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In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior,” Craig delves into Backpages’s decision to close it’s escort prostitution section and it’s impact on sex addicts. He talks: prostitution, online resources, and how to shift your mindset away from temptation.

Podcast Transcription

Welcome my friends. This is Craig Perra from Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions, a podcast dedicated to you, helping you create healthy sexuality and a great life. Welcome everybody!

Last week we talked about goals, setting goals for 2017. Check that out. I rambled a little bit on the habit cycle stuff, but you can never get too much habit cycle talk. I gave you some really good tips for 2017. Today I want to talk about prostitutes. Today I want to talk about Backpage, and today I want to talk about hobbies. So, for my brothers out there who solicit prostitutes, you know, I know, that there is a subculture within this community. They call themselves hobbyists, right?

There was a time when I fashioned myself a hobbyist, and the hobby was getting prostitutes and then writing about it. I never wrote about it. I never commented. I was always too afraid to do that, in spite of the incredible risks that I would take by going into a hotel, with a strange person, in a shitty part of town with money in my pocket. Hobbyist is the word.  

The Mindful Habit Program hits six key areas:  Career, Finances, Healthy, Hobbies, Hobbies, Relationships and Spirituality.  There was a period of time where I was ‘putting Humpty Dumpty together’ where I said, “You know what? I don’t know if these guys need to be talking about hobbies. You know, their lives are falling apart. They are in crisis.” And, I had thought about deleting that section, and I’m glad I didn’t because I would have been wrong. I have seen so many instances of men finding their sobriety, sanity and success; sobriety, sanity and success.

The first two aren’t good enough for long-term sustainable growth. Sobriety, sanity and success through the discovery of new hobbies is the key. Yoga is mine. Yoga is my life. Yoga hits mindfulness. So, I get a great hobby because my new hobby hits a whole bunch of different areas. It hits my spirituality need. I go to yoga. That’s like church for me. So, hobbies. If you’re watching this podcast, listening to this podcast, or reading this transcript, and you’re a man, some women too, but I’m thinking of the brothers out there, your hobby was maybe pornography or your hobby was paying for sex with women. That was your hobby. That was my hobby.

And, I would spend hours and  hours a day flipping through the ads, sending a text message, not sending a text message, calling, hanging up, looking, looking, looking, looking, looking for the unicorn, like that one – fishing I call it. Fishing. It’s fishing, because the intention during most of that fishing, was to throw it back. Not catch anything-not actually engage. Not catch and keep. In other words, I was not going to see a prostitute, I was not paying for sex, I was not cheating on my wife, but I WAS fishing; And I convinced myself that that was ok.   Fishing was the escape.

Now, if you’re part of The Mindful Habit System you know that your compulsive behaviors are numbing, coping and escaping, right? That’s when you know you have a problem – when your porn or when your sex is for numbing, coping and escaping, you need to get away. You need to shift your energy very, very quickly.

Backpage has been in the news recently, because Backpage, the escort section, has been shut down. I want to acknowledge that there are a lot of guys out there, who right now are thinking to themselves, WTF? Fuck. What do I do? What do I do with this time? And as a result, I had so many guys call me.

January tends to be a very busy month; New Year’s resolution, post-holidays. People are looking and have some time, some capacity for massive growth and of course, the holidays also produce crisis as well. But I realize that there maybe an additional bump because of Backpage being shut down. I literally think the economy has received millions of productivity hours, thousands of productivity hours, have just been gained back because Backpage shut itself down. The hobbyist had his hobby store closed. No more fishing. What are you going to do now? What are you going to do now?

Before I move onto that, and even if this behavior is behind you, I just want you to reflect on the positive attributes of looking through the escort ads. And, that’s a way that I like to approach behavior, and you know that. If you’ve been paying attention you know that all of your negative behavior is a function of unmet needs. So, you go someplace else if you want someone to demonize it. “That’s bad, man. You know what you’re doing is bad, man. That’s wrong.” That’s mom and dad.

I want you to elevate your intellectual horsepower. I want you to elevate your connection to yourself. I want you to play mental, physical and spiritual chess. And, if you instantly and quickly demonize that behavior you’re going to lose an awful lot of important data that’s going to help you radically, change your life because all of your negative behavior is a function of your unmet needs.

So, why are you looking for prostitutes? Why do you spend hours going through, just flipping, flipping, flipping? Hundreds of hours. I know that there were times in my life that I spent on this website just looking, looking, looking. Maybe I should call. Maybe I shouldn’t call. Let me save it for later. Open it in a new screen. You’ve all got your routines. Some of you are doing that scanning and flipping, that fishing with porn, just looking, looking, looking, looking, edging, edging, edging, edging. So, this is a parallel discussion for you.

Even if you’re not looking for escorts. There’s obviously that time when you’re going to do it, right? You’re going to do it. What am I’m talking about …?  Well, I’m talking about that, but I’m also talking about the hours that you spend numbing, coping and escaping. So, what are some of the positive attributes of losing yourself in that world? I just articulated one. You lose yourself very quickly and then the mind is saying there is a remote possibility that I may secure that connection. Maybe I find the one that’s going to cause me to pull that trigger, right? So, the mind is waiting for that. Your addict mind is waiting for that event to happen.

But, but, but for a lot of you guys I know you’re just flipping through, flipping through it and really don’t have an intention. In fact, maybe you’ve “only” seen one, two or three escorts in your life. Some of you have seen hundreds. I saw a lot. A lot. A lot. I want to put that out there. I paid for sex with women a lot. I’m not proud of it. I’m telling you so you know that you have a brother. You have many brothers who’ve been where you are. It brought me to this place, brothers. It brought me to this place. This place is fucking awesome. My life is incredible, incredible, and that’s what I want you to create for you.

