was a prescient movement, responding to previously unexpressed needs in the growing techno-culture of pre-modern Europe. . , 4 Refer to the Christian Bible, Old Testament, Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three for a more poetic setting of these ideas. 1 2 interpretation of this chaotic5 mass of information, often intended to be publically presented. Wisdom is gained as we learn to apply knowledge through will, . selection, decision and other higher faculties upon our own daily desires, needs and problems; upon those of other individuals, and especially upon those of our community. Greater Than a Physical Sum Finally, the human person is greater than the sum of his or her parts. This is an essential point of the Adlerian structure, and an antidote to determinism. Reduction of the human to a summation of physical components reduces humankind to a mere it-an object for study and dissection. Nonetheless, humans share certain basic genetic and biological potential. We have similar physical bodies and modes of employing those bodies in service, through our lifestyles. We have a common neurological structure which somehow holds it all together. But here the similarities end. Here "objective science" begins to falter in the growing mass of possibility and the chaos of millions of interconnections. Chaos is pregnant with life, yet science has traditionally seen it as an enemy of life to be overcome through massive statistical and categorical 5 In the mythologies of almost all peoples and tribes, Chaos reigns before the act of creation brings something new into being. See for example, the Old Testament Creation story of the Christian and Jewish Sacred books; or the Greek myths of the Titans; or the Navaho creation myth of the Sacred Woman. 13 organizat ion. Sc i ence informs us of many interesting and useful things, but it defines not one individual human be ing 6 . Summary The study and application of psychology is performed in the serv ice of individual human beings. Our general i t ies, models and theories only help to inform the particular interactions we have with our cl ients. The e s s e n c e of this thesis lies in the uniquely human ability to a c c e s s and to uncover the r ichness of particular human exper ience and to re-present it in digestible form. The story telling found in this thesis is not only a research method, but a therapeut ic method as wel l . In the telling and retelling of personal story, each man finds his p lace within the soc ia l , moral, spiritual and physical structures of his life. He d iscovers his own lifestyle, and is now able to adjust it. Personi f ied addictive behaviours, sexual or otherwise, treat the human person as object. Perhaps at first this happens with some personal reluctance and resistance; then more easi ly; and finally with all resistance from the self dest royed. I use the term personif ied because of the manner in which addict ions gradual ly become the person, overwhelming will and decis ion making ability. This is the true horror of addict ion; not the regrettable behaviours that addicts are driven to, but the destruction of their full personhood. 6 Everyone knows the humorous tale of the Average Man trying to put on the Average Suit.. The two don't mix. 14 This destruction is the core problem tucked away within the layers of many addict ive and compuls ive lifestyles. It is a lso the root benefit obtained by the addict. At the s a m e time that the addict 's self is lost or severe ly d isab led, he or she is a lso protected to some degree from some enormous pain, whether phys ica l , psychologica l or spiritual. Al l addict ion is a spiritual d i sease , but this is especia l ly true of sexua l addict ion (Ganje-Fl ing & McCar thy , 1995). The "Big Book of A A " talks liberally about this issue (Annonymous, 1938/1976, chap. 4), as does the program literature of twelve step groups devoted to sex addict ion recovery ("Hope and Recovery" , 1987; " S e x and Love" , 1986) and some researchers (Carnes,1989) . Many modern researchers of the human condit ion are coming to re-discover this perspect ive in many fields. S ince C S B as a d isease assaul ts the entire person, it is often difficult to unravel, to recover from. But recovery is possib le. The spirits which have been ignored or disabled can be resurrected from the ashes , just as the myth 7 of the Phoen ix indicates. However , my background in physics, mathematics and computer sc ience requires me to temper objectivity with all the uncertainty granted to us by the reasoning of Dr. He isenberg . Reali ty is a construct ion, which we will never know with absolute certainty. Multiple physical realities are possib le in the universe we 7 Just as Phoenix rises from her own ashes, so Myth recovers from disinformation. The word Myth does not mean falsehood, as it has come.to be used in much modern dialogue. Rather it is a truth of history, of culture, of literature embodied in narrative imagery for all to behold. 15 inhabit. W h y then should our psyches be restricted to singular interpretations and monadic ex is tence? Humankind is a communicat ive being. W e exchange our individual reality v iews with one another through textures, scents, words and images using our s e n s e s ; sight, sound, smel l , taste and touch. The narrative, the life story, is one of the most direct methods of sharing our realities; of bringing mutual understanding of each other to two (or more) beings. This exchange brings knowledge not only of one another, but of broader patterns of societ ies. A s formerly distant and separate societ ies bump into one another all around the globe, this knowledge becomes more useful. It may be essent ia l if we are to merge peaceful ly with one another. What we love, we shall grow to resemble. Benedict of Clairvaux C H A P T E R TWO. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The literature on sexuality is very broad and very long. Ad le r w a s not the first to make it one of the major domains for human life patterns. There is much literary ev idence in this long stream which bears upon many cher ished attitudes held in modern t imes. There are at least three which are significant to sexua l health and d i sease : sex ism / patriarchy, intellectualism and pornography. S e x i s m can be simply def ined as the negative valuation of the female; while intel lectualism might be loosely subscr ibed as the negative valuation of the physical . Pornography remains extremely difficult to define. T h e s e attitudes are centrally important to the development of compuls ive sexua l behaviours. S o m e form of pornography is of importance to a lmost every sexua l compuls ive (Carnes , 1989), and its historical development is quickly t raced in this sect ion. There are count less other tracks which could be drawn out of western history into present i l lnesses, but these are certainly major ones . The modern literature of sexuali ty starts approximately one hundred and fifty years ago. T h e s e documents are used to demonstrate the presence of two paths of heal ing which are prominent today: the medical or treatment approach and the humanist or recovery approach . 17 A historical beginning to a modern scientif ic study has value. Rol lo May , ser ious student of psychology and psychiatry, psychological reformer and existential humanist wrote in 1967: A historical v iew should help us to see how certain cultural forces and events have shaped and moulded the attitudes and behaviour patterns which underlay our contemporary psychological confl icts. A historical perspect ive can a lso help free us from the ever-present dange r -espec ia l l y a danger in the socia l sc iences- -o f absolutizing a theory or method which is actually relative to the fact that we live at a given moment in time in the development of our particular culture. [Emphasis added] Finally a historical perspect ive can help us s e e the common sources of human problems as well as common human goals , (pp. 56-57) Simi lar sent iment can be found in works by John Beahrs (1986), research psychiatrist; Car l Rogers (1961; Rogers and S tevens , 1967), humanists and psychologist ; and J a m e s Hil lman (1975/1992), psychiatrist and reformer of psychologica l thought. Historical Att i tudes: S e x i s m and Patr iarchy The power of sex has never been doubted. It was perhaps one of the first things noted by early hominids as they gradual ly acquired consc iousness and the capabi l i t ies of reflection (Freud, 1938). Many early societ ies in the Western world are bel ieved to have venerated the life generating powers of sex, as symbol ized through the male and female sex organs. Examp les are many, but consider : the images of the phal lus appear ing prominently on cave wal ls at L iseux (Monick, 1987); the cycl ic fertility festivals and the easy acceptance of sexual power in early Cel t ic societ ies of 18 western Europe (Cahi l l , 1995); the bare breasted pr iestesses central to early M inoan religion (Thorndike, 1977); the C a v e in Plato 's c lass ic and fateful descr ipt ions of reality (Durant, 1926, chap. 1); or the central commonal i ty of the phal lus in R o m a n society 's official cultus, as found at Hercu laneum and P o m p e y (Kendr ick,1988; De iss , 1985). Al l of these examples are, of course, open to other forms of interpretation. But as we also know, "most history is guess ing , and the rest is prejudice" (Durant, 1954/1935, p. 12). Objective facts, so needed by modern sc ience , are few and far between. The early arts of the west show the power and beauty of sex with great wonder. (For significant reviews, see : O'Br ien & O'Br ien, 1972, chap. 1;|or read romantic Cel t ic poetry in "How the Irish S a v e d Civi l izat ion" (Cahi l l , 1995, chap. 2).) In the west some claim that the highest point of knowledge development began with the G r e e k s about 2500 years ago. This too is debatable, especia l ly on a world wide sca le ; but the inf luence of this patriarchal, war loving, male dominated society upon modern westerners, is indisputable. That which we as men hold today concerning our sexual attitudes is neither new, nor unconnected, with our past. That which our fathers, grand-fathers, great- grandfathers, knew and understood was similar, and grew out of the s a m e wel lspr ing of tradition, culture, belief and faith (Dijkstra, 1986). History does show us that the attitudes which we now call patriarchy are thousands of years o ld~perhaps 3500 to 5000 years old (Eisler, 1988). The histories and literatures of western peop les show 19 us that patriarchy has won its struggle quite completely as it spread over what we cal l the Indo-European world. But there are some remnants of the world previous to this colonizat ion by the war- loving, male dominated c lans. There is ev idence of a mother goddess tradition a long side the warring sky gods of the patriarchies. A n d with this possib ly older tradition, there is a lso a different style of interaction between the sexes . It appears to have been more equal footed, and less prone to v io lence. It can still be seen in s o m e of the ancient literatures of the Hebrews and the Cel ts , as well as in the traditions of many North Amer ican aboriginal peoples. S o m e of the literature has even survived in the Christ ian holy books (See for example , the S o n g of S o n g s in "The Je rusa lem Bible" (Jones, 1966)). The effects of this alternate tradition are muted by the ages that have past. M e n of today are more like our Greek and R o m a n ancestors, than any eco-minded Cel t ic or aboriginal person. For these men sex is often merely a tool--for p leasure, for procreating sons , or just for the hell of it. "To the victors belong the spoi ls" . Whether covered with the trappings of our high civil ization or in its bare reality, this is the sexua l attitude many of u s - m o s t of u s - m e n have been given by our cultural birthright. Centur ies of confusion, of misogyny, of use and abuse of w o m e n , chi ldren and other men will not be overwritten in one year or even one century (Stol tenberg, 1994; Gay l in , 1992). But we make a beginning of it, every time we examine and chal lenge s o m e of our previously unthought out attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. Th is 20 is what recovery is all about-recovery from patriarchy/recovery from violence and recovery from sexual misbehaviour. Perhaps some of us never take serious notice of the simple experience of communication. Language is our only vehicle for re-presentation of our reality to another; for re-presentation of our symbolic world (i.e., our weltangschaun). We use our symbolic language to understand the world around us, and to make sense of the events and experiences of our daily lives. Freud (1933) saw this clearly when he developed his "talking cure". He also recognized its major pitfall: that neither talker nor listener can ever be sure that what is conveyed is what was meant. Life is a continuous struggle to understand and to be understood; to hear and to be heard; to see and to be seen; to touch and to be touched. He believed that to abandon this struggle in the philosophical sense was to descend into gross individualism and ultimately to solipsism8; to deny it psychologically was to succumb to neurosis, psychosis and ultimately catatonia. The twentieth century has added a new twist to the expression of meaning. Language can now be captured on permanent media-videos, audio recordings, computer storage. It is no longer ephemeral pulse waves in the air. This effect has been growing since Guttenberg invented moveable type, making printing a more facile communications medium. Mass production techniques for papers and book 81 use this term to indicate the philosophical state of total aloneness; of inability to distinguish any phenomena outside oneself as potentially real and other; the total denial of any other reality except one's own self. 21 binding increased availability of reading materials. Major changes in del ivery technology (i.e., rai lroads, te legraph, te lephone, radio and television) broadened the market for information. T h e s e developments in information flow, acceptance and use are signif icant to this study of men 's sexuality. For instance, the words avai lable in Engl ish for d iscuss ion of sex related subjects are very few for polite society, more in medica l s p e e c h , and legion in common or vulgar? d iscourse. The medical world's vocabulary , mostly der ived from Latin and Greek, is precise, but largely unintelligible to the average man (See S tedman , 1990, for support ive examples) : Images -ve rba l or pictor ial-offer a wide variety of possibil i t ies for presenting and understanding sexua l meanings. Images can tie meaning to words with great strength. Images can reshape meaning assoc ia ted with words, and can present one man's meaning for many to see and absorb (Pavio, 1978). Sights, sounds and smel ls appear to have a very direct path into the mind and memory of many men, especia l ly when sexual ized (Kendrick, 1988, chap. 3). This memory - image combinat ion is utilized heavily in many of men's sexual compuls ions, for they are based upon images. Often these images have no basis in the immediate reality in which the men live. T h e s e fantasy images may be for good or ill; may have 9 The word vulgar is derived from the Latin root vulga. -gati which carries the base meaning of "common people". See "Cassel's Latin Dictionary" (Talmadge, 1938) for full details. Hence, the phrases "common speech" and "vulgar speech" once meant the same thing. This is the way both words are used by the Bard himself, demonstrating the migration of this meaning over the years. Vulgar took on especially negative sexual connotations during the Victorian period (Kendrick, 1988). 22 therapeutic value (Dwyer, 1990) or diagnost ic capabil i ty (Stoller, 1979, 1975/1986; Pryor & Stoller, 1994). Ac ts of compuls ive sexuality are not a lways criminal. Most often they are tolerated vulgarit ies or minor infractions of often archaic laws. The subject of pornography is a good example of the former; prostitution is an age old example of the latter; while child pornography and child prostitution are now c lassed as truly criminal. T h e s e boundar ies are neither precise nor historically consistent. The lesson here is clear, however. Sexua l ethics, morality and criminality are as changeab le as language; in fact, some would argue that it changes with the language (Re ich , 1945/1975; Reik, 1966). In studying sexual recovery, this thesis attempts to rediscover some of the ancient paths to sexua l w isdom. This has highlighted the important fact that patr iarchal, sexist attitudes are deeply seated in the socia l psyche of modern men (Gayl in , 1992). Recovery from these or any other mainline attitude requires consistent and committed work on the part of the recovering person, as well as work to change the socia l background which makes the attitudes acceptab le to many. The Historical Att i tudes: Intellectualism or the Denigrat ion of the Phys ica l The Greek phi losopher Plato l ikened the true nature of reality to a man seek ing the source of dancing images upon the wall of a cave . The seeke r is frustrated at every turn by the mysterious shadows, and cannot deduce from them the nature of their constructive sources. Plato saw that we could only d iscern the 23 images of reality, as appercept ion of our s e n s e s . Their sources , real reality, lay behind the impenetrable wal l , shie lded from the intellect, and from deduct ive experiment as wel l . Only the phenomena, the appearances are avai lable to the seekers . (For full text and interpretation see "Plato 's: The Republ ic" ; Jowett, 1944) Today 's empir ical researchers (descendants of Plato 's competi tor Aristotle) still try mightily to penetrate the curtain of the s e n s e s , only to have the object of their search slither away at the last moment. W h e n they bel ieve that they have made it, the reality which they seek is mysteriously gone. (Feynman, 1985; Beahrs , 1986; Hawking, 1988) The image of the C a v e in Plato 's Republ ic is an important one, not only of epistomology but a lso of human sexuality. It re-presents for us the struggle which has gone on unabated s ince Plato 's t ime: a struggle over the meaning of truth, the meaning of life, the place of p leasure and order, the value of sexuali ty and sensual i ty. It w a s and is a truly seminal image of an ongoing paradox. Cons ide r how the cave relates to the feminine principle: the c lass ic image of life in the dark, earthy cave of the Mother G o d d e s s . Observe the spear of mascu l ine analyt ic skill attempting to search and penetrate this deep reality, constant ly thrusting itself in vain against the cave wal l . And yet, the two p r inc ip les -cave and tree, Jon i and L ignum, male and f e m a l e - a r e needed to produce, to uncover, to participate in life. The intellect is engulfed by the generat ive material and together they produce 24 the phenomena we perceive as reality, as life, as all the myriad forms of being wh ich surround us. Psycho logy was also of great import to Plato. His v iew of it required all things to be in order, internally as well as externally. Hence we find his successo rs deep ly concerned with the proper order of spirit and body, with the proper use of the functions of the mind, and with the of the proper use of potentialities of the b o d y - especia l ly sexuali ty. Hebrew thought in the c lass ica l period was eventually inf luenced by the G r e e k s . But their own distinct and original point of v iew was quite different. Their heavens held only one G o d , so there was no room for divinized evil as in many pagan and early Christ ian societ ies. Creat ion was good. M a n made mistakes. Al l creation was a single flowing unity, created by a G o o d G o d for the benefit of m a n - i n use and misuse. Purity codes eventually played a large part in Hebrew religious thought, though they were foreign to its roots (Brown, 1988, pp. 57 - 64). A l l of these conflicting v iews are presented in the Hebrew sacred scriptures and commen ta r i es -To rah and Mishnah. The Christ ian Bible contains most of them, for those who choose to see them. The beliefs presented in these writings are a lso easi ly misinterpreted and misrepresented (Spong, 1991, chap. 1). In the sexua l sphere , this quickly produced homophobia, heterosexual ism, and restrictive sexua l codes of behaviour. 25 Imperial R o m e is often depicted as a violent, morally degraded world of male control and lust. Al though partly true, it a lso had roots in Repub l ican R o m e which was a world of hearth and home, of engineering marvels, of advanc ing medical pract ise, of great literature and poetry. (See Dudly, 1960; Durant, 1944/1972) The R o m a n world a lso appears to have been far more sexual ly liberal than we are today. S o m e interpret the literary and architectural bits left to us on this theme as ev idence of a libertine society, while others see them as the Club M e d of the first century C E . Perhaps R o m a n enthus iasm merely overcame the "all things in their p lace" attitude of their G reek and Et ruscan ancestors (Duca, 1966, chaps . 2 & 3). Ear ly Christ ian thinkers, who were really R o m a n s beneath their togas, p icked up the reigning thought patterns of their era and tried to bend them to their own purposes. S o m e succeeded more than others. Tertull ian ( 2 n d century C E ) and his fol lowers took R o m a n ideas on sexuality and emphas ised the e lements of good and bad while creating a Christ ian presence. They assoc ia ted evil with carnality, and the carnal with the sexua l . The female principle and therefore woman , w a s the incarnation of sexua l evil . A man's right and proper course was to do all in his power to beat the created o rder -espec ia l l y the evils of sexual i ty- in to submiss ion . Th is w a s a literal and physical precept, so that woman did not fare well in this world (For detail on these points see Sal isbury, 1992, Pt. I). August ine of Hippo (3 r d century C E ) represents a more moderate view. It is strongly inf luenced by Plato 's ideas. Everything was created by a good G o d , and all 26 creation is therefore good. Man 's propensity to err al lows him to use things badly, but does not make any of creation, including his own parts and facult ies, evil in its own right. Man 's proper course for August ine was to keep all things in appropriate ba lance, (cf. Barrow, 1950; August ine, 1962). The intellect was the highest power of man, and the body c a m e in a distant second . Scho la rs , such as Thomas Aqu inas (12 t h Century C E ) left the sexual -phys ica l world v iew establ ished by the early church Father 's more or less intact (Bul lough, 1988; Fox, 1992). There are of course some studies in feminist scholarship (Wil l iams & A d e l m a n , 1978; Page ls , 1988) which demonstrate the ups and downs of sexua l politics in this broad space of t ime, but it changes little but detai ls. By the time of the reformation (16 t h century C E ) it was time for change, but little lasting change happened then either. The fundamental posit ions of the reformers were often morally restrictive, and they brought little to Rena i ssance gender politics that w a s not a l ready ensconced in the cultural traditions of their nation states. (Wil l iams & A d e l m a n , 1978) Much of the underpinnings of Western 2 0 t h century sexua l theology and phi losophy are either based upon, or built in reaction to, the realities of two mil lennia ago (Brown, 1988; Ne lson , 1992; Gay l in , 1990, chap. "Sex" ; Sal isbury, 1991, Pt. 1). Plato, Aristot le, Tertull ian, August ine of Hippo, and Thomas Aqu inas are joined together in a line of descent pointing directly to modern Ang lo -European marr iage cus toms, sexua l politic and spiritual concepts as well as Granvi l le avenue 's sex 27 shops . (See Ne lson , 1983, chaps . 