Porn Nation: Conquering America's #1 Addiction [NOOK Book]

Overview


Pornograpy and sex-related sites make up nearly 60 percent of daily web traffic. For some of us, it's going on in our very own basements or in the den after the family goes to bed. Over twenty million Americans spend a good deal of their waking hours looking at pornography. And they won't stop, because they can't stop. At least not on their own. They are addicted.

Porn Nation captivates readers with the true story of Michael Leahy, a sex ...
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Porn Nation: Conquering America's #1 Addiction

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Overview


Pornograpy and sex-related sites make up nearly 60 percent of daily web traffic. For some of us, it's going on in our very own basements or in the den after the family goes to bed. Over twenty million Americans spend a good deal of their waking hours looking at pornography. And they won't stop, because they can't stop. At least not on their own. They are addicted.

Porn Nation captivates readers with the true story of Michael Leahy, a sex addict who only came to terms with his problem after losing his marriage and children. But it's also the story of the rest of us. It's the story of America- our porn nation. How is it affecting us? How is it changing the way we see ourselves and others? And what can be done about it?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802479808
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 509,504
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


MICHAEL LEAHY has captured the nation's attention by speaking out on the topic no one wants to talk about. He is founder and Executive Director of BraveHearts, a non-profit organization whose goal is to build a global healing community of "brave hearts", and is author of Porn Nation, Porn @ Work, and Porn University. He has appeared on national television programs, in major media publications, and nationally syndicated radio programs. He and his wife, Christine, currently reside in the Washington, D.C. area.
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Read an Excerpt

PORN NATION CONQUERING AMERICA'S #1 ADDICTION
By MICHAEL LEAHY
Northfield Publishing Copyright © 2008 Michael Leahy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-8125-2



Chapter One LEAVING PARADISE

* * *

Blue skies. Incredibly close, nearly touchable, warm blue skies. That's the first and last thing I think of when I think about growing up in southern California in the late '60s, when you could still see the sky in L.A. Living on the peninsula in a home perched high above the city, with panoramic views of an even bluer Pacific Ocean, was like living in a dream. It still romanticizes me to this day whenever I travel to L.A. Even when the valley is thick with smog, somehow when I look up toward the sky, my eyes only see blue.

Life was incredibly good back then-or at least as I recall. I was ten years old, the youngest of five, living in picture-perfect Palos Verdes, a new suburban enclave that was being carved out of the rolling hillside along the coastline just south of L.A. Sunsets were like elaborate production numbers filled with a rainbow of colors. Visits to the rugged sea cliffs were like Indiana Jones adventures, the rocks brimming with sea life. If you were bold enough to risk getting soaked by the white water of the crashing waves, there were always little surprises waiting to be discovered in the tide pools nearby.

Then there were the regular visits to the beach-soaking up the sun, body surfing, building sand castles. I even loved my school, where I was athletic and pretty popular and it felt like everyone was my friend. That was my life as a kid. "Leave It to Beaver" in Technicolor. I had it made! Life was good.

At home, everything was smooth sailing too. As the baby of the family, I was always well taken care of, looked after, coddled. I felt secure and safe. Our life back then was middle class with a forward lean into upper middle, thanks to my mom and dad's unapologetic affinity for a new concept called the credit card. We lived in a new home with a pool and a view of the Pacific Ocean. The real people of privilege lived a couple of miles away, on large ranches with acreage and in gated communities with romantic names like Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. But Sunmist Drive was enough for me. That and those amazing sunsets-exclamation points appropriately placed at the end of yet another perfect day in Paradise.

But that all changed one day. After gathering all six of us in the living room for an important announcement, I watched while my father, an overpowering figure in our home, strutted over to the stereo console to put a record on. The volume was turned up to the point that hearing him scratch the needle across the vinyl would make your heart stop. Next thing I knew, I felt like I was standing in the middle of a huge football stadium during half time with a hundred-piece marching band blaring out their school's fight song. My dad stood there with an expectant grin on his face, like the game show host for "Name That Tune," eagerly waiting for the next contestant to pounce on their buzzer and blurt out the right answer.

