Book Review: Neglect The Silent Abuser: How to recognize and heal from childhood neglect

Neglect: The Silent Abuser is a recent publication by respected psychotherapist Enod Gray.  The book seeks to provide information about the concept of neglect as well as provide some cursory steps to try to heal from the consequences of childhood neglect experienced by the readers.

Most people who come to therapy can recognize overt abuse.  Overt abuse is abuse that is obvious to the person or a form of abuse that is easily recognizable.  For example, physical or sexual abuse, though frequently minimized, are often identified as abuse.  Verbal abuse is something that people can sometimes have a harder time recognizing, but again, this type of abuse tends to be more overt.  Think of a parent who also calls their child names or humiliates them consistently.

Neglect is something that most people do have a harder time identifying.  When most people think of neglect, they think of again, more overt neglect, such as someone growing up with not enough food, safe shelter, etc.  Neglect most often brings forth thoughts of physical neglect.  Most people do not immediately think of emotional neglect when they are asked about it.  This is because, frequently, this form of neglect is not overt or consciously done.  It is also a form of neglect that is easy to minimize or rationalize.  For example, if you grew up in a household with a parent with a mental illness, you may not have received the emotional care and nurturant that you needed as a child.  However, this neglect was not consciously or intentionally done.  It would have been a consequence of the parent’s mental illness and not necessarily consciously done.  As another example, if you grew up in a household with a sibling with a physical disability, this likely took up most of the time and energy of your parents.  Likely there was some neglect in this family system, but not intentionally. One family member just needed more time and energy and the child(ren) that don’t have more overt needs are assumed to be just fine.

Neglect can also come from growing up in a family where there is addiction present in one or both parents.  If a parent is struggling with addiction, they will not be able to be fully present for their children and meet their needs for nurturance.  Frequently, we also see neglect in families where one parent is a workaholic.  Again, this neglect is not something consciously done and often justified by creating the financial means to provide the children with all the material goods and experiences they could wish for.  Unfortunately, children more often wish for  time.

This book does a nice job of discussing neglect and the effect of growing up in a neglectful environment on our adult behavior.  This is done at a cursory but understandable level.  The factual information is nicely complemented by stories of clients of the author. Often, it is these client vignettes that are most relatable to readers. 

After addressing the process of neglect, Ms. Gray provides guidelines and thoughts on how to address the struggles of adults who grew up with neglect.  In this section of the book, I found myself wishing for more “meat.”  The thoughts and ideas are brief “reader’s digest” overviews of ways to help healing such as journaling, yoga, EMDR and other forms of therapy. 

Though I found myself wishing for a bit more from this book in regard to tools for healing, it is perfectly suited for a person who is new to the idea of neglect as something they experienced in their childhood.  It feels like a primer for someone just starting their journey into recovery from neglect.  The book also provides an excellent array of resources for further investigation.  This is a book I would recommend for a client who wants a quick and easy read to serve as an introduction to the concept of neglect and the road to healing. 

Dr. Jennifer Weeks is the owner and director of Sexual Addiction Treatment Services, author and educator.

Book Review: Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

A recovery book by actor and comedian Russell Brand may not be what you might be expecting in the way of a book review from an addiction therapist, but we should all have an open mind, right?

I started keeping a peripheral eye on Mr. Brand when I began focusing my clinical work on sexual addiction.  Mr. Brand made it very public (writing about it in several books) that he attended the Keystone Extended Care Unit in Chester, Pennsylvania for his in patient sexual addiction treatment.  This is what put him on my radar. I have friends and colleagues who work there and have referred many clients to treatment at Keystone ECU.  When his new book about recovery came out, I thought, “why not?”

Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions has been a pleasant surprise from the get go.  This book is a 12-step book.  The book takes the reader through the entire 12 step process, step by step.  Russell shares his own story of recovery, the good and the bad, in a very relatable way.  He also, very openly, shares his own struggles with the steps.  He has struggled with the concept of God or higher power which is a huge road block for many people who attend or think to attend 12 step meetings.  He addresses his own self-centeredness, inability to ask for help and isolation, which is very relatable to anyone who has dealt with addiction of any kind.

