Can You Help Us? (Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter Project)

The Life after lust KICKSTARTER Project is live

Hello,
Will you help us bring the hope of healing to a new audience? Our Kickstarter campaign goal is the conversion of the life-changing book Life After Lust into an audiobook. Kickstarter rewards include an audiobook copy of Life After Lust, a signed paperback book and eBook, tickets to the Life After Lust retreat, and a Google Hangout with the Author & Narrator. Pledges start at just $2. We have 30 days to reach our funding goal.

Will you help us spread the word?

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN (It’s worth checking out even if you can’t contribute)

Thank you for your support with this meaningful cause.

Forest

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!
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Life After Lust Audiobook Announcement & Request for Reward Ideas

LAL Audio

Friends,

I have EXCITING NEWS!

The Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter project will begin in about a week! Check out my VLOG Announcement to learn more about the details of this fun project.

Also, I HAVE A REQUEST…I have put together some great rewards for those wishing to contribute to this cause but I really would love to know what rewards you would be interested in. Again, check out the video for further explanation and to learn about some of the awesome rewards that are already planned.

I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. I also look forward to hearing stories of lives touched and changed as a result of listening to the hopeful message of Life After Lust.

Gratefully,
Forest

PS: To follow this story, I invite you to follow this blog and sign up on the Life After Lust Newsletter

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

The Ethics of Sex: Fresno Bee Article & Radio Interview

Fresno Bee Hustler Article (crop)
This week I had two great opportunities to share my professional and personal perspectives on the local radio and newspaper. I’m grateful for these opportunities and and would love to share them with you.

If you’ve read my book Life After Lust, you’re aware that one component of the book is inviting people to stand against the porn-industry as they recover, learning to connect with their values. The following two resources reflect my personal response to Hustler’s move into my city. My hope is that this will inspire others to live in alignment with their highest values, whether standing against the porn-industry or doing other meaningful work in the world.

Check out the following two resources:

The Trevor Carey Radio Show (Note: My participation in this show does not mean I endorse its political views)

The Fresno Bee (in print too) – The ethics of sex: Hefner & Hustler had them half right  (potential photo trigger warning), based on this well-read article which received over 650 views

May these resources encourage you as you recover from life’s hurts and learn to live in alignment with your values. Please share with anyone who would benefit.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

 

My Radio Interview Today

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After writing my recent article in response to Hustler’s new store in my city (which receive over 600 views!), I have the opportunity to share my perspective on the Trevor Carey radio show (96.7 FM) today at 4:30pm. This will be my second interview on this show (click here to listen to the first one) and I am grateful for the opportunity. Also, look for an updated version of my Hefner/Hustler article in the Fresno Bee soon.

All of these opportunities are chances to live in alignment. May we all live our lives courageously aligned with our highest values.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

The Recovering Addict’s Guide to Ethical Sex: Hefner and Hustler Had it Half Right

A Guide to Great Sex_ Heffner & Hustler Didn't Know the Half of It-5

Since boyhood, I’ve had a strong sense of moral justice. Whether putting myself in timeout for breaking the rules, saving stray animals from the streets, or buying food for the hungry, a virtuous character was the internal compass of my younger years.

Then came the season of sex addiction. This was a time of inner turmoil, as I pursued pleasures at the expense of myself and others. Believing in what was right, I too often ran to what was wrong. I lived an incongruent life and the shame of it was like leprosy in my soul.

In my early twenties, my path took an abrupt turn when I chose to pursue a new passion: my recovery. As I experienced the healing and wholeness I desired and deserved, I became more of the person I always was. I reconnected with myself and my values. I learned to live in alignment.

Now, as a sex addiction therapist, I help many others do the same. As people recover, they become who they really want to be and who they really are. They might become that woman who can finally be trusted, that father who learns to connect with his kids, that leader who walks with integrity in his step, or that person sharing a smile with the lovable human grinning back at them from the mirror. Where their agenda to numb-out was once self-seeking, the recovering sex addict learns to adopt new attitudes of humility, caring, and courage.

The process of recovery is the process of aligning with oneself. In recovery, our most valued principles are no longer led away to the slaughter. Instead, we learn to live them out, one day at a time.

