The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships

As I open and start reading the new Neil Strauss book, I notice a lot of pages about Ingrid, his wife. A warning signal goes off in my head. Love made public rarely goes well for long. I fear he’s putting too many eggs in his Ingrid basket.

More than six years ago, I read Neil’s two pick-up books and his Jenna Jameson bio.

I met Neil Oct. 31, 2007, six days after I decided to quit writing about the porn industry:

I first learned about eroticized rage in 2011 and it led me to 12-step for sex addiction.

Excerpts from the new book:

…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.”

…”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.”

“Was your mom there for you or were you there for her?”

* [Therapist]: “Your mom wants to be in a relationship with you.”

…Why else would my mom come into my room at night and tell me all her problems? Why else would she not let me go on my first date? Why else was I grounded all the time and told that my classmates weren’t really my friends? Why else wasn’t I allowed the keys to the house when my brother was? Why else did she cut off all support and communication when I moved in with my first girlfriend, even though I was in my twenties? And what was I in this whole investigation of my father of not her intimate partner?

…Mom didn’t do this intentionally, I’m sure, but it was unconscious. She hated Dad, she didn’t trust her friends, and I was the oldest, most reliable male around. So she probably wanted me all to herself, or at least safely under her control.

“When your mom is emotionally dependent on you and has intimate discussions with you that she should be having with her spouse, [that’s] emotional incest.”

* I must give off some crazy enmeshment signal, letting everyone know they can confide in me… That’s probably why I ended up profiling rock stars for Rolling Stone, why all those mistrustful celebrities felt comfortable divulging private thoughts to me that they’d never shared with anyone else, why my editors clapped me on the back afterward and put the story on the cover.

* We’re interrupted by a naked rabbi who lives on a poly kibbutz in Israel and is in some way dating the woman who’s either sleeping, dead or meditating in the hot tub. He stands up, pours a glass of wine, and sings a prayer over it in a deep, beautiful voice as his dick swings in the air like a metronome.

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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