In addition to the book, on his website, www.russellbrand.com, he provides a supplement to the book.  He provides the reader with his own questions and worksheets to work the steps.  I have read many 12 step books and I honestly feel as though these are some of the easiest to follow and real guides I have ever seen.  They are absent the preachy vibe that can come with some 12 step worksheets.  They are also rather blunt, which is a style I prefer.  Honestly, I have printed these out and given them to clients who I know struggle with the higher power concept of the 12 steps or have some other issues with their experiences of the people in the 12 step rooms.

Of course, this is a book by Russell Brand, so it is full of obscenity.  It is not for the reader who objects to a multitude of f-bombs in every chapter.  This is part of why I really like this book.  It is real.  It is raw.  It is what actually happens when a person goes through the 12-step program, not a sanitized version of the process that makes many people feel that recovery is unattainable.

The 12th step of AA states that “After having a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in our own affairs.”  This book is Russell’s 12th step.  It is a great 12th step and one of the most enjoyable recovery books I have read in a really long time.

 

For more information on Dr. Weeks clinical work please see our website at www.sexualaddictiontreatmentservices.com 

 

 

Sex Ed by Porn: Free Webinar Friday

iStock_000044887094_Full.jpgJoin me this Friday for a free one hour webinar hosted by The Center for Healthy Sex at 12:00 pm (PT) to talk about the effects of cybersex and sexting on children.

Click here to see the event details  http://centerforhealthysex.com/sex-therapy-resources/upcoming-events/

 

You can also check out my book on the topic:  The New Age of Sex Education:  How to Talk to your Teen about Cybersex and Pornography in the Digital Age.  

We Are Failing Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

I specialize in working with sexual addiction and problematic sexual behavior. Most of my clients are men.  Working with male addicts for over a dozen years has taught me, in person, that many more boys are sexually abused than the numbers tell us.  These boys do not tell anyone and do not seek help.  These boys turn into men who are profoundly affected by their sexual abuse experiences as children and most of the time, don’t even know it.  They do not name what happened to them as abuse, or they don’t want to.  They feel so much shame about being abused that they lock part of themselves away so tightly it can take years (like 5 to 7 years) of therapy before they even acknowledge to a trusted therapist what happened to them.  These men who were abused as boys suffer in silence.

I realize that many people (myself included) will respond to this by saying that many girls and women do not disclose their sexual abuse and that they too live lives that are deeply affected by their abuse histories.  Having spent time working in a Women’s Trauma and Addiction PHP and IOP program, I do not dispute this.  However, I see a difference.

When women finally find the courage to come forward to seek treatment for their sexual abuse, they can find resources.  There are many group, individual and support resources for women who are survivors of sexual abuse.  Finding help is not so easy for men.  I will share an example from my practice to explain.

I have a male client who came to me last year who I will call Tom.  Tom has a pornography addiction and came to treatment after the problem began to cause a great deal of disruption in his life.  He had never gone to therapy and near the beginning of our work together, he disclosed that, when he was a boy, he was sexually abused by a neighbor boy who was near his age.  He had never shared this with anyone in his life and as soon as he acknowledged the abuse, the floodgates opened.  He started to have flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms.  Tom is a take charge kind of guy and we nearly immediately started to look for resources for him to do trauma work outside of our individual sessions.

First, we looked for men’s specific groups.  There was nothing and we are directly outside of a major east coast city.  Then we looked for trauma groups.  Tom talked to a few places that had groups for trauma survivors and was told that, as a man, he would make the women in the group uncomfortable so they could not have him join the group.  He then had an intake with a county resource for group trauma work.  After his intake, they told him that his case was too complicated and he could not join the group.  After months of looking, we literally could not find a group for sexual trauma survivors that was either all men or that would allow men into the group.