1 & 2; Ne lson, 1992; Ne lson & Longfel low, 1994) For instance, this pedigree confuses what is now termed "semen conservat ion theory" (developed by Greco R o m a n physician G a l e n (Money, 1991), anxiety over "the evil male vice", that is, masturbation (von Krafft-Ebing, 1885/1965), and the inferior posit ioning of woman , to come up with rationales for behaviours such as non-consensua l violent sex and sexual slavery. Sexual i ty, when seen as the preeminent human physical activity, becomes the grossest enemy of the intellectual spirit of man. For instance, the irrational aspects which overcome a man at the time of o rgasm were cons idered detrimental to his ability to think, and therefore to be, human (Fox, 1992). Historical Att i tudes: Pornography and Prostitution Pornography as we conce ive it is little more than two centur ies old. It is a mere classif icat ion system created in the pre-Victorian, anti-sexuality and ant i -woman world of 17 t h century Europe. (See Heath, 1982; Kendrick, 1988; Duca , 1966; Pera ld i , 1992) Kendr ick 's (1988) enlightening study of pornography demonstrates that the original Western word was coined in mid 19 t h century France as a medica l term to be used for cataloguing prostitutes in Par is . This was part of an effort to c lean up and medical ize the free and rampant sex trade in the great F rench cit ies. Literally, this word is rooted in pornoaraphos (nopvoyparjpoa), a Greek word meaning "whore-painter" or "whore-writer". However, even in Greek it is "an ambiguous one 28 s ince it fails to specify on which end of the brush or pen the whore is found" (Kendrick, 1988, p. 13). .. At about the s a m e time, archaeologists began unearthing the R o m a n cit ies of Hercu laneum and P o m p e y (Kendrick, 1988, chap. 1; De iss , 1985). They were somewhat shocked by the graphic express ions of sexuality which they d iscovered virtually everywhere: in f rescoes and statuary, on door-posts and belt buck les, in public p laces and private bedrooms. Misunderstanding the R o m a n s as a people o b s e s s e d totally by sex (perhaps because they themselves were), these archaeologis ts attempted to present this newfound knowledge in a way which protected the weak (i.e., women , the young, and the uneducated) but made it avai lable to the strong (i.e., well educated, rich men). Many of their ca ta logues, and limited edition folios of sketches were titled with some form of the word pornography. They were frequently provided in Latin. Engl ish translations, even of F rench works, were rare until quite recently. This whole movement gave rise to the current mean ing of pornography, in rank contrast to its ea r l i e r -4 t h century Greek, and 19 t h century F r e n c h - m e a n i n g . W h y did they not simply bury what they had found, if it w a s so upsett ing? Or simply destroy it as so many previous reformers had done? Instead it s e e m s to have become a gent leman's arena of titillation, and a s ideshow for the uneducated. W e r e they caught by the f reedom of information mania, or simply enthralled by the depth and power of forbidden sex? Taken in the light of historical facts known today, what 29 w a s found at P o m p e y w a s really a vacat ion spot for the rich. A s a parallel p rocess , what will people a thousand years hence think of us, if all that remains of our fine societ ies is images of C lub M e d , of downtown Las V e g a s , or C a n c u n ? A modern definition of pornography is extremely difficult. Kendr ick (1988) descr ibes it as sex for f inancial gain only. Lo Duca (1966, chap. 2) cal ls it sexual i ty without erot ic ism. Simi lar definitions could be appl ied to prostitution. The two words are intimately tied together in etiology. The ties that bind in this c a s e are simply f inancial . Prosti tutes, in genera l , are reduced to marketing and sel l ing their bodies and bodily functions to make a living. After a while, it becomes a habit hard to break for many. But the status of prostitutes is far more a damning statement about western society and its mores, than it is about the women and men who pract ise it (Stoller, 1979, 1975/1986). Pornography is a sidel ine for some prostitutes, an advert ising mechan ism for others, and a magnificent money making enterprise for those who control it. The film "The Peop le vs Larry Flint" (Forman, 1996) offers a graphic and powerful presentation of some major issues involved in the consumpt ion and creation of pornography. Sexual i ty can be an enlightening power in human life and it can be an awesome , raw force which consumes people. It matters little whether you are 1 s t century R o m a n or 2 0 t h century Canad ian . Psychiatry, in its c lass ic Diagnost ic and Statist ical Manua l , (Amer ican Psychiatr ic Assoc ia t ion , 1994a, sect ion 302) s e e s this destructive f rame of sexuali ty as pathology; as miscreant; as obsess i ve , compuls ive, 30 or addict ive; as abnormal , bizarre, variant, perverted, aberrant, or deviant. W e still appear to have trouble deal ing in c lear terms with sexual reality. In private, even the Victor ians were aware of the central position of sexuality in healthy human behaviour. Ye t today, fundalit Chr ist ians (Spong, J . S . , personal communicat ions, Ju ly 14, 1996) still b lame the physical malady of A I D S upon the sexua l pract ises of certain men, call ing it divine retribution upon the sons of S o d o m . Freud 's own thesis (1906/1938) that sexuality, in the form of libidinal energy, is the motive power of the human being, especia l ly the psyche, takes for granted the Spir i t -Body connect ion and attempts to de-emphas ise the Spirit, turning the connect ion into a s imple physical principal of energy. The name of the sc ience he helped to deve lop -psycho logy- l i te ra l l y means "study of the soul " , or "the Word about S o u l " (from the Greek words psyche (U^nxe) and logos (Aovos)). By redefining the sexua l and psychic facts about ourse lves, he may have cast as ide an opportunity to understand ourse lves more deeply and to develop our potentials more fully. The two need to be rejoined to enl iven the possibil ity for revitalizing and reauthorising human sexuali ty in Western society (Hil lman, 1975/1992, chap. 1; May , 1967). Today 's communicat ions media and modern computers expand the possibil i t ies which Stol ler (1979) unveiled in "Centerfold" two decades ago. The personal computer, built for gaming and video perfection, is a lso an ideal med ium for delivering custom made explicitly sexual material. This is not simply my 31 extrapolation10. Any Internet Browser searching on the words "Adult", "Sex" or "Porn" will uncover a wealth of shocking "stuff. This is indeed a revolution in parental worries about and supervision of youth. The confused state of free enterprise and open communication make the Internet's current status a windfall for the prostitution industry. The key factor which makes Internet pornography more profitable and more perverse is the extreme simplicity with which vendors can meet the precise desires of their customers. It can occur in total privacy and relative secrecy, two prime characteristics of any addictive process. It is difficult to summarize hundreds of years of history. But one thing can be said for sure: The place of sexuality and the position of woman in the Western world are tied intimately together, sometimes quite literally. In A History of Eroticism, author Lo Duca closes his chapter on Christian Europe with a telling commentary on the witch-hunt craze which held sway in Christian Europe from the 8 th to the 18th centuries: Under Innocent VIII appeared one of the most nefarious monuments of ignorance shaped by hate: Malleus Maleficarum 'corpus jure' holding forth [during the Inquisition] until the Renaissance with Protestants and Catholics alike. ... Tortures practised on naked bodies of children, young girls or ripe women, gave birth to sensations which will be classified later as dementia forms of orgasm, of which the judges and the torturers-without overlooking 1 0 It seems that this is a true extension of what Marshall McLuhan (1951) clearly saw ahead when he wrote about mechanization and human communications. The message is becoming more and more indistinguishable from the medium. The addictive quality of computer gaming, and computer pornography deserve careful and immediate study. 32 the spec ta to rs -were for the moment the unique beneficiar ies. O n e of the most damning blights on Occidenta l Civi l ization was that, in drawing away from the letter and spirit of the Gospe l s , "woman could only be approached as an animal in heat, without any clear perception of her anatomy and human subtlety." W o m a n thus became scapegoat for the male 's pass ions . S h e is "object of shame" , "temptress", "guilty s ince Eden" , "wanton", "she who dragged man down into sin", "the scorpion's sting", "the path to vice", "the maleficent sex", e tc . 1 1 in short, witches seed . (1966, pp. 77-79) If this was the way Western theologies v iewed women for over a thousand years , and it is clearly documented, then how could we not be affected even severa l hundred years later! Is it any wonder that Western men are confused and w o m e n are enraged. A Cha l lenge from History to the Present: Sexo logy vs S e x o s o p h v Centur ies of strict attempts at regulation of sexuality have resulted in attempts by medical sc ience to reduce sex to mere physicality. Before reviewing the literature of the current era, it is important to grasp the intent and purpose of this differentiation. The words sexology and sexosophy have been used to descr ibe polar opposi tes in the debate on human sexual behaviour. S e x o s o p h y often carr ies a negative connotat ion in the literature. It is used by the scientist to refer with d isdain to the non-scientif ic thinking style of phi losophy about sex. But the potential r ichness and depth of the sexua l relationship can be only partially expla ined or known by a "These quoted phrases are footnoted with a reference to the first Councils of the Christian church. Similar phraseology can be found in many manuals of preaching published by many Christian denominations up to the late 19 th century. 33 scientif ic study of sex; that is, sexology. This polar ized debate is represented in the work and writings of severa l 2 0 t h century special ists. John Money , psychologist and sex researcher, holds the more extreme sexologist posit ion (i.e., neo-positivist). He follows in the tradition set by von Krafft- Eb ihg (although Money (1990a) a lso exposes some 19 t h century scientif ic errors). Money may have coined the word sexosophy, using it to refer derisively to all non- scientif ic research and opinion upon the subject of sex or sexuality. In his mind and methods, sexuali ty was only and simply physical ; whether behaviours were expressed in the genitals or in the brain. Thomas S z a s z has scathing commentary on this aspect of sexological sc ience : "The penis, some wag has observed , never l ies. But sexologists do-pr inc ipal ly because they are determined to concea l moral va lues and socia l pol icies as medical d iagnoses and treatments." (1980, p. xvi) Robert Stoller, a lso a sexologist, represents a mid-range posit ion. H e w a s a Freudian scholar, much interested in the place of fantasy in the life of sexual ly aberrant persons, mostly men. His work -espec ia l l y the reinterpretation of s o m e things F r e u d i a n - w h e n placed a longside that of J a m e s Hi l lman, Rol lo May , John Campbe l l , and Er ic F romm begins to recover the critical p lace of image, imaginat ion, fantasy, creativity and myth-making in the sexual psychology of modern men and w o m e n . J a m e s Ne lson and Patrick Ca rnes represent the opposi te end of the sexo logy-sexosophy range from Money. Ne lson is an ethicist, minister and . counsel lor ; C a r n e s is a psychologist and sexuality special ist. Both bring a weal th of human complexi ty to their personal understandings of human sexuali ty. Their methods and p rocesses for healing of compuls ive sexuali ty include both scientif ic and spiritual modes . Myth and art and spirituality are used s ide by s ide with cold scientif ic data. The sexologist , or positivist, position strips human sexuali ty of everything but objective data. It is necessary to uncover these Underlying facts, but they remain merely mechan isms. A lone , they support the mechanist ic interpretation of humanity. The sexosophers , on the other hand, maintain a position which preserves the r ichness of the human mind, a r ichness which has been so feared and degraded s ince the time of Hobbes and Descar tes (Hil lman, 1975/1992, chap. 1). It is not the opposit ion of these two posit ions which c a u s e s trouble, but rather the s ingle-minded rationalist dichotomizat ion of them which does . W e need both these posit ions and all the wonders in between to become truly human to the fullest of our potentialities. The Literature of Heal ing The background of information on sexuality in western history helps us to understand the establ ishment of personal cultural patterns. Pe rhaps most of this is done at home, in our early days. It a lso happens in peer relat ionships during our formative years as boys and young men. In this modern era, we absorb s o m e level of relevant culture from the surrounding media-pr in t , film, television and computer gaming for instance. Knowledge of the developmental direction of sexua l addict ion is 35 primary information for many therapeutic techniques (Stoller, 1975/1986). Knowledge of the formative process is critical information in treatment of early chi ldhood t rauma (e.g., repetition syndrome). Fami ly v io lence and addict ive patterns are generat ional patterns, knowledge of which helps in breaking the cyc le of abuser creat ion. But why some of this leads to or fosters addict ion in one man and not in others is a mystery still being investigated. What fol lows is a select ive presentation of writings oh the heal ing of sexua l compuls ions. There are two broad categor ies of healing methodology and technique, separated general ly along the lines of medical p rocess or treatment and humanist ic recovery. There are many possibil i t ies wh i ch the wise therapist or counsel lor tailors to the needs of each patient or client. No general ly accepted method has sur faced and there are undoubtedly other ways of descr ib ing this heal ing process . T h e s e two categorizat ions easi ly overlap and assist one another. But for the sake of d iscuss ion they provide helpful labels with which to identify and group p ieces of the vast array of material avai lable on sexual heal ing. Summar ies of recommended approaches have been recently publ ished (Lew, 1990; Hunter, 1990). A m o n g other modes of treatment are approaches which might be label led as moralist or punitive-legalistic. T h e s e modes tend to punish and b lame both perpetrator and vict im, rather than promote heal ing. Therefore, no further mention will be made of these. 36 Interestingly, each healing mode has its own jargon. The medical communi ty and bio-medical ly oriented psychologists tend to use the words such as treatment, d i sease , subjects, patients and other medical or scientif ic oriented phrases. The humanist / recovery community tends to use words more in the range of recovery, restoration, participants, clients and other consult ive or phi losophical ly oriented jargon. Mak ing some distinctions between treatment and recovery may help to clarify the orientations. Treatment is def ined in S tedman 's Medica l dictionary (1982) as : "The medica l or surgical care or management of a patient. To manage a d i sease by medic inal , surgical or other measures" . Webster 's Onl ine Dictionary (1997) def ines it as "The act or manner or an instance of treating someone or something: handl ing, usage" and notes that it w a s first used circa 1560. Therapy is def ined as "the treatment of d i sease by var ious methods. (Stedman's , 1982) and as "therapeutic treatment especia l ly of bodily, mental , or behavioural disorder" (Webster 's online) coming into usage only c i rca 1846. Recovery on the other hand is def ined as "regaining of health or function after d i sease or disability" in S tedman 's (1982) which s e e m s to imply that it is separate from or at least comes after treatment. Webster 's online (1997) cal ls it "the act, p rocess or and instance of recovering; especial ly: an economic upturn" being brought into usage circa the 15 t h century. 37 There is a definite dividing line between treatment and recovery. In the medical world, they are two different subjects, sequential in time, with treatment being primary. There is also a strong emphasis in the health care system on prevention, which is becoming more and more important in this era of restricted economic resources. Similar approaches might be emphasized in the area of family dysfunctions, whether the addiction of choice is drugs, alcohol, foods or sex (Canadian Guide, 1994). Psychiatry and the medical community frequently deal in treatment of disease. Pharmacology, surgery and other medical procedures are used to cure the patient. Psychology and counselling professionals more often deal in recovery. The client is guided, without being judged, in a direction of cultural and personal health which is jointly chosen by the client and counsellor. Medical methods may be recommended or used as assists, but the primary focus of recovery is to obtain that which has been lost or hidden in the lifestyle. Which is truly foremost is also a subject of debate. An emphasis on dual diagnosis (Evans & Sullivan, 1990) within the addictions treatment community tends to pull the two categories together. Perhaps they are spread out too far along the current continuum of health care. 38 Literature F o c u s s e d on Male Treatment Sexo log is ts often claim to be fully scientif ic in their approach to sex, and thus bel ieve themse lves to be divorced from cultural and socia l sur roundings 1 2 . Modern proponents of sexo logy are found in many fields. Psycholog is t John Money , historian Kenneth Anger , psychiatrist Robert Stoller, statisticians Alfred K insey Wardel l Pomeroy all held to some sexological beliefs, usually referring to them as facts. M u c h of the modern medical profession also fol lows this path as a matter of course. Their var ied contributions to sexology offer useful descript ive facts about humans, but may tend towards mechanizat ion of person and malady. Taxonomy of Sexua l S i ckness John Money expended great energy to define more categor ies of sexua l s i ckness than are present in the current edition of D S M - I V (1994b, pp. 243-246) . Pe rhaps he and his assoc ia tes were unsatisf ied with the lack of detai l , complexi ty or comple teness found in the manual . More categories would correspond to the vast morass of intertwined relationships they saw daily in their cl inics (Money 1984, 1994). At any rate, Money has proposed a table (see Tab le 1, below) of over thirty different forms of sexologica l d i sease . 12The introduction to "A History of Eroticism" by French author, playwright and historian Lo Duca, translated by American avant garde director Kenneth Anger holds otherwise: "The so-called 'Sexual Revolution' which is sweeping today's troubled world for better or for worse, cannot possibly be understood except in the context of history. ... Unfortunately, while libraries are replete with weighty tomes on the history of civilization and society in general... we can still look almost in vain for the history of eroticism—which is the storey of man's most powerful force: the sex drive." (Duca, 1966, pp. 5-6.) 39 ACROTOMOPHIL IA (Amputee Partner) MYSOPHILIA (Filth) APOTEMNOPHIL IA (Self-amputee) NARRATOPHILIA (Erotic talk) ASPHYXIOPHILIA (Self-strangularion) NECROPHILIA (Corpse) AUTAGONISTOPHILIA (on Stage) PEDOPHILIA (Child) AUTASSASSINOPHILIA (Own murder PICTOPHILIA (Pictures) staged) AUTONEPIOPHILIA (Diaperism) PEIODEIKTOPHILIA (Penile exhibitionism) COPROPHIL IA (Feces) RAPISM or BIASTOPHILIA (Violent Assault) EPHEBOPHILIA (Youth) SADISM EROTOPHONOPHIL IA (Lust Murder) SCOPTOPHILIA (Watching coitus) FETISHISM SOMNOPHILIA (Sleeper) FROTTEURISM (Rub against a stranger) STIGMATOPHILIA (Piercing; tatoos) GERONTOPHIL IA (Elders) SYMPHOROPHIL IA (Disaster) HYPHEPHILIA (Fabrics) T E L E P H O N E SCATOPHILIA (Lewdness) KELPTOPHILIA (Stealing) TROILISM (Couple + one) KLISMAPHILIA (Enemas) UROPHILIA or UNDINISM (Urine) MASOCHISM V O Y E U R I S M or PEEPING-TOMISM ZOOPHILIA (Animal) Table 1 Expanded List of Paraphi l ias (From Money , 1984, p. 167) 40 But are these d iagnoses , symptoms, true d i seases , or cultural categor ies of unacceptable behaviours? Money, being a consummate sexologist, c h o o s e s the term d i sease and interprets each category as a distinct i l lness. D i sease is diagnost ical ly d i f ferent ia te , and ultimately treatment pliable. Therefore, the deviant human can be returned to the fold of normal ized humanity through the ministrations of modern medical procedures. A n alternative approach interprets these strange sounding G r e c o - R o m a n words as symptoms. The d isease , or dev iance from the normal bounds, then lies in the physical makeup or development of related nervous sys tems. The d i sease b e c o m e s "Paraphi l ia Not Otherwise Spec i f ied" (American Psychiatr ic Assoc ia t ion , 1994b, sect ion 302.9). Robert Stol ler 's work (1979, 1975/1986) exempl i f ies a path similar to this. His interpretive psychotherapy is based upon detai led descr ipt ions of individual sexua l var iances which can be seen as ques for therapeutic understanding and related helping changes . This is well presented in a pair of articles on the pornography industry cal led "Centerfold: an e s s a y on excitement" (Stoller, 1979) and "Porn : Myths for the twentieth century" (Stoller, 1991). Yet , the articles reveal a niggling humanist ic interpretation of sexua l dev iance . This could be expanded by interpreting the categor ies as descript ive names assoc ia ted with cultural non-conformity. Naming the place and impact of culture within the p rocess of addict ive sexuality c lears the way for reduction of personal s h a m e and blame in its treatment. 41 The Pathology of Sexua l Dev iance The study of sexuali ty in the broad sense has most often proceeded on the grounds of the pathological; that is, what is wrong with this person? The definition of sexua l pathology has been a specia l interest of the G e r m a n s and the French for almost two centuries. Recal l ing the brief histories above, we found that the word pornography was a French invention, with original overtones of health care. A n d the G e r m a n s s e e m exceptional ly good at precise cata logues and sets of definit ions. Wi tness to this is given by von Krafft-Ebing's monumental work "Psychopath ia Sexua l i s " (1885 /1965 ) 1 3 . This European interest in the pathological s ide of sexuali ty set the manner in which sexual i ty would be addressed by the western medical profession. A l though this attitudinal tone was developed almost two centuries ago, in North Amer i ca it is only now being pushed as ide by the results of the sexual revolution of the 1960's and 1970's (Duca, 1966, chap. 1; Re ich , 1945/1975). A v io lence perhaps inherent in western Christ ian attitudes towards sexuality has also crept into the treatment of sexua l pathology 1 4 . 1 3 The Victorian era required that such works be coded in Latin, Greek or other uncommon, untranslated language. The works were also kept locked away in public libraries until quite recently (sec Duca, 1966, chap. 1 & 2, for a detailed history.) Modern scholars, however, are not as bothered by moralists who wish to restrict access to precious historical resources. 1 4 Refer to the brief historical literature introduction especially on Augustinian thought and the general denigration of the physical which pervades Platonic philosophy. This dominant view of early Christian thinkers viewed sex as an evil to be exterminated, as a destructive force impeding the true rational nature of man. Note also that they most often used the word man as male not man as human beings. 42 Femin ism has done much to uncover and chal lenge th But sexua l reassignment surger ies, cl i torectomies, and radical mastectomies (Money, 1968, 1985) still carry a taint of this misogynist, ant i-sexual history. M u c h has been detai led on each of these subjects, but the relevant, remnant point is the negat ive tone and attitude so often assoc ia ted with sexuality. This culturally based attitude is clearly seen in two of the narratives interpreted later in the data of this study. Psycho -Phys i ca l Sexua l Illness The medical profession treats many physical problems in sexua l funct ion. The D S M - I V lists a number of d i f ferent ia te d iagnoses of physical sexual function d i sease . It a lso refers to other non-physical maladies with a catch-al l term: "sexual dysfunct ion not otherwise speci f ied" (Amer ican Psychiatr ic Assoc ia t ion , 1994a, sect ion 302.70). P s y c h e is still a medical mystery, but it is often confused and combined within the physical maladies. What is the place of imagery, memory, fantasy or recollection in any particular instance? How do hormones and brain chemistry effect these mental p r o c e s s e s ? R e s e a r c h on similar quest ions relating to v io lence (Volavka, 1995) has led to no definite conc lus ions. Similarly in sex research, meaningful knowledge of the interface between Neurobiology and sexual behaviour is beyond our current scientif ic ability. Psychiatr ist Robert Stol ler (1975/1986) finds connect ive material in the situational and developmental details of a particular person's sexua l malady. Both 43 family and cultural-social surroundings are taken into account in great detai l . (Stoller, 1979) A n d what role does the psychology df emot ions play in this f ield. Ski l l in identifying and deal ing with strong emotions is valuable in sexua l heal ing (Griffin- Shel ley , 1993, chap. 4 & 5). Phi losopher/psychologist Wil l iam J a m e s w a s aware of their va lue over a century ago. In an abr idgement of his c lass ic "Pr inc ip les of Psycho logy" publ ished for university c lassroom usage (James , 1902/1948) he states: "Anger , fear, love, hate, joy, grief, shame, pride, and their variet ies, may be cal led the coarser emot ions, coupled as they are with relatively strong bodily reverberations" (my emphas is , p. 374). These coarser emot ions are useful for differentiation of sensa te states, the complex of bodily responses generated by received sensat ions. S o m e people may be capable of mixing and matching dozens of identifiable emot ions, but many modern men are frequently unskil led in the art form of identifying and naming the mixes (Gayl in, 1992; Sanford & Lough, 1988). Us ing a more bas ic set of emot ions simplif ies the task of recognit ion. In therapy, a primary task is often to expand the man's emotive repertoire, helping him to engage more of himself in discerning his internal states (Ell is, P ie rsma , & G r a y s o n , 1990). Internal differentiation, accompan ied by increased breadth of verbal ability, is a step on the way to consc ious external control of behaviour for the individual (Wells, -1990). Control of behaviour al lows a man to begin 44 understanding his act ions and later to choose a more personal ly, culturally and spiritually satisfying lifestyle. This is a solid step in the direction of recovery. Sexua l Pharmaco logy A variety of chemica l agents have been found to reduce sex-dr ive, or what is often termed erotosexual arousal . Many ant i -depressants, and serotonin control addit ives, as well as speci f ic male hormone or anti-hormone agents (see Hucker & Stermac, pp. 707-709 for an amaz ing array of acronymic and multi-syllabic medicaments) produce these effects. The ant i -depressant drugs include P rozac , c lomipramine and imipramine; and lithium derivatives. The majority of this research has been performed upon incarcerated sex criminals, and is therefore quite limited in appl icat ion. (Money, 1984, 1990b; Hucker & Stermac, 1992; C o l e m a n , 1991) The pharmacological approach adheres to the medical model of sexua l d i sease . The underlying assumpt ion is that the brain, nervous sys tem or hormonal sys tem of the affected male is somehow sick or in error. Medica l sc ience s e e k s to restore the ba lance of chemistry erroneously left incomplete by mother nature. A significant problem for this approach is the lack of truly normative standards upon which to base the return to proper levels. S u c h standards are general ly a s s u m e d to be the statistical averages generated in particular studies (Money, 1987). Aga in , s e e Hucker and S te rmac for a mass ive bibl iography of medical research. They summar ize sexua l hormone studies thus: "A comprehens ive review of studies in this 45 area , however, suggests that, at best, a weak link exists between testosterone levels and sexua l aggress ion" (p. 704, 1992). There is no debate as to the eff icacy of certain drug treatments. S e x drive or sexua l interest can be el iminated in any male with sufficient appl icat ion of proper drugs. However, such a severe approach must be constantly evaluated as to whether it is more punitive than therapeutic, and therefore open to change. Literature focussed on Men 's Recovery The spiritual concepts of abandonment , acceptance, strength of will and re lease of the will to an outside, (Alcohol ics Anonymous , 1938/1976) often divine, authority conflict with some psychological theory. Al l of the aforement ioned concepts are intimately connected in the spiritual writings of many belief sys tems (e.g., Christianity, Hindi, Musl im). Yet , many psychological scientists either toss them out (Freud, 1928/1953), try to explain them away (Skinner, 1971), or seek to capture their power in mathematical formulae (Story, 1979). Neither scientif ic approach works wel l , for the concepts are too s l ippery- too complex and intertwined--to grasp in laboratory tongs or mathematical methodology. A more hopeful approach meets these daemons15 in their own space . True spirituality l ives personif ied in the realm of P s y c h e (Hil lman, 1975/1992, chap. 1) s ide 15Contrary to what Christianity and other religions have made of the word demon, its source daemon has a much richer and more respectful history. The word itself is derived from the Greek, wherein it simply means "authority", or "a power", and is used a such with great effect by James Hillman in much of his later writings. The concept of mental or spiritual power is highly germane to the topics of addiction and recovery. 