Abuse In The Porn Industry Can Cause Troubling Behavior In Addicts

bigstock-XXX-Sex-Industry-Concept-Grung-15764462Allegations of sexual assault against male porn star “James Deen” have surfaced recently, after a number of female actresses have come forward with stories of being brutalized.

 

After reading the stories these women told, I was wondering how on earth such brutality could ever be okay. If you hit a woman with a closed fist, or hurt her during sex so badly that she requires stitches, that’s assault, at least in the real world. In these cases, it appears that the directors were pleased with how the scenes turned out. To be clear, we are not talking about two consenting adults in this situation. The actresses in these scenes report being scared, hurt, and telling Deen to stop.

 

It reminds me of something else too. I once had a client who worked in the porn industry. In our early meetings, I had asked him if he found the work to be exciting. He laughed.

 

The next time he came to see me, he brought a DVD of “outtakes.” These were far from the funny bloopers you might have seen on other films. Instead, these were full of images of women crying in pain. I saw women so distressed they were urinating and defecating uncontrollably. There was a scene where an actress had to go back to the makeup room to cover up a swollen, red mark on her face where she had been hit.

 

It was so terrible that I couldn’t continue watching it, and indeed ended up in therapy about it myself. My client was likewise a sufferer of PTSD, after witnessing what he did. To see women screaming “I hate you,” or crying out in pain every day, it took its toll on him. I thought about perhaps showing this video to other people so they could know what goes on, but I found myself unable to inflict that experience on others.

 

Neither one of us are angels, and there are plenty of actors out there who report good or even great experiences in the industry, but we have to remember that there are also reports of brutality coming from the same places. Seeing these alleged reports against Deen reminded me of these upsetting images from inside the industry.

 

I told this client that if he could make millions making porn, he could surely still make hundreds of thousands doing something legitimate. He got out of the porn industry, and now contributes between 50 and 100K to women’s charities every year.

 

This is one case where someone involved in an abusive situation had a conscience. Maybe it’s time for more people in the industry to get one too. What many addicts view as thrilling and titillating is actually causing real harm to real people behind the scenes. It’s not pretty.

 

 

Abuse In The Porn Industry Can Mislead Addicts

 

This is not a call for anyone to eschew his or her First Amendment rights. But an addict might have difficulty separating the sex he’s seeing on-screen from actual, real-world experiences. He might begin to think that what he sees online is an acceptable way to treat women. Honestly, there are people in the porn industry who are not having fun. An addict could be doomed to chasing these unrealistic experiences that will never fulfill him anyway.

 

Something addicts don’t understand is that you can’t and shouldn’t want the things you’re seeing in porn. Intimacy doesn’t have anything to do with hurting someone or scaring him or her. Behavior shouldn’t escalate from “We can try” to “I will make her.”

 

The real prize is intimacy. The real goal that we are all chasing as humans is the feeling of meaningful connection and togetherness. The joke was on us when we were told that the more sex we have, or the more extreme and wild it gets, the better we are. It’s not true. You can never get enough of what doesn’t satisfy you. So if you’re stuck chasing these unrealistic images, that sometimes cause real people to get really hurt, you’re headed down a troubling path.

 

No one around you should be hurt. Help is available. You do not have to stay stuck in the cycle of wanting more extreme porn, and more extreme sex. You can join the other men I’ve helped with my counseling program, and you too can learn the value of true intimacy, and break the cycle of addiction.

 

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