Steve’s Story

A classic trait of addiction is that the addict will require more and more of the substance or activity in order to maintain the same level of emotional relief…The experience of Steve illustrates this classic pattern:

When I left home and went into the Navy, what was a normal pattern of masturbation with soft-core pornography became escalated into a pattern of sex shops and bookstores where I could see hardcore pornography. I began to also to use prostitutes…I would much rather have spent fifty or so bucks on sex than getting myself decent clothes…

Steve married in his late twenties. He hoped marriage would be a solution to his problem. Within months, however, it became worse in terms of both pornography and prostitution.

P. Carnes, Don’t call it love, Bantam Books, 1992


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