46 by s ide with personal and cultic myth (May, 1991, chap. 2). Scienti f ic d ismemberment of Psyche ' s world leaves us with the s a m e result as any autopsy: a few ideas about mechan isms, interconnections and b iochemis t ry -and a corpse. O n the other hand, attempting an understanding of the phenomena and N u m e n a involved gives understanding and w isdom for life (Stoller, 1979; Rosegrant , 1986). Human beings tend towards error, are abie to twist and turn our understandings; to mix them up in unrecognizable fashion, and call them knowledge (Spong , 1988, 1991). Twelve S tep Programs. The control of behaviour is essent ia l to living in the modern world: A conflict enters here between the concept of acceptance and letting go found in twelve-step program s u c c e s s stories and the drives and needs defined for man by socia l convent ions or even psycho log ica l research. Control of man's behaviour is put down by many hardline recovering addicts (i.e., twelve-step program members) as contrary to bas ic tenets of the program. They base this faith upon the program's (Alcohol ics Anonymous , 1938/1976, p. 59; Ca rnes , 1991, pp. 179 - 180) first and second steps. The first is phrased as : "We admitted we were power less over our addict ion - that our l ives had become unmanageable" , and the second states: " W e c a m e to bel ieve that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". In true human fashion, these essent ial ly spiritual beliefs somet imes become set in concrete, as if they were a self-help commandment . W h e n taken thus as a 47 rule, they become meaning less drivel. But when embraced as a mythic principle they are full of l ife-savjng power. Neither this ful lness of the twelve-step program, nor the theories of psychology are contrary to an understanding of the will, even after the form of twelfth century theologian Thomas Aqu inas (Fox, 1992). The will is essent ia l ly our ability to make dec is ions. It is a lso often seen as one of the dist inguishing characterist ics of human life. W h e n the decis ion system becomes untrustworthy, then we must take strong action to repair it; act ion which may give up this most personal power to s o m e other trusted being (a god , a fr iend, a program, a doorknob, or for that matter, a psychiatrist). But the person is caught on the horns of a d i lemma, a Ca tch -22 : No will, no act ion; No act ion, no return of will. He definitely needs outside help, or the pressure of despera t ion- the inevitability of hitting bottom. This phrase w a s co ined in the early days of A A (Alcohol ics Anonymous , 1938/1976, chap. 5). C a r n e s (1989, chap. 6) descr ibes it as the ability to make the un-makeable choice; to stretch that one last t ime into the making of a life-giving, or l ife-destroying dec is ion. Behavioura l Psychotherapeut ics There are a number of treatment styles based in the behavioural psycho logy schoo l . T h e s e include both avers ive (Smith & Wol fe, 1988) and redirective (Dwyer & A m b e r s o n , 1985) therapeutic approaches. In genera l , the variety of the human s e n s e s are used to repel or attract the affected individual to a more normal range of 48 sexua l behaviours. A s with all forms of behavioural treatment, primary attention is g iven to the external characterist ics of the individual. The goal is to stop behaviour. As chronicled rather poignantly in the film "Clockwork Orange" (Kubrick, 1971) these methods are a lso rather effective. The key figure, a sex murderer, is reduced to a grovel l ing, d is t ressed, helpless person after treatment for his cr imes. Smi th and Wol fe (1988) provide a comprehens ive review of their retroactive avers ive method. It is well establ ished especia l ly in the area of treating sexual cr iminals, but has less effect when working with non-forensic persons. Behavioural modif ication has become a part of our western culture. Yet , similar avers ive techniques can easi ly d e s c e n d to mind control. Redirect ion of imagery c a n a lso be used in quite humanist ic ways (Dwyer, 1990), and s e e m s appl icable to lesser offending behaviours. Interrupting the re-enactment cyc le: Psychotherapy of a sexual ly t raumat ized boy. Th is article relates a psychotherapeut ic attempt to treat an eight year old boy who w a s sexual ly traumatized by his father. The impetus of the program is stated as assist ing the client "to gain mastery and control over his earl ier traumatic exper iences" (Ell is, P ie rsma & Grayson , 1990, p. 533). This is based upon the belief statement: "few mental health professionals doubt that almost every child that has been sexual ly abused will exper ience psychological difficulties" (p. 525). But why mastery and control, rather than acceptance and movement forward? 49 S u c h violent sexual happenings within the family structure are indeed far too common . Pe rhaps the iceberg lies beneath the surface still, even after all the petulant reports in the press. But the "repetition compuls ion" which this program strives to break is based in culture as much as in personal miss-treatment and copy- catt ing. The writings of A l ice Miller (1986, 1980/1990) a lso support this direction of thought. They indicate a tradition of physical and sexual v io lence in the Ang lo - European culture which stretches backwards in time for many centur ies. Cl ient-Centred approaches . The most interesting characterist ic of these approaches is their use of Twe lve S tep program principles as a means to recovering a full lifestyle and a healthy sexuali ty, rather than a s imple control of the social ly unacceptable behaviour (Dwyer, 1990, p. 58). There is no restriction or prohibition upon an individual to use whatever other methods they may require to help them keep their behaviour within acceptab le ranges during their search for health. Psycho log is ts may still argue over the construction of the personali ty but in Hol lywood and on Wal l Street it is a fait accompli, the e s s e n c e of marketing and career management . L ikewise in the sex industry. Prostitutes provide the fantasy realization that their cl ients require. Nowhere is this so c lear as in a 1979 article titled "Centerfold: A n E s s a y on Excitement", written by Robert Stoller. It clearly del ineates his hypothesis that fantasy is the essent ia l part of the purchaser 's use of prostitutes, his observat ion of exotic dance or of s imple erot icism. Heterosexual Presumpt ion. (Peraldi , 1993) This powerful article links psychodynamic theory and capital ism using Marxist theory. It makes out the ego and self theory to be the malady of mankind. The polymorphic sexual i ty ("polysexuality") of the child is the true sexual nature of the man, only to be d iscovered late in life. Pe rhaps after the mid-life transition of standard Jung ian thought. "I s e e heterosexual presumption as a typical trait of this kind of imaginary and ideological sexual i ty of the ego" (p. 370). Pera ld i 's primary points are that the heterosexual presumpt ions of many men are chal lenged at mid life by a realization of their true desi res, if not their true nature; and that the heterosexual presumption itself is a capitalistic artifice. Th is artifice, when coupled with macho and "give me sons" attitude prevalent in Weste rn society (Connel l , 1991; Stol tenberg, 1988) tends to keep men in line, creating and maintaining the modern unit of consumpt ion: the Amer ican Family. Hence , soc ia l ism, l ibertarianism and any other force likely to change the sacred structure of the family is strongly fought against. A n d when , or if, a man reaches mid-life, he is more likely to look within himself and begin to unbalance this entire process. He just might begin to cons ider his own needs , wants and begin to form his own personal attitudes. T h e s e may be distinctly different from the average. He may execute them, or merely be made miserably unhappy by them, and not even consc ious ly know why. 51 Out of the shadows, contrary to Love. & Don't Ca l l it Love : Recovery from Sexua l Addict ion. A ser ies of books on sexual addict ion / compuls ion by C a r n e s (1983, 1989, 1991) spel l out the negative effects of western culture in great detail . A n entire vo lume is given over to detail ing sexual addict ion as a cycl ic p rocess , and the manner in which western family beliefs and cultural pract ises actually augment the cycl ic effect of sexua l abdicat ion. He uses a great deal of c a s e study material, a s well as survey and behavioural analys is methodologies. The first vo lume offers graphic ev idence of the effects of sexua l addict ion on the l ives of speci f ic individuals. The second volume offers the professional 52 Belief Systems Unmanageability Impaired Thinking Addictive Cycles Shame Preocupations Despair Ritualizations Guilt Sexual Compulsivity Figure 2 The Addict ive Cyc le (F rom.Carnes , 1989, p. 70) counsel lor C a r n e s own collection of methodological detail, surveys, and data b a s e s col lected over years of research. Ca rne ' s cycle of addict ion is d iagrammed in f igure 2. • . The third vo lume re-frames the process into a twelve step recovery pattern. C a r n e s own methods of recovery blend the medical and the recovery paths to heal ing (1991, chap. 6). His staged process represents the average progress through addict ion and into recovery. The stages are listed as Development of Recovery , Dec is ion , Shock , Grief, Repai rs and Growth. E a c h has cons iderab le variability as to activities within the stage and the time frame needed to perform them. This process approach was created by observing and helping in the recovery of almost 500 addicts over ten years of counsel l ing and research. S o m e of the observed characterist ics of the recovering addicts are listed in Tab le 1. This research is observat ional , but it s e e m s to indicate that a combinat ion of medical technique and narrative counsel l ing offers a good chance of recovery for the willing individual. Throughout the three vo lumes, there is a constant indication and emphas is that an addict must be willing to recover: that is, he or she must want to make changes and actively choose to do so. Part of this cho ice is in seek ing the help of other persons when the unmanageabi l i ty of the addict ion is real ized by the victim. Worse 2n d to 6th months Better 2nd to 3rd Years Better 3rd Year plus S e x addict ion relapse Financial situation Health sexual i ty Health status Cop ing with stress Pr imary relationship Spirituality Relat ionships with family of origin Sel f - image Relat ionship with children Caree r Status Life satisfaction Fr iendships Table 2 Recovery Character ist ics ( after Ca rnes , 1991, p. 187.) 54 Resou rces for Christ ian counsel l ing: Counsel l ing for sexua l d isorders. Th is title is a text book on the p rocesses of sexual addict ion and heal ing written from a Chr ist ian cl ient-centred perspect ive (Penner & Penner , 1990). It is one of a group of writings which exhibit how much the Christ ian right is working in the addict ions recovery movement. Their point of entry s e e m s to be from the Chr ist ian centred emphas is of the twelve step recovery movements. This is fully consistent with the Big Book of A lcohol ics Anonymous (Alcohol ics Anonymous , 1938/1976), which clearly states the theistic bias of that program, and acknowledges that they conce ived it in a Christ ian community context, and world view. E c h o s of these concepts can also be found in Adler 's socia l interest theory and in the concept of the wounded healer (Nouwen, 1979). Both of these indicate that understanding and compass ion come from the humble exper ience of admitting human frailty. Fai lure is not an evi l , especia l ly when one is able to dust onesel f off and move on to using that exper ience to lead a better life and help others to do the same. Vulnerabil i ty is an exper ience all persons have, and sharing it openly with others at the propit ious moment can open a doorway to heal ing. Centerfo ld: A n e s s a y on excitement. This article exempl i f ies Stol ler 's (1979) method of working with the sexual ly different. The woman interviewed w a s an exot ic dancer , an actress for pornographic film, and a former prostitute. Stol ler does not look for etiology, al though she gives hints of a chi ldhood full of c lass ic sexua l pain. Instead, he l istens to her story, a story that is extremely pliable. The centerfold fits 55 herself to whatever script is requested, because the script is built to fit the needs of the willing customer. In other words, Stol ler demonstrates that the porn film or magaz ine is constructed in just such a way as to appea l to the appetite of a particular group of users. Nudity in North Amer ican culture N a k e d n e s s and nudity bear a specia l p lace in any d iscuss ion of sexua l health and i l lness. Nakedness in western culture is often taken as a s ign of vulnerabil ity. Nudity on the other hand has become a hallmark of the advert ising a rena , espec ia l ly where women are concerned. It is a means of portraying an object for sa le , somet imes even persons. A n d at the same time, salient western culture in North Amer i ca has assoc ia ted nakedness-nudi ty with overt sexuality. That is, for many p e r s o n s - m a l e or f ema le - the sight of a naked human is sexual ly arous ing. A psycho dynamic oriented article in American Imago by S e y m o u r Howard (1987) makes significant points about the positive and negative uses of the body in advert isements. He summar izes thus: "For mil lennia, guilt and dogma assoc ia t ing the body with l ibidinous appetites and investing it with sin (perceiving it as sul l ied by earthly, Bibl ical knowing before the Fall) have coexisted in mutual arising with romantic and still-living notions of nakedness as the first, god-given s t a t e - o n e of purity innocence and natural p o t e n c y - a potentiality demeaned by knowledge, culture and artifice." (1987, p. 287) Howard also points to dif ferences between nakedness and nudity, using nudity as a word descr ib ing cover ings that do not really cover . 56 They are clearly not the same word: "Surely nudity, as dist inguished from nakedness , is our most subtle and sophist icated sort of clothing or cover ing for the genital ia" (p. 292). Th is situation has a major impact on the world of men 's sexua l addict ion and recovery. S o m e of these effects are brought out in the following reviews of journal . art icles concerned with aspects of nudity. Factors assoc ia ted with more positive body self concepts in preschool chi ldren. Th is 1979 article by Mari lyn Story does not even dare to mention in its title that the two groups in the study are nudists and non-nudists. A wide range of var iables was tested by means of interviewer rating scores . Nudist c lassi f icat ion of the chi ldren's family was found to be the most significant variable: non-nudist chi ldren scored significantly lower than nudists in positive body self concept . Story notes that body self concept was consistently shown to be a major component of overal l self concept in studies prior to hers. No definition of "body self concept" w a s offered however. Compar i sons of body self-concept between socia l nudists and non-nudists. This story a lso by Mari lyn Story in 1984 can now proclaim nudity in the title." There must be something significant in this change of editorial attitude. Do we have a c a s e similar to that reported by Rosegrant (1986) in reference to P layboy editorial pol icy? This is obviously an expans ion of the previous study, relating now to adults rather than chi ldren. The study group is c lose to a thousand persons, which is ten t imes the s ize of the earl ier work. 57 The significant item in this study is found in the conc lus ions: "This study found that body sel f -concept ratings and reasons for those ratings varied more accord ing to nudity classif icat ion than according to traditional sex dif ferences. The body self- concept ratings of socia l nudists were higher than those of non-nudists and were based more on effectiveness and holistic thinking than those of their non-nudist counterparts." (p. 111, emphas is added) Body cathexis and clothed body cathexis: Is there a di f ference? This 1990 study by Markee , Ca rey and Pede rsen was appl ied to a smal l group of w o m e n between the ages of 25 and 45 . Despite its s ize limitation and its psycho dynamic emphas is this study supports the previous two in a back-handed way. The w o m e n were found to be significantly more satisfied with their clothed body than their naked body. The "present results imply that clothing is not merely a body cover ing. Clothing may create, while it is worn, a new and better perception of the body." (p. 1243) This is in reality a marketing study s ince "individuals will use clothing, padding, corsetry, camouf lage techniques, cosmet ics and other means to conform to the current s tandards of beauty". The women in this study affirm the female preference for attract iveness found in non-nudist women of Story (1984). Nudity in J a p a n e s e visual media: A cross cultural observat ion. In Downs (1990), we find assert ions that the J a p a n e s e have an easy-go ing attitude towards nudity, erotica and pornography. He offers no definitions of these terms. H e a lso states that sexual i ty and nudity were not correlative with each other, as they s e e m to 58 be in western culture. The "opening of J a p a n " a century and a half ago by Ang lo Amer i can entrepreneurs changed all that, however. J a p a n e s e leaders, being caut ious not to offend their European visitors, absorbed some of their cultural alt itudes. Modern J a p a n e s e culture d isplays a mix of Western and J a p a n e s e attitudes. Whether totally accurate or not, this article certainly indicates the in f luence-probab ly negat ive-o f West upon East . Co re Issues in Heal ing A primary quest ion in any approach to sexual treatment is the establ ishment of some norms of behaviour. It s e e m s well documented that the definition of sexuali ty, the limits of sexual behaviour, and the production of erotic materials are all artifacts of cultural development. Western culture has created broadly s p a c e d categor ies of good sex and bad sex. Many major researchers in the heal ing of compuls ive sexual behaviour acknowledge this cultural interface, but few have offered concrete strategies to adjust sexual behaviours in its light (Co leman , 1991, p. 43 ; Money , 1986; C a r n e s , 1991). Second ly , the categorizat ion of sexual s ickness is far less important to the individual's recovery than the detai led, cl ient-centred return to health offered by a mult i-dimensional approach ( S z a s z , 1980; Stoller, 1986; C a r n e s , 1989). A third concern is the need to tailor heal ing techniques to the unique needs of the individual client. The narrative therapy approach (e.g., Stol ler, 1985,1975/1986, 1991) will del iver the client's story, but the therapist must be very skil led to provide a 59 tailored program of heal ing. S o m e see group activities as a key in this a rea , al lowing many clients to work together in a cooperat ive setting guided by one or two therapists (Dwyer, 1990; Grif f in-Shelley, 1993). A fourth concern is to be aware of other actual or possib le addict ions which may mask the real pains of the individual. A lcoho l , drugs and other addict ive behaviours are often found in combinat ion with sex addict ion. C a r n e s (1991, p. 35) reports 8 3 % of his cl ients to be multiply addicted. If the low level pains and problems are unaddressed , then the cycle of addict ion has a strong chance of restarting (Carnes , 1991; E v a n s & Sul l ivan, 1990, chaps . 1 & 9; Penner & Penner , 1990) C H A P T E R THREE. METHOD . . . freedom can live only when life is constantly examined and where there are no censors to tell men how far their investigations can go. Human life l ives iii this paradox and on the horns of this d i lemma. Examinat ion is life, and examinat ion is death. It is both and it is the tension between. (Anderson, 1951 in May, 1967, p. 1) This thesis is a narrative or "story tell ing" study of the lived exper ience of three men as they struggle in very personal ways with their compuls ive sexual i ty. The stories are elicited from three men who volunteered to make their life exper iences avai lable to others. Informal research quest ions were used to direct the col lect ion of information as I gathered their life stories. The narratives were rendered into structured accounts in order to clarify the meanings conta ined in them. T h e s e accounts were then a s s e s s e d for commonal i t ies running through e a c h of the stories. A narrative study is essential ly hermeneutic (Polk inghorne, 1988), and a hermeneut ic p rocess is experiential and developmental (Dilthey, 1962). A s few assumpt ions as possib le are made in the beginning, leaving room for the men 's 61 stories to draw themselves out without applying preconceived patterns. Th is is accompl ished in a paradoxical fashion: by becoming as familiar as poss ib le , immersed, in the literature of sexuality. Broad knowledge and an understanding of the many meanings laid upon sexuality in Western culture, helps me as the investigator to separate my patterns of meaning from the participant's. Design Part icipants The sample of this study was three individuals drawn select ively from a larger group of individuals who acknowledge that they are troubled by compuls ive sexua l behaviours and the problems which that engenders . There were four criteria appl ied to select ion individuals for this study. First they had to be volunteers. S e c o n d , only volunteers who had an active and success fu l relat ionship with a therapist were interviewed. This provides the participant with appropriate resources for deal ing with disturbing material which may be revealed in the course of an interview. Third, each man had to be verbally acute. Lastly, each man had to be exper iencing some t imes of recovery from his sel f-proclaimed sexua l problems. Two of the individuals selected were ministers of many years exper ience. The third had exper ience as a counsel lor and technologist. E a c h man had in his past cons iderable history of verbal and written sel f -expression. Al l three were or had been members of at least one twelve-step group devoted to recovery from 62 sexua l addict ions. In the interest of anonymity, pseudonyms are used throughout the text for the individuals and for any identifying place names. Potential volunteers were notified of the study by a limited edition flyer posted with these recovery groups. A formal agreement was s igned by the participants who volunteered and were se lected. S a m p l e s of these documents are included in Append ix B. Interview P rocess The process used to elicit the portion of participant's life history which relates to addict ion and recovery involved the following steps: creation of a s imple interview script, the actual interviews with the participants, transcription of the interviews, and repetitive reviews with the participants to clarify detai ls and ensure accuracy of transcription. Al l interviews were audio taped. In the first step a bas ic script was created and fol lowed in e a c h set of interviews. The outline of this script is shown in Append ix C , a long with a detai led outline of the interview process. The initial portion of each interview oriented the participant to the task at hand, whether telling the story of his addict ive history, his recovery history or of eliciting further specif ic details. The researcher used active listening techniques in each of these interviews to keep the participant on track. The initial interview w a s one and one-hal f to two hours in length. Fol low-up interviews were of shorter durat ion, but varied in length. 