Read an Edited Transcript of the Show:
Welcome to Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions. I am your host Craig Perra from www.themindfulhabit.com. I’m the founder of the Mindful Habit system, a step by step plan to freedom, healthy sexuality and a purpose driven life sustainably and I’ve been helping men all over the world for the past, almost eight years. Today, I want to share with you two alternatives to saying, “I slipped,” or, “I almost slipped.” This podcast is also for you brothers who are sober yet holding on for dear life. I promise that if you connect with my approach, you will find this new way of describing what you’re calling a slip, is going to provide you with greater value and drive better action.
For the past eight years, I run what I’m proud to say for the right guy is the best program in the world. It’s intense. It’s all from home. It’s for men who would thrive in a coaching model. We offer days, nights and weekend sessions. It’s for men who want structured, men who are willing and able, able, able to do the work. That wasn’t an echo, not everybody is. That’s not a bad thing. Some people need, need, there I go again, repeating myself, the slow, steady hand of a mental health professional, not coaching. Not everyone is going to thrive in a coaching model. It’s up to you to find what works for you and regardless of what model you are in, I want to help you and give you just some reasons to reframe, to think about differently, your stumbles.
Why is it? How in the world could the word slipped, literally be making it worse for some men? Let me give you a little bit of background. As you may know, the addiction is a disease model, is based upon an 85 plus year old incredible, the 12 step model from Alcohol Anonymous. And that Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, all these groups are amazing places for people to get healing. Many of my clients don’t connect with that approach and there’s reasons for that. They’re not just crazy, there’s reasons for that. The addiction model is based on an 85 year old approach. And just by way of information, you may know that porn addiction and sex addiction is not recognized as a mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. There is a split of authority in the helping people community as to whether or not calling it a disease is making it better or it’s making it worse.
On the right of this debate, if you will, you have the sex addiction community, on the left, you have the sex positive community. All wonderful well intentioned people trying to help people with a very, very different opinion. And the sex positive community says, “The disease process is ill-equipped to treat the underlying condition.” The sex addiction people say, “Of course, it’s an addiction. Look at these poor bastards. They can’t stop doing it. Clearly it’s an addiction.” And as is true for most complicated issues, there are strong points on both sides and I’ve always felt that I have borrowed the best from the sex positive community. Clearly there’s a problem with pornography. It’s just the impact that it’s having on relationships. In fact, the lawyers who handle divorces say that porn is a major contributing factor in 50% of the divorces. Clearly nothing to see here, porn’s fine, sir. Everybody is a ridiculous assertion and the sex addiction folks again, well intentioned, trying to help people, labeling it a disease for some people is making it worse. Is making it worse.
I like to think about the, listen there’s a number of underlying issues and for most people struggling with this, I like the phrase intimacy disorder. Now listen, this is all going, I’m going to tie this all together to help you understand. I want to give you some background so you can think about your compulsive behavior in a different way. That’s the purpose of this podcast and to give you an alternative way to examine your unhealthy destructive, quote unquote addictive behavior and help you instead of using the word slipped or instead of saying, “I almost slipped,” give you a couple of phrases that might help you drive better results in your life.
Here are a few of my truths. I have never worked with a man whose number one problem had anything to do with sex or porn. I want to say that again. I have never worked with a man whose number one problem had anything to do with sex or porn. I like to summarize that point up this way, the behavior, the acting out, the addictive behavior is always the symptom. The behavior is the symptom. For some men, and listen, I’m going to say that a lot, because if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s to be responsible and let people know that not every approach is for everybody. There are clearly people who thrive in the disease based model. It wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has. I want to make that point and be crystal clear and for some men, calling this part of themselves diseased, saying that they have a disease for them, it thwarts and undermines their real need, their real desire, to understand the needs that this seemingly self destructive behavior is meeting in their life.
And I promise you this, if you are struggling with compulsive sexual behavior, it is meeting needs in your life. And I’ve done another podcast on all the needs that this behavior is meeting. It’s called the positive attributes. Positive attributes concept, but this behavior, think about it. Let’s go back to our childhood and let’s look at the way that we used pornography, the role that it served, the purpose, the needs that it met. For some men, when they look back at the needs that their pornography use was meeting in their lives and any sexual behavior, having sex, conquest, power, strength, ego. The porn and I’m talking about that particularly, for some men, when you go back to their childhood and you understand the role that the pornography was serving, it was like a security blanket. It was their safe place. That was one of the first places that they learned to tell major lies and it was theirs. It gave them pleasure. It gave them fun. It gave them an escape. It helped them deal with life and some of the challenges that you know you had as a kid, you always had this.
Instead of calling it a disease, how about you look at your bad habits and belief systems as trained, conditioned responses? My program, we hold seven group coaching calls per week. Seven opportunities for you to get some real hardcore help, get your questions answered and we talked about those needs. And in this particular case, this guy had all these struggles, all these challenges when he grew up, all these feelings of not being good enough, all these challenges of being a boy and growing up and he had this. In the fog of all the challenges that he had, he had this secret, it was his. I encouraged him in his mind to build a shrine to this behavior.