In my book Life After Lust I explained how learning to live in alignment with our values is a major “Mission to Accomplish” in recovery. I wrote:

“As we grow in our recovery, we learn who we are and we gain the courage to live that out. No longer are we bound by secrecy, constantly trying to cover up choices that cause us shame. In recovery, we learn to live with integrity. We are the same person in the dark that we are in the light…The more we live in alignment, the greater our inner peace.”

In recovery, we seek alignment in all areas of our lives. A life well-lived is actualized at the convergence of both our sexual and moral values. Thus, making choices based on our sexual values is an act of misalignment if it violates our moral values. While this scenario describes much of the sex addict’s acting out, in active recovery we learn a new lifestyle. In recovery, we learn that sex aligned with our moral values is not only possible, but is far more satisfying than the disconnected, shame-filled, and secretive sex life of the past. Searching for the benefits of the best sex, we no longer look to lust for solutions that only compromise our character.

The Principles of the Porn-Industry

If I’m honest, the porn-industry has some sexual values right. Evaluating the ethics of porn-industry pioneers Larry Flynt and the late Hugh Hefner, I hypothesize that they highly esteemed sexual enjoyment, excitement, spontaneity, freedom, and fun. These values align with my views of an optimal sex life. I concur with them that our sexuality is to be celebrated, not shamed.

But that’s where our agreement ends. While a satisfying sex life is strengthened by some of these values, Hefner and Hustler only had it half right. The vision of sex they offered the world was paired with moral values that sucked the life out of society.  If you’re wondering what I mean by this, I’ve written about it this way:

“As a sexual addiction therapist, I continuously see the devastation caused by porn addiction. I sit with stunned spouses. I empathize with addicts caught in self-destructive cycles. I help resuscitate relationships ruined by pornographic obsessions and aid in the burial of relationships wounded beyond repair.

As a presenter on the harmful effects of porn, I see a younger generation that’s predominantly unprotected from it. I see our youth unknowingly auctioning off present and future intimacy as they immerse themselves in the internet. Porn changes their malleable brains, affecting everything from their studying to later-life sexual performance. Many are drowning in addiction. I do my best to protect my children from this destructive drug.

As a sexual addict in recovery, I’ve felt deep disconnection. I don’t blame the porn industry for my past addiction. I chose to soothe my pain in that way and I eventually chose help. But, sadly, I have seen demeaning acts charading as sex.

As a citizen who cares about the disenfranchised and defenseless, I believe the pleasures of porn are not worth those wounded by it. The porn industry might deny its ties to sex- trafficking, a trade that citizens heroically fight locally. Drug abuse, physical and psychological harm, and disease are commonplace; sexuality and humanity are commodities.

These characteristics grate against my most essential beliefs in love, freedom, and human worth. I adamantly oppose those who profit from such atrocities. I once contributed to this industry through my addiction – an uncomfortable reality I must wrestle with.

Yes, I have a problem with the porn industry” (Benedict, 2017).

Once enticed by the porn-industry’s promise of pleasure, I now see it as a morally-bankrupt mirage. As I continue to seek out my sexual values of passion, pleasure, and play, my recovery requires me to do so within the confines of my character.

So, when a porn-giant like Hustler makes a home in my city, offering gadgets and gizmos to spice up my sex life, I cannot consent with my cash. My funds will never fuel the fires of sexual exploitation. Thank you for offering, but I’ll pass on this Hustler. You may have a legal right to be here but not a moral right. If I buy anything to bolster my sex life, it will be from businesses not tied to objectification and degradation.

Mission to Accomplish # 3

Alignment in Action

In Life After Lust I call the recovering reader to master the practice of healthy sexuality, to live in alignment with their values, and to stand against businesses that profit from the porn-industry. The great news is that these tasks are not in conflict. In fact, I believe that the benefits of great sex are amplified when we act from a place of inner alignment.

Sexuality experts Drs Bill & Ginger Bercaw present this promising vision of a sexual life that is both exciting and ethical:

“You can know for perhaps the first time in your entire life what it feels like to embrace a passionate and fully satisfying sex life while retaining your integrity and while being more fully present.”

