National Edition

Popular movies explore sex addiction

Published: Thursday, Oct. 24 2013 4:00 a.m. MDT

“I've got guys who run big companies but are sneaking off into their office to watch pornography,” Perra said. “Going down into the basement with a laptop in their $10 million building that they own.”

Characters in movies who suffer from sex addiction find themselves in dream relationships with perfect women and suddenly rid themselves of the pornography in their lives.

“That is completely false,” Mockett said. “No one can cure someone of their pornography addiction but themselves. Putting the responsibility on the women as the fix for their problems is one of the biggest myths out there.”

Pipanne agreed that finding a perfect relationship would not solve any addict’s problems.

“That's sort of a theme in our culture, that true love conquers all, and unfortunately, with addiction, it's not as simple as that,” Pipanne said. He knows. Pipanne was 5 years old when a teenage neighbor introduced him to pornography, and, later, molested him. It resulted in years of struggling with intimacy and addiction.

Ultimately, Pipanne and the other experts said, the films are dealing with sensitive issues that have complicated causes, effects and long roads to recovery.

"Shame thrives in secrecy," said Salzman, "and there's a tremendous amount of shame about sexual addiction and sexually compulsive behaviors. It’s even more so than for other addictions. If someone's an alcoholic or a drug addict, it's not something that people usually brag about. When it comes to sex addiction, there's a tremendous amount of shame around that. So when a movie like this comes out, it kind of brings sexual addiction into the mainstream and into our conversation."

Email: ataylor@deseretnews.com

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