You can build a shrine for negative things. The shrine represents the significant role that the pornography played in his life. How it served as an escape. How it’s served to help him manage fear and anxiety, stress and anxiety, what we used to call fear. And this shrine was to counterbalance the demonization, the demonization of the porn really represented the demonization of himself. I wanted him to understand the needs that this behavior was meeting. And once you begin to appreciate that and you step back and think of the powerful role that pornography played in our lives, it was an escape. It helped me deal. It helped me function. Here I am dealing with all sorts of challenges. I’m not going to get into them now. We’ve talked about them in other podcasts, but I had this. I had this security blanket. I had this place where I was safe. This place where I had my secrets, I could watch whatever I want. I could do whatever I want. I could say whatever I want. I was safe. Safe.
And so for the men who connect with my approach, the disease process undermines two basic rules of behavior modification. And this is going to directly, hopefully add value to you thinking about your disease in a different way and thinking about your slips in a different way.
First golden rule of behavior modification that I believe is violated by calling it a disease, the model is focused around not doing something, which is of course an objective. But if it is the primary objective, that violates two rules of behavior modification. Number one, that which you resist persists. It is a scientific fact that the more you try not to do something, the more power you give that thing and the more chance, the greater chance that you’re actually going to do that thing. That which you resist persists. Carl Jung, J-U-N-G, look it up, Google it, challenge me.
The second rule of behavior modification, that the disease process undermines and why calling it a slip may not be the best thing for you, is this. The golden rule to break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. Let me say that again. You probably have heard to break a habit, you have to make a habit. That’s not entirely true. This behavior is serving a purpose in your life. It is meeting needs in your life. If you create a new habit that has absolutely nothing to do with the needs that the behavior is meeting, you will fail. You will fall flat on your face. It’s not just to break a habit you can make any habit. Please write this down.
Weave this into the fiber of your existence, into the fiber of your recovery, into the fiber of your pursuit for healthy sexuality. Crazy concept for us as men. It’s pretty banged up. It’s pretty banged up, brothers. We are in a crisis. It is a problem that is tearing at the fabric of the family. Tearing at the fabric of masculinity, of men. Men losing themselves on the internet, wasting that powerful sexual energy. All right, I’m off my little tangent.
To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. Let’s say it together one more time. This concept was life changing for me. Absolutely life changing for me. Absolutely life changing to break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. One more time. No, no, kidding. You get it. You get it.
In this podcast, I want to propose two alternatives to the phrase or expression I slipped or I almost slipped. Here’s one. Now, listen, keep an open mind. Keep an open mind. Here’s one proposal. I met my needs today by masturbating and watching other people have sex on the internet. I met my needs today or I got my needs met today and you can insert what needs it’s meeting to escape, to numb, to cope, to feel good in a fog of feeling like crap. I met my needs today by masturbating and watching other people have sex on the internet. There’s no judgment, we’re just talking about the facts.
The purpose of this is to incorporate into your language the reality, very difficult one for some people to get their arms around, that this behavior is serving a purpose. For many of you, you demonized it, it’s the devil, it’s a sin and all those things are true for you. I’m not trying to take that away from you, but please don’t let that rob you of embracing the reality that this acting out is needs seeking behavior. It has been meeting needs likely since you were a child. Instead of, I slipped instead of, oh, I failed again. I failed again. I slipped, instantly emotes failure. And first of all, there’s a problem with that because if you know anything about business, you know that you must create a culture and environment in your professional life. If you’re a leader, you know this to be true where failure equals opportunity.
The opportunity here is learning from that mistake. What words are going to help you best learn from that mistake? I met my needs today by masturbating and watching other people have sex on the internet. And just to supplement that a little bit, we have a rule in my program that when everybody says, “Hey, I’ve been six months sober. I’ve been a year sober.” That’s banned, can do it. People always start off the conversation with “Hi, I’m Joe I’m, blah, blah, blah, sober.” That’s great. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
What I encourage them is to add to that identifying what actions they took to accomplish that objective. And even if it was 24 hours, hey, I’ve been practicing healthy sexuality. We say that instead of sober. I’m practicing healthy sexuality or I expressed myself sexually in a healthy way over the course of the past 24 hours. I proactively managed my sexual energy over the course of the past 10 minutes, whatever it is. You see the difference in the language? Wait till you get to the next one. Wait till you get to the next one, because I’ve either lost half of you or you’re really digging this. I hope you’re really digging it. These concepts changed my life. This notion that these bad habits. Oh and by the way, every single one of your bad habits in your life is meeting needs. Yep. We’re going to do another podcast on that coming soon. And we’re going to pick the worst habits and I’m going to show you, demonstrate to you, prove to you so you make an informed, educated decision that this behavior is meeting needs.