Tom continues his trauma work in individual therapy but craves the connection and understanding that one gets in group work.  He wants to know he is not alone and the therapeutic community was unable to tell him that, as a man, he is not alone.

Tom is just one example of many that I could pull from my case load.  To me, he is the loudest example of how we, as a treatment community, fail male survivors of sexual assault.  I have had other clients walk out of public events for sexual abuse survivors because, as the only man in attendance, they felt unwelcome and uncomfortable.

Why do we treatment professionals who work so closely with trauma not offer more resources to men? Are we uncomfortable?  Is there a reason we focus more closely on female survivors of sexual abuse?  These are questions to which I have no answers.  I have only heartbreak.  I can only do my part to welcome male sexual abuse survivors into therapy when they come and to start group programming for them in my practice.

I challenge other treatment professionals to process this issue and see what we can do to create more resources for men and to be more welcoming.

 

For a good online resource for male survivors of sexual abuse, please see www.1in6.org

Why is a Good Couples Counselor So Hard to Find?

179085943

I am going to start this post by adamantly stating that I am not a couples counselor. It’s not my thing and I just can’t do it. I have a great respect for those therapists who train in this area and devote their careers to helping couples find their way. Since I do not do couples therapy, I must refer my clients out to other couples therapists. You might think that this is an easy task. There are many Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in this world. Then why do I hear so many horror stories from my clients? Why is my list of people to NOT refer to longer than my list of people TO refer to?

I will share with you the story of a newer client’s experience in couples counseling. First, I should share that I work with sex addicts and sexually addicted sex offenders. It is a rather specialized population and perhaps, a controversial one. Many of my clients are caught by the authorities for viewing child pornography. For many of them, this behavior is an escalation of their addiction to pornography.

This man and his wife, not long after her “disclosure by police”, went to see a couples therapist. This was not someone our program recommended but a therapist that they found via their insurance. The therapist had no stated knowledge or expertise in working with pornography addiction nor with offenders. This was glaringly obvious. My client reported that he was very open with this therapist. He told the counselor all about his addiction and how it led to his use of illegal images and arrest. (Let me tell you this is a big deal to share at a first session with anyone!).

When a client comes to you for this type of work, their level of shame gives them an amazing radar for judgment. They are sharing their deepest secrets with you, the therapist. If you move an eyebrow they will know it and likely interpret it as you judging them. Well, my client immediately felt as though the couples therapist did not believe that pornography addiction was a real thing. All from a vocal expression of the therapist. My client continued the session for the sake of his partner.

This therapist asked to see the partner alone during the initial session. Granted, what I relate to you is third party information, relayed from the partner to the client to me. However, even allowing for interpretation of the event, there is some truth here. That truth is very bothersome.

What the partner heard: the couples therapist thought that her husband (my client) was lying. The couples therapist felt that my client was not sorry about anything only that he was caught. The couples therapist then advised the partner that she should leave the relationship. All this assessment was garnered after only an hour intake session.

One can only imagine what this did to the partner.

What this also does is taint the idea of couples therapy for both of them.

As counselors, therapists and psychologists, we are only supposed to treat within our area of expertise. I treat sexual addiction, sexual offenders, addiction, and trauma and addiction. If someone comes to me with an eating disorder, for example, I don’t treat them. I refer them to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. If someone comes to me with schizophrenia, I refer them to a specialist. You get the idea.

When we do not abide by this and treat people out of our area of expertise we can do damage to the client. This happens frequently when it comes to sex addiction. Sex addiction is a very controversial topic. Many people think it doesn’t exist and many people do. Personally, the label does not matter to me. For some clients, the label matters very much. If a client feels they have a sexual addiction and identifies with the label in a healthy way and a therapist tells them that it doesn’t exist or treats them in a manner biased by their own beliefs, they can do harm to the client.