Then it struck me. This wasn't some lame home version of a faddish game show. This was our family tradition. "Name that college town and you've just learned where we're moving to next. Surprise!" I'd grown up hearing about this, like a family urban legend. I remember hearing my brothers and sisters talking about it. One day after school they came home to hear "The Eyes of Texas Are upon Thee" blasting through the windows of our suburban Chicago home, courtesy of the Texas Longhorn marching band. The next thing they knew, we were moving to Dallas. I was only one year old at the time, but they said it was all pretty exciting stuff. After all, Texas was bound to be much warmer than Chicago. Five years later, it was a stirring rendition of the USC Trojan marching band playing "Fight On" that broke the silence of our tree-lined Dallas neighborhood. Before we knew what hit us, we were headed for L.A. Again, another standard of living and climate upgrade. I was six at the time, still too young to remember. But I'm sure we were all smiles once again.

Most major college fight songs were recognizable to us by now. That just went with being in a family of jocks where everything we did seemed to revolve around sports, especially football. But this latest rendition seemed to stump everyone. That meant we probably weren't going to recognize the city we were moving to, either. Maybe that's why everyone seemed a bit on edge. That and the fact that living in southern California wasn't just a dream to me, but it was Paradise to ALL of us. No one had ever considered that we might one day actually leave Paradise. After it was obvious that no one could guess the song, my dad broke the silence and spoke up in a confident voice.

"It's 'Bow Down to Washington!' We're moving to Washington!"

I think that was the cue for us to look and act excited. But this one I remember. I was ten, and I don't recall much excitement or happiness filling the room when the announcement came. It was more like a bad dream. It showed on our faces too. We were brokenhearted. No one wanted to move. No one wanted to leave Paradise. I could see my mom's eyes tearing up in the background. It felt like somebody had just died.

I remember breaking the silence at one point to ask my dad a burning question I had.

"Dad, where's Washington?"

I was pretty sure it was a long ways away on the opposite coast, somewhere near New York City.

"Washington's just up north of here a ways, son."

That was my dad, the eternal optimist and consummate salesman. He made it sound like it was just a few miles up the Pacific Coast Highway. You know, like we could just pop up there for the day and make it back to the beaches before sundown. That didn't seem so bad. But then the confusion started to set in.

"We're moving to Spokane, Washington."

What? What's a Spokane? It didn't sound right, and after he pulled out a map to show us where it was, it didn't even look like it was spelled right. I had enough of a challenge having to spell and pronounce my last name for everyone who asked: L-E-A-H-Y, like Lay-He. Don't tell me I'm gonna have to do the same thing every time someone asks me where I live-not Spo-KANE, but Spo-CAN. And I could see it definitely wasn't going to b e a day trip getting there and back. A sinking feeling came over me. I didn't want to move to Spokane. I didn't want to leave Paradise. For the first time in my life, I remember feeling sad. Not just sad for a moment, but really sad-and confused.

Over the coming days and weeks, I was filled with a thousand anxious thoughts. What about my friends? Does this mean I'll never see them again? And what about my school? And the beach? And my sea adventures exploring the tide pools at Abalone Cove? The map showed that Spokane was a long way from the ocean.

My dad continued to give us his best sales pitch for a deal that was already done. With his eternal "can-do" attitude and fun-loving Irish personality, he was a master of the positive spin. Part dad, part motivational speaker. He grew up in Chicago, the youngest of seven boys in an Irish Catholic family full of outstanding athletes. He attended Western Michigan University where he was captain of the football team and eventually met and married my mom. A loud, warmhearted, blue-eyed Irish character, he still had a football lineman's physique left over from his years as a college athlete and Golden Glove boxer.

Dad was a gentle giant of sorts with an inherent goodness and a charisma about him that always put him at the center of attention in just about any setting. Like many of his generation, he started smoking and drinking while in the service. My mom would later confide in me that she thought drinking gave my dad the courage and self-confidence his tough-guy image otherwise lacked. It also gave him overconfidence and arrogance when he overindulged, which was a lot of the time as I recall. As a kid, I both feared and respected him. He was larger than life to me. He could kick my butt across the room when he felt like he needed to. And many times, he did just that.