Here’s my next one. I love this one. Now listen, it doesn’t apply to everybody. In my experience, it applies to many people, most feels good, but if it doesn’t apply to you, then you throw it away and you take from this podcast and anything else, what works for you and throw away what doesn’t. Here is my second proposal for instead of using the word I slipped, or I almost slipped. I felt safe to express myself sexually by watching videos of people having sex. I felt safe expressing myself sexually by camming with the cam girl. I felt safe expressing myself sexually with a prostitute.
That’s a tough one for some people to follow, but I want to tell you, well first off and the person who knows, I have thank God clients way, way, way smarter than me. This man is brilliant. I love him to death. We actually met. And if he was here right now, I’d give him a big hug because he was sharing with me this concept that Dr. Michael Bader discusses in his book, Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies. And he invited me to think about porn watching, acting out sexually with prostitutes as intimate. What are you talking about, crazy man? In fact, it’s the farthest thing from intimacy and the porn being intimate by yourself doesn’t even make sense to me. Well, thank God I’ve got beautiful client, amazingly beautiful clients. And when I slightly shifted and expanded the word for intimacy, well, first let me, that intimacy disorder.
Men, do you have an intimacy disorder? Meaning, does your sexual energy naturally flow in an unhealthy, self destructive way? Where does it naturally flow to? Most men it’s pornography. For a far smaller percentage, far smaller percentage and by the way, ladies, if you’re listening to this podcast, is it possible for a man to only watch porn and not cross that line? Absolutely. Most men do not cross that line. Some do. I did, but most do not. The intimacy disorder, energy naturally flows in an unhealthy, self destructive way, does not naturally flow where love is. For a variety of different reasons, variety of different reasons, our sexual energy doesn’t flow naturally where love is and that’s towards our partner. And that’s what we’re trying to fix. Here’s the thing, when you’re watching porn, you feel safe. You can watch whatever you want. You can do whatever you want. You can think in your mind, whatever you want, you feel safe.
And if you looked at the computer as a person, it’s intimate, because you’re only expressing that aspect of your sexuality in that place. If that computer could see you, if you were being seen by that computer into me, you see what you’re watching, what you’re thinking about in that moment, you feel safe. And for the much, much smaller percentage of men who have cheated, so, so, so much [inaudible 00:00:23:41]. Sexual secrets, brothers, cause pain. That’s why we call that pain, betrayal trauma. That’s why our partner empowerment group is included for no additional charge in my group coaching program and in my one on one coaching program, because our women are suffering. They are in pain. They want that intimacy. Let me see you. Direct that energy towards me, but that part of us get so banged up when we’re children, it grows and festers in secret and darkness. And it literally one of the first lies that we’re able to keep, but we learn to express that part of ourselves alone. So many men that I work with have this intimacy disorder.
And if you want to heal that intimacy disorder, if you want to direct that energy towards love, towards your partner, you want to show up and be seen intimate, you see, be seen, then you got to address those underlying issues. By saying these two phrases, even if it’s to yourself, I met my needs today by masturbating and watching other people have sex on the internet. I met my needs today by masturbating and watching other people have sex on the internet. I felt safe to express my sexuality by insert whatever you did, whatever action that you took.
I hope that you can use, listen, if there’s anything here that you strongly disagree with, that you don’t connect with, throw it away. To my client who helped me understand this, I’ll be waiting for your text message where you will say, “You’re welcome. You’re welcome.” You know who you are, man. You know who you are, brother. Love you. Always challenging me, always pushing me. And I feel very, very grateful to have the ability to look at this behavior from a needs seeking perspective. Instead of calling it a disease. It’s not disease, it’s working exactly as it’s supposed to. It is a trained conditioned response.
The secret to break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right needs. I hope my intention was to give you an alternative to talking about your slips or talking about your almost slips so you can get the focus where it needs to be on the needs that this behavior is meeting, so you can meet those needs in a healthy, constructive way, so you can exercise self control, self awareness, so you can channel that powerful sexual energy, that life creating energy, that relationship enhancing energy, where it belongs. Not in darkness, shame and isolation, towards love, towards purpose, towards passion, to making your life the best possible life that you can possibly have by transmuting that powerful sexual energy, sexual health is mental health. Sexual health is physical health. Sexual health is spiritual health.
And I hope what I shared with you today was helpful. I want to thank you so much for sharing with me your most precious time. It is truly an honor and a privilege and it’s been such a incredible honor sharing with you these podcasts and these videos over the years. And I want to thank you for your love and support. And if you need more help, if you need structured help, if you need that aggressive push my program’s clearly on for everybody, there is a fee. Some people call them expensive, but you get a lot. But you get a lot.
I offer this podcast. I offer a self study program. I offer my most popular group coaching program. And for a limited few number of men, I work with them one on one. Remember, please embrace your power of choice. Don’t forget to feed the right wolf inside you always because you deserve it. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of success and you are awesome. Thank you for listening. Craig Perra from the mindfulhabit.com, signing off. Bye, guys.