Utah and the Sex Addiction Crisis

Yes, the title is intended to be sarcastic.

This –


made me snort.  Here’s the story:

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – When it comes to pornography, Utah has an addiction. The desire for it is higher here than anywhere in the country. Some men are drawn to it. As you can imagine, that craving creates a problem for the women that stand by them.

Pornography, the images are meant to be seductive, but for some it becomes a real addiction.

“I didn’t realize how far my mind had been taken over,” said Tyler Iverson, husband.

Tyler and Michelle Iverson of Springville said pornography almost destroyed their marriage.

“It was a betrayal that’s how it felt to me,” said Michelle Iverson, wife.

Tyler had begun watching pornographic images and masturbating while working from home. He knew he had a weakness for it, but he could no longer control himself.

“The whole time I’d tell myself I’m not going to do this again, because frankly it wasn’t something that I believed was right or correct but I also didn’t understand the powerful things that are happening inside of the brain,” said Tyler.

Once Michelle knew it was happening she became angry, hurt, and her self image crumbled.

“I started feeling like Tyler didn’t deserve the best of me anymore, like even now it’s sometimes hard for me to do the simple things like keep the house clean or have a meal prepared when he gets home,” said Michelle.

For Michelle it became so painful, the two nearly separated.

“What they’re experiencing in real, it’s trauma in many instances,” said Dr. Kevin Skinner, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Addo Recovery.

Dr. Kevin Skinner with Addo Recovery calls the syndrome – Betrayal Trauma, where women with pornography addicted husbands suffer symptoms similar to soldiers with PTSD.

“They’re angry, more irritable then they’ve ever been. I had a woman come up and say ‘I don’t know what happened to me but I just slapped my husband. I’ve never been violent in my life, I’ve never experienced this but I slapped him across the face,” said Skinner.

“You feel so alone,” said Jacy Clemons Boyack, Founder of the Togetherness Project.

Jacy Clemons Boyack felt those same things. She said her husband’s addiction did destroy their marriage.

“The next few weeks and months were the most awful and lonely and horrific moments of my life,” said Boyack.

Boyack recently organized an all day conference in Sandy called the Togetherness Project, where more than 150 women from 8 states, all dealing with the same issue, came to learn and lean on each other.

“It makes you feel not alone it helps take the shame away. No matter what, you have someone who really truly knows what it means to be in that place,” said Jacque Gray, Togetherness Project attendee.

Pornography Addiction Specialist Maurice Harker claims more Utah couples are struggling with pornography and its trauma than people may realize.

In 2009, Utah ranked number one in the nation for online adult entertainment subscriptions “per thousand people”; “per thousand home internet users”; “per thousand home broadband users” and more. (See “Markets: Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?” –Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 23, Number 1—Winter 2009—Pages 209–220, Harvard Business School, author Benjamin Endelman.)

Harker said although each person reacts to pornography differently, for some it can be as powerful as alcohol or heroin, and the user can’t say no.

“As the brain is reinforced by the height and excitement in that moment it is more inclined to want to do it again, more inclined to want to do it again, more inclined to want to do it again… which goes on to mess with their ability to have relationships with people, to connect with people and that’s where it really starts to cause pain in a marriage or other relationships,” said Maurice Harker, Certified Mental Health Counselor.

When the Iversons realized they were dealing with a real addiction and real trauma, they treated it like one. They sought help, and made their own accountability check list Tyler would fill out every day.

“It would ask some point blank questions – Did you view pornography today? Did you masturbate today?” said Tyler.

“I just wanted to know the frequency, I wanted to know what I was dealing with so that I could make a more sound choice about whether to or not I’m staying in the marriage,” said Michelle.

To Tyler’s credit he quit, and trust returned to the Iverson’s marriage. If you ask them now, they’re a happy couple.

“Probably pretty typical,” said Michelle.

“Awesome,” said Tyler.

“It’s a lot better than it was that’s for sure,” said Michelle.


If you believes your spouse is addicted to pornography, Jacy Clemons Boyack wants to remind you – you’re not alone, and you have hope.

She said “There are women all around you and they’re probably closer than you think.”

Jacque Gray suggests “No matter what, there’s always somebody out there that has gone through it. You’ll make it.”

Michelle Iverson said it’s important to “find a way to feel good about yourself other than your spouse.”

Dr. Kevin Skinner reminds you – “You are awesome. Get some help. Reach out. There is support available.” But Skinner warns “if you don’t get help, you’re going to experience these same symptoms over and over.” Addo Recovery offers a free 6 week course for women, and an extended course for men.

Both the Iversons, Skinner, and Maurice Harker recommend you talk to your spouse about it. Tyler Iverson said “I was dying for a chance to tell her on the one hand, and terrified on the other.”

Harker suggests you approach them by saying “I know something is wrong, if you don’t want to talk to me about it, will you please talk to somebody else about it?”

Harker warns a spouse doesn’t have the skills to be a therapist in this situation, and encourages them to both see a professional.

To contact Pornography Addiction Specialist Maurice Harker, visit www.lifechangingservices.org  
or call 801-558-5952, ask for Carol.

Click here to view Full Interview with Maurice Harker.

Click here to contact Addo Recovery or call Dr. Kevin Skinner’s office at 801-406-8994.

Click here to read Jacy Clemons Boyack’s blog My name is Jacy.

PTSD?  Seriously? You’re kidding me.  Holy Drama Queen Batman.

First, you have to consider the location of the story.  It is set deep in the heartland of puritanical Mormonville.  Wait…isn’t this the same religion that encouraged…no…preached that Polygamy was God’s truth?  Then at some point God changed his mind and they decided that Polygamy was bad.  God is apparently fickle and can change his mind about things like Black men being able to be “Priesthood holders”, as another example.  What I want to know is what happens to all of the souls prior to Polygamy turning bad?  Do they get a waiver?  You’re hanging out in heaven…er…the celestial kingdom as they call it and you see guys like Joseph Smith surrounded with 34 wives and you have…. one.  So you walk over to God’s place and say…”lord…why does Joe get 34 wives and I get just one?”  and God responds, “because I said so…now shut-up and get out of here before I downgrade you to level 3.”

Now what happens to those who marry someone, that person dies, so they re-marry?  Do you go back to your first spouse in the afterlife or do you go full on “Big Love” in the clouds with a special waver from god?  Are you prepared for a Polyamorous relationship in heaven?  Then how can people go to hell for doing the same damn thing???

It is just this kind of logic and contradiction that made me realize around age 17 that this is complete bullshit and purely man-made “law” for the purposes of control — hearts and minds, baby.  Hearts and minds.

The Catholics do not have the “guilt” market cornered.  The Mormon church has excelled at using “guilt” to their advantage.  I experienced this as a kid.  Even into my early adult life I felt guilty about masturbation.  WTF.

Why do men watch porn?  Here is a succinct article on that question from Psychology Today.


Men become aroused visually, while women become aroused by touch. That’s why men love women in skimpy outfits and lingerie (they view it) while women prefer bubble baths and spa treatments (they feel it). In addition, pornography celebrates men’s erotic fantasies, a world where women are perpetually horny, available, enthusiastic, and happy to service men endlessly while ignoring courtship, intimacy, marriage, birth control, infection prevention, and their own sexual satisfaction.

In addition, recent studies are showing this idea of sex addiction is not a mental illness, but merely subjective levels of libido.


According to David J. Ley, Ph.D Complaining about the dangers of porn distracts from personal responsibility.


Porn doesn’t make men cheat.  Men make men cheat.


One thought on “Utah and the Sex Addiction Crisis

  1. Pingback: Addiction….where is the line? | B0Y . LU5T

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