I still had a lot of questions about this move. We all did. But that didn't matter. Before I knew it, the moving van was loaded up and we were on our way to Spokane. My mom started crying when she saw the Spokane Airport for the first time as we circled to land. A Quonset hut planted next to a long runway on the outskirts of town, this was a far cry from the newly opened Los Angeles International Airport we had just left behind. Pretty soon, my sisters were crying too. I was excited about flying, but really had no clue what I was in for. As soon as the freezing winter chill smacked my face, I started longing for my home, my friends, and those amazing sunsets. Having so many good memories made me sad. In fact, now that I think of it, leaving L.A. was the only bad memory I ever had of that place.

When we left southern California, it was Thanksgiving weekend and the weather at the beach was sunny and seventy-something degrees. When the moving trucks finally pulled up to our new home in Spokane, it was thirty-two below zero and there was two and a half feet of snow on the ground. I was quickly learning that Spokane was everything L.A. wasn't. But I was still yet to face the biggest changes of all. That would come only days later when I started going to my new school.

My parents enrolled me in a private school. It was the middle of the school year, and I was in the fifth grade. On my first day of school, I got lost walking home and nearly froze to death wandering the ice-packed streets of my neighborhood in subzero temperatures for hours looking for a house I hardly recognized. Not exactly a great way to start.

Things inside the classroom weren't much better. No one was impressed with my dark tan and beach blond hair, and I'm sure it didn't take them long to get tired of hearing me talk about how good life was back in sunny southern California. Spokane was surrounded by farms and forests, so my past was irrelevant to most of them. The school I went to seemed like it was filled with thugs and criminals, or so I thought. And the nuns and priests who ran the place acted more like wardens and prison guards than like the spiritually enlightened. I got pretty good at anticipating when a book or a chalkboard eraser would go flying through the air. Our teachers gave new meaning to the term "duck and cover."

It was here where I came face to face with my first "bully." Actually, there were several of them, and I seemed to attract them like a magnet. Being the new kid in school, my popularity was at an all-time low. I was threatened with being beat up and chased every day for months. In the process, I was also given a variety of unflattering nicknames that I still cannot bear to hear.

Then there was this guy who made a big deal of stepping on and smashing my bag lunch every day during recess in front of all my classmates. That went on for what felt like an eternity. Everyone laughed and thought it was hilarious. I was too embarrassed to tell my mom or dad or anyone else about it until one day a teacher walked in on the act. Nothing ever really happened to the bully, but it did put an end to the daily lunch "art" sessions. Of course, that would only give rise to other creative forms of harassment. I felt very alone and very different from everyone else while this was going on, and I didn't really understand what I had done to deserve it. I felt bad about myself a lot of the time, which was a new feeling for me.

At home, things weren't faring much better. Everyone's unhappiness with the move cast a negative pall in our home for some time. There were lots of tears and lots of complaining. I'm sure the move put a lot of pressure on my parents, especially on my dad since this whole thing seemed to be his idea. But in our family, it was always important to look good, to put on a happy face, even in the midst of sorrow or unhappiness. I did notice that my dad was drinking a lot more-or maybe he was drinking the same amount as before but now I was old enough to finally see it. Either way, it started really bothering me. Drinking never did appear to do my dad any good. For a brief period of time, it seemed to put him in the zone as the "life of the party." But eventually, the charm would wear off, and in its place was left a stupid, sloppy drunk. And when he was sober, he would often act the classic dry drunk-irritable, selfish, quick tempered. I wondered if I was the only one who could see this, the only one who cared. But at that time in my life, most of my brothers and sisters didn't seem to be around as much as I was to witness it firsthand. They were all older and spent most of their time away from the house with their friends or involved in other activities. And even when they were there, nobody ever dared talk about dad's "problem"

But over time, dad's problem increasingly became my problem. I learned that firsthand whenever I got in trouble, and those times seemed to come with more frequency the older I got. The worst times for me were the evenings, when I was up past my bedtime playing in my room. He'd notice my bedroom light was on, come charging into my room in a rage, get right in my face, and start yelling at me. The more booze I could smell on his breath, the worse I knew it would be. If I said the wrong thing or smarted off at him in response-or even said nothing at all-he'd start kicking me around the room like a foot ball. Dad was built low to the ground, a former pulling guard in football with tree trunks for legs, so some of those kicks would literally pick me up off the ground.

