Confessions of a Porn Addict -or- The Devil in Disguise

Dreamer: Jim, 21 American Student

Mark, this is my Dream...

There is a car in a lot with a lot of stuff surrounding the lot. It almost seems like there is a cartoon atmosphere (almost computer generated) or painted atmosphere. Maybe that's not important. Anyway, I'm having a frantic conversation with someone about the "evil" thing that is about to take place. We know that the devil is coming. The devil comes out of the earth, but it's a woman (blonde) in a dress. I get the feeling that it is either the end of the world or that the devil is trying to get my soul. All of a sudden, I am in the passenger seat (the other person in the driver seat) with the door open. I know the devil is about to give me oral sex, and if "she" does, I will be "defiled" and go to hell (in other words.... totally fucked). I felt like it was my choice, and I didn't want it to happen. It happens anyway. I remember wondering why I couldn't control my "dream body." I really didn't want this to happen, really. I remember enjoying it slightly though, which really bothers me. I can almost remember thinking that maybe it would be ok just this once. You must remember that I saw this as a beautiful woman, not a demon.

Mr. Hagen's Response: The Devil is a Woman

"The fact that most men are unable to prevent ejaculation, no doubt accounts for the widespread fear of female demons who threaten to suck a male victim dry in one way or another".
- G. Legman, No Laughing Matter: Rationale of the Dirty Joke

You say that your dream has almost a cartoon like atmosphere, which seems to suggest that this dream is a product of your imagination and most likely a "generated" media effect of internet pornography. There will be more to say about this point further down.

Confessional Literature

The narrative of your dream can be viewed through the perspective of confessional literature. The candor and sometimes shocking detail with which the individual reveals private or clinical matters including sexuality, abortion, drugs, mental illness, homicidal and suicidal impulses is dramatic and spectacular. Famous examples include the church father St. Augustine's Confessions (400AD); the French philosopher Rousseau's Les Confessions and De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater. Modern American confessional poems were written by the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Anne Sexton.

Theological Allegory of Evil: Soul Possession -or- Good versus Evil

The confession, prayer, apology, parable, fable, and morality tale are all aroused by the dramatization of the battle between the forces of good and evil in the human soul. Theology attempts to provide an archetypal blueprint or perspective for the inward spiritual struggle, where the search for transcendence, nirvana and salvation are the primary motives. The pilgrimage of life to death is faced with numerous temptations and vices which we are told in sermons we must resist.

Allegories are a universal and collective form of narrative and a mode of expression which depict ancient and natural meaning. Allegories are stories with a double meaning, a surface narrative and a deeper significance. Allegories are related to, among other forms, fables and parables. Narratives and allegories of Evil abound. Perhaps one of the most archetypal is Prudentius's Psychomachia (4th c. AD), which personifies the inner conflict between virtue and vice for the possession of the soul. Goethe's Faust is perhaps the best example of an individual selling his soul to the devil (deal with the devil).

Speaking of the Devil -or- The Seven Deadly Sins

It is said that sin and vice are the "devil's work.” During the middle ages the Devil was the star in the trans-generational spiritual and psychological war drama. For many Christian theologians the soul must face daily dangers and perils of the temptations of the devil who in a variety of disguises and personifications wishes to take possession of the soul, taking it to a prison of darkness and hatred named hell.

In Christian theology the seven deadly sins are usually identified as Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloth. These sins were considered "deadly", because they put the soul of the individual at risk of eternal damnation. Among the seven, pride was considered primary, since Lucifer was believed to have been motivated by pride, causing his original fall from heaven. For Dante Divine Comedy lust is a vice, this sin can only be expiated by confession and absolute penitence.

From a popular culture perspective the play Seven Deadly Sins The Four Deadly Sinners presents the deadly sins from a comedic viewpoint.  

Archetypal Symbolism of Evil -or- Escape from Evil

Greek by birth, the moral philosophy of Western culture is based on the archetypal binary opposition of the images of the sacred and the profane. Forbidden profane and corrupting experiences are a danger and a peril to the soul. Biblical interdictions provide testament to the indissoluble bond between sexuality and defilement scenes which seem to have formed since time immemorial. Fear of evil, defilement, deviance and sin provides the communal foundation for ethical dread through the fear of it's (evil's) punishment.