6 3 The taped interviews were then transcribed for rendering and analys is . I chose to do the physical transcription myself, for reasons of confidentiality, and connectivity. The physical transcription of interviews extends the int imacy of the interview itself, in such a way as to make my own percept ions of the words and the text more obvious. This is a valuable and intuitively accurate way to share understanding with the participant. Formation of addict ion / recovery narrative The understanding gained of the individual and his life history through the col lection p rocess w a s then used to build the narrative of his struggles with addict ion. Quotat ions were used wherever possib le to preserve the meaning of the participant. The initial select ion of key events was done by the researcher, but w a s a lways reviewed with the participant for confirmation. D iscrepanc ies were evaluated jointly. The joint d iscovery process el iminated most researcher bias in this event select ion. The narratives gathered from the participants were then summar ized and commented upon at length. Ana lys is of the addict ion / recovery narrative Ana lys is of meaning requires the fullest possib le knowledge of the individual's personal history. This is found in the story form of the participant's history, as a rich text narrative. It is composed of many detai led situations and the minutia of life (Cochran , 1988, chap. 1), all being provided through the recorded interviews. A n d it is these details which will show the steps individually taken to recover from addict ion. The goal of this study is therefore an understanding of men. A hermeneut ic analys is is one way of producing this understanding. It makes no pretense of objectivity in researcher, participant or the understandings uncovered between us. T h e s e are all imperfect; that is, they may contain unquantif iable errors, levels of the unknown, s imple mistakes. Polk inghorne (1983, p. 210) quotes a method outlined by Giorgi in 1974 at the Duquesne Schoo l of Phenomenolog ica l Psycho logy which I have used as a model for this analys is . The steps used for analys is are listed below, and prefaced here with a few comments on my changes . Throughout the re-formed method I have chosen to use 'participant' where the original text of Giorgi uses 'sub jec t ' . Georg i ' s original second step includes the words "with respect to the phenomenologica l ly intent ionaldiscover ing of the exper ience". I take ' intentional d iscover ing ' to mean deliberate acts on the part of the researcher to uncover mean ing. I prefer the word 'uncover' because it emphas ises the equality between the researcher and the participant, and avoids the c la im of d iscovery which objectif ies the participant. It a lso implies that there is or was some absolute reality to be found in the investigation. It implies that this reality is unknown to the participant, but can be d iscovered by the scient ist-researcher. 6 5 'Phenomenologica l ly ' implies that the process takes p lace in the realm of human act ion. The study phenomena are the recollections of the participant of his previous exper ience, as they are descr ibed by him in language. The p rocesses of memory and recall are a lso participant phenomena. Tape recordings of the interviews capture-the language interchanges between the participant and the researcher as we (mostly the participant) d iscuss the phenomena. I have c h o s e n the word 'events' to encompass this complex of phenomena. 'The exper ience ' is the phenomena of re-presenting various act ions, events and happenings of the participant's journey toward recovery and a more personal ly appropriate style of life. S tep four of Giorgi 's original says "the researcher transforms each unit, when relevant, into the language of psychological sc ience" . It is important that the descript ion remain clearly the product of the participant, in language easi ly access ib le to him. Therefore, the language of psychological sc ience has been minimized. The "unit of meaning" in this study is events found in the narratives which provide an understanding of the p rocesses of addict ion and / or recovery. The primary instrument of analysis in this method is the researcher. The researcher has the ability to reflect upon meaning, he has a personal grasp of the common language used in the study, and is able to communicate shared and unique meanings with each participant. He further must have an ability to observe 66 similarity and difference of meanings with respect to common definit ions; to note poss ib le changes of meaning in words and phrases; and to detect spec ia l , personal meanings used by each participant. With these comments in mind, my process for uncover ing the story of recovery and understanding each participant's related meanings is as fol lows: 1. R e a d the entire descript ion, as produced by the participant - researcher interviews. (This first reading is almost casua l , setting the tones of t ime, p lace and feeling.) 2. Re read the descript ion more slowly and thoughtfully. Del iberately look for and note apparent awareness of personal meaning with respect to the events of recovery. (This step was aided by constructing a time line of events, reviewing it with the participant. It was then used to glue mean ings and significant events together into a story-transcript.) 3. R e s h a p e the participant's statements of meaning: a . El iminate redundancies in the statements; b. Clarify and elaborate an essential ly unchanged vers ion of these understandings, relating them to each other and to the supposed meaning of the whole. (This w a s cal led the 'recovery gestalt' in the original Phenomeno log ica l method and is here simply cal led 'the story of recovery'.) 67 4. Ref lect upon the meaning of the recovery story, which should still be "in the concrete language of the [participant]". The outcome of this reflection is an essent ia l descript ion of each unit of meaning as a component of the overal l phenomena of the participant. (The unit of meaning is the stage or phase of recovery where the participant exists at this point in the story.) 5. The researcher then Integrates and synthes ises the insights received from the participant into a consistent descript ion of the recovery story of this participant: 6. The final step, which was not listed as part of Giorgi 's method, is to compare and d iscuss the commonal i t ies which may be present in the three participant's recovery stories. Val idat ion of the received Narrat ives Validity in the narrative process is protected by two steps: reviews with the participants and by awareness of the researcher 's personal va lues. For this purpose, the written documents were returned to the participants for verif ication and correct ion. Further meetings were scheduled with each participant to review all detai ls and insure that meanings uncovered were the participant's own. A n understanding of the personal va lues of the researcher w a s necessa ry throughout the analys is process to provide further validity. This is the second level of insurance that the meanings uncovered are strictly the participant's own. M y 68 own understandings of va lues, valuation and their relation to this research is presented in Append ix A 1 . 69 C H A P T E R FOUR. R E S U L T S : STORIES O F S U C C E S S F U L R E C O V E R Y Chapter four is devoted to the results of this study. It is organized by participant. The narratives give the reader an opportunity to see the genera l life story and lifestyle of each man. The themes and issues which pattern through their l ives will then be drawn out in comments following each narrative. T h e s e will be seen as similar in many p laces, and the common patterns in the narratives will be presented in the d iscuss ion chapter. Narrative Biography of Participant "Bob" Bob w a s born in Central C a n a d a during the early 1940's. It was war t ime, so father was away in Germany , with a Canad ian Army medical unit. Bob and his mother lived in a smal l but comfortable apartment in a large Eastern C a n a d i a n city. He general ly recol lects a sense of good t imes and happy feel ings during this period. Al though this was a long time ago, the recollections are strong and full of sense impressions. His first recollection is of his mother arguing with the landlord at the door of their apartment. Perhaps the source of the argument was something to do with Bob , who as a little child was very bouncy and energetic. Apparent ly, the downstairs neighbours did not like the noise. He remembers fear, and the anxiety focussed in his mother who was having to deal with troubling, uncomfortable feel ings. The whole scene is recol lected "through the hem of mother's skirts". 70 His mother was the youngest of eight chi ldren, a lso from Eastern C a n a d a . W h e n her mother died she became the housekeeper for her father and brothers. Bob wonders if she was also required to serve them in more overtly sexua l ways . Anyway , she c a m e out of her chi ldhood deeply committed to a ca lm househo ld , and to order at all cost. Advent of Pol io: A g e seven-eight. Through turns of fate and the movements of the Canad ian military establ ishment, Bob and his family ended up in a large west coast city, where father took a posit ion of importance at a rapidly growing hospital. The family settled into regular late nineteen-forties patterns until Bob contracted polio at about the age of eight. Bob was the only person in his neighbourhood to be affected by the polio epidemic. His parents awareness of Bob 's condit ion dawned most dramatical ly. His second recol lect ion, a lso very vivid, centres around this traumatic event. Bob is part way up the stairs on the way to bed. His father is very angry that he is fooling around and not being properly obedient. But Bob is unable to move; not just tired, or stubborn, but really unable. He is fr ightened, confused and upset by his father's anger and threats, to which he simply cannot respond. This vivid memory is the first of many recollections of Bob 's early encounters with polio. He moves on to descr ibe in great detail the situation at the hospital to which he w a s taken. There were "many" other children in the ward which he occup ied . They were all c lassi f ied as patients with a dangerous and very 71 contagious d isease , about which very little was then known. There w a s one boy in an iron lung at the far end of the ward. That great, dark iron machine dominated the room. Yet at the s a m e time, the ward was very childlike. It was bright with as much sunlight as a hospital room could get. It was painted colours beyond the usual hospital green. It w a s as cheery as could be made in a hospital. The nursing and medica ls ta f f were cheerful and friendly. Al l kinds of specia l efforts were made to bring as much of the chi ldren's "regular worlds of home and schoo l " into the hospital. Spec ia l days were remembered with care: birthday cards from c lassmates , spec ia l songs on the radio from "Happy Dog Dingo's" chi ldren's program, and rare visits from parents. The comradery of the dayt ime, d isappeared with the coming of night in the hospital . The darkened, but not blankly black, ward became full of shadows and fears. With none of the happiness of the dayt ime staff and dayt ime light to c h a s e them away, nighttime was feartime; not unlike "normal chi ldhood" but perhaps much more strong and memorable. The indefiniteness, the unk indness, the unfairness of it all sank into chi id-brains over the night when few other distract ions were avai lable. Th is w a s the time and place at which Bob d iscovered his penis, and the soothing properties of his boyish appendage. Bob noted with humour that his penis and right arm were just about the only things he could move. He instantly learned how to masturbate, and to enjoy the feel ings and imaginings as long as 72 possib le through the night. It often soothed him to s leep. At the s a m e time, he had some vague sense that he shouldn't talk about it. He was not sure "if it w a s bad or anything, but heck. If I told someone (big), they might tell me to stop!". He wondered if the other kids did the same thing. Bob 's father s e e m s to have a lways harboured some guilt that it w a s he who somehow brought the d isease home from his hospital to infect his son . Bob learned of this from his mother, much later in his life. Bob 's father has yet to d i scuss this with his son . The Fami ly A tmosphere . Sexual i ty w a s never spoken about in Bob 's home, so it is not surprising that Bob w a s unaware at first of what masturbation was , and whether others p layed as he did. In fact, Bob descr ibes the family atmosphere as asexua l . He simply "cannot imagine his father doing it." His father even refrained from participation in the usual sexua l banter of male doctors. Father and his physic ian fr iends would have house parties now and then. W h e n Bob was a young man, he w a s able to note his father's disgust and d isp leasure at such references. The family was neither religious nor un-rel igious. Bob 's parents were nominal ly Methodist, but lived more an agnost ic life. They regularly sent the chi ldren to S u n d a y schoo l , but religion was not a topic of household conversat ion either. Nor were the family rules unduly strict in any sense . There simply w a s no 73 sex educat ion at home. There was also very little in school in the fifty's. S o the topic w a s left to the church, in the form of S u n d a y schoo l . More on this later. The years of school Bob returned to school after about a year in hospital. Though he had lost a year of schoo l , he was kept in the same grade and group of chi ldren. T h e s e kids had been especia l ly mindful of him while he w a s away. H e w a s the only chi ld in his schoo l to have contracted polio. During grammar school he progressed from crutches to s imple leg braces. Through a lot of therapy he regained the use of most of his physical facult ies. But he cont inues to walk with a limp and has severe back problems from sco l ios is . A number of school -boy friends became his protectors. Somet imes this w a s perceived as fr iendship, somet imes as an unwanted glob of charity. The boys made sure no one picked on Bob . A n d that he was a lways chosen for group activit ies, even if often last. This period has had its lasting effects a lso. Bob was unable to join in boy ish rough and tumble g a m e s and play; or he was simply absent when "his group of boys were doing their male-bonding-thing in mid-grammar school " . He b e c a m e . the outsider, the person to be treated with Chr ist ian Chari ty. H e w a s unable to participate in any sports activities. But he real ized very early that he w a s bright, that he w a s not affected mentally by his d i sease , and that he would make his mark 74 through intellectual achievement. He literally charged through grammar schoo l and junior high as one of the top students. Frequently he was the top student. The s a m e group of kids moved on to h ighschool . Bob still had his protectors, but it did not extend to dating activities. He was invited to the usual set of house parties, and did some heavy petting and kissing, but he "unconsc ious ly s e e m e d to miss the other activities the kids were playing at". Afterwards, fr iends would ask him what he thought of Sus ie and Bill 's playing around and he would usual ly respond with "what'd ya mean?" . Around the age of 12 or 13 he d iscovered his first men's magaz ines in the barber shop. He became very adept at snitching them from the shop, and even steal ing a few from drug stores. This hidden supply of female pulchritude b e c a m e the stuff of his fantasy creat ions. The gir l- images from the pornography were mixed with memory images of real girls from his other realities. T h e s e fantasy images were much eas ier to manipulate to his desi res than were real girl- c lassmates . Masturbat ion and fantasy was more and more becoming his preferred sexua l activity: "the fantasy life set in quite clearly at this time". He a lso began to feel significant shame around his sexual activities. Bob also was suffering greatly from his visible disability. His sel f - image w a s very low. S h a m e deve loped around his physical person, his image of his own image, and his lack of ability to be "one of the boys". A n d hunger for compan ionsh ip a lso came and grew; it manifested itself as an extreme s e n s e of 7 5 lonel iness, a loneness and difference. His exce l lence at academics did a bit to a s s u a g e s o m e of these pains, but not enough. He continued to spend more t ime, sink deeper into, and slip more and more into fantasy filled isolation and internal introversion. Fantasy and masturbation continued to be his re lease and safe haven from all this externally and internally imposed pain. The first thing Bob remembered about col lege was of a sexual- romant ic nature. In third year summer, at a church youth camp, he became acquainted with the girl of his dreams- l i tera l ly . It seems , this young woman ideally matched the fantasy w o m a n which Bob had been constructing in his internal world for s o m e time. Yet , the c loser he came to the real thing, the real warm soft f lesh, the shyer and more stumblingly reticent he became, or felt that he became. Th is w a s not lessened by the awareness that this young woman was in the fast lane; she w a s quite interested in Bob , and very willing to play. After all, it was the sixt ies. They played to the verge of intercourse, but he stopped there. For s o m e reason, "perhaps the religious thing", Bob had to save this final intimacy for marr iage. But this only made his pains worse, and his urge to run away from her stronger. It w a s a lso in col lege that Bob became very interested in phi losophy and religion. His parents were hinting quietly but directly that he should follow in his father's footsteps and become a physic ian. Bob wanted none of this. H e reasoned that the best way to avoid that fate, was to select another career which his parents couldn't argue with. S o he announced in mid- col lege that he w a s very interested 7 6 in theology, and that "he w a s feeling a cal l from G o d to become an ordained minister". The first part was true, but to this day Bob is not sure about the second , even though he is still an active, conscient ious, and wel l - respected minister. A second very intense physical relationship occurred during Bob 's second year at seminary. But again , he chose to refrain from in tercourse: " though all other forms of physical and fantastical play and images were fair game" . This relationship died a natural death over the next summer, as Bob and his girl-friend moved on to far apart internships. W h e n they returned after the summer, the fires were sti l led: they had become "just friends". Beginning to work in the world. Bob graduated, and was placed as a new minister in a very rural sett ing, far away from anything familiar to him. He was in a city of a few thousands instead of many, many thousands. He was surrounded by wide open spaces rather than buildings and trees. He was there to serve a rural, spread out congregat ion. He felt great needs : of lonel iness, loss and confusion. He quickly found, wooed and married an equal ly needy young woman . Final ly there were no sexua l reservat ions: but, as he puts it "this first exper ience of intercourse, and the whole relationship, was sort o f ' h o hum'". By this time Bob was also a confirmed alcohol ic, as was his first wife. A n d he was solidly establ ished in masturbation and the use of pornography to fuel it with imagery. Now "booze may be easy to find in the rural prairies and be almost acceptab le , but pornography is neither". It takes some talent to f ind. Th is is where the addict ion shows its ugly head. Bob soon d iscovered that as a rural minister, he w a s expected to visit his outlying congregat ion on a regular bas is ; in fact, "he gained a wonderful reputation as a pastoral pastor" for all his visiting. But no one new that he also made time to visit the nearest town with an adequate col lect ion of porn shops : this was a five hour round trip away. A n d he made this regularly, stocking up on magaz ines which would feed his need for new images of the proper kind to fuel his fantasy masturbation habit. The proper kind for Bob 's fantasies was a solitary young w o m a n , naked , big breasted, d isp layed in a variety of poses from which he could construct her entire physical image. He would scan his s tash of magaz ines , gather up his images, and then burn the originals. From these singular naked women , he could then construct whatever personal fantasy story he chose for his masturbation ep isodes . T h e s e were daily happenings. A n d mixed with heavy drinking, to the point where he s a y s that: "he floated out of that marriage after seven years on a s e a of booze" . S e v e n years that he has trouble even now reconstructing in any detail . Throughout this entire period, Bob was also a hard working minister, a very articulate theologian and preacher. Al though he was a very troubled individual, he w a s a lso an excel lent, compass ionate young pastor. He bel ieves strongly that no one knew he w a s often drunk, no one knew of his habits concern ing pornography, and no direct harm was ever done to any individuals under his charge. Bob and his 78 wife, however, suffered greatly. In later years they both resolved s o m e of their mutual pains through A A and counsel l ing programs. They met once or twice afterward, but each had by then gone on to better life patterns. Bob says "It w a s like two ships pass ing in the night". W h e n Bob left the rural prairie scene , he left his first wife as wel l . The breakup w a s quiet and simple. They had no chi ldren. It was rather like "the wife had merely come along with the parsonage, like the other appl iances" . Bob now had the opportunity to take a larger parish in his home town. But he also returned to all the amenit ies of the big city life, including many pubs, porn shops and strip bars. In a big city, there are usually enough of these so that it is not too hard to remain anonymous in almost any place you choose to go, even to go regularly. But the s t resses felt in maintaining and guarding this anonymous behaviour rise proportionally with its use. Gradual ly Bob 's sexual ly addictive pattern moved on from the magaz ines to the strip scene almost exclusively. Bob found ample fuel for his imaginative fantasies in the nubile young dancers on stage, "virtually in his coffee cup". Beg inn ings of Recovery . O h yes , somewhere along the way here, Bob had made the cho ice to quit drinking. He real ized that he had a ser ious problem with alcohol and joined A A . He real ized that to put on another binge the way he had previously done w a s to court death, very quickly. He has been a successfu l and sober member of A A for 79 over fifteen years. A n d for ten or so of those years Bob cont inued to go the strip pubs, more and more regularly, and "drink coffee and soda (at high prices) and watch the gir ls" . 1 6 In the meant ime, Bob was again "serving a large metropolitan par ish, doing reasonably good work, rising in respect in the church hierarchy and married again" . This w o m a n fit his fantasy-woman image much more closely. Still he felt that pressure to run; the psychic d istance grew greater, a lmost in proportion as the physical d is tance between him and the real thing grew less and less . A n d of course, the sexual addict ion carried on all through the new marr iage. It b e c a m e progressively more difficult to support and feed the addictive patterns; f inancial ly, energetical ly and most important, anonymously . This marr iage too b e c a m e rocky, much due to the d a m a g e s caused by the addict ion. A n d Bob began to fear that he was about to move into another s tage. He feared that keeping his secret was beginning to be beyond his powers. S e x Addic t ion, as with all addict ions, is progressive. Sooner or later the amount of stimulant required to provided a satisfying hit increases. The body simply adjusts to its p leasures: More booze, More drugs, More sex. Now in Bob 's c a s e , more sex might mean starting to visit prostitutes, or massage parlours, or swinger c lubs. He felt the draw beginning, and he was mightily fr ightened. It was hard enough to 1 6 One might want to quibble over the use of the word "girls" in this context. However, even according to modern concepts of age, most if not all of the average 'exotic dancers' are in fact girls: under, well under, the age of 21. 