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Old 04-19-2010, 10:22 AM   #11
alex whitmer
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

There is still debate on whether there is such a thing as Sex Addiction. Not all the 'Experts' agree. I'm not sold on it either, though some of the behavior does indeed mimic other addictions.

One interview I watched focused on the part of the brain that craves stimulation, be it either from violent video games or coffee or the thrill of getting caught. The more this part of the brain is stimulated, the more it needs the next time, and the next, and so on. I'd make sure you delve deeper into the psychology behind what some call SA before making it integral to your MC and plot.

Also, when someone is 'cured' or redeems themselves, it is often of that particular behavior, but the craving for stimulation is still there, and often they will replace it with a surrogate 'addiction' that is more mainstream and acceptable - and hence why many a drug addict suddenly finds God.

So, this guy can't keep his hands off his pecker, and it eventually drives him to ruin. He meets a woman who is the object of desire by other men with a similar affliction. You say they both come out of this 'better people' which, to me, assumes you have already decided what they are doing is wrong, or at the very least, want the overall film to portray it as such (?).

Is it?

asjah8 has an interesting POV.

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Old 04-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

One could argue that the guy's actual problem is making terrible decisions.

"Getting caught" is going to resonate with a lot of viewers and readers. If the MC is a fairly normal, likeable guy who just picks the wrong time and place to play pocket pool, he's not likely to alienate the audience. But if he is "gross pathetic loser" then I doubt he gets any sympathy.

There was an anecdote in a study about masturbation that told of a guy who made the terrible decision to indulge in self-abuse while trapped in an elevator... an elevator with a hidden security camera. He was called on the carpet, presumably standing there with a burning face and feeling his life was over as the boss told him he'd been recorded. He was fired but the boss told him the reason would not be revealed. Due to the overwhelming embarassment, he could not even contemplate protest.

So the real crime was not any kind of crippling addiction, but was actually making a decision that was, in hindsight, outrageously stupid.

Even if your MC is so fond of Onanism that he has to bring along a comb to get his palms read, he doesn't have to be unsympathetic.

Perhaps your MC meets the love interest as a direct result of being terminated. Were he still employed, he would have missed that magical "right place, right time" moment.

He likes her, she likes him. But can he tell her the truth about why he was fired? Doubtful. So here we have deception entering the relationship from the very beginning. Deception that will lead to conflict later on.

As a result of that conflict, he may demonize the act and not the decision to indulge in the act. Maybe he considers himself a disgusting, perverted wanker when he's really a doofus who makes terrible decisions. And now he's met the girl of his dreams but he keeps putting lies in place that will destroy the relationship.

Anyway, just a few thoughts. Good luck with the script and I hope you make the deadline.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

Speaking of Tiger Woods, If I were famous and had billions of dollars I'd have a "sex addiction" too.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

1) The reason I responded to this thread a few days ago was the OP didn't appear to understand SA is not a form of physical self-control versus being horny.

The act of having meaningless sex is physical, but that's not what SA is at its core. It's an emotional state of distress and it is a psychological disorder.

Not to be an ass, but if the OP didn't know the difference between SA and being horny (masturbating in public), then this is just one of the underlying "problems" this script might have aside from the rest of its execution.

2) This is just my personal opinion, but being caught masturbating in public seems cliche and overly simplistic in terms of a comedy gag so, I urge the OP to think of something A) funnier, and B) something more compelling as the inciting incident.

Screenwriting and writing in general is about making choices. Creative, unusual and interesting choices. Sometimes it's hard to come up with those choices, but the time and effort it takes to do so can often pay dividends with the final script being that much better for it.
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Last edited by WritersBlock2010 : 04-19-2010 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

Well actually, him getting caught masturbating ISN'T the main reason for his firing. I should have been a bit more specific. It's more of an added reason to let the guy go, because actually his boss didn't care as much, and has known for many years.

And I feel SO MUCH better now because over the weekend, I realized why I was struggling with this whole sex addiction thing. I realized I did not have a complete outline done, so it was making everything very hazy and cloudy in terms of getting an underlying theme and substance for the story. Now that I have my full outline, I can pepper the story with his "sex addicition" to compliment the plot, but whether it's an addiction or not, it's real. It's been affecting his life for a long time.

And you're right, a story about just sex-addiction or using the masturbation as a plot point isn't what I'm going for. It's supposed to be sad and funny at the same time. So I agree with all of your comments.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

Nothing to do with Dog's question whatsoever and the following observation is meant to be nothing other than an amusing aside, but ...

... 'on the job' in Britain is a euphemism for having penetrative sex.

So, I couldn't help but smile when I read ...

he gets caught masturbating on the job
That's a fairly impressive act to attempt!

I'm a product of everything I've ever experienced ... I need to get out more!
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

I don't know if I could root for a guy who is obsessed with jerking off. Relate to him, sure, but root for? Nah
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

dog678 - your story reminded me of this:

If "Lou" in the video looks familiar, he should -- he was the voice of Luigi in "Ratatouille" (and the design was based on him). It's a funny film you should check out, might give you some help/ideas.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

So here's this mid 40's, ugly, pathetic and everything wrong with a man type of guy (your description), and you're wondering how to develop some compassion for him and help him find love in his loveless world dispite his masturbation problem. Jerking off is the least of his problems, I'd think. This guy's a loser as is. Give him some redeeming qualities that we can respect when he finally does (if ever) break that habit.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Character dilemma... any thoughts?

Originally Posted by Recreant View Post
Speaking of Tiger Woods, If I were famous and had billions of dollars I'd have a "sex addiction" too.
Agree - let's not make this out to be more than it is: a question of terminology. What he had was "sex opportunity."

As for the OP, there's something about a story with inappropriate habitual masturbation in the premise that doesn't sound marketable as anything other than teen comedy.
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