For Paul Ricouer Symbolism of Evil the language of confession is born of human fallibility. The history of the phenomena of human evil is part of the narrative of the development and maturation of moral consciousness. The social theorist and Pulitzer Prize winner Ernest Becker Escape from Evil sees the problem of evil as squarely resting in the repression of the conflicts of human animalism, guilt, shame, pride and creature inferiority. The resultant darkness and shadow of this repression within the community and the soul becomes the foundation for the scapegoating of individuals, minorities and groups.

Adam's Nightmare: Pornographic Imagination and the Grotesque Body

In your dream you feel you have no control over your dream-body image, this idea finds a similarity in the parable of the Biblical narrative of Adam and Eve. The Bible reports in Genesis that Adam rose up against God with the pride of acquiring his own free will. "In loosing the support of the Word of God he lost his paradisiacal possession of himself: his body and its parts were no longer obedient to the commands of his will. The sexual parts were the first to "rise up" in lustful disobedience. Adam's shame was this loss of his will over his grotesque body; that is why the famous fig leaf was said to conceal an erection.

Defilement of the Gender Imagination: Purity, Danger and Horror

Mary Douglas Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo discusses social and sexual relations based on the association of the sexes. The imaginary perils and dangers of sexuality and lust, such as incest, sodomy, adultery, disease, impotence, rape and pregnancy/illegitimate children/abortion can all become sources of moral pollution and impurity. The community's allegories of marital virtues and vices provide the foundation for dealing with threats of sexual deviance. Julia Kristeva Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection uses the concept of abjection to explain the moment and memory in the child's psychological development in which it establishes the cultural boundaries between inner world and outer world. Abjection creates a repulsion and disgust for all those that transgress the social boundaries. In Horror and the Monstrous Feminine Barbara Creed provides insight into how women can be both desired and hated.

Information Superhighway: Cybersex and the Adult Entertainment Industry

Today cyberporn and pornographic addictions go hand in hand. The Internet provides access to sex and pornographic web-sites. In that "life is a highway" the signpost reads pornotopia ahead. The dreams of women working in the adult entertainment industry is featured in this interpretation (follow link). In popular cinema we can find numerous films that deal with the topic of sexual addictions I Am A Sex Addict (see video trailer) and Black Snake Moan are examples of the genre. The popular TV show Californication starring David Duchovny as Hank Moody features themes of addictive sexuality, drugs and relationship problems. The show has been strongly criticized for its explicit content. Duchovny reportedly recently checked himself into a rehab facility for sexual addiction. The media effects of pornography can be found in other dreams such as Cybersex and the Adult Entertainment Industry sent to the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR).

Global Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion: Sex and the Superego

O. Hobart Mowrer in The Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion hypothesized that the cause of human suffering was that the individual's conscience had been repudiated rather than his animal instincts, thereby shifting the emphasis from Freud's repressed drive theory of suffering to a guilt and repression of conscience model.

Helen Block Lewis Sex and the Superego: Psychic War in Men and Women sees the operation of sexism in form of humiliation, shame and guilt at work in the moral unconscious. Culturally "mortifying" stereotyping provides the foundation for the pathological fate of both men and women.

Historical Rhetoric and the Cultural Myth of Feminine Evil

Adam, Samson and Solomon are various Biblical stock characters who have suffered at the seductive and tempting hands of women. The dread of women and the evil magic spell of their genitals is historically echoed by the 11th century French Bischop Marbod de Rennes "hymn of hate": "O race of mankind beware the honeysweet poison and seductive song and the lure of the fearful chasm. O fear the raging flames of that furious dragon! " In 1486 during the Inquisition the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches Hammer) was written by two Inquisitors, the sentiment of the Malleus is readily apparent when they say, "all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable." The denigration of the female figure via the rhetorical projection of demonic and evil forces into the feminine unconscious can only produce male misogynistic (gyn=Woman) and gynophobic (fear and hate of women) representations of women. Women then become vulnerable to victimization via stereotyping, scapegoating and hate crimes.