80 maintain a secret second life in the strip pubs now. S o he made the dec is ion. He quit smok ing . Bob successfu l ly kicked his smoking habit of many decades . A n d he swiftly real ized that dropping nicotine was not the answer. There was only one addict ion left, now. S o reluctantly, five years ago, Bob sought out and joined S A A - S e x Addic ts Anonymous . At the s a m e time he had begun to see a counsel lor about marital and personal difficulties. Rebui ld ing life for real - the course of recovery The twelve-step programs consistently hold that recovery is not a fact or event, but a process . Bob bel ieves strongly in this and now puts his beliefs into action in dai ly life. Be ing on the verge of destroying his professional life was only a portion of the force that drove Bob into S A A and the beginnings of eventual recovery. In real terms he w a s simply out of energy. He could no longer keep up a reliably anonymous front. Lead ing multiple, hidden l ives was time consuming , energy consuming and a huge f inancial drain. After almost seven years of marriage, with counsel l ing and having made a full commitment to sexual sobriety, Bob separated from his second wife. By truly facing his addict ive patterns, and by beginning to truly honour the honesty component of the twelve step programs, Bob was forced to admit in marital counsel l ing that he was an active sex addict. He maintains a solid and happy 81 relationship with his stepdaughter from that relationship. A s he says , "I was a good father, just a lousy husband" . He and his ex-wife have also managed to reconstruct some of their former fr iendship as wel l . The first step in Bob 's recovery was to begin defining the personal meaning of sexua l sobriety. Bob had an early realization in this area: "This is an e a s y step for the alcohol ic. Y o u just give up booze. Not so for sex". Sexual i ty w a s and is a desi red part of his life. He does not wish to be a cel ibate man. In the course of recovery Bob has real ized that when he married for the second time, he again married his fantasy woman . Perhaps the choice was made in the grip of compuls ion as well as attraction. But Bob became certain that he had c h o s e n for only a smal l part of himself, not for his whole self.. A search for the f reedom to choose for his whole self is one of the key factors in Bob 's recovery. This who leness reflects in his new lifestyle. Spir i tual, sexua l , relational, vocat ional and family concerns are now given equal weight. O r at least he tries. A n d the f reedom to choose comes from his daily struggle to uncover the powers of his addictive self. Bob has added what he feels is a more real spiritual d imens ion to his lifestyle. A s a minister busy with an addictive life, he had no time for his own spiritual development, even when he helped others to do what he most needed and wanted. He s e e s himself as an honest incarnation of the wounded healer. He pract ises this belief in every moment. 82 Bob has paid high prices for h is sobriety. But recovery has provided him with a c lear consc ience and better ability to s e e his own needs and his own poss ib le way through life. It has made him a stronger pastoral counsel lor , and an honest advocate for those in similar posit ions. Now he is search ing to ba lance his personal and career cho ices with his own life situation; his own set of needs , aspirat ions, des i res, wants, w ishes, goals , lusts, hungers, enjoyments, morals. Commentary on Bob's Narrative Bob ' s very first recollection is significant. It points to the primary focus which w a s the centre of his mother's lifestyle: emotional ca lm and logical order. E v e n as a toddler, aged less than two, Bob was aware of this. Mother 's huge need for ca lm was to become a family pattern, a driving force which ruled her and her chi ldren until her death. Bob has related this need of his mother in other segments of his narrative. The drive for ca |m was felt most keenly by his sibl ings. S h e imposed this directive upon her grandchi ldren as wel l . Th is a lso fits with the medical coo lness and distance of Bob 's physic ian father. His special ty was anaesthes ia , by the way. Is this an interesting curiosity, a pure happens tance -o r a symbol ic express ion of the emotional bearing which w a s a prime family pattern? The advent of polio forms a major turning point in Bob ' s life, and a major reconstructive force in his lifestyle. The narrative descript ion above does not do just ice to Bob 's own spoken words, which were full of a sense of power lessness , 83 with a s e n s e of vulnerability, and a sense of fear. Al l of these feel ings the seven year old boy felt, but without being able to name them. Naming powerful feel ings g ives a person a partial control upon them. A ch i ld -who is without this ability by nature- is then thrown into a traumatic, distressful situation. There was a certain wistfulness in the tone of Bob 's d iscuss ions during this period. Does he wish to return there? Is he feeling sadness for the smal l boy whom he was , back in these troubled t imes? Is he wishing life had been other, so that later turnings might have been better? AlPor none of these? Yet , this is not an unusual t ime for a boy to d iscover masturbat ion; it is within the developmenta l scenar io for young males. But the combinat ion of this normal event with the extreme d issonance of a children's polio ward was very powerful. Masturbat ion almost instantly became a major habit. W e now know something of the drug-l ike power of this simple activity. It can explain the powerful imprinting of this combinat ion of imagination and fantasy with the simple, p leasurable, pre- adolescent sex act. This knowledge helps Bob to unravel some of the sources of his later addict ive behaviours. A s a teenager, Bob had little real control over masturbation and his fantasy life. His physical development was impaired by the direct and indirect results of the polio, many of them to become very painful in later years. The emot ional d is tance created by this disability served to accentuate the shyness which might have been his by nature anyway. The pain of shyness in older teens is often enough to 84 generate isolation; and the earlier, fortuitous d iscovery of masturbation now b e c o m e s a strongly situated habit, on the path to compuls ion. After Bob quit drinking, he continued to attend strip shows, and exotic dance hal ls. Now this may not s e e m unusual to anyone who has never been in such a p lace, but it is quite a feat. A man would really have to be truly addicted to the naked dancers to ignore the squalor of the average dance hall. Many men relate that a pint or two is required to make the place congenia l and acceptab le . (Try visiting an average bar in the early morning, after opening, when the lights are on , and you will understand.) The strength of an addictive lifestyle is demonstrated by the situations it drags the addict into. The stronger the addict ion, the more dehumaniz ing the situations, the more incongruous the juxtaposit ions. Occas iona l l y at an A A open meeting one will hear the thought that A A is nothing more than a hunting ground for sex partners (or sex addicts). Th is may point to a possib le truth; that alcohol is only another symptom, an out of control coping mechan ism. A s long as the deeper problems of shame, of se l f -es teem and of depreciat ing one 's own worth go unaddressed, then the individual will find yet another mechan ism to cover them over; work, sex, exerc ise, study, rel ig ion-the list is perhaps end less . There appears to be no simple, singular solut ion. A A ' s Big Book makes some inferences in this direction as wel l , in the sect ion on "those of pathological ly d ishonest character". 8 5 It may seen terribly i l logical, or insane to the non addict, for s o m e o n e in Bob ' s posit ion to quit a nicotine addict ion instead of a sexua l one. But it is a perfect example of denial and s idestepping. It is a humourous express ion of the soul 's own desperat ion, of our ability to play games with ourselves and to make fun of our best efforts at doing right. S e x addict ion appears to have been responsib le for the dissolut ion of B o b ' s second marr iage, as alcohol was primarily responsible for the first. In both c a s e s the addict ive behaviours s e e m to have been used to keep Bob from shar ing himself with his par tners: This level of personal vulnerability was not yet avai lable to him. A s in all things human, the survival of relationships depends especia l ly upon the level of damage done to each party during the addictive cyc les ; and of course , it a lso depends upon the maturity of the persons involved, and their own understanding of felt needs and wants (Carnes, 1991, chap. 11). The strength of twelve step programs depends on the growing maturity of its senior members . A s with any activity, one can join half-heartedly or one can join with full hope and participation. The point of recovery is to re-open the doors of hope for the addict. Every man is different, so each takes his own time and makes his own way through this doorway. It is often cycl ic; with many ups and downs . In their twelve step work, the participants have come to a point of accept ing and embrac ing most all that is themselves, past and present, good and bad . They are then freer to choose and to use what they want of these patterns. They move on 86 into a brighter future; brighter because it is lived in the light of honesty and awareness . Life becomes a journey rather than a constant repetition of s a d n e s s . There is a s e a s o n for all things, a time for every want. 87 Narrative Biography of Participant "Zed" Z e d was born in western C a n a d a during the war years. For reasons unknown to Z e d , his father gave him a middle name derived from a British destroyer sunk in mid-Atlantic on the day of his birth. He was born into a very unfortunate househo ld , and bel ieves that he w a s an unwanted chi ld. His earl iest memor ies are of being shunted off to his older brother, and of trailing around behind him. His brother took him to school on his very first day in kindergarten. Th is w a s not a happy situation for Z e d . He was constantly trying to do the right things to be really wanted, especial ly to be wanted by his mother. A s are many youngsters, he was well aware of the situation without really knowing how or why. Older brother tolerated Zed because he had to. "My brother only included me in his inner world when he was in some crisis". S u c h as when he hit Zed hard enough to give him a bloody nose and lip, but then older brother had to tend to it himself. The reason for this was basical ly reasonable too. Zed 's mother w a s very ill, a lmost from the day he was born. He recal ls coming home from schoo l for lunch on many days , because home was c lose to schoo l . He would find lunch prepared by his mother, but no mother. S h e had gone back to bed, or to her room, b e c a u s e she had no more energy to expend. S h e had a very painful form of cancer , and was becoming s icker by the day. S h e died in great pain, at home, when Z e d w a s e leven years old. 88 Towards the end of mother's life, she was in such constant pain that she would often sc ream for more morphine. But none was al lowed her, or none w a s avai lable. Somewhere during this period, he recalls saying his prayers with his brother in their room. The two of them were praying that their mother would die soon , so she would be out of her misery. A n d Zed could see that his older brother, older by some five years , a l ready had the precious relationship with mom. He had had the benefit of the days when she w a s wel l , and had time and energy to give to her first-born son . Z e d w a s very jea lous of this, right from the start. Father was little better at deal ing with this situation. The family w a s f inancially well off enough to hire a housekeeper . But the housekeepers soon became father's keeper. Zed knew that something was going on , even though his father tried to be very c i rcumspect about his after dark activities. Much later Z e d became aware that his father would s leep with the housekeepers . After Zed ' s natural mother was dead , his father cont inued to use the serv ices of 'housekeepers ' . Somet imes these women would inquire of Z e d as to his father's comments and feel ings about them. Zed found this confusing and dist ressing. At the age of thirteen or fourteen, he knew that his boundar ies were being violated, but he could not find words for the feel ings. Eventual ly, "father brought home one who became his second wife, secretly marrying her in a hospital room". The room was in the maternity sect ion, where she shortly gave birth to the third chi ld of the family. Z e d spent much of his time alone, especia l ly after his father remarried and his older brother left home. He would spend many of his preteen and teen weekends a lone, watching television or reading. "I can remember being a lone by myself at home listening to Elvis records, and maybe singing along somet imes. M y parents would come home and just look at me in the living room by myself." A n d aga in : "Not long before he d ied, my father admitted that he thought he left me a lone too much when I was little". The years in schoo l . Zed started junior high school soon after his mother d ied. This w a s a critical t ime for him: the mother whom he never really had was dead , and father's l ive-ins and eventual new wife were no replacement. Z e d relates little of this t ime except that he learned about alcohol and girls very rapidly. He states simply: "I drank to get drunk". He also liked to lead his companions into drinking, and to watch them get drunk quicker than he, while he was still sober enough to enjoy the spectac le . He began to be invited to house parties at the behest of his older brother. Heavy petting and drinking were the norm. Zed was very shy around girls in genera l , but he was strongly attracted to them as wel l . His sex life w a s patterned by getting right down to bus iness. But his main sexua l interests still remained his own secret, going deeper and deeper into his own fantasy life. He had no casua l 9 0 girlfriends, only heavy petting partners: "I wanted the girls, but I w a s afraid of them too. M y shyness overcame my want ing. Only heavy lust could get me what I w a n t e d " . He w a s so intense in his physical attentions and amorous activities that he overwhelmed a steady girl in the ninth grade. " S h e broke up the s teady relationship but cont inued to be a friend." This was very traumatic for him. H e withdrew into himself, full of feel ings of wor th lessness. He had no more s teady girls for almost a decade . He continued to hang around with a hard drinking bunch of boys. They partnered with the fast, unattached girls from highschool for whatever sexua l activities the boys des i red. Zed noted sadly that he "was very drunk at his senior prom." Zed ' s col lege days were also a blur of a lcohol and fantasy, until he d iscovered religion. Theology, phi losophy and the socia l justice movement captured his attention. He was bright and did well in intellectual pursuits. He gradual ly settled into a slightly evangel ical church youth group. He still had no ser ious girlfriends, but when he was drunk he would often be overcome with lust for a particular young woman . He tried to seduce a friend's girl from a te lephone booth, long d is tance. He was masturbating while talking with her, and when he c l imaxed he was so overcome by shame that he simply hung up. His deep s h a m e and self hatred pushed him to apologize to the girl later, but her casua l accep tance of his act ions shamed him even more. 91 Z e d is sure now that he was really aware of his feel ings of shame and humiliation during this period, but he does not fully recall the words he might have used thirty years ago to descr ibe them. He knew that his lust was all in his head , and in his loins, with little or no heart involved. His socia l and ethical s e n s e w a s growing stronger, but his personal morals seemed to be stymied. He w a s growing more and more angry, mostly with himself, and stuffing it deeper a n d deeper . His harshness with himself for his fail ings could only be mirrored by his compass ion for others. Rel ig ion seemed his only hope, but it was a vain one. The more he strove to live by a stronger code of ethics, the more the pressures of "lust" built up within him, and the more he relied upon masturbation and fantasy to rel ieve them. Perhaps harbouring hope against hope, or his strong socia l ethic, drove him to attend seminary in Ch icago , with the Methodist church. The fact that this church w a s deeply committed to ethical action as well as ethical talk drove his cho ice of location. Ch i cago had the best program in the late sixt ies, and w a s in the heart of the socia l justice movement. He cont inued to have serial , general ly quick, purposeful relat ionships with w o m e n in col lege and seminary. They were usually ended by a combinat ion of "getting what I desi red or by becoming too c lose to the girls". His s e n s e of personal wor th lessness would then overcome him. Nothing he did w a s ever good enough . O r the sheer emotional c loseness of a real young woman would terrify him to such an extent that he w a s forced to break off the relationship after a short whi le. 92 He began to visit the strip bars of a nearby Ch icago ghetto. His first exper ience of intercourse was with a drunken black prostitute in a strip bar hotel. He was also drunk, but not as badly as she . It was a very degrading and sad exper ience for him. But Z e d continued to look for satisfaction here, or at least for sensat ions strong enough to dull the pains of his ex is tence. He sought out another black prostitute, and this young woman w a s kinder, almost car ing. Zed explained that he "continued to visit and to use her to satisfy my lust during the time in Ch icago , perhaps eight or ten occas ions altogether". He even cal led her on a later trip through Ch icago , just to see how she w a s doing. Apparent ly, this call truly surprised her s ince he was seek ing no sexua l favours. Zed cont inued drinking to get drunk. The contrast d isp layed by his intellectual pursuits, his emphas is on justice and his bodily sat isfact ions w a s not lost on him. His heavy drinking helped to dull the sense of wrongness which he felt about the strip-bars and his prostitutes. The.greatest thrills he felt during a strip show w a s "when the girls are about to take off the last bit of clothing". Immediately afterwards, he wanted to "get the hell out'ta there or have another one on s tage do it all over: but quick"! The naked woman herself was not very interesting to him. The tantalization was . Zed has had similar difficulty with relationships. A woman 's body w a s an interesting object for some purpose, but her personhood did not show through. "Her boobs, ass , or tight tummy are interesting, but once I've come in her, the 93 quest ion becomes : 'Now what use am I?'" Fantasy fulfilment with masturbat ion or with intercourse almost a lways brings the same mass ive doses of shame, guilt, remorse, pain, humiliation, ethical quandary, fear of d iscovery, fear of d i sease ; and fear of doing progressively worse things. The cycle s e e m s end less and deadly from Zed 's point of view. The years of work. Z e d recal ls making use of his position within the work environment to capture the attentions of a woman co-worker. In his words, he "treated her shameful ly, using her as simple body parts to satisfy my own lust for severa l years" . H e m a d e no commitment, and dumped her when he left that particular p lace. H e feels considerable remorse over this particular relationship. Th is is a lso similar to the situation of the young woman Zed married ten years ago. S h e was much younger than he. Perhaps she was a fulfilment v is ion of one of Zed ' s fantasy girls. At any rate, the marriage did not last, and they now share joint custody of a son . Zed is committed to helping his boy grow up in a fashion different from his own youth. But during the week off, when he is a lone in his apartment with his cat, he is still troubled by strong urges to act out sexual ly . He has cut out the use of prostitutes, and has reduced his visits to strip bars dramatical ly. Ye t he says "Surprising surges of rage overcome me on the sl ightest provocat ion." In the last decade Zed has been involved in var ious street ministries as part of his work. Th is brings him in contact with the street prostitution scene , which of course c rosses over into the strip bars. The bars are or were his major source of addict ive sexuality, and this c rossover has created more and more tension for Z e d . He lives in fear of d iscovery whenever he indulges his addict ion. He feels "more and more the hypocrite whenever this ministry brings him in contact with the girls". Ent rance into S e x Addic ts Anonymous (SAA) . The strength of the urges to act out and the fears of d iscovery troubled him enough so that he sought out more help. From a friend he learned of the local S A A group. Zed has been a member for almost four years. He feels that it has been only in the last year that he has begun to take the program ser iously. He has recently f inished working a "step group" 1 7 . He bel ieves that he is getting more ser ious about his counsel l ing. And at the same time, Zed exp resses doubts about his own intentions in these two areas: he is still unbel ievably hard on himself. Zed had tried a few Sexaho l i cs Anonymous (SA) meet ings some years ago . He went as an observer , as part of his counsel l ing and spiritual ministry work, rather than directly for himself. He recognized that some of the problem s e e m e d to fit his own situation, which of course he did not reveal to anyone there. But at the 1 7 A step group is an intense activity common to all twelve step programs. A closed group of members gathers regularly to work through at least six of the twelve steps of their tradition. There is usually a recommended workbook to use as a guide. The groups are member led. Most addictions counsellors are not only familiar with this activity, but recommend it highly. Patrick Carnes (1994) "A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps" is such a book oriented towards Sex Addicts. 95 s a m e time he found the S A meetings "far too N e w Testament for my tastes". Thei r rule of total abstent ion from sex of any sort outside of marr iage w a s more than Z e d could s tomach. They are also ant i -homosexual , which troubled Z e d from a just ice point of view. Zed exper ienced great pains in trying to join S A A . He descr ibed, in the following passage , his awareness of the situation which drove him to seek help there: My main milieu or p lace, had been and was -- the str iptease bars. A n d that was starting to increase. A h and somet imes, ah somet imes I would go to the str iptease bars for hours, and I would slowly but surely get loaded. A n d then I would somet imes, not often, and I was scarred to do this. A h m - not scared of physical danger, but scared of going around loaded in the streets - I would somet imes go around and see some of these prost i tutes-- not to talk to, I would just kjnda wave to them and goo'dby. Knowing that I w a s loaded, I w a s you know, ahm - and that started to scare me. I think this combinat ion of going to the str iptease bars and then going, and wanting to go out -- then I w a s becoming a voyeur. I think slowly but surely. I think: 'this is going nowhere fast. This is going the opposi te direction fast'. Financial ly. T imewise. Emotional ly. Combin ing the drinking with the voy. . . -wi th the str iptease bars. Zed 's exper ience of S A A was quite different from what he expec ted . H e felt at home almost right away. He felt that the others there shared his confus ions and his pains, and could understand how he felt and why he acted as he did. They a lso recognized the individual twists of the addict ion which make it each his own. A n d he could feel the hope and the recovery in the air and expect the s a m e for himself, on good days . There were also bad days, when he felt like he was getting nowhere, and just putting in his time by coming to meet ings and trying to work the program. There were days when he wondered if he would ever get anywhere at being a decent human being, and finding a relationship with a woman in which he could be happi ly and safely sexua l . A relationship in which they would both enjoy themselves . S igns of recovery. Z e d has now reduced his acting out from two or three t imes a week, on every other week when he does not have charge of his son , to once or twice a month. Somet imes he has gone as long as three months. He a lso s e e s himself more interested in working his S A A program. He reads in var ious sources about the addict ion patterns. He uses the Hope and Recovery text and workbook from the S A A group. He keeps an inventory and a daily journal to track his progress and capture significant information for counsel l ing. A n d he is "working hard with his counsel lor, al though it taxes him f inancial ly. But not as much as a regular booze, stripper and prostitute habit would!" Al l these separate things when added together are s igns to Zed that he is making progress. * Z e d of course cal ls them "little things". But on the days when the addiction is more in control, he wonders still if it is all worth it. He is getting older; he is short on energy; he is very lonely, frustrated 97 and hungry for a good, sexual and friendly relationship. He sometimes wonders if life is worth living. That is when a focus on his son helps him to make it through, even if it feels like "white knuckling it18". Zed continues to work on improving his knowledge and position in the work world. He does not serve a church community directly any more, but does work as a spiritual counsellor and justice advocate among the street people of his city. He hopes for a day when he "will feel worthwhile more often than not". Comments on Zed's Narrative Zed, speaks with a great sense of urgency. He talks very rapidly, with a clipped sort of pace. Words are regularly half said and then repeated or changed. It is difficult to assign proper punctuation in his text. Completion of thoughts in sentence form is not the norm. Rather completion of a unit of personal meaning is more common. "I" is often left out, as well as the subject of sentence units. The text carries a great deal of emotion as well as urgency. This could be his normal state, or indicative of the pressure to make changes which he is feeling internally, feeling as a result of his own strong drives to make his life more consistent. It is a hopeless task to attempt to restore this 1 8 This phrase describes a common situation for addicts (Alcoholics Annonymous, 1938/1976, chap. 2). It was probably coined in the early days of AA. It refers to a person who is struggling with all his might to keep from crossing over the line into his personal addictions. He often fights this battle alone, in shame and fear. At this moment he is unable, and probably unwilling, to seek help outside of himself. Or perhaps he has no other realistic choice. 