If there is a stigma about sex addiction, then the stigma against sex offenders is there tenfold. Even less therapists are trained in treating sex offenders than sex addicts. There are studies that show therapists won’t treat pedophiles. In a profession where we are supposed to be open and nonjudgmental, many of us are just that, judgmental.

I do not write this to bash well-meaning couples therapists. I reiterate that I have the utmost respect for your work! My plea to couples therapists is this: If you do not believe in sex addiction, do not treat a couple where one partner feels they are a sex addict. If you do not believe in sex addiction or pornography addiction, please don’t shame the person with the addiction. If you do not want to treat sex offenders, then simply say that. Please don’t go behind one partner’s back and tell them that their husband or wife is lying and they should leave.

My advice for those seeking couples counseling (or any counseling for that matter) is to investigate your potential therapist. I understand that therapy out of network can be costly. The list of therapists you get from your insurance company means nothing other than they are in network with your insurance. It is your job to do some groundwork on us. Check out the therapist’s website. Consider what their specialties are. Call and ask if they specialize in working with couples (or individuals) who are going through what you are going through. If they don’t, then find another therapist.

Ultimately, we work for the client. Therefore I end every one of my intake sessions with a new client with one question. “Do you think that you can work with me?” I want to know if they feel comfortable with me. If not, even if I have the right training for the client, I am not the right therapist.

For more information on Dr. Weeks and her practice, visit our website:  www.sexualaddictiontreatmentservices.com 

What’s My Stuff? How to talk to your child about sex when you are the partner of a sex addict

Worried young Caucasian man with hand on head

In my book, The New Age of Sex Education: How to Talk to your Teen about Cybersex and Pornography in the Digital Age, I write about the baggage that can interfere with a parent talking to their child about sex, pornography, masturbation or any other sexual topic. This topic recently came up in one of my therapy sessions. I have a long-time client whose husband is in recovery from problematic sexual behavior and she has worked a strong program of recovery and self-discovery herself. She and her husband have several wonderful children, the eldest of which is entering pre-pubescence and the age of sexual curiosity. My client is a great mother and knows she needs to talk to her son (after recently accidentally finding him touching himself). She is also introspective and self-aware so she knows she is having a hard time even thinking about the conversations.

Why is my client struggling to talk to her child? Is it more than the normal incoming awkward conversation? My client thinks so. Being the partner of someone with out-of-control sexual behavior (they identify as sex addiction) means that, for her, sex and sexuality no longer have the same meaning that they once did. Being in a relationship with someone who engaged in secretive and betraying sexual behavior has skewed how she thinks of most things sexual. She no longer thinks that pornography is an “ok” thing. She struggles with what the obsessive objectification of women by her partner has done to her self-esteem. She wondered if she even knew what was normal sexuality for an adolescent. Could she bring herself to say that masturbation was a healthy behavior? Could she talk to her son about sex without inducing shame? Does she trust her partner to talk to her son about sex given his past issues?

What did we come up with? First, I offered my client resources. Both my book and the 30 Days of Sex Talks books by Empower Kids. These are great resources for parents. Second, we practiced talking about sex and what is healthy. It is normal for kids to find touching themselves pleasurable. She felt she would be able to talk to her son about this behavior and add a discussion of boundaries to it. Masturbation is something that should be done in private. He needed to agree to shut his door, lock his door and not touch himself around others. She also would agree to no longer just open his door but respect his privacy and knock before she entered. She also decided that she wanted to talk to her son about reasons for masturbation. She wanted to let him know that using masturbation to quell a sexual urge was a normal thing. She wanted him to know that doing so to self soothe bad emotions could be problematic. In this, she also will talk to him about other, non-sexual ways to self soothe.