So, what are the positive attributes? Well, it helps you escape. Give me a break. You don’t think about anything else for a period of time, right? You don’t think about anything else. It just, you lost yourself, just like when you go fishing.

Well, guess what? You need to find a new hobby. If you do not, it is my belief that you will not achieve long-term success in keeping the addiction at bay. It’s critical? Why? Because to break a habit you have to make a habit, and this behavior is essentially a hobby. Some of you guys know more about porn than the producers who make it.

You know more about the actresses and their lives than the actresses may know themselves. You know more about the different escorts in your area; how much they charge, what they do, GFE, RBGFE. I’m going to leave the abbreviations there, but you know what I’m talking about. It’s a hobby. That’s what it is. It has the attributes of a hobby certainly. You can’t argue with me there, but it’s a hobby.

So, since all of your negative behavior is a function of your unmet needs then you have to know, you have to learn what unmet needs that behavior was meeting for you. Did It made you feel special when they texted you back? For so many of my men who are seeing prostitutes … It isn’t the sex. That’s a big part of it, but it is the significance that they’re looking for.

Significance is by far the overwhelming driver. The need for significance is the overwhelming driver in every man that I work with that sees prostitutes, including yours truly. Significance. I told you the story about the beer, right? When I walked into the room and there were two Bud Kingers on the table. There were two Bud Kingers on the table. Here’s a great example, an illustration of unmet needs. There’s two beers on the table, and I had seen this prostitute before, but I know they don’t drink with their customers, so this was kind of an aberration, this beer here. Why is this beer here? I should ask her why there’s beer. Did she get it for me? It must be something else. Maybe she had some left over. My mind is racing until I finally asked the question, “Oh, what’s this for?” She says, “Oh, I got it for you.”  Ohhhh. Guys I can’t tell this story without holding my heart.

I felt so significant, so special, so different than the other people that she’s seen. Those other guys. Uh! Those are fucking perverts. That’s not me. I’m not like one of them. I felt special. I felt significant. I felt significant. So, I learned when I started to examine my behavior as a hobby and realizing all the positive attributes that that behavior was meeting in my life this forced me to look at my behavior in a very very different way, and I want you to look at your behavior from a very different way. It’s easy to get caught and demonize. Yeah. Everyone rallies against the industry. Everybody, “Porn is evil.” That happens. Okay? I did that demonization too.

And there are certainly attributes of the industry that are evil. But, how is that helping me? It doesn’t.  What helped me, was when I started to examine this behavior from a positive perspective, and that’s what I want you to do because some of you right now are lost and some are lonely.

“BACKPAGE.COM SHUTS DOWN ADULT SERVICES ADD, AFTER RELENTLESS PRESSURE FROM AUTHORITIES”, says the cover of The Washington Post. I thought about talking about the first amendment issues because I do not believe in the banning of pornography.

I do not want to live in a government that has that power. I’m a staunch defender and believer in the first amendment. It’s first for a reason, and I’ve litigated back in my old lawyer-days, first amendment cases, and I learned a lot about how important it is in our society and how important it is to limit government’s power on their ability to suppress words that I’m speaking to you right now.

So, if this was an article about pornography being banned I would not be in favor of it at all. But, the difference here is that the services that were being advertised in Backpage were illegal in every state. I don’t want to talk anymore about the constitutional ramifications, but I do want to share with you my opinion on … People ask me all the time, “Do you want porn banned?” The answer is no.  No, I do not. I do not want to live in a world where our government can do that. That frightens me.  

Back to the topic, you need to find a hobby. And, as you’re looking for a hobby I want you to think about the behavior from a positive perspective. I want you to look at it from a positive place so you can ask yourself what are the positive attributes of this behavior so I can identify them. What are my unmet needs? What needs are being met by this behavior?

So, then I can do something about it. This is so important because to break a habit you have to make a habit. Your success in not doing the thing is a function of you doing something else. So, for all of you men out there who are reaching for that phone, getting ready to start your fishing trip for escorts, I want you to stop. I want you to take ten deep breaths and reflect on what you could be doing that will make your life better. It’s going to help you and empower you to be the best version of you because I know when I was in that place, I wasn’t the best version of me.

I was a pretty crappy version of me; a liar, a cheater, a law breaker. I dismissed in that behavior. Please don’t be one of these men that calls me after they’ve gotten busted. Don’t, don’t, don’t. That is so … It makes things so much more complicated and it’s expensive. Because now you’re managing the criminal side. You’re managing the reputation. You’re managing the crisis and that’s expensive, and it may cost some of you your job and/or family. That’s a reality. So, I don’t want that to happen to you. Life is way too short to suck. This behavior isn’t making your life better.

It’s not doing anything for you. I want you to find something else. I want you to find a hobby. Think about what you can do on a regular basis that is still going to meet some of those needs. If you think you’re going to stop that behavior; exciting, titillating, erotic, fun, scary, all the emotions that come up and you’re just going to work harder, you are wrong.  All of your negative behavior is a function of your unmet needs. I want you to embrace your power of choice. There’s no more fishing on Backpage, brothers. Those days are over. There are other sites. You know that. I know that. But, use this as an opportunity to break that habit. Use this as an opportunity to do something else with your life and embrace all the beauty that life has to offer. It’s there, brothers. I want you to take it. Find a hobby. Memento morbid. Remember. You are going to die. I want you to embrace your power of choice and create a great life before you do.

Signing off. Catch you next week, my friends.

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