From a modern popular culture perspective, the film The Devil is a Woman Marlene Dietrich does a star turn as an archetypal femme fatale stock character, who appears to be all "surface with no depth", using her feminine wiles, while toying with her lovers. From a popular music perspective Cliff Richard's Devil Woman fits the sentiment of your dream. As well, an Elvis classic Devil in Disguise fits the description. Many dreams received by the IIDR have similar erotic imagination conflicts surrounding the female figure; such as The Doll's House, The Female Nude and Feminist Criticism -or- Mysteries of Paris.

Image of the Mouth of Hell: Stereotyping and Scapegoating of Women

The observation by the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre "Hell is other people" applies aptly to the battle of the sexes. For men, the fear of women and the malicious temptation of the female body expose male vulnerability. The image of women as the "mouth of hell" makes transparent the currency of male misogynistic thought and imagination. The stereotyping and scapegoating image represent a disfigurement of the feminine by projecting the demonic and horrible energies of the universe on women and not men. In fact femininity is only dangerous to men as masculinity is to women.

Confession, Guilt and Shame, Catharsis and Working Through

Freud had hypothesized personality disorders were caused by authoritarian forms of socialization of the child which impeded the normal flow of instinctual energies of sex, anxiety, aggression, play and creativity. The psychoanalyst's aim was to champion the rights of the body in opposition to a somatically repressive society and stigmatizing moral order built upon guilt, shame and punishment anxieties.

In contrast the prevailing theological view is that humans sicken in mind, body and soul because of un-atoned and un-confessed guilt and shame, simply put by corruption and disgrace. Confession becomes a vehicle and a device by which "taking one's medicine" leads to catharsis (purification), atonement and forgiveness.

Confession becomes a way of working through and understanding the problem of human evil.


This interpretation has been posted for a number of years. In 2008 a video was released under the title Confessions of a Porn Addict (see video trailer).

Some literature that might provide more insight:

  • Volker Elis Pilgram Der Selbstbefriedigte Mensch: Freud und Leid der Onanie
  • John Rajhman Truth and Eros: Foucault, Lacan and the Question of Ethics
  • John Milton Paradice Lost
  • A Dictionary of Biblical Allusions and English Literature
  • Morton W Bloomfield The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Shirley Sugarman Sin and Madness
  • Anatoly France Revolt of the Angels
  • Sigmund Freud A Neurosis of Demoniacal Possession in the Seventeenth Century
  • Victor White God and the Unconscious
  • Horst E. Richter Der Gottescomplex: Die Geburt und die Krise des Glaubens an die Allmacht des Menschen
  • Lionel Tiger The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System
  • Georges Bataille Literature and Evil
  • James Taylor Sin: A new understanding of Virtue and Vice
  • Vance Packard Our Endangered Children: Growing up in a Changing World
  • Alice Miller Thou Shalt not be Aware: Societies Betrayal of the Child
  • Carol Gilligan In a Different Voice
  • John B. Vickery The Scapegoat: Ritual and Literature
  • John P. Conger Jung and Reich: The Body as Shadow
  • Sylvia Brinton Perera The Scapegoat Complex: Towards a Mythogy of Shadow and Guilt
  • Mathew Fox Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Lessons for Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.
  • Alan Dundes(ed) The Evil Eye: A Folklore Casebook
  • Joost Meerloo Intuition and the Evil Eye: The Natural History of Superstition
  • Bernard Spivack Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil: The History of a Metaphor in relation to his Villains
  • Roy Hazelwood The Evil that men do: FBI profiler R. Hazelwood's journey into the minds of sexual predators
  • Eli Sagan Freud, Women and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil
  • Charlotte Davis Kasl Women, Sex, and Addiction: A search for Love and Power
  • Nel Noddings Women and Evil
  • Andrea Dworkin Pornography: Men Possesing Women
  • Gerard Lenne Der Erotische Film
  • Linda Williams Figures of Desire: A theory and Analysis of Surrealist Film
  • Stephen Bayley Sex, Drink and Fast Cars: The Creation and Consumption of Images
  • Verena Kast Traumbild Auto
  • Elizabeth Hardwick Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature
  • William J. Bennett The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories

Hope these thoughts are of help and provide some insight,
Mark H.

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.