My dad never hit me with his fists, but the kicking and the rage I would see in his eyes and hear in his voice were enough to crush my spirit every time. It was degrading, and it made me feel worthless and guilty, like I must be a bad person or flawed in some way to have deserved this. At the end of our episodes, he would typically add the caveat that "I'm sorry, but I only do this because I love you." I wanted to fight back, but I didn't know how. I was too young and too scared to fight back physically, so the thought never crossed my mind. In the end, I just wanted him to go away and leave me alone. But I loved him-he was my dad, my hero, the guy who protected me and kept me safe from whatever was out there in life that could hurt me.

I was thoroughly confused, so I learned to stuff the feelings I wasn't allowed to show that raged inside of me. I learned to keep silent, to bury the frustration and the confused feelings that I had. But now that things at home were getting as messed up as things at school, I started looking for a way out of my pain, a great escape. I wanted to feel safe and to be accepted once again-the way it was when we were living in Paradise. I longed to find some friends that I could hang out with, friends who would accept me the way I was. And I yearned to feel the joy and the happiness that I once had-anything to replace the pain that I was feeling by just being me.

Chapter Two The GREAT ESCAPE

* * *

The late '60s and early '70s were an awkward time to hit puberty, as if puberty itself weren't awkward enough. The sexual revolution was finally beginning to reach Spokane, and I was in the sixth grade, still facing my battles at home and at school.

I got involved in sports at school, so the bullying started to subside a bit. But I was far from being "one of the guys," an unfamiliar role for me compared to my life in L.A.

One day, on our school playground at recess, a group of bullies, the worst of the lot who had made sport of me for so long, were huddled together and were signaling for me to come join them. This typically was NOT a good sign, so I slowly and carefully moved toward them with fear and trepidation.

"Whaddaya want?"

"Come 'ere, we got somethin' we wanna show ya."

"What is it?"

"Just come 'ere! We promise we won't hurt 'cha."

I'd heard that promise before, but they seemed preoccupied with something they were all looking at. I moved up to the circle.

"What do you wanna show me?"

"Here, take a look at this! Whaddaya think?"

"It's a card. Queen of Hearts. So what?"

"No, stupid, turn it over?"

On the back of the playing card was a picture of a woman. It showed her from the waist up. Naked.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from PORN NATION by MICHAEL LEAHY Copyright © 2008 by Michael Leahy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents


CONTENTS

Preface-What's Really Going On Here?........................................9
Introduction-Facing the Truth......................................................15

PART 1-THE TRUTH ABOUT ME
1. Leaving Paradise...............................................................27
2. The Great Escape.............................................................37
3. Meet Ken & Barbie..........................................................47
4. Going Under.....................................................................57
5. In Her Own Words...........................................................69
6. Hitting Bottom...................................................................79
7. Getting Well......................................................................89

PART 2-THE TRUTH ABOUT US
8. A Perfect Storm...............................................................103
9. Generation Sex and the New Pornographers.....................113
10. I Am Not Charlotte Simmons............................................121
11. Introducing Sex Syndrome................................................131
12. Am I a Sex Addict?..........................................................141

PART 3-THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NEW YOU
13. Defining Moments: Do You Want to Get Well?.................155
14. Heal Your Body by Changing Your Mind.........................163
15. Heal Your Soul by Changing Your Heart..........................173
16. Sex God Ron Jeremy.......................................................183
Conclusion-Reconciled and Restored........................................191

Notes.......................................................................................197
Appendixes..............................................................................200
Acknowledgments....................................................................211
About the Author.....................................................................212

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    This book is a must read for everyone.

    This book is a must read for everyone. Our culture is becoming more sex-saturated, movies, TV shows, advertisements, billboards, it is everywhere you turn. How far are we willing to allow Hollywood and the media to go before we say STOP!!! This book is so well written!! Excellent and colorful is the way Michael tells of his story and the path he took to get help. Buy this book!

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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    Posted April 12, 2011

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    Posted August 10, 2011

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