“Raping the Gods” Examines the Question: Is Sex Addiction Real?

71dlVRUUuSL._SL1315_Although author Brian Whitney is, without a doubt, a sex addict, he doesn’t like the term.

“I hate it when people call me an addict. Some people think sex addiction doesn’t exist, that it is just a made-up term to excuse bad behavior. Another group thinks that a sex addict is a crazy, out-of-control freak who thinks of nothing but getting laid every second of every day. Then there is a third group that thinks it sounds fun: ‘What are you complaining about, man? You get laid all the time and you think it’s a problem?’”

“I could tell a lot of stories about what I was doing, but I’d rather just say I was really fucked up. My major issue was infidelity. I was often involved in three or four different relationships at once. I got an enormous rush from having multiple sexual partners and lying to all of them. This wasn’t about sex, although I did enjoy that; it was about control and power. And I couldn’t stop. No matter what happened, no matter how bad things got, even when I lost marriages, homes and jobs because of my sexual behavior. Instead of stopping I was sinking further into it, going into darker and more depraved places.”

In 2007, Whitney went to rehab because of sex addiction. “Life had become really dark. Houses, jobs, friendships and marriages had been lost, and I was living with someone I hated, purely because she indulged my kink. There was no way I could pretend that I didn’t have a problem anymore.” Rehab is where Whitney gained some insight into his problems, and met an odd assortment of characters, many of them were in way deeper than himself.

“People think of sex rehab as a punch line. They see a celebrity like Tiger Woods going into it, and they think he just went there because he got caught cheating on his wife, so now he’s going to pretend he has a sex addiction. In his case, that might even be true. But I know from first-hand experience that there are people in sex rehab who really are addicted to sex – just like other people are addicted to heroin and alcohol. They have compulsions that they can’t control.”

While he was away, Whitney started to write. He draws on his experiences to inform much of his work. His writing on addiction, and especially sex addiction, has appeared in the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Substance.com, TheFix.com, Disinfo.com and many other places. He writes a weekly article for the GoodMen Project. He has written two books of short stories, and has ghost-written autobiographies with porn stars Rebecca Lord and Porsche Lynn.

Whitney has just released his first novel, Raping the Gods, a black comedy about a dissolute, drunken ghost-writer who travels to Samoa to help a wealthy and insane American sex addict write his memoirs.

“This is a strange book,” Whitney admits. “Do you like plain vanilla sex, sobriety, and a sense of normalcy? Then this book isn’t for you. Both of the main characters are a lot like me. The writer is struggling, not sure about the choices he’s made. That’s me. Meanwhile, the sex addict is into domination and making women his slaves, and has set himself up as a god in his own little world, surrounded by people who will do anything to please him. He’s lost sight of what’s real, and that’s the life I used to lead. I have been both of these people.”