Eroticized Rage

From Neil Strauss’s book The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships:

“The payoff of anger is mastery, control, or power,” Lorraine continues. “So the anger makes you feel better and one up. And when you use sex to restore power or feel better about yourself in a similar way, this is what’s known as eroticized rage.”

Eighty-eight percent of sex addicts, she tells, us, came from emotionally disengaged families. Seventy-seven percent came from rigid or strict families. And sixty-eight percent say their families were both distant and strict.

“Being overcontrolled as a child sets you up to lie as an adult,” she concludes. “So the theory of sex addiction is that when you feel out of control or disempowered, you sneak around and act out sexually to reestablish control and regain your sense of self.”

This is where she loses me. “Can you give a specific example?” I ask.

“Well, she replies, “what’s your story?”

“I cheated on my girlfriend.”

“Strict mother.”


“Mom wasn’t emotionally available, so you’re taking out your dick and using it to look for love. And sex is healing the anger at Mom for not being available.”

“So I fuck other women to get back at my mom?”

“And to have an emotionally safe way of getting the affection, acceptance, and comfort you never got from Mom.”

“I don’t know. It felt like my mom was always there for me.”

“Was she there for you…or were you there for her?”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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