Life in Blue is a 90,000-word nonfiction book manuscript. I am currently seeking agent representation.
Some might call it an “addiction memoir.” I prefer to call it an account of my long and storied career, from 13 to 38, as a pornography user.
The year is 2006. I’m a married, a working professional, a homeowner, a published novelist. But I’m not happy. Every day, compulsively, I use internet pornography. I skip work, I’m depressed, I lie and keep secrets about my habits. But I cannot quit it, and I’m at my wits’ end. Everything is sexual to me, and only sexual arousal sates my brain, which is hooked on more than a decade of daily dopamine saturation, fueled by internet porn.
Then my wife signs up for big sister/little sister program in our home town of Minneapolis, and we began spending time with Kayla, a 6-year-old black girl from a poor neighborhood. It is through spending time with Kayla that I realize just how bad my wires are crossed. I am no role model, and I am hardly able to stay present enough to devote time to someone else’s well-being, even a very sweet and needy young girl, if it means forsaking my erotic fix. Seeing how impoverished Kayla’s life is reveals the abundance of my own—and how I’m squandering my every advantage, my every blessing, in pursuit of my addiction.
That’s when I join a Compulsive Sexual Behavior support group at the Center for Sexual Health, a clinic at the University of Minnesota—a men’s talk therapy group. For 12 months, I attend every Tuesday morning for two hours. I never miss a single week.
I get relief from my addiction, but kicking porn is no easy task. The story of unwinding this long, tangled cord is Life in Blue. With eight other men, I work feverishly at undoing a mis-education in sexuality, in gender roles, in intimacy, in happiness, in the meaning of love.