98 emotion to the text. But it is a beautiful-sometimes sad, happy, funny, serious and always very human-speech to listen to. In childhood, being bad and needy was a very normal and instant mechanism for Zed to become accustomed to. It was his only source of 'being wanted feelings", feelings which he was desperate for. In his own reality, Zed believed that he had no mother, although she was apparent and desirable all the time. He became, perhaps as a result of this situation, a very lonely child. His constant hunger for the companionship of his mother was carefully guarded lest it be mocked or squashed. And jealousy became strongly imprinted in him, and would become a natural outlet for many feelings later on. Likewise, anger at the unfairness of life. The impact on a young boy of protracted illness and severe suffering of a mother is not estimable. Being left alone, to watch a desired, loved one die in pain; being forced by a sense of decency and compassion to beg for her death; being aware that only more loneliness will result from this death; and being only a small boy through it all is heartbreaking, mind bending-most likely devastating. The effects of this unremedied situation can be seen throughout Zed's life. The teenage years were painful days for Zed. He is only now becoming aware of the driving forces behind all his undirected, youthful activities; and the current outbursts which look somewhat similar to those activities. He took the obvious courses available to him with which to lessen the pains of abandonment, 99 wor th lessness, sadness and shame. A lcoho l , fast fr iends and sexual ly avai lable young w o m e n were highly effective coping mechan isms for a teenager in ser ious personal trouble. Many of these feel ings and assoc ia ted recol lect ions are act ively with him today, as he struggles with a sexual addict ion that now embar rasses and d iscourages him. The te lephone booth incident marked a personal awareness for Z e d of how troubled he had become. He was aware of the manner in which he violated women 's boundar ies. He was ashamed of the lust which drove him to want to violate their bodies. A n d at the same time, he had no idea how to stop. Z e d often uses harsh words with respect to himself. His character izat ion of his sexual i ty as "lust" is a sample. Theological ly, it contrasts as too fundamenta l , too hyper-rel igious for his overt beliefs. But it is certainly matched to his overtly zea lous , internalized self-hate. His chi ldhood situation left him with little s e n s e of self-worth. He gained all his ideas, images, and strategies of how to relate to a woman through the examples of his tough, youthful fr iends, his sexual ly active father and his pornography fired fantasy life. Z e d is becoming aware that he now faces a critical juncture. Th is is to learn to be as kind to himself as he has been to street people, drug addicts, prostitutes and other down and outers in his day to day world. But his self abus ive internal ized rage d isp layed in these interviews prevents him from doing this. 1 Z e d ' s v iew of sexuali ty is f ramed by the anticipation of see ing al l . Part of him, (the lonely youth?) savours the naught iness of it, and the expectat ion of final fulfilment. Fai lure of this accompl ishment leaves him distraught, unhappy and devastated. In true addict form, it takes more, more, more; it requires trying again and aga in and again in hopes that the repeated act ion, image or fantasy will f inally bring the desired other response. A n d it never works. T h e s e images have become central to his lifestyle forces. Th is is the definition of an addict ive lifestyle, at least from the inside out for Z e d . Whi le trying to remove the addiction(s) he must first and simultaneously uncover the sources of the power that keeps each addiction in p lace. Zed p o s s e s s e s a solid sense of humour. That it extends to many occur rences of anger is a sign of progress in recovery. Pe rhaps the hold of perfection is lessening in the face of humbling situations. He cont inues to work actively on his anger and sexual confusion issues with his counsel lor . Th is is another hopeful s ign. Twelve-step programs were created in another era, an era which thought of itself as distinctly Chr ist ian. A central part of each program is a concept of higher power or divinity as defined by the individual's personal understanding of G o d (Alcohol ics Anonymous , 1938/1976, pp. 563-575). Listening to Z e d talk about himself evokes images of the "god of his understanding" which can only be f ramed as "one mean son of a bitch". There is a very primal fear of retribution, an 101 underlying expectat ion of punishment for a life of lust, and of judgement for wast ing other gifts while engaged in this unholy pursuit. This is conveyed in the words Z e d uses , in the attitudes he holds towards himself, and in the life he tries to live. The growing weight of these fears--of personal destruct ion, of the loss of his son , of final retr ibut ion-is partly responsible for chas ing Zed into counsel l ing and into S A A . By compar ison with any prior attempts at controll ing his addict ion, his "current progress is nothing short of miraculous". Zed ' s participation in S A A has helped him to begin formulating and realizing his own ideals and beliefs around sexuali ty. They were in obvious conflict with the S A group's strict Chr ist ian fundamental ist point of view. S A A on the other hand is more individually tailored to the member 's needs . It is more spiritual and less rel ig ious- in this way it carr ies the heart of the original A A program. A n d s ince all this occurs in a group structured environment, there is less chance of fooling onesel f or anyone e lse about your intentions; as long as the members hold to being rigorously honest with e a c h other (Carnes , 1989, chap. 7). Th is is a critical t ime for Z e d . He is struggling with the quest ions which have brought him onto a recovery plateau: The plateau itself is part of the usual course of recovery from the d is -ease of addict ions. There is a kind of wait ing for real izat ions to break free, for the stubbornness built up as protection over years of pain to give way before the acceptance of the recovery route offered by the col lect ive w isdom of the program, the "god of your understanding". In the words of 102 Augustine of Hippo, Saint of the Catholic Church and quasi-patron of SAA: "There but for the grace of God go I". Zed has begun to make major changes in his lifestyle, almost from the beginning of his entrance into SAA. His choice to pursue counselling-seeking help-is the first. He has stopped drinking and joined AA. He has also reduced his sexual acting out behaviours in major proportions. Yet his internally fired, self directed hatred makes it hard for him to recognize what is really happening to him. This is progress. These are major changes in life long habits! Zed's current level of self-hate keeps him from really appreciating how much progress he is making. His self expressed hunger for a decent relationship, and the pains brought by not finding one both soak up energy and create frustrations which might otherwise go to acting out. The important point is that most of the time, they do not. His hold on fresh life is still too tenuous for the progress to be recognized by him. He has too much at stake to let the hatred drain away. There would be far too much space left to fill with other activity; too much energy to be applied to this fresh life; too much fear of more pain from failed relationships. 103 Narrative Biography of Participant "Xeno" Chi ldhood and family atmosphere X e n o w a s born in the late forties, and is about fifty years old. H e is the youngest of four chi ldren, with a gap of ten years from his nearest sister. H e w a s the only boy. Father was a n alcohol ic and tended to be harsh and often violent. The family religious background was Cathol ic , but only mother attempted to pract ise her faith. Father rarely went to church, perhaps once or twice on Chr is tmas or Easter . The general family atmosphere during X e n o ' s chi ldhood w a s descr ibed as "rough". There was shouting, arguing and verbal abuse all the t ime. But on her deathbed, he recalls his mom responding to gentle quest ions about all the noise with the words "What no ise?" X e n o recalls no personal , overt sexua l abuse as a chi ld; however, he is aware that at least two of his sisters were sexual ly abused by their father. S e x was never talked about at home. It w a s a taboo subject. X e n o c a m e to his family as an unwanted pregnancy, from his mother 's point of v iew. Though he learned the truth late in life, he had a lways suspec ted that he was unwanted. He formed this opinion from his own feel ings, and from taunts and hints that his sisters made during his chi ldhood. On her deathbed, mother conf irmed his beliefs. X e n o descr ibes the situation thus: Wel l , something I learned much later, just a few years ago from my mother on her death bed. S h e told me that she wanted an abortion with me . S o I'd 1 0 4 suspected all along sort'a my whole life that I wasn't sort'a wanted. And I had feelings all the time of not being part of my family. See this is how it was. There were three older sisters: approximately thirteen, twelve and ten. Then a ten year gap and me, and then a younger sister. My father beat my mother up when she was carrying me. And my older sisters witnessed it. And it was bad enough so that the oldest went next door to call the police. This experience, as shared by mother and unborn son, was a very potent one. Xeno believes that the terror experienced by mother was transmitted to him: "And so for about four years actually I had nightmares that I could not describe, because it was part of the prenatal experience. Like, I can't put it into words. It was scarey and nightmares recurring bitterly for four years. Six or eight times at least." Throughout his childhood, Xeno was "put down a lot". His sisters teased him mercilessly at times. "I was told I was a black sheep. I was darker than some of my siblings. My sisters would tease me that I was adopted." Despite all this he has strong feelings for them as well, since they were brutally abused by father prior to Xeno's own birth. Apparently, the shock of being reported and arrested at his eldest daughter's behest caused father to dramatically reduce the amount of physical abuse. Not surprisingly, all the sisters were married by the time they finished highschool. These experiences throughout childhood left Xeno very shy and angry. He feels that he learned to hate women simply by watching his father, whether he wanted to or not, and that he carried this hatred into later relationships; 105 Onse t of sexua l awareness X e n o ' s first recol lected exper ience of physical sexuali ty w a s masturbat ion to a P layboy centerfold that he had found in the street. He recal ls no col lect ions df pornography kept at home, or that were otherwise avai lable to him. He w a s about e leven at the time. Prior to this he recalls only seeing an occas iona l picture of naked women . I remember my dad had a gravel pit out in [a rural area]. Sort of a shed there and there was a picture like of a ca lendar there in those days . I g u e s s I s a w it when I was eight. I think it was a picture of a bare breasted w o m a n . A n d one of my own sisters who was about nine or ten years old - I w a s probably five or six years or something -- came and she w a s opening the mail . A n d she took it and held it up for a second and then she took it down right away. T e n or e leven w a s also the age at which X e n o d iscovered a lcohol , and its great possibi l i t ies of e s c a p e . X e n o has vivid memor ies of his father beat ing up and verbal ly abus ing both mother and sisters. He wanted out of this household in a bad way. But as a boy he was too scarred to run away. "The first t ime I s a w T o m S a w y e r and Huckleberry Finn I thought 'Oh yeah , that's like me'." H iqhschool and shortly after X e n o ' s shyness around girls kept him from having many girlfriends as a teenager. In addit ion, he had lost a finger in a lawnmower accident. He says : A n d that sort 'a made me even more insecure. B e c a u s e being insecure already, and then I thought that no girl would want to hold my hand, just walking a long. S o with the boys that I hung around with, we'd talk about sex 106 - yah know. Big time. A n d I would get pretty shy around girls. W h e n I w a s seventeen I had a girlfriend for a little bit. B e c a u s e I had a car I guess and she w a s only fourteen. I never had sex with her, we'd just neck a lot passionately and want to, but we never did. He had his first exper ience of intercourse at 19, and cons iders that this w a s late for an active guy. Then he d iscovered "the secrets of picking up w o m e n in bars" and he all of a sudden had a lot of girlfriends. Wel l , not - none of them were sort 'a real girlfriends. Just someone I'd sc rew for a one night s tand, until I was about twenty-one, maybe about twenty-two and then I had a steady girlfriend for a bit. With satisfying sex. I didn't have to masturbate. But basical ly she broke my heart I guess . S h e dumped me and it broke my heart basical ly and after that I just chased around. In bars and stuff. X e n o has been married twice, once at twenty-nine and again in later life. He has one chi ld, a daughter born with his first wife. In both marr iages he descr ibes his sexuali ty as satisfying before and early in marriage, but not so later on . His first wife was hospital ized for psychos is , and given shock treatments and strong drugs. Al l through this period X e n o leaned more and more on alcohol and pornography to cope . The breakup finally came three years later. "And then I never had a girlfriend for a long time. I got into more pornography and v ideos started coming out. A n d that w a s it for me. A n d I'd masturbate watching those. A n d still chas ing around and drinking too." Beg inn ings of recovery 1 0 7 About twelve years ago, at thirty-six or so , X e n o gave up drinking. But the pornography carried on . He entered another relationship tentatively. But it w a s not t ime for it yet. In the last decade , X e n o has worked hard on A C O A and A A issues , doing workshops in self-help groups, inner child resolution, family of origin reconcil iat ion attempts. He is aware of his lonel iness and isolation issues as a primary problem. It is this awareness that drove him to look for help for the sexua l compuls ion issues which he saw as all tangled up with isolation. He sensed that it w a s a life and death kind of struggle. Life and death meaning that his anger and hatred of women , coupled with his sexual compuls ions (one-night s tands, pornography, and strip-bars), might get him into real trouble when they all reached levels strong enough to overcome his shyness . This might never happen, but it is a fearsome prospect for anyone with enough sanity to see it. X e n o w a s unable to find help for his sexual problem where he w a s living, so he moved to a nearby metropolitan area because he had heard of the S A A groups there, and the presence of good counsel l ing serv ices to back it up. To do this he left "probably the best paying and most interesting job I ever had." The move has left him without employment. He has gotten a little help from public ass is tance , "for educat ion at some trade, but they just barely give you enough to survive". He w a s at first f inancial ly s t ressed. Later s u c c e s s with starting a smal l bus iness in comput ing has helped to lessen the f inancial worries. 108 X e n o has set a number of goals for himself. The f i rs t -and most g l o b a l - i s to gain control over his compuls ive sexuality. He also knows that his anger is a big problem, but he cannot afford counsel l ing at this point. His most bas ic want right now is for a truly equal physical and sexual relationship with a compat ib le w o m a n . H e is working on his own and through S A A to accompl ish his goals . He has exper ienced the usual feel ings of confusion and distaste in joining a diffuse group of sex addicts. He descr ibes it thus: " S o at these meetings there are a lot of people at a much lower level of these problems: child abusers , exhibit ionists, f lashers, rapists. G u y s who buy prostitutes. I don't identify with them. I know I have the s a m e bas ic addict ion as these guys. ... A n d I don't think that I'm in that category." This is what X e n o said when asked to summar ize his journey, from the time of his first girlfriend to now. Wel l I guess it's trying to feel wanted and stuff. Wanted and needed to fill the void. W h e n I did sort 'a real ize in my twenties that I could pick up w o m e n in bars, and that I was attractive to women , that I had money in my pockets, and I could buy drinks and everything. I sorted rel ished the being wanted. There were guys around, and you could tell stories and stuff. A n d there were a lways girls who would be attracted to me. After they wanted me, I'd just sort 'a drop them. I think a part of me knew that the ones I was attracting weren't that desirable anyway. I guess that's sort 'a what got me into pornography. I guess a part of me was more perceptive than a lot of people in bars. I could see that a relationship for a weekend , or a few nights or weeks w a s 109 really just crap. Just lusting after each other. S o often t imes I would just drop them right away, or go buy/find another one that w a s better. A n d I think a part of me knew they were just as bad off as I was . At the time I wouldn't have cal led it sexual addict ion, but I could s e e that there w a s more to it than just her or me. I wanted someone to take care of me. I sort 'a feel that spirituality fits into this picture somewhere . I could have died many t imes, from alcohol abuse . I can count eight or nine t imes. Like I've been kept alive for some purposes. The twelve-step program g ives you the search for that. X e n o cont inues to attend S A A . He has made some fr iends in the group who are more exper ienced in the ways of recovery. He knows this is not as effective as counsel l ing, but it is better than struggling a lone. The community of recovery offered to X e n o by the group has been gratefully accepted . He remains busy making ends meet and growing new relationships. Comments on Xeno's Narrative X e n o is rather shy, and a bit trodden down at this point in his life. I hope that the reasons for this, and its reasonab leness will be apparent after reading his narrative account. He has been troubled by sexual e x c e s s e s s ince about s ix teen. He is, nonetheless, well educated, a go-getter by his own definition, and a father of one child (a daughter). He stated that he has lost two marr iages, severa l long term relat ionships and given up a successfu l career because of sexua l compulsivi ty. H e has even col lected some information from other porn-users about their habits and sources . This he was willing to give to me, for whatever appropriate use I might be 110 able to make of it. He has extended his current awareness of pornography on the Internet and ways to combat it as he grows his own computer consult ing bus iness . A s with the other participants, especial ly with Z e d , the emotional tones in this narrative were striking. Very little of this can be indicated in the written document . E s c a p e through booze, sex and fantasy, in any combinat ion, is a frequently chosen and an often reasonable coping mechan ism for a desperate person. It is a sad event, but it is even sadder to see this behaviour in a child o f t e n or e leven. Y o u n g men and women , (for they can hardly be cal led "chi ldren" at this despera te juncture, regardless of age), in these straights have no other safe haven. It is the s a m e function that imagination and fantasy play fr iends performed in t imes when hard drugs were less avai lable. W h e n your whole world fails you and s e e m s out to get you, any log floating on the storm appears inviting. No wonder counsel lors have such a time convincing youth of the future dangers found in addict ions, when tomorrow's life today s e e m s to hang in the ba lance just by going home! It is worth noting that X e n o learned of sexuali ty and its power in a peripheral fash ion. He has no recollections of overt sexual abuse , or of any other unusual chi ldhood sexuali ty. He descr ibes no direct sexual exper ience until s ixteen or so . Yet , X e n o still suffered greatly during chi ldhood. S h y n e s s , fear, physical beat ings, observ ing and hearing misogyny in action by father and perhaps other men all taught him a particular lifestyle concerning women . 11 S o it was that at the proper time for sexuality to begin development , X e n o ' s woman-hatred kicked in. First, it kept him away from the feared and wanted objects of his desire. A n d then as it grew in power, and he "finds the tricks of picking up girls", he "becomes his father's son" ; whether he wants to or not. X e n o did not directly descr ibe his ideas of "satisfying sex" or where and how these goals were formed. But it is c lear in his narrative that some related expectat ion w a s not being met. S o it is not unusual that, when sex with w o m e n w a s not satisfying, X e n o turned to fantasy and erotica for relief. His shyness , and the rule that sex w a s not to be spoken about at home left him little room for consc ious cho ice. Th is seemed to be especial ly the case with his first wife, during her hospital ization for psychos is . A n d s ince X e n o had almost no other coping ski l ls, erot ica rapidly became pornographic compuls ion. In his summary, he indicates that he was vaguely aware of this problem early on , but that the power of alcohol and sex, and then sex a lone, made it hard for him to act upon this awareness . It s e e m s that only the threat of ser ious, personal harm in the near future was sufficient to push X e n o into recovery act ions. Now how is it that X e n o finds a need to recover his life? He s e e m s to be basical ly unhappy, and clearly unsatisf ied with his lifestyle. He first d iscovers the dangers of a lcohol ism, and struggles with that addict ion. A lmost fifteen years ago, he ach ieved sobriety from alcohol , and has kept it. But he is still deeply troubled by bas ic lonel iness, isolation and low self worth. Thus , the hold of pornography, 112 masturbat ion and occas iona l "one night s tands" was not broken by alcohol ic sobriety. It soon became a stronger, damaging and now dangerous habit. A n d the habit brought only momentary relief to the underlying isolation and tension. With one sobriety under his belt, he now begins the struggle aga in . X e n o s e e m s to have an innate understanding of the unity aspect of appropriate sexual i ty. He wants it dearly. But he has yet to learn how to attain his goal without destroying it in the process . This is a life skill which can be learned and a life-long sea rch . For X e n o , it is the process of rebuilding his own life style, with pat ience and support from other group members on the same journey. X e n o has begun to resolve other tensions in their proper p laces. He has started his own bus iness, and is making headway towards economic security. H e is seek ing sexua l peace and hoping for an appropriate, fulfilling relationship. 11 C H A P T E R FIVE. ANALYSIS OF THE THREE NARRATIVES General Sexual Recovery The meaning of recovery from sexual compuls ions depends upon one thing: the meaning of healthy sexuality. Unfortunately, healthy sexuali ty is not a clearly def inable state. It is heavily loaded with cultural, religious, socia l and medica l meanings. A n d it is scientif ically intractable; i.e., the methods of scientif ic knowledge d iscovery have not given us any c lear norms for compar ison . Med ica l sc ience offers us some information as to what prevents d i sease or physical d a m a g e to the sexual body. Cultural and religious belief sys tems offer us . cho ices through differing percept ions of healthy sexuality, but they are often contradictory. A n d the rules of proper decorum offered by society are highly changeab le . I bel ieve it is c lear from the literature review that the meaning of sexual i ty and sexua l behaviour is based essential ly upon personal choice, informed by avai lable information from the aforementioned categor ies. This is a lso the mean ing source chosen by the twelve step program to which the participants belong. E a c h member is free to determine what he or she will do in the context of current relational, famil ial, cultural, socia l and medico-scienti f ic situations and information. No one person is identical to any other in this set of over lapping parameters. 