Her next struggle was to talk about pornography. Her son is 12 and the average age of first exposure to online pornography is around 10 or 11. It is likely that, even though all her devices are locked down, he has either seen or heard about it. My client struggled to separate her own feelings about pornography from the discussion. We settled on just talking about facts. Pornography is something that is around and a lot of people look at. Has he seen it? What reaction has he had? We also talked about discussing with him what pornography portrays. Today’s mainstream pornography does not do much to show safe sex, mutuality, or anything relational. She decided to talk to him about how it does not portray what often goes on between partners. Most people do not look like porn stars nor do most people act like porn stars when being sexual.

As we have not yet had our next appointment, I cannot share the results of these conversations. I share them with you to show one of the many ways a parent’s sexual “baggage” can interfere with the education of their child(ren). I am grateful that this mom was willing to spend an hour working through the hard stuff, namely her own issues with sex, to find a way to provide an educational and non-shaming way to talk to her son.

Starting to Watch Pornography Increases Your Likelihood of Getting a Divorce

Computer Key - Porn

A recent study presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association reported on the effect starting to watch pornography has on a marriage.

This study surveyed thousands of American adults at three time points over four years. They asked about pornography use at each stage of the survey. The researchers particularly wanted to focus on changing pornography use and marital status.

The study found that those individuals who started to watch pornography during the survey time period (who were not watching pornography the first time they were surveyed) had a higher likelihood of being divorced at a subsequent interview point. Younger Americans were more affected by the start of pornography use than older Americans. The authors suggested that this may be the result of two things. First, the fact that younger Americans view more pornography than older Americans and second, the fact that younger married Americans tend to have relationships that are not as stable, both emotionally and financially, as older Americans.

One study finding that goes against previous research involves religiosity. This study found that the more a couple attended church (as a measure of religious involvement) the less of an effect pornography viewing had. The authors speculate that with couples who are highly religious, the pressure to stay married outweighs the effect of pornography use on the level of satisfaction in the marriage.

The authors also looked at the effect of initial marital happiness and pornography use on the divorce rate. They found that couples who initially reported being very happy in their marriage were more seriously affected by one partner starting to watch pornography and their divorce rates were higher. In contrast, for couples who reported low marital satisfaction from the start, there was no effect of one partner starting to watch pornography on the divorce rate. The authors postulated that these happy marriages were more affected by the pornography use because the disclosure of pornography use can rock a previously happy marriage to the point of divorce.

It should be noted that the study is not definitively saying that pornography use causes divorce. When looking at research studies, one needs to look at all factors. Yes, this study is saying that when one partner in a marriage starts to look at pornography, the likelihood of divorce increases (from 6% to 11%). They are not saying that it is inevitable. The study also did not look at any number of other factors which could have influenced the divorce or, more importantly, the factors that influenced the partner to start watching pornography in the first place.

This study was presented at the ASA meeting this week. It is entitled “Til Porn Do Us Part? Longitudinal Effects of Pornography Use on Divorce.” Samuel Perry from the University of Oklahoma is the lead author.

For more information on Dr. Weeks, please go to our website at www.sexualaddictiontreatmentservices.com  Also, find Dr. Weeks’ new book The New Age of Sex Education:  How to talk to your teen about cybersex and pornography in the digital age on amazon or bookbaby.

Child Pornography Prevention

gavel and handcuffs on laptop

On Tuesday another one of my clients was sentenced in Federal Court on Possession of Child Pornography charges. That evening, the group talked about how to prevent people from possessing child pornography.

A Federal judge is mandated to look at four factors (according to US Code 3553) when imposing a sentence upon a defendant. Any sentence must reflect the seriousness of the crime; provide deterrence to criminal conduct; protect the public from further crime and provide rehabilitation.

The way I have heard judges, both federal and county, explain their thoughts on deterrence is that they need to impose a sentence that will send a message to other people in the community who are either engaging in the behavior or thinking about it. Their thinking is that if someone sees the sentence imposed upon another for a crime, they will either stop or won’t start engaging in an illegal behavior.

