Reports of sex offences in schools continue to rise, according to police figures obtained by a Tes investigation
sabato 5 settembre 2015
Addicted to Fresno
Movies about sisters tend to be good, so a movie in which one of those sisters is a sex addict who is fresh out of rehab and lands a job as a maid at a hotel with her lesbian sister and then accidentally kills one of the hotel guests?
That's bound to be great. The new indie comedy Addicted to Fresno, out Sept. 4, stars Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne as sisters Shannon and Martha, and while the story of sex addiction and accidental murder might sound a little too good to be real, believe it or not, Addicted to Fresno is based on a true story.
In an effort to make art imitate life, director Jamie Babbit (Girls, Looking) and writer Karey Dornetto (Portlandia, Community) thought it would be a good idea to combine their pasts for Shannon and Martha's insane story. Babbit's mom ran a rehab clinic in Cleveland and her grandmother was a sex addict. Dornetto has always had a difficult relationship with her bipolar sister and has been going through therapy all her life to repair it. If you combine all of that, and add in murder, the robbery of a sex toy store, and a shoot on location in the little suburban oasis of Fresno, California, then you have yourself a dysfunctional family movie that is pure comedy gold.
Siobhan Lane, a psycho-sexual therapist, blames the internet for a rise in sex and porn addiction among young men in Hull
Sex can be a tricky subject to talk about. It is something we often discuss nervously, or in hushed tones, while starring down at the floor.
As a practising psycho-sexual therapist, Siobhan Lane has worked with hundreds of people seeking relationship or family counselling in Hull. Over the past 15 years she has perfected the art of discussing difficult subjects.
But during that time Siobhan has seen a growing number of people in Hull struggling with sexual addictions, and she believes the internet is partly to blame.
"It has made it easier and it has increased the amount that we can access.
"It is very difficult to measure exact numbers of people who are struggling with these issues, because it is something people don't want to talk about. But what we know is that people are accessing it a lot more, a lot quicker and a lot younger because of the ease of availability.
"Everybody uses laptops or smartphones and the images that are on the internet are very explicit. If you think it, you can Google it.
"For alcoholics, or those people addicted to drugs if they want a fix they have to go out and source it. They have to go out and find their drug of choice. Porn is just there, on any device that is connected to the internet, and it's the ease of access that is the problem.
"I could get porn on my phone while we are talking right now."
On entering Siobhan's discreet and tranquil office in the city centre it is hard not to wonder if the other people in the waiting room are there because they have problems in their marriage, are seeing sex workers, looking at porn, or having multiple affairs.
These are the very issues that Siobhan is faced with on a daily basis, but one of her biggest hurdles is to get people to understand that sex addiction really exists.
Sceptics say that it is simply used as a way to excuse affairs or to indulge in reckless behaviour, but experienced therapists see evidence of a much more serious problem.
The relationship counselling service Relate describes sex addiction as any sexual activity that feels out of control.
Siobhan has seen lives ruined because of sexual addictions and she says ignoring the warning signs will not make these problems go away.
"Hundreds of millions of people look at porn in a healthy way and for them it is not a problem," she said. "But for some people it does become a problem.
"You'll know it has become an issue when it is affecting your work or affecting your relationship or it is affecting your finances.
"Many of the men I see have got into financial difficulty because they start using chat lines and then it escalates and they start visiting sex workers. They want to stop but they can't. That is where it crosses the line into addiction.
"Some people say it is just an excuse to have lots of sex, but it is not like that, these men don't want to lose their families or relationships because they are visiting sex workers, but it is something they can't control."
One of the biggest concerns for professionals in the industry, is how the internet and easy access to pornography is shaping the sexual habits of young men.
Twenty years ago, schoolboys might have passed round a magazine stolen from their dad's shed, but pornography is now so widely available that some professionals believe it is changing the way we think.
"Pornography has saturated the internet and people are looking at it a lot younger because of that," Siobhan said.
"A lot of children have their own phones, their own laptops, their own iPads and they can find these sorts of images very quickly. And it is seen as a funny thing to do at work or in schools.
"Experts say that because of the age young men are accessing porn now it is starting to change their brains.
"Years ago you had your first fumble at a school disco, but now people can do it in front of a screen and they may get used to that. They are not necessarily having the same experiences we had growing up."
Siobhan believes until we accept these problems exist in our society, we will have no way of really tackling this looming threat to our relationships and our happiness.
"We treat people with other addictions with real compassion but when it comes to sex addiction people get laughed out of the room, because others don't take it seriously," she said.
"We are not great in Britain about talking about sex. It involves answering very personal questions and to talk about sex with a stranger is not easy.
"It is a big barrier to even access the support and it will be underreported because it is not talked about and it is not taken seriously."
As for many therapists, Siobhan says her work is very rewarding and that sex therapy makes a real and lasting difference.
"Some of the people I see will have been told they are disgusting or that they are perverts, and for them to come along takes a lot of courage," she said.
"The people who walk in here are just Average Joes, they are just normal people.
"So to be able to give them information and let them know that it is an addiction and that there isn't really anything wrong with them, it is a good feeling."