Showing posts from January, 2012


It's reassuring to know from neuroscience investigations that men and women's brains react differently to various stimuli. So much for cultural constructs, let's hear it for evolutionary psychology. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus is not just an empty cliche after all. Gender equality is a nice idea in theory but not very real in practice, especially in the developing world where men still have the real power and fight real wars while women have babies and work in the fields. Let's keep working towards recognising and reconciling difference.


Trains come and go in the New York subway. Brandon plays his predatory game with a pretty woman. Elevators rise and fall in sleek glossy buildings. Brandon waits silently, consumed by rage and anxiety. He pounds out his anger and frustration on the dark New York streets, block after hard grey block. In his over-orderly glassy bare apartment his neurotic, messy and needy sister reaches out for him but he cannot face her loss of control and he rejects her with violent consequences.  Their shared damage and abuse is merely hinted at but their self-destructive and compulsive behaviour tells the story. This intense and beautiful film pulls no punches. Brandon is driven by his sexual need. Masturbation, internet porn, pick-ups, prostitutes, nothing brings relief. He cannot connect emotionally, he is cold and remote, incapable of any intimacy. A date with a colleague who offers him some closeness and tenderness ends in impotence. He can’t do sex and feelings. He picks a drunken fight over a woman, …


Sex addiction, is there really such a thing? Isn’t it just an excuse for faithless footballers and spoilt celebs to have sex whenever they feel like it? Does it justify the tabloid headlines and re-hab fees?
Addiction is not a question of weakness or willpower. It’s a very complex psychological and physical condition driven by dependence and compulsion. One can be addicted to a substance such as alcohol or heroin, or to an activity like gambling or sex. Addiction takes one from reward to relief. But what once gave pleasure and enjoyment becomes something one has to have more of in order to function without constant feelings of anxiety or panic. Craving often goes along with denial and a false belief that one is in control. The addict’s behaviour becomes destructive, relationships are harmed, lives are ruined. The drug is no longer recreational. Need becomes obsessive, enough is never enough.

Cliff’s story: “Can’t get enough”
“I live with my partner Marilyn but actually we don’t have sex …