I and my clients both struggle with the concept of deterrence in these cases. My clients will tell you that they knew what they were doing was wrong and they wanted to stop. They also will tell you that they could not stop. Reading news stories in their local paper about individuals being arrested for possession of child pornography did not deter their behavior. They were aware of the illegality of their behavior but were caught up in the throes of addiction, they could not stop their behavior.

I also see this in my clients who are new to treatment after the police initiate an investigation into their illegal pornography use. In the near term time frame, clients can’t even imagine looking at pornography again. I call this “sobriety by police”. One would think that the appearance of the FBI in your home at 5 a.m. would be a great deterrent to addictive behavior. However, it is not a long term deterrent. When we are dealing with addiction, punitive deterrents do not last as long as the client would like or as long society would think.

If the use of legal deterrents is not very effective in stopping people from viewing child pornography, the question remains, what will work? I believe the lack of actual prevention work is problematic. There are prevention programs for teens regarding drugs, alcohol and even gambling. There are no real prevention programs for pornography for teens. There are some well meaning groups who are spear heading this movement and this week the cover story in Time Magazine is about pornography and young people. Still, no one is talking about child pornography. Even in talking about problematic pornography use child pornography is rarely addressed, yet there are a lot of people, both adults and teenagers, who are watching it online.

Many of the younger men who come to my practice started looking at pornography online when they were approximately 12 years old. This statistic is not uncommon. We know that the average age of first exposure to online pornography is around 11 years old. What is also very common for my younger clients is that they started watching child pornography at the age of 12 as well. Though it is biologically appropriate for a teenager to have sexual attraction to a teenager, to watch pornography involving 12 year olds is illegal. Also, the content of those videos is frequently the result of child sexual assault. Therefore, it is not truly the same as a 12 year old looking at another 12 year old in school and having sexual thoughts about them.

The news is bombarded with articles about teen sexting and some of those teens being charged with either production or possession of child pornography. This youth produced imagery is not normally what we see in child pornography possession cases. Exposure to stories about teen sexting helps spread awareness but not enough.

How do we prevent the possession of child pornography? By spreading educated awareness, meaning thoughtful, helpful awareness that is free of judgment and shame.

First, talk to your children about online pornography. When you are talking to your children about online pornography you MUST also talk to them about child pornography. An illegal image is only a Google search away. Talk to your children about what to do if they come across this imagery. Talk about the images your child might have seen.

Second, we need to acknowledge that pornography addiction in adolescents and adults is a real problem. The academic crowd might argue as to whether or not pornography addiction exists. Let them argue. What those of us in the trenches know is that pornography addiction is real. There is treatment available from specialists who are trained to specifically deal with this issue. If you know someone who is struggling with pornography addiction, talk to them. Let them know that they can get treatment. Treatment is always confidential so no one has to know if they don’t want them to know.

Third, know that incidental contact with child pornography is not that uncommon. Most people think that gaining access to child pornography is difficult. It is not. Anyone who is using a filesharing program to download pornography has likely seen child pornography. Anyone who has been looking at pornography online for a long time has likely seen child pornography. This does not mean that they are looking for it but they have likely come across it. Even if you are not seeking it out but have inadvertently opened a thumbnail file that is a pornographic image or video of a child, you can be arrested for it. Anyone who wishes to avoid incidental contact with child pornography should stay away from file sharing programs. You can download thousands of images quickly but likely some of that is illegal. Stop using filesharing programs.

A final thing to know is that even if you are addicted to viewing pornography that includes child pornography, you can get help. Each state has different rules, but in most states, any therapist you go to is NOT legally required to report the use of child pornography. Recent law changes (2015) in Pennsylvania and California have made child pornography viewing part of a therapists mandate to report. If you live in a state where there is a mandate to report, you can still get help for pornography addiction, you just won’t be able to say you are also looking at illegal pornography. This is obviously not ideal for the context of therapy, but is still better than nothing.

