If you want to get a peek into the world I inhabit, simply click on history of my web browser. You’ll find all kinds of links to subjects ranging from ghost legends, to untraceable poisons, to IED’s (improvised explosive devices), domestic and/or foreign terrorism, to sexual compulsions, serial killers and online dating.
See? I’m a writer. This is all in a day’s work for me. And while my imagination and creativity will take me most of the way, in order to obtain authenticity, from time to time, I’ve got to do research.
This week’s reseach has focused on two subjects: First, military grade weapons and sexual compulsions.
You didn’t know there was a link there, did ya?
I address both issues in my current work in progress. Confession time: I spent over 5 years on active duty military service and never, EVER touched a weapon. Never trained, never qualified, never carried. So, now I’m trying to write an authentic story about weapons and gun control and feeling way out of my league. I confessed my dirty little secret to a dear friend of mine who retired after 30 years active duty service and he almost ripped up my friend card. Then after he colored the air around us blue and purple, he agreed to help me out and thus began my training.
Do you know the difference between a semi-auto and a full automatic weapon? No, well, I didn’t either until this week. Look it up, it’s pretty cool and NOT what you’re thinking at all. How bout the fact that full-automatic weapons have been banned to civilians for more than 80 years? And given what I saw on Youtube videos, I’m kinda leaning towards the idea that the semi-autos need to be banned as well.
What about ammunition? Television, fiction novels and movies are full of talk about 9mm, .45 and .40 caliber bullets, as so on. Then when I widened my search to include sniper rifles, well, that opened up a whole ‘nuther conversation. The coolest take home fact about the bullets are that the caliber of the bullet tells you about both the force and speed with which the bullet travels once it leaves the barrel. 9mms are fast but don’t have a bunch of stopping power, for example. And while .45s are powerful, they’re slow and lose effectiveness over longer distances.
And then there are revolvers, single and double action, magazines vs clips (and no, the terms are NOT interchangeable). Did you know that a Barrett sniper rifle could be dismantled and then put back together without losing any of it’s power? Great for illegal smuggling . . . just saying.
SEXUAL COMPULSION OR PROMISCUITY?
Some of you may’ve been like me when reading entertainment news about the latest celebrity checking themselves into a psychiatric hospital due to an alleged sexual addiction. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking they should just “man-up” and accept the consequences for their promiscuous ways and call it Christmas.
That’s me . . . sister compassion.
Still, I decided to explore this issue with one of the characters in my current work in progress. Wow. Just Wow.
First, I still think some of these people are full of shit and they play the sex addict card to avoid consequences, but the large majority of people with this condition are suffering.
Let me explain: first of all, I think the problem I have is with the word choice. When one uses the term ADDICTION, I think in terms of WITHDRAWAL AND TOLERANCE, two factors that define substance dependence. Tolerance: higher doses are required to produce the initial effect and Withdrawal: a physiological response (usually with negative consequences) when a person attempts to stop a substance. This happens because the BODY has adapted to the presence of the substance (biochemical and structural adaptations in the brain).
So, then exactly what biochemical changes happens when a person tries to abstain from sex? If you have a whole bunch of sex, indulge yourself in a month’s worth of porn, or develop sexual fetishes, again, where are the biochemical and/or structural changes that must take place in your brain in order to form an addiction?
See why I roll my eyes?
Many mental health professionals conceptualize the problem in terms of a BEHAVIORAL response, a conditioned response, learned behavior. You might think of it like an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): the act is a form of anxiety management. A person acts out sexually to manage a more unacceptable, thought, feeling or behavior.
Now, this was an idea I could get behind.
So, what cool take-home facts will I be able to apply to my character? Often, people with sexual compulsions have a history of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. When men develop sexual compulsions, their recovery may be compromised by society’s definition of MANHOOD. The man who “pulls” a lot of women are admired by other men, who don’t see the psychic damage every time the compulsive gives in to his desires. Unlike substance abuse treatment, the goal of sexual compulsive treatment is NOT abstinence. Sexual compulsives may repeatedly seek out physical intimacy but emotional intimacy and/or nonsexual physical contact may scare them to death.
So, I’m still researching and authenticating. Have you checked into either of these topics and have something interesting to share? OR maybe you’ve developed an expertise in another topic? I’d love to hear about it. C’mon! You know you want to share!