We can savor a healthy sex life without stepping on our values. We can have the best of both worlds. Within the boundaries of our values, we can seek out the best sex of our lives.

Where You’ll Find Me

This Saturday, a porn-producing pioneer is visiting our fine city of Fresno for Hustler’s “grand opening” event. Meeting Larry Flynt in person with my “Porn Kills Love” T-shirt and picket sign would absolutely align with my values. But this time I am choosing a different approach. My protest will come through my promotion of love on that day. My plan Saturday is to man a LifeSTAR booth at Fresno’s Recovery Summit, sharing the hopeful message of freedom from sex addiction and inviting others to join me in aligned living, as we pursue together the purposeful path of Life After Lust.

What I am facing in my community is one of many opportunities to stand up to an industry in conflict with our collective best interests. What a wonderful way for me to return to my roots, reclaiming an internal sense of justice. And I am grateful to report that I am far from alone in this mission. There is a groundswell of gifted individuals coming together in this pro-love, anti-porn Movement. Living in alignment with our values, we are changing the world, one victory at a time.

Join us.

 

*To learn more about the ideas presented in this article and more, check out the inspirational new book Life After Lust.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

What My Wife Is Worth (Essential Mindset #13)

My partner is worth my best recovery efforts.-2

Essential Mindset #13 in Life After Lust (2017). From the chapter “What My Wife is Worth.” Share if you agree.

Learn many other ways to fight for your partner’s heart, check out my new book Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies For Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

One Year Ago Today: Envisioning Life After Lust

One year later

One year ago today I envisioned my book Life After Lust. Starting with the simple idea of collecting and organizing articles, I set out on this creative journey, unsure where this road would lead me.

Who could’ve imagined that today, exactly a year later, my book would have over 1,900 copies in circulation, that 17 new participants in the SATP program would begin studying it as their textbook, that it would be added to our LifeSTAR program, that it would be so generously endorsed by many of my heroes in this field, and that the book would become a beacon of hope to so many people.

THIS IS A GOD-SIZED STORY….and I am so grateful to be along for the ride.

It all began on Facebook, one year ago today…

August 21, 2016: “Today I had a simple idea for my first published book….this will not take too long so I’m squeezing it into my busy schedule.” That same day I shared the Robin Sharma quote “Dream big. Start small. Start now.”

August 22, 2016 – “Time to follow inspiration and take a break from Facebook. If I can binge watch a Netflix series then I can binge write my first book and get it published ASAP. That’s my commitment (besides work related sharing). Message me if you need to talk.”

August 25, 2016 – “These days I’m working hard to finish writing and publishing my first book. Today I finished my Introduction. Now, roughly 90% of the book is written. This will be an inspiring resource for those struggling with sexual addiction. I pray it helps many.”

August 26, 2016 – “I totaled the pages of my book and it’s just under 100 pages. It will not be much longer than that. Still, that’s pretty awesome!” (Funny, I had NO idea!)

August 29, 2016 – “PLEASE VOTE: My new book is divided into 3 sections. Let me know which sequence you like best:

1) Attitude, Action, & Adventure
2) Mindset, Mastery, & Mission
3) Passion, Practice, & Purpose

August 29, 2016 – “PLEASE VOTE – I’m working on my book title. The book is an organized collection of articles aimed at inspiring individuals to take their recovery to the next level. Here are the options so far:

1. “A Passionate Recovery: The Sexual Addict’s Uncommon Guide to Growth & Greatness”
2. “The Motivation Manual: Stories & Strategies to Strengthen Sexual Addict’s in Recovery”
3. “Life After Lust: The Sexual Addicts Uncommon Guide to Inspired Recovery”

August 29, 2016 – “Hammered out another chapter of my book last night on the drive home….getting closer to a completed rough draft!” (Called to Rise chapter originally written as the concluding chapter of the book).

After lots of work and editing and feedback and inspiration and prayer….

February 14, 2017 – “LOOK WHAT I FOUND ON AMAZON FOR PRE-ORDER!!!” (Kindle edition)

February 24, 2017 – “WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that the day my book comes out on Kindle is the same day I get a call from a local radio show wanting to interview me about my Vote for Love, Not Porn article I wrote for The Fresno Bee in June?”