People possess child pornography for a multitude of reasons. Some started to look at it 15 years ago when they were a young teen and never stopped. Perhaps their pornography addiction progressed to the level that they needed more taboo material to get a “hit”. Some are reenacting a childhood trauma by watching images of child sexual assault. Some people intentionally look for the content because they are attracted to minors. Some people encounter child pornography by accident. No matter what route a person takes to get there, any possession of child pornography is illegal and the person can be prosecuted and placed on a sex offender registry.

The more we talk about the problem of child pornography in a rational manner that is not based in fear, the more we can enact prevention efforts. Talking to a 12 year old about the risks of looking at illegal pornography may be uncomfortable for a parent, but please trust that the conversation about pornography will be much less uncomfortable than sitting in a court room waiting for a judge to sentence your child for an internet sex crime.

Jennifer Weeks Ph.D. LPC CAADC CSAT-S is the founder and owner of Sexual Addiction Treatment Services (SATS). SATS is an out-patient treatment program located in Pennsylvania that specializes in the treatment of sexual addiction and in treating sexually addicted offenders. Dr. Weeks specializes in treating cybersex offenders. She has been an invited presenter on the topic, taught continuing education for attorneys and serves as an expert witness on the topic.

Is My Husband Gay, Straight or Bi? Book Review

IS-MY-HUSBAND-GAY,-STRAIGHT,-OR-BI-A-GUIDE-FOR-WOMEN-CONCERNED-ABOUT-THEIR-MEN_book_323x487

Where has this book been all my clinical life? Is My Husband Gay, Straight or Bi?: A Guide for women concerned about their men is a book written by Joe Kort with Alexander Morgan published in 2014. To say that this is a much needed book in the sex addiction field is an understatement. One of the hardest things to do is to try to explain to a client that just because her husband is acting out sexually with other men, he is not necessarily gay.

There are several clients I have worked with that stand out in my mind. I recall working with one man who identified as a sex addict. He came into treatment because his wife found out that he was acting out sexually outside of the marriage and he was acting out with other men. Her immediate assumption was that her husband was gay. There was little that I could say to convince her in an early joint session that her husband might be acting out with men for other reasons and that further therapy for him would be needed in order to truly find out what was going on. Unfortunately, all she had was the word of her husband’s therapist and it was a fact that, in her trauma and betrayal, she could not wrap her head around. This is one of many cases where this book might have been extremely helpful.

In this book, through case studies, Joe explains the various reasons that a man might act out sexually with another man. A man might act out sexually with another man, even though he is not aroused by men, as a trauma repetition. In fact, childhood abuse is the number one reason why a straight man will act out sexually with another man. Some men are sexual with men because they are, in fact, gay or bi-sexual and have been socialized to deny this or have denied this fact to themselves. Additionally, men may engage sexually with other men due to being attracted to various sexual kinks. In these situations, the sexual behavior may not be driven by attraction to men versus women, but to the kink itself.

In addition to discussing the various reasons why married men may have sex with other men, Joe describes many ways in which the situation may resolve itself. The key here is that if a husband is gay or bi-sexual, it does not always lead to divorce. Socially, marriage is seen as something between two heterosexual people, though thoughts and views are expanding and our culture is happily becoming much more open to same sex marriage. Joe brings to this book the reality that there may be options for mixed orientation couples to remain together and do so happily. He acknowledges that this is not easy, but it does work for some couples.

For me, this book is a must read for any woman who has found out that her husband or male partner is being sexual with another man. It provides some context for why and some helpful advice on how to handle the process. The one concern for readers I have is this: Joe comes from a sex therapy as well as a sex addiction background. He is a very sex positive therapist. This is a wonderful thing in my mind. However, his thoughts on potentially integrating kink or pornography into a marriage as part of the long term recovery process may be something that is contrary to how many partners reading the book may feel.

Is my husband gay, straight or bi? Is a must read for anyone in clinical practice who deals with sexual issues as well as any woman who finds out that her husband/partner is having sex with men.