114 A quest ion remains: Is this method of definition a s idestep of a real i ssue? Is there a singular, a lmost absolute meaning to healthy sexual i ty? For instance, other recovery programs, such as S A or Promise Keepers (Clat terbaugh, 1995), have their own strict definitions. In my estimation, the answer is not singular, and perhaps is simply to have an answer, and to live to it as c losely as poss ib le , being willing to change as helpful information becomes public. This conforms with my overal l v iew of healthy human nature. This solution leaves room for others to have deeply diverging answers of their own. This is not a lways a popular s tance. The Moral Majority in the U S A makes this point very clear. However, this openness to variability is va luable within the context of academic d iscuss ion , in any articulate publication, and especia l ly within the realm of sexua l counsel l ing. Addiction and Recovery as Defined by the Participant's Stories This posit ion is supported by the following analys is of each of the three individuals in this study. Recovery descr ibed here is primarily a p rocess leading to a sel f -selected goal . The process can be outlined from the narrative descr ipt ions of the participant's, while the goal of each participant is to live a personal ly healthy sexua l lifestyle. The Entrance to Addict ion A review of the lifestyle patterns of the three men participating in this study reveals severa l similarit ies. E a c h man has passed through a precipitating event 1.15 which could be c lassed as early life t rauma. E a c h such event or period w a s then and is now seen by the participant as significant. The fact that each man later deve lops a compuls ive lifestyle is recognized by each participant as related in s o m e way to these events. E a c h one abuses alcohol . It is a lso seen as signif icant that each one exper iences an early and/or un-guided entrance into the world of 'adult sexuality'. Sexual i ty, especia l ly sexual fantasy, is used habitually as means to avoid life pains by each of the participants. T h e s e individual patterns stabil ize into a set of themes in the participant's adult l ives. They are marked by regular retreats into internalized fantasy sex , and or external , repetitive ritualized sex ; repetitive attempts at legit imizing, hiding, condemning or bypass ing the compulsion(s); gradual growth of desperat ion, especia l ly with aging; and final exhaust ion (may be physical , moral or both). Let us take a brief look at each of these entrance phenomena, and then the addict ive per iods which appear to be related. Precipitating event(s). E a c h of the three men exper ienced an event during their prime developmenta l years which turned to t rauma. I use the phrase 'turned to t rauma' because even identical events are not a lways seen or felt as t rauma, nor do they a lways result in an addictive lifestyle. Proper attention and care given by even a single loved one, family member, or friend can reduce or somet imes el iminate the negative results of almost any event (May, 1967, chap. 2). 116 Bob contracted infectious poliomyelitis at about the age of seven . In addit ion to considerable damage to his nervous sys tem, his chi ldhood psyche never deve loped a good opinion of himself. He felt damaged as well as left out of a lmost everything. He relates little to no attention from his family which might have c mitigated the effects at that time. Father was distraught with the guilt of knowing that he might have been responsible for infecting his son . Mother w a s buried in a lifelong search for order, which order w a s ser iously impaired by a crippled son . In fact, it is significant that Bob relates little of his mother during any of his interviews for this study. Pe rhaps her presence was minimally felt. Fr iends, other young people, s e e m far more significant in his life story. Z e d watched his mother die slowly from cancer . From the age of six or so , he w a s aware of the terrible, growing pain she suffered. In some s e n s e , he may still feel responsib le for this unfortunate event. His images of self-worth, self- es teem and internalized concept of usefu lness never deve loped as a chi ld. (Is he perhaps haunted by something akin to survivor's guilt?) Older brother b e c a m e primary care-giver for Z e d , but only grudgingly so . Aga in , fast fr iends provided apparent intimacy and affection. X e n o observed constant physical and verbal abuse appl ied to his mother and sisters. He too was regularly beaten at t imes, although he tends to minimize the events and the effects. His concept ion and birth were unwanted by mother. 11 Pe rhaps only because of the severe beatings she received during the pregnancy. Either way, X e n o feels the pain of being a truly unwanted chi ld. A lcoho l p layed an important part in masking the severe pains resulting from these events. Zed and X e n o each developed long term alcohol ic patterns from early teenage years onward. Today they are both aware of how alcohol soothed and obliterated their feel ings of misery. A n d of how it l iberated them from certain pangs of consc ience . X e n o knew he was picking up drunken w o m e n at least as bad off as he was , every time he went bar-hopping. But he cared little while he w a s drunk. Bob knew he was an alcohol ic by the time he f inished seminary. E a c h man stopped only when faced with "death by drinking predict ions" from their doctors. A b s e n c e of alcohol has left all three deeply aware of more bas ic problems, problems which relate to chi ldhood and youth exper iences. Isolation and s h a m e can be seen strongly in each of the participants. Al l three men use imaginative, isolating fantasy as a necessary portion of their sexual rituals. Bob memor izes photographs and then burns the originals. No ev idence and no distracting physica l material; only singular imagination. No matter whether sex is a solitary activity or a group activity, isolation prevails in each of the addicted participants. For example , X e n o dumps his new girlfriends almost as soon as they have f inished the sex act. No more than a day or two at most with another person, and then he returns to his lonely life in pursuit of "a better girl". 118 E a c h man had become accustomed to a solitary world very early in life; X e n o through fear of physical beatings and displeasing his father, Bob through his physical body shame, and Zed through the process of being left a lone and lonely for so many years. In each of them a loneness turned to isolation through pract ise and through shame. Perhaps it is a self-fulfilling cycle. A s Bob descr ibed his situation: "my fantasy world of sex set in rather early as my preferred sexua l outlet". The result of isolation and shame is multiple, cycl ic addict ions. Very frequently they lead to more addict ion, more sex or substance to dull the s e n s e of s h a m e and the pain of a loneness . A n d from each exper ience comes more shame and s h a m e drives the man farther into isolat ion 1 9 . Ear ly sexua l exper iences. Bob d iscovered masturbation in the context of a fearful and death-haunted year confined to an infectious d i seases hospital . He knew that he w a s afflicted with an unexpla ined, potentially deadly i l lness. He w a s faced with quest ions which could not be vo iced, to which he had no answer except "Someth ing must be terribly wrong with me". The powerful, soothing comfort of personal sex provided a very handy, regular escape from these fears. 1 9 Note that shame and isolation are especially fostered in North American society in respect to sex. We have seen in the literature exactly how much sex is present in our society, and how often this blatant economic display is treated with silence. Especially telling and damaging is the manner in which anything out of the ordinary immediately becomes "aberrant". It is instantly met with shaming, with public display of distaste and often with violence and hostility in general society. Rationality falls completely before the Temple of Sexuality: Augustine of Hippo (circa 350 CE) predicted and partly preformed this in Western Christianity. 119 Z e d , on the other hand, exper ienced deep misery in the loss of his mother, but did not encounter sexuali ty until an age appropriate point in his deve lopmenta l cyc le . Then he had no gu idance except his own strong and confus ing, pre-teen lusty feel ings and desi res; and a group of boys who taught each other all about sex . Maternal f igures (ie, his father's girlfriends) were as likely to come to him for adv ice about father as they were to offer him needed compass ion and information about sex. X e n o remembers no sexual t rauma in chi ldhood, except the observat ion of his father's act ions with mother and sisters. W e currently have little idea of what effects this kind of atmosphere has on a young boy-child (Lew, 1990). M u c h has been written about the girl-child, but little research or even descript ive narrative w a s found for the young male (Gorcey, Sant iago & M c C a l l - P e r e z , 1986); Gan je-F l ing & McCar thy , 1996). W e must assume that a child will learn by example , if no other way is provided. He learned that might makes right; that w o m e n are there for the taking, and can be used as he p leased. Ch i ldhood sexuali ty is now, or is again, accepted as a given ( S z a s z , 1980; K insey , Pomeroy & Martin, 1948, chap 5). It is no longer a medical pervers ion 2 0 . But chi ld-sex may still be reacted to as a moral or ethical perversion by adult caregivers; whether parents, daycare workers, fr iends or authorit ies (religious 2 0 Even Freud might have really believed this, as is demonstrated by Mason (1984), although he had to hide his opinions because of cultural prejudice and group fears of the medical profession that he longed to belong to. 120 f igures, pol ice, courts, or protective ministries). The medical argument may be c losed , but the societal resultants are not. O n e of the men clearly demonstrated early chi ldhood sexuali ty. A l l three of them had c lear masturbation habits by the age of thirteen. T h e s e habits have proven extremely difficult to chal lenge or normal ize into acceptab le sexual i ty. X e n o mingled sex with v io lence by the age of e leven or twelve, through s imple observat ion of his father. Bob used masturbation as a means of survival , as a coping mechan ism to fend off the real or imagined demons of the hospital nights. It became a habitual means of deal ing with unwanted feel ings, and eventual ly with any feel ings for both men. Z e d used masturbation to deal with his confusing des i res with respect to young w o m e n and perhaps to ca lm some of his pent up rage. He still resorts to it as a coping mechan ism with which to stave off visits to strip parlours. The fact that these developments can be cal led 'normal ' in some s e n s e (ie, masturbation is not deviant, nor destructive; almost everyone does it at s o m e time) is not relevant to the narratives given. The context of habit formation, and the context of its use, deflected normalcy into addict ion. A n d this addict ion b e c a m e cemented to the personali ty by shame and terror in X e n o and by feel ings of wor th lessness and shame in Bob and Z e d . 121 Addict ive / Compuls ive Patterns- Internalized fantasy sex. Al l three men exhibited strong fantasy wor lds involving sexuali ty and power. E a c h of them deve loped his own sources , stores and patterns of imaginative fantasy life with which to fuel the sexua l addict ion. S o u r c e s were pornography, prostitutes, strippers or co-workers. Menta l stores of images were constructed into fantasy narratives and used like background music during adult sex. Whether re lease/c l imax came through masturbat ion, intercourse with a longer term partner, with a one-nite s tand, or with a prostitute, the sexua l lifestyle w a s fashioned around a fantasy. The use of a lcohol by one or both parties to the sexua l acts further lessened the immediate moral impact of what might otherwise be seen as personal ly degrading activities. Morality is here taken as conformance with culturally accepted codes of behaviour, often enforced with personal or public shame. Attempts at legitimization. E a c h man spent considerable t ime, money and energy in trying to appear normal. They used dating partners, marr iage, or sec recy to mask the lusty addict ion. Zed tried the religious life as a vehic le for taming the beast , hoping that discipl ine or conformance to a strict way of life would bring him relief. Bob , who is a lso a working minister, does not remember so consc ious a cho ice . He s e e m s to have relied on alcohol for early relief from his pains. X e n o rel ished his new found ability to pick up girls, but eventual ly found that it led him 122 nowhere. Through it al l , he told himself they deserved it for being mean to him and other men. Desperat ion. A s each man grew older, his life s e e m s to have gone more out of control. The sexua l patterns demanded more and more of each of them, and they gradual ly had less and less to give. Bob 's doctor chal lenged him with death. Z e d could s e e his career going rapidly terminating in poverty and socia l failure. X e n o lost relationship after relationship, and found no satisfaction anywhere. He spent more and more money on women and alcohol . Exhaust ion. Beyond desperat ion is simple exhaust ion. Either a man g ives up and lets himself slink away into nothing: Or he gives up the lonely struggle and seeks help. The help can be a counsel lor, a self-help group, or a doctor. A twelve- step (i.e., S A A , or A A ) recovery program cal ls this help the higher power. A psychologist cal ls it P r o z a c or behaviour therapy. In each case , Bob , Z e d and X e n o sought hope for recovery in the companionship of others. They gave up trying to do it a lone. Analysis of Recovery A s in the etiology of the addict ion, each pattern of recovery is unique but e a c h d isp lays severa l definable turning points and plateaus. T h e s e points are descr ibab le as the beginning, middle and end in of the personal narrative of recovery. S i nce words are critical to the dynamic of narrative study the names of these turnings will be: real izations, beginnings, plateau of cho ices and new- 123 movements in life. T h e s e names convey the patterns d iscerned in the study c a s e s . T h e s e words are plural and pluralistic, they propose no simple end ings to the stories, only more movement. And movement in the lifestyle is critical to recovery and essent ia l to fu lness of life. Narrative retains the complexi ty of life, and s e e s reduction of complexi t ies to statistical simplicit ies as an anti thesis, rather than an analys is , of life. Life without its detail and r ichness is not life. It is mere ex is tence. Mere ex is tence is the heart of addict ion, not of recovery. Real izat ions. In truth, this s tage is al ready entered when a man reaches the dregs and droppings of his addict ion. It is begun in Desperat ion and completed in Exhaust ion. Both addict ion and recovery are part of life. They cannot be sepa ra ted 2 1 and one tossed away. This is what the literature of A A and other twelve step groups cal ls 'hitting bottom', a s in a deep dive in a sha l low pool . It may be the exper ience of utter degradat ion and deplet ion; or an exper ience of fear and terror as all of life's hoped for s u c c e s s e s and goals float further and further out of reach. The literature of A A and S A A shows it to be highly var ied, personal . It is frequently descr ibed as being trashed in the gutter, with none to offer an open hand of f r iendship 2 2 . 2 1 If one were to accomplish such a separation I submit that the residue of the individual would be far from human. He (or she) would have no connection to the pathos, to the drama of their own life. There would be only the dreary now, much similar to the dreary now of the addict. This reminds me of the forward-movement-only attitudes of many religious fundamentalist groups. 2 2 Please don't confuse this with the life and position of every street person. Many are in this stage of life, but some are not. Others are on the street through no particular fault of their own, through 124 X e n o d iscovered help in A A for his a lcohol addict ion. At the s a m e time he began to learn a new way of life, but it did not encompass his sexuality. A s he began to real ize that he was not making the progress he des i red, he a lso d iscovered that there was another twelve-step program which offered hope and recovery from sexua l compuls ions. In the process he resigned from the best job he had ever had. S ince there was no avai lable help where he was , he made his dec is ion and took a leap of faith right into a new city. Bob , on the other hand, had first to empty himself of a lcohol through the mediat ion of a physic ian. W e must not forget that Bob 's father w a s a lso a phys ic ian. Pe rhaps s o m e paternal undercurrent of authority rested in this profession for him. Or perhaps it was the realization that medical sc ience told Bob that one or two more binges were all his body could handle. The result would surely be death. W h e n Bob came to part with his sexual addict ion the spur w a s most directly through exhaust ion. In his very important words: "I s imply had no energy to keep up the front any longer". He could see total personal and career destruction when the front failed to cover his compuls ive behaviours. Zed ' s realization comes through the combined exper ience of a lcohol and 'lust', to use his term. It appears to him in a moment when he is wander ing the R e d Light district " loaded and lusting after the girls on the corners". Beh ind the f lush of pass ion , he can a lso hear the f lush of his life and career going down the drain. H e some colossal failure of social structures and life's i l l humours. 1 feels himself on the edge of a very sl ippery chute. He knows that all the p leasant looking stops along the way offer nothing more than all the t imes he has tried before to cover his pain with similar encounters. This memorable affair with his demon pushes him through his personal fears to seek counsel l ing help and very shortly into S A A . Real izat ions can be intertwined, a lso. Notice how Z e d s e e s his a lcohol ic and sexua l problems both at the same time; "a double wammy", as he put it. Both X e n o and Bob appear to work through their problems one at a time. O n e might look at this as a linear process; first a lcohol , then anger and smok ing, then sexuali ty. However, I bel ieve it is more appropriate to v iew this as a cycl ical p rocess of unwinding the addict ion spiral; each spin of the cyc le unwraps another addict ive outlet and brings the man c loser to his buried pains. Beginn ings. Statist ics gathered by C a r n e s (1991) s e e m to indicate that a lcohol plays an important part in mediating the effects of sexua l addict ion. Th is is the c a s e with each of the participants of this study. Therefore, for each man to get through his sexua l addict ion to his primary life pains, to unravell ing his lifestyle errors, he must first move out of an alcohol ic stage. This is one beginning. It can be seen in X e n o who must stop drinking so that he can recognize his extreme interest in pornography. Or in Bob who sits and drinks coffee and s o d a , "with the girls virtually in his coffee cup". A n d with Zed who s e e s both terrors at once on the dark, back streets of a city. 126 Resolv ing alcohol problems almost a lways involves work with A A or a similar program. This work introduces the participant to group activities of a sober nature, group activities which may lead to life enhancing exper iences rather than the life degrading exper iences he has become accus tomed to. This is another beginning, which can be seen in each of the participant's cases . Work ing in and with the alcohol ic recovery groups helps each of the men build new levels of fr iendship with other men and women . They learn to trust e a c h other and to learn from each other's exper iences. They hear other stories which ring out the truth of their own hidden exper iences. They meet sober people with w h o m they can form new healthy relationships. Bob met his second wife in this stage. But his new partner was also a fulfilment of his sexual fantasy w o m a n . A n d the results of this unacknowledged fantasy situation eventual ly led to a second marital breakdown. Isolation is acknowledged as a prime constituent of addict ive life sty les. Isolation is a strong force binding the sexual addict to his full t ime pain and to his part t ime pacifier, sex. S h a m e completes the package by enforcing secrecy . Group work, in therapy or in self help programs, offers the participant a dawning awareness of life movement out of a loneness into a safe togetherness. It b reaks up the lifelong wal ls of isolation and lets fr iendship shine through. Z e d s e e s this need by his associat ion with other recovering addicts. But he does not yet know how to apply this to a relationship, or he does not trust his knowledge as yet. H e is 127 afraid that the old hungers for lust will overcome his growing urges for fulfilling companionsh ip . He is afraid that his needs will overwhelm a friendly w o m a n . Healthy group activities provide a counter to this isolating shame based lifestyle, and to the negative sexual inf luences found in our society and culture. Th is is demonstrated in each of the participants as they work slowly into group programs of different sorts. Bob especia l ly shows this heal ing process through his connect ion to A A . Bob cont inues to seek activities which bring him into contact with other persons, as his post polio energy levels al low and require. Z e d struggles mightily with isolation. It is his most awe-full driving force. He s e e s its beginnings in his ch i ldhood, but has not yet resolved his residual anger from that t ime. He knows its danger, and feels it most strongly every other week when he is not actively parenting his son . X e n o knows of the dangers of isolation from his work in A A . He is now making the connect ion between a loneness , masturbation and sexua l compuls ions. E a c h man looks out carefully for the beginnings of the next s tage in which they might experiment with these valid human needs . P la teau of Cho i ces . Zed ' s narrative points straight to this resting p lace, al though it can be found in each of the participant's stories. Pe rhaps it is a natural outgrowth of being limited beings, with limited life energy (libido, as Freud named it (Levine, 1995)). Mak ing the transition from an active addict to a ' recovering addict ' takes up a lot of that energy, and a varying amount of t ime. The term plateau of cho ice c o m e s from the broad literature of addict ions. It is metaphorical ly e a s y to 128 understand because it evokes images of a place of rest, of fecundity and of restorative power. Restorat ion and creative power are exactly what we find in the three narratives. Two of the men remembered "feeling immediately at home" early in their S A A group at tendance. This plateau is a place full of l ike-minded and helpful people. Z e d ' s narrative again points most directly to this resting p lace, b e c a u s e that is the point in which he is now struggling. This is indicated when he talks about "really working his program for what feels like the first time", or "putting s o m e real energy into staying sexual ly sober". It is a lso indicated when he begins to feel hope less aga in , and to wonder if there is a way out of the sexua l trap he f inds himself in. Bob reached a kind of plateau of choice when he admitted in marital counsel l ing that he was an active sex addict. A s difficult as this was , and as destructive to the marr iage, it left him with time and space to address the particulars of his sexual addictive behaviours. He moved out of hiding and into a t ime of personal reflection. It is unclear whether or not X e n o has reached this plateau. His urgent hunger for help brought him to this metropolitan area. This leap of faith could be an express ion of desperat ion, or a realization of great need , or a movement on the plateau of cho ice. The act ions needed simply to survive and to rebuild an act ive lifestyle in a new place with minimal resources obscured the cho ice plateau under a 1 c loud of dust. Recent developments in X e n o ' s life indicate that he is just now moving out of a restorative time. He is very computer literate, and has used this knowledge and his marketing sense to build ant i-pornography and pro S A A web sites on the Internet. New-movements in life. This stage is the beginning of a return to the fu l lness of life. Frequent ly the return includes awareness of need to learn what might have been learned at an earlier point in life. Addict ion is often descr ibed as a make-be l ieve life; a life based on i l lusions"and hidings; a life at a standsti l l . S e x u a l recovery takes on new meaning when the l i fe-movement c rosses from sexua l sobriety a lone to sexua l sobriety in a context of new relat ionships. X e n o is using his technological know-how and his hunger to make a m e n d s for s o m e of his past mistakes. He has constructed a W e b site and W e b resources to offer alternatives to the growing mass of glitzy pornography on the Internet. T h e s e alternatives include making S A A a publicly acknowledged resource. Zed uses much of his time helping the d isadvantaged avoid addict ions and ach ieve s o m e economic justice. He has participated in building programs which help street people and street prostitutes ach ieve safer l ifestyles. His exper iences have shown him that it is often not as easy as the Amer ican s logan: "Just say no." Bob is special ly aware of sexual addict ions uncovered in the context of pastoral work. In addit ion to his duties within the structure of his church, his spec ia l knowledge and exper iences help him in conflict resolutions and in unravell ing 130 abuse c a s e s in the context of formal religion. He also works with the physical ly d isadvantaged. There are creative syncret isms in this new-movement era. What is new for one person is not for another. A n d what path one chooses to follow, another cannot. "Two roads diverged in a yel low wood Bob is planning new things. H e is hoping and working to keep the fr iendship of his former spouse , without the bonds that tied them into addictive sexuality and a lcohol . Zed and X e n o long for a relationship which is open, honest and sexual ly satisfying. They hope to find a like- minded partner. They are actively looking, while trying to avoid the pitfalls that sl ide them into fantasy sex and imaginary relationships found with prostitutes and in stripper bars. Al l three of men are aware of and willing to brave the consequences of living in a new sexua l universe. This can be a universe where they may not.be fully accepted by all because of their histories, and because of their current wi l l ingness to try new things. Old styles of life led them into dangerous p laces. N o w new ways must be crafted to guide