Tag Archives: sex addiction

Cosby-Disappointment or Normal?

I raised my kids on Cosby. And since they’re in their 30s, there must be a lot of people who remember and love that show like we did. It and Seventh Heaven were the healthiest family modeling there was. We all wanted to be like them. And now both “dads” are accused of sex crimes. It’s heart-breaking.

In the beginning, I think we were all hoping it was just a personality-disordered gold-digger or two going after Cosby’s money. But now it appears that the icon we all love had a checkered past–was a very troubled man.

It’s so sad. We feel betrayed. This person we wanted our fathers and husbands to emulate turns out to have been a sex maniac.

I’ve been wondering, is he a sex addict? What he is accused of doesn’t sound sexual only; it sounds violent. Violent sex is about anger and hate, not really even sexual. Sex addiction is one step above that–the male brain so easily gets hooked on sex as a way to fix or escape whatever is wrong.

I’ve had a small therapy practice for 25 years, and I’ve always had someone dealing with sex addiction. It’s that common. I’ve had more than one client tell me how quickly it enslaved them–one “hit” of pornography was all it took. And now that it is so accessible, it’s really tough for men. But does that make it the norm?

NO! Maybe in numbers of guys struggling with it, but not in normal healthy behavior. Normal mostly isn’t healthy anyway.

What am I basing that on? The way a man’s brain is wired. Emotions are scary to men in this society. And since they can shut feelings down fairly easily, because of scarring to the corpus colosum in gestation, they tend to replace them with sex. I think men are emotionally starving here.

Indulgent mothers and absent or distant fathers, who have themselves forgotten what “manly” is, have made men uncomfortable in their own skin. There aren’t quests to prove manhood anymore. Fighting and sex is about as close as they get.

A man has fine, deep emotions, and his first sexual experience is powerfully bonding, especially if he’s “in love.” If the relationship doesn’t make it, and he doesn’t do some serious grieving, he’ll replace her, but never love or bond quite like that again.

He will want to grieve, but everyone, especially his buddies will tell him to go get laid and forget her–get involved with someone else. Of course, the exact wrong advice.

So his bonding ability is seared and feelings are buried. But buried feelings ferment and get nasty and come out other places–aberrant sexual behavior. And if its anger that’s being buried, look out! (African-American people, especially African-American men, have reason for anger.) Violence carries its own addiction. Sex and violence together are a bad combination.

Is there hope? There is always hope for every addiction, and the best of it comes from God the one who can redeem anything, and who made your feelings and your brain circuitry in the first-place. But you have to ask.

Therapy is a great help, but you’ll have to find a therapist who doesn’t think sex addiction is normal. Good luck!

And the love of a good, secure woman, if valued, is a great help also.

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Filed under a perspective on evil, Becoming real, Bullying, fathering, Grief, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, sex addiction

Is It Hollywood? Is it Noah? Or Us?

My reaction to the movie “Noah” intrigues me. As a therapist I’ve had a bit of vicarious experience with violence. I know how addictive, how destructive to the human psyche it is, how quickly it can take over mind and emotions. So when God says, “Man has filled the earth with violence…Every thought of his heart is only evil continually,”* why do I, along with many of my friends, want to soften “Noah”? Saying, “It wasn’t like that!”?

Are we in danger of pacifying evil so we don’t have to look at how destructive, how bleak, how sick and bad it really is? So we dismiss this dark, bleak picture by saying, “It’s Hollywood, what do you expect?” And we go back to our sweet focus on the toy ark with its colorful animals and a rainbow over it.

I really do hate watching or hearing about violence, but our culture doesn’t seem to. I was happy the director muted it as much as he did. I’ve heard of much more graphic depictions in the name of entertainment. And with the perspective and the story-line the producers went with, they had to get creative to fill in the gaps. They made it work psychologically. I don’t have a problem with poetic license, people can read the real story, so what is my problem? Why did I find the movie so disturbing?

Maybe it’s that we don’t relate to that kind of barbarianism any more. We don’t think it could happen to us. Kill all the trees and all the people that don’t agree with us? Yet both are happening.

For sure the picture of God portrayed leaves me wanting more, but I did like that even Noah wasn’t immune to twisting the message, getting it straight in the end. And choice is shown as pivotal, powerful, progressive, sometimes painful, and permanent.

I think it’s deeper. I think the movie’s perspective of evil is too obvious. I think evil is more deceptive than total smog, a bare earth and primitive, blood-thirsty people. I think it’s more insidious.

For example, do you know that sex addiction can go into violence addiction very quickly? Just had another client struggling with that. Or that grief or loss or anger can mask as sex addiction? (Have one with that too.) And what about making everyone think like you do? Or worse, like the church does? That’s created evil and violence.

Jesus’ worst problems came from his own church. They killed him because he bucked the system, he didn’t live by or teach all their rules. He taught that God is love and the best love relationship we can have–that God will meet all our needs–emotional, spiritual, physical. He said God’s way is the only way to life.

In some wierd, understated way, that was the message of “Noah”.

But I’d like to see someone picture it as more “civilized“, more advanced than we are, and yet stuck in the violence of having our own way, ignoring God. Because Jesus said that when he comes back it will be like the days of Noah–“eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and didn’t know they were in danger until the flood came and swept them away.”** Noah didn’t need protection from the people because they thought he was crazy…until the flood came.

The scariest evil is two kinds: mindlessness, and destruction that masquerades looking good, tasting good, feeling good to us, or destruction judged righteous by us.

*Genesis 6:5 , **Matthew 24:37-38

For more on deceptive evil see my book: The Worst Evil–Losing Yourself http://amazon.com/author/arlacaraboolad

 

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Filed under "Noah", a perspective on evil, Uncategorized, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...