For more information on our services for the treatment of out of controls sexual behavior, please see our website at www.sexualaddictiontreatmentservices.com

2015 Porn Report: Who is Watching What Where

Computer Key - Porn

Every year the website Pornhub puts out a report about pornography use in the previous year. If you are not familiar with Pornhub, as you might infer, it is a very popular pornography site on the internet. One of the advantages of being one of the most popularly viewed pornography sites is that they can gather a lot of data from their site about pornography use patterns from around the world. Though some of my colleagues find it odd, I get really excited when reports like this come out. When academics research these topics, they are usually studying college age young people. Other surveys take a random sample of people who choose to respond. Reports like Pornhub’s 2015 Year in Review, can give us an accurate picture of what is going on because the data is coming from the actual use of the pornography site.

How much pornography are people watching? When we talk about this data, please remember that this is from Pornhub ALONE. There are many, many other pornography sites out there that people are using, so this is not a total number, simply the time spent on this site. In 2015, viewers watched 4,392,486,580 hours of pornography. That’s right, nearly 4.4 billion hours of pornography was viewed on this site alone. These viewers watched 87,849,731,608 pornography videos. Basically, that is 12 videos viewed per person on earth. Pornhub had 21.2 billion visits to it’s site, or 6.7 thousand people per second. That is a lot of pornography watching.

So who watches the most porn? Well, we Americans do. 41% of the traffic to Pornhub comes from the United States. Rounding out the top ten, in descending order are: #2 United Kingdom, India , Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico.

How much time are people spending watching pornography? The average amount of time spent on the site, viewing pornography was 9 minutes and 20 seconds. The psychologist the site used to interpret this data suggested that it is not being used, on average, in an addictive manner. The psychologist suggests that people are on the site long enough to find out what they are aroused by and then to masturbate to these images. Remember that this is the average time spent so there are going to be people who spend much more time on the site and those who will spend less time on the site.

When we look at the United States specifically (where I write from), the states that spent the most time per visit on the site were Hawaii, Mississippi and South Carolina. The average time spent for these states was just over 10 minutes. The states that spent the least amount of time looking at pornography on Pornhub were Rhode Island, Utah, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

As a clinician whose practice solely focuses on sex addiction and cybersex offenders, I am always very interested in what search terms pornography users are favoring. Frequently, what tops the list is the search word, “teen.” You can see why this is potentially bothersome. When you look at Pornhub’s worldwide use, the most popular search term is “lesbian” with “teen” coming in at second. This is actually good news as “teen” was last year’s most popular search term. In the United States specifically, the top searchers were #1 step mom, #2 cartoon, #3 lesbian and #4 teen. Again, the search word “teen” is down one spot in the ranking. The report also notes that search terms for “step mom” and “step sister” are more prominent in English speaking countries.

A moment of acknowledgment, for the following countries, the search word “teen” does not even make the top 10 list: France, Australia, and Sweden.

The Pornhub review shows us that more woman are watching pornography than last year. Twenty four percent of visitors to the site are women. The countries with the highest proportion of women users are: Jamaica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Bahamas, Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, New Zealand and South Africa.

Most people who are looking at pornography are doing so on their phone, with over half using their phone to access Pornhub. Tablets are used the least. People are also using their game consoles to gain access to the site. Pornhub was accessed by Xbox, Playstation, PS Vita, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS in 2105.

The report also looks at how holidays and sporting events affect Pornhub traffic. I think this is a fun way to round out our summary of how the world was using pornography last year. When the Superbowl is on, American pornography use drops by 25%. During the NBA and NHL finals, only score single digit drops in pornography use. In traditionally soccer loving countries, a good game, like the COPA American final last year, can drop pornography use by about 50%.

The world is looking at a lot of pornography. Happily, the numbers suggest that the majority of the world is not looking at pornography addictively. I also see a tiny victory in the fact that, in some countries, the search for teen pornography has lost a little bit of ground.

If you think you may have a problem with pornography, please go to our site, Sexual Addiction Treatment Services, for resources for help.