them maturely into future movement. Pe rhaps this crafting of personal movement is life. 131 C H A P T E R SIX. DISCUSSION A number of commonal i t ies were found during the course of this study. In the area of forming an addictive lifestyle they are: that each man underwent a precipitating event or t rauma, that each man had deve loped an addict ive lifestyle of longstanding duration, and that each man's lifestyle included a mixture of a lcohol ic and sexua l addict ions. In the area of recovery from sexual addict ion, patterns were a lso encountered. E a c h man moved through a recovery process from sexua l addict ion which included a realization phase, a beginning phase or set of beginnings, a plateau of cho ices phase and a new movements into healthy lifestyles phase . The healthy lifestyles phase was character ised in these three c a s e s by seek ing satisfying sexual relat ionships, by being at peace with onese l f and by beginning to live a life consistent with one 's personal ethics. Limitations of this Study Al l studies are bound by certain limitations. Perhaps the most signif icant in this c a s e is: W h y should we bel ieve these three men? First of al l , it s e e m s reasonable to cons ider that a man willing to share such deep and penetrating stories with respect to his own life for no visible gain has little reason for telling l ies. A n d the stories were gathered separately, yet they demonstrate the similarit ies listed above. This a lso indicates that they can be safely taken as honest 132 narratives. They may be partial tales, or even distorted in p laces, but no more than is expected in any human endeavour. W e may also ask: Did the participants have sufficient capaci ty to articulate their true exper ience? Narrative research requires well spoken individuals. T h e s e men were solicited from the volunteers who came forward for their verbal abil it ies. Nonethe less , human beings are a lways fallible. Within the bounds of this human error, these men seemed quite capable of perceiving their own story and of speak ing it to others. A n d w a s the researcher able to draw out a full and consistent mean ing to the participants shared exper iences? What might be missing that neither researcher nor participants are aware of? This quest ion, too, is bounded by human error. The researcher 's analys is is presented here in awareness of the possibil i ty of honest mistakes in interpretation. It is avai lable for review and correct ion by interested readers as may be necessary . No attempt can be made at general izat ion. But the commonal i t ies reported here may eventual ly be seen in other studies, and thus help to construct a more global picture of recovery from sexual compuls ions. Implications for Theory There are few psychological theories pertaining to recovery from sexua l addict ion. S o m e researchers attempt to make a c a s e for C S B as a p rocess addict ion, and therefore to extend process solut ions to sexua l addict ion. Suppor t 133 for the cycl ical nature of addict ions process can be seen in the story of Z e d . His attempts to move himself away from alcohol and strip bars with some cons iderab le s u c c e s s , especia l ly in weeks when he is actively parenting his son . T h e n in the alternate weeks , and when other stressors mount, he somet imes exper iences fai lures. The cyc le of s u c c e s s and failure grows longer over t ime; that is, the s u c c e s s e s are becoming more frequent. His tendency is to call this cyc le no- recovery, because he v iews his recovery as a black and white event; all or nothing. E a c h t ime he fails he starts his recovery over. But the process v iew would say that e a c h time he fails, he enters into a new cycle of further recovery. This exhibits movement into a slightly higher plain each time the cycle repeats. (See Figure 2; Addict ion Cyc le from Carnes) There is a growing collection of information concerning etiology of C S B . The descr ipt ions presented by the participants conform general ly to current work by C a r n e s (1991), C o l e m a n (1991) and others in this regard. For instance, some form of early life t rauma pertaining to sexuality is postulated by C a r n e s and is present in two of the three study case . Bob finds so lace from polio in masturbation which quickly b e c o m e s an ingrained habit. X e n o finds a shred of self-worth in his abil it ies to pick up girls who are worse off than himself, and then to make them suffer. There are medical treatments relating to recovery from sexua l addict ion Treatment using drugs such as ant i -depressants and hormone control subs tances have been partially success fu l . However, both kinds of treatments are destruct ive 134 of the quality of life remaining for the recovering ind iv idua l . ' S ince a broad range of potential for healthy lifestyles is exhibited in my three study c a s e s , removal of healthy complexi ty from the lives of any of the participants would appear to be a dehumaniz ing strategy for recovery. E a c h of these men is struggling to learn to live fully within the complex structure of their current l ives. Ethical considerat ions must be ser iously undertaken before such side effects can be justified. Al l three participants spoke of very low sel f -esteem, s h a m e and isolation of sexua l activity into a pr ivate- i f not f an tasy -sphe re of their l ives. Th is is part of the etiology of any addict ion (refer to book on Multi-addiction). Recogni t ion of this pattern in early life might be a means to identify addict ion prone persons. Recove ry from this pattern might then begin much earlier. But the unanswered quest ion is: W h o might be able to identify and indicate such a state? There are severe legal and cultural i ssues, and no clear answers . Many addict ions centred recovery groups ("Hope and Recovery" , 1987) and counsel l ing centres recognize these patterns as sources of addict ive living. The process of recovery indicated by the participants of this study takes these negat ive character ist ics of addict ion and reverses them into healthy lifestyle traits. By realization of their life plight, by beginning to make changes , by facing difficult p lateaus of cho ice and by moving cycl ical ly into new styles of life, each of the participants g ives a living indication of how to recovery from sexua l compuls ions . 135 For instance, realization of the situation points the addict to the negat ive emphas is of his life. Bob recognized that he was spending more and more t ime and energy hiding the biggest portion of his waking hours. Z e d found himself c lose to buying sex from some of the street persons he daily served. E a c h of these men survived the shock of this realization. They began to find ways to move out of the traps of isolation and shame. Bob move into counsel l ing for a lcohol ism. A n d then in a cyc le of real izat ions, he moved into counsel l ing for sexual compuls ions . E a c h of these new beginnings was preceded by a cho ice. The cho ice may have reached a plateau, as it did for both Zed and X e n o , into a longer period of t ime. But aga in , the cycl ic nature of addict ion and recovery is demonstrated. Espec ia l ly Z e d shows this, as he vaci l lates from sexual solut ions for s t resses to other physical solut ions such as running or swimming. X e n o made his first beginning by moving into an entirely foreign place to attempt his recovery. E a c h of the participants has begun new movements into healthier l i festyles. Bob cont inues counsel l ing alcohol ics and pastoral situations, but is a lways careful to recognize and send the sexual ly addicted to other special is ts. Zed struggles to integrate his real izations and beginnings within the down-and -out populat ion he works with. His recovery knowledge shows through in his dai ly work. He appl ies his personal ethic of being with his people into a living example of a sexua l compuls ive struggling in recovery. X e n o has constructed a bus iness around his 136 recove ry -a bus iness which resolves some of his f inancial problems and at the s a m e time al lows him to offer help to others afflicted with the s a m e compu ls ions . Implications for Counselling The bas ic direction of counsel l ing is to promote individual health. Th is is accompl i shed by promoting healthy lifestyles, by helping clients to recover or rebuild personal ly appropriate lifestyles. Counsel l ing is essent ial ly a narrative activity, similar to the process of narrative research. The ou tcomes of this research might be used as a map for counsel l ing men in the recovery process from compuls ive sexua l behaviours. In the first p lace, the narrative process itself g ives each client an opportunity to tell his story. The helpfulness of this exper ience was commented upon by e a c h of the participants. It is possib le in our society that a man may never have had such an opportunity before. This s e e m s especia l ly reasonable when many of the detai ls of a story are considered social ly unacceptable, and therefore have little chance of being heard respectfully. S u c h stories rarely come out in conc ise and neatly ordered form, and therefore a ready made structure would be most useful . A counsel lor might use the phases suggested by this study as a mapping s c h e m a upon which to gather the bits and p ieces of a client's story. The presence of such a map may also assist in providing counsel l ing relevant to the individual client's position in the s c h e m a . Having s o m e sugges ted phases against which to compare a single person's story would hint at the poss ib le 137 posit ion of this client in an overal l map of recovery. No precise mapping or progression of concrete events is being suggested, but only a general structure within which an individual client might be tentatively posit ioned. Having made s u c h an est imate, the counsel lor would then be able to offer more helpful techn iques in line with the real izations or cho ices or lifestyle recovery p rocesses that the client might probably be exper iencing. If this venture were success fu l , it would have the added benefit of reducing false starts and discouraging blind al leys during the counsel l ing process . It is known that group work with men tends to increase the truth va lue of individual statements. Confus ion, lack of personal awareness or s imple d ishonesty is less tolerable in group sess ions . The suggested mapping of recovery events could be used to generate group counsel l ing activities tailored to a particular phase . A group of clients est imated to be in the s a m e phase of recovery could be profitably helped into and through the subsequent phases by well structured activit ies. The use of well monitored groups would verify the phase structure or ass is t in modifying it. Subsequen t groups would benefit from earl ier work. Survey or test instruments could be constructed based upon the proposed phases of recovery. S o m e might be des igned for use within a particular phase . T h e s e instruments would at first assist in local izing a client within a given phase . But as the pool of information col lected through them grew, they would provide data with which to verify or modify the original s c h e m a . Test instruments would r i • 138 a lso provide a client with a less subjective v iew of his position in the course of recovery. A concrete alternate v iew of progress could be a key element in moving from one phase to another, or might help alleviate debilitating d iscouragement created by being stuck on a choice-p lateau. Other surveys could be constructed which would further def ine the character ist ics of a particular phase. This information would be valuable in targeting counsel l ing interventions at specif ic bott lenecks of a client. A n d more information regarding phase details could be used to augment counsel lor training on recovery from addict ions. The phase structure itself might make a useful addition to counsel lor training courses . A sess ion on recovery issues for compuls ive sexual behaviour could be constructed around this structure and fitted into a general course on counsel l ing pract ise, or a more speci f ic one on addict ions counsel l ing. The parameters of healthy sexual i ty within a given cultural setting might a lso be offered within such a course. The impact of participant's stories upon the researcher gave c a u s e for him to carefully review the cultural trappings of human sexuality. Persona l va lues clarif ication and breadth of viewpoints s e e m to be very useful starting points for training of sexua l counsel lors. Future directions R e s e a r c h on men addicted to sexuality, but in non criminal situations, is lacking in the literature. This study could easi ly be appl ied to a larger populat ion. A 139 survey of sexua l habits and preferences could be added to the narrative col lect ion process . Th is would eventual ly aid in constructing a data base of life habits, condit ions, historical medical data and so forth which might be useful in setting genera l parameters to the C S B process. R e s e a r c h e s on the Internet indicate that col lect ions of narrative interviews of sexual preferences do exist in widely scattered loca les. It would be valuable to bring this information together. S e v e r e methodological constraints and concerns for privacy and validity could make such an endeavour very del icate. Interestingly, participant X e n o is a l ready moving in this direction, with little or no professional ass is tance. Th is study has identified several phases of recovery found in the participant narratives. 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(1966). The many faces of sex: Observat ions of an old psychoanalyst . Toronto, C a n a d a , O N T : A m b a s s a d o r Books . Rogers , C . R. (1961). O n becoming a person: A therapist 's v iew of psychotherapy. Boston, M A : Houghton Mifflin Company . Rogers , C . R., & S tevens , B. (1967). Pe rson to person: The problem of being human. Lafayette, C A : Rea l Peop le P ress . Rosegrant , J . (1986). Contr ibutions to psychohistory: X . Fet ish symbo ls in P layboy centerfolds. Psycho log ica l Reports . 59(2, Pt. 1), 623-631. Sal isbury, J . E. (1992). Church fathers, independent virgins. London , Eng land : Ve rso . 148 Sanford , J . A . , & Lough, G . (1988). What men are like. N e w York: Paul is t P r e s s . S e x and love addicts anonymous. (1986). Bos ton : The August ine Fel lowship, Inc. Shepher , J . & Re i sman , J . (1985). Pornography: A sociobio logical attempt at understanding. Ethology and Sociobio loqy. 6, 103-114. Skinner , B. F. (1971). Beyond f reedom and dignity. N e w York: Knopf. Smi th , T. A . , & Wol fe, R. W. (1988). A treatment model for sexua l aggress ion . Journal of Soc ia l Work & Human Sexual i ty, 7, 149-164. S p o n g , J . S . (1988). Living in s in: A bishop rethinks human sexuali ty. S a n Franc isco , C A : HarperSanFranc isco . S p o n g , J . S . (1991). Rescu ing the Bible from fundamental ism. S a n Franc isco , C A : HarperSanFranc isco . S tedman , T. L. (Ed.). (1982). S tedman 's medical dictionary. (24 t h ed.). Balt imore, M D : Wi l l iams & Wilk ins. Ster l ing, J . W . (1976) A n alternative model for treatment of sex offenders. Offender Rehabi l i tat ion. 1. 83-87. Stoller, R. J . (1968). S e x and gender: O n the development of mascul ini ty and femininity. N e w York: Sc ience House . Stoller, R. J . (1979). Centerfold: A n e s s a y on excitement. Arch ives of Genera l Psychiatry. 36. 1019-1024. Stoller, R. J . (1985). Observ ing the erotic imagination. N e w Haven , M A : Y a l e University P ress . Stoller, R. J . (1986). Pervers ion: The erotic form of hatred. Wash ing ton , D C : Amer i can Psychiatr ic P ress , Inc.. (Original work publ ished 1975) Stoller, R. J . (1991). Porn : Myths for the twentieth century. N e w Haven , M A : Y a l e University P ress . 149 Stol tenberg, J . (1988). Refusing to be a man: E s s a y s on sex and justice. Port land, O R : Brei tenbush Books , Inc. Stol tenberg, J . (1994). The end of manhood: A book for men of consc ience . New York: P lume, Dutton Signet. Story, M. D. (1979). Factors assoc ia ted with more posit ive body self concepts in pre-school chi ldren. Journal of Soc ia l Psycho logy , 108, 49-56 . Story, M. D. (1984). Compar i son of body self- concept between soc ia l nudists and non-nudists. Journal of Psycho logy, 118, 99-112. S z a s z , T. (1980). S e x by prescription. London: Pengu in Books , Ltd. Ta lmadge , L. D. (1938). Casse l l ' s Latin dictionary. New York: Char les Scr ibner 's S o n s . Travin, S . (1995). Compuls ive sexual behaviours. The Psychiat r ic C l in ics of North Amer i ca , 18, 155-169. Vo lavka , J . (1995). Neurobiology of v io lence. Wash ington, D C : Amer i can Psychiat r ic P r e s s , Inc.. Webster ' s Onl ine Dictionary. (1997). Avai lab le at Internet: http://www.m- w.com/ Wel ls , J . W . (1990). The sexual vocabulary of heterosexual and homosexua l males and females for communicat ing erotically with a sexua l partner. Arch ives of Sexua l Behaviour , 19. 139-147. Wi l l iams, S . R., & Ade lman , P. W. (1978). Riding the nightmare: W o m e n and witchcraft from the old world to colonial S a l e m . N e w York: HarperCol l ins . Wolf, S . C . (1988). A model of sexual aggress ion / addict ion. Journa l of Soc ia l Work and Human Sexual i ty, 7, 131-148. 150 Appendices Appendix A1: An understanding of Researcher Values Car l Rogers was of the opinion in 1967 that few of us are truly consc ious of our va lue sys tems. In fact he bel ieved, based upon his many years doing psychotherapy, that most persons arrived at their value constructs and va lue sys tems, simply by buying them; that is, copying them from other persons and the society around them. This frequently creates a d iscrepancy between what a person is exper iencing and what is held as va lues. Rogers bel ieved that there remains a " fundamental d iscrepancy between the individual's concepts and what he [sic] is actually exper iencing, between the intellectual structures of his va lues and the valuing process going on unrecognized within him" (p. 20). This d isc repancy is a lso fundamental to societal anxiety: that is, the estrangement of twentieth century persons from themselves. Rollo May (1967, chap. 1), in his d iscuss ion of the human d i lemma, a lso bel ieves in the necessary inclusion of the valuing p rocess in any understanding of the complex human d i lemma. May s e e s the p rocess as fundamental when he writes: "I define anxiety as the apprehens ion cued off by a threat to some value which the individual holds essent ia l to his ex is tence as a s e l f (1967, p. 72) Va lues and the valuing process are key concepts for my study. It is poss ib le to descr ibe overal l sexua l behaviour as a choice of va lues (May, 1967, chap.5) . The valuing p rocess is what c lass ic authors (e.g., August ine of Hippo and T h o m a s Aqu inas) cal led "the consc ience" . Appl icat ion of consc ience , or value principles, to chosen behaviours ("What shal l I do or not do?") is a critical, often unacknowledged, part of everyday l i fe 2 3 . Every addict, and the sexua l compuls ive is no except ion, has a set of va lues which he or she struggles with, d reams about and worr ies at, hour by daily hour. Life threatening addiction c o m e s when core va lues have finally been buried deep enough in the psyche to be out of play for most t ime. But this again sets up the d issonance of the human d i lemma, and in the addict 's case , initiates another cycle of addict ion. M y own va lues are part of my belief sys tem, which informs my exper ienc ing of the participant; but I must not use them to interpret or judge his exp ressed exper ience. In the sharing of the interview relationship, the participant has the 2 3 It is obvious to the learned observer that an assumption is in force here. I categorically reject the behaviourist simplifications of human life which attempt to reduce human choice and free will to stimulus response sets at biological and physical levels. (In this regard, also see Martin Buber, 1937, chap. 1-) 151 s a m e intrinsic worth that any person has in any relationship. Va lue confl icts will ar ise but they must not be al lowed to control the research re lat ionship 2 4 . 2 4 It is made clear in the documents initiating this study that the interviewer is not the participant's therapist. Although it may appear to the contrary sometimes in the course of the discussions, it is critical for both the researcher and the participant to realize that both have their own therapists for the specific ' purpose of separation. Further, this can be seen as protection against the charge that these investigations may be simple voyeuristic playthings. 152 Appendix A2: Personal Bibliography of Author's Position Adler , A . (1927). Understanding human nature. (W. B. Wol fe, trans.). N e w York: G a r d e n City Publ ishing Company . Adler , A . (1980). What life should mean to vou. N e w York: Pu tnam. (Original work publ ished 1931). A lcoho l ics anonymous. (1976). (3rd ed.). New York: A lcohol ics A n o n y m o u s Wor ld Serv ices , Inc. (Original work publ ished 1939.) Ansbache r , H. L. & Ansbacher , R. R. (1979). (3rd ed.). Superiori ty and soc ia l interest New York: Norton & Company . (Original work publ ished 1933). Ansbacher , H. L. & Ansbacher , R. R. (1956). The individual psychology of Al fred Adler . N e w York: Bas i c Books , Inc. Dreikurs, R. R. (1989). Fundamenta ls of Adler ian psychology, (reprint). Ch i cago , IL: Ad le r Schoo l of Profess ional Psycho logy. (Original work publ ished 1933). Ishiyama, F. I. (1995). U s e of validation in counsel l ing: Explor ing sources of self- val idation and impact of personal transition. Canad ian Journal of Counse l l ing , 29 , 134-146. May , R. (1967). Psycho logy and the human d i lemma. Pr inceton, N J : V a n Nostrand C o m p a n y Mosak , H. H. (1989). Adler ian psychotherapy. In R. J . Cors in i & D. Wedd ing (Eds.) Current Psvchotherap ies (4th ed.) (pp. 64-116). I tasca, IL: P e a c o c k Publ ishers . Nouwen , H. J . M. (1986). Reach ing out: The three movements of the spiritual life. N e w York: Doubleday, Image Books . (Original publ ished 1975). Nouwen , H. J . M. (1990). The wounded healer. New York: Doubleday, Image Books . (Original publ ished 1972). Rogers , C . R. (1961). O n becoming a person: A therapists v iew of psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company . 153 Rogers , C . R. (1965). Cl ient-centered therapy: Its current practice, implicat ions and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company . Rogers , C . R. (1980). A w a y of being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin C o m p a n y . Rogers , C . R. & S tevens , B. (1967). Pe rson to person: The problem of being human. Lafayette, C A : Rea l Peop le P ress . 154 Appendix B: Required Participant Documentation 1. Invitation to Participate in Research Request ing men to volunteer for participation in research 2. Research Consent Form Outlining research, responsibi l i t ies of parties, legal requirements. The documents follow in the order indicated. S igned forms are kept in researchers fi les, a long with the tapes of the actual interviews. Al l will be destroyed at the complet ion of this study. 156 4) Part ic ipants must have an ongoing therapeutic relationship with a qualif ied professional , who will be notified of your participation in this study. 5) Part ic ipants must have reached a stage in their life journey at which they cons ider themselves to be practising healthy sexuality. Right of Refusal All participants in this research project have the right to withdraw from the project at any time. At such juncture, audio tapes, transcripts and analys is pertaining to said individual will be destroyed. If you have any interest in participation in this project, p lease contact Mr. Muldoon-Burr at the above phone numbers. P l e a s e feel free to contact the Department or Dr. Coch ran if you have any quest ions which you do not wish to address to the principle researcher directly. Thank you. 158 The only except ions to this agreement are those required by law: 1) any information indicating ongoing abuse of a minor must be reported immediately to child protection authorit ies; 2) any indication of potential ser ious harm to self or others must a lso be reported. In the second case , the authority may be current psychologica l counse l ; emergency medical help or legal agency may be chosen at the discret ion of participant and research counse l . Right of Refusal Al l participants in this research project have the right to withdraw from the project at any time. At such juncture, audio tapes, transcripts and analys is pertaining to sa id individual will be dest royed. Consent The signature below indicates that this document has been read, understood, and that a copy has been received by the s ignee. Part ic ipant 159 Appendix C: Data Collection Procedure 1. Initial Screen ing Interview. 2. Overal l Life Story interview. . A non-scripted interview process . Col lect ion of one or two early recollections . Elicitation of life story with emphas is on perceived situations, events etc which are related to addict ion and recovery. 3. Rev iew of the a ud iota pe. 4. Part ial draft of participant's narrative account extracting significant events/points which descr ibe or otherwise indicate: • initiation of compulsive/addict ive process; • the speci f ics of the compulsive/addict ive process; • recognit ion of failure in compulsive/addict ive process to meet participant's goa ls ; • point at which sobriety stage is ach ieved; • health recovery stage; • full healthy sexuali ty stage. 5. Construct t ime line of events. 6. Verif ication interview. Appropr iate revisions. 7. Detail Narrative Interview (s) expanding "sexual health recovery stage". 8. Repea t until satisfactory to participant: • verif ication of detail content; • revis ions. Done . (Repeat for e a c h participant)


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