March 20, 2017 – “In case you missed the news….my paperback is ready on Amazon!”

March 21, 2017 – “WHOA! My paperback jumped to #1 in the Sexual Health Recovery category on Amazon! Grateful!”

Life After Lust Hot New Release

March 21, 2017 – “Honored to have my book “competing” with this amazing book!”

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After lots of surprising conversations, vlogs, radio shows, speaking and writing opportunities, witnessing the inspiration of others, new ideas, and moments of personal clarity and growth, here we are one year later.

August 21, 2017 – “I’m grateful for this amazing journey and excited about what lies ahead. As a friend told me recently, this is only the beginning. Thank you to all who have supported me along the way!” (click here to see how the future unfolds)

Hoping this message inspires others to reach for the stars.

All things are possible for those who believe.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Help Us Reach 1000 FREE Downloads of Life After Lust (1 Day Left)

Life After Lust Free Promotion

As I shared in today’s VLOG, the Father’s Day FREE ebook promotion is massively successful so far with just over 646 downloads in less than 4 days!

With one more day of this deal remaining, will you SHARE this with others to help reach the goal of 1000 downloads by Sunday night?

Get your FREE copy today and help spread the message of healing. Also, if this book has impacted you, please take 5 minutes to leave a review (every star helps)!

Click here to download your FREE copy of Life After Lust

 

CHECK OF SOME RECENT AMAZON REVIEWS:

5.0 out of 5 stars – Great book for Porn/Sex Addiction Recovery
By Ralph R.on June 17, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book for sex/porn addiction recovery! I am a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in sex/porn addiction recovery. This book has pragmatic and powerful steps which guides the person to develop a solid recovery. It is easy to read and too the point, not overfilled with too many details or micro-analysis. I have just included this book as one of the required readings & discussion topics for groups and individuals who I treat for porn/sex addiction recovery.  I love the way the book is structured with points and easy to understand.

5.0 out of 5 stars – Insightful and very helpful
ByTRKon June 16, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Forest is insightful as he writes about his vast experience counseling others who struggle with addiction. I especially appreciate the chapter on self-care. Thank you Forest for putting it in a book that I am able to reference when I am struggling.

5.0 out of 5 stars – As a psychologist and couples therapist, I highly recommend this book to everyone who is struggling with sexual addiction.
ByJonice Webb, Ph.Don May 24, 2017
Format: Paperback
I’m a psychologist who specializes in couples treatment. I am very relieved to see a thoughtful, intelligent and caring book about this topic that most folks shy away from. Forest Benedict breaks through all the shame that I’ve seen my clients experience, and talks about this difficult subject with great care and attention to the whole person, including his or her childhood, committed relationship, and parenting. The book is filled with helpful guidance and support and clarity, as it walks people struggling with sexual addiction through the healing process. “Secrets are the driving force of sexual addiction.” and “What you fear most will heal you.” The author talks in easy to understand prose that will keep readers connected. Then, at the end, he offers a 52-week recovery process that could guide any struggling person through, with or without the help of a therapist. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with sexual addiction.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Battling Lust at the Baseball Game (VLOG)

Battling lust

For those who don’t struggle with compulsive lusting, this video won’t make sense. Those seeking recovery from lust addiction will get it. Are you committed to acknowledging your vulnerabilities and making a battle plan for success? If so, you’ll find my vulnerable VLOG on preparing to battle lust helpful.

Click here to watch Battling Lust at the Baseball Game

Wondering how the game went? To view the follow-up video click here

I invite you to subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive future videos on sexual addiction recovery and Life After Lust.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Forest Benedict on the Upcoming Carol the Coach Sex Addiction Radio Show

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I have the privilege of being interviewed in the upcoming Sexual Addiction: Strength, Hope, Recovery with Carol the Coach radio show, talking about my recovery and my new book Life After Lust! Click this link to listen on Monday at 6pm PST. I’ve been on this show in the past and it will be great to visit with Carol again. Please share this free listening opportunity with others.

Gratefully,
Forest
Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!