Getting Off

Houston-based Sex Addicts Anonymous knows the lesson well: For those caught in the Bubble, lust has no limits

Eventually, they have to up their dosage. Male addicts who insist they're heterosexual find themselves picking up transvestite hookers or getting serviced by other men in the back of adult bookstores. It doesn't matter -- once they're in the Bubble, they feel the rush, and that's all that counts.

In a study of more than 1,000 recovering sex addicts and their partners, Carnes found that addicts often come from families plagued by substance abuse, pathological gambling, eating disorders or sexual compulsion.

About 80 percent of the addicts' families were rigid and detached. The majority claimed they experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood.

"In part, their sex addiction stemmed from a search for nurturing without the risk of intimacy or trust," according to Carnes. "The challenge in assessment, then, is the high probability that sex addicts will not want to be accountable, nor will they trust easily. In fact, a double life for many will seem normal."

They become world-class liars, conjuring excuses for lost time, missed meetings, vanished money. More often than not, they're addicted to drugs or alcohol. Eventually, their addiction(s) can cost them their families, their jobs, their savings.

In 1977, several Minneapolis men who suffered from this yet-unnamed condition began meeting. Soon, they tailored the famed 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to their own problem and called themselves Sex Addicts Anonymous. Chapters formed throughout the country and inspired other groups such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

When SAA's office manager resigned in 1993, the group conducted a nationwide search for a replacement, offering to relocate the headquarters of what had grown into an international nonprofit organization.

Enter Frank, who at that time had 18 months of sobriety with the Houston chapter. He said his modus operandi, what addicts call "acting out," included infidelity, masturbation and "illegal behavior."

Then 52, Frank had worked with nonprofits and figured he was the man for the manager's job. He was hired.

A Minneapolis member loaded the office contents into a U-Haul and moved them to an unassuming building in the Houston Heights. This office, now the international headquarters for the SAA, oversees about 600 groups in the United States and in six foreign countries. While there was once a women's group, SAA members say there are currently not enough female members to hold regular meetings of their own. So they have some "mixed" sessions with the males.

With about 200 to 300 active members holding 21 weekly meetings in churches, hospitals and community centers, Houston is one of the most active cities, Frank says. The Bayou City also hosted last year's convention, which drew more than 400 members to a Galleria-area hotel. Frank estimates worldwide membership at about 4,000, although member anonymity prevents SAA from keeping detailed records.

Of the membership, about 85 percent are male and about 10 percent are sex offenders under court-ordered treatment.

When Frank first started answering office phones, it was rare for him to hear from people in their early twenties. Now, with the Internet, SAA is seeing a lot more college-age addicts. He says the Internet not only hooks people at a younger age but also makes it easier for them to get busted. They get caught downloading porn at work, or spouses catch on after so many sleepless nights spent in computer rooms. Partners may notice funds being funneled to www.dirtyteens.com.

Recovering addicts don't achieve sobriety through abstaining from all sexual behavior. Their recovery is custom-fitted, with each addict creating what is called the Three Circles. The outer circle contains healthy behavior: monogamy, dating, making friends, taking up a new hobby. "Boundary behaviors" -- the last steps before acting out -- are relegated to the middle circle. These can include visiting neighborhoods where they had solicited prostitutes or contacting an old acting-out partner. The inner circle includes their most self-destructive, "acting out" behaviors, the ones that the addict must avoid.

Frank is one of three full-time employees, paid through member donations and sale of literature from SAA's Web site (the meetings are free). While his title as director of fellowship services may be of some distinction, everything changes when he attends a session. There, everyone gets the same treatment.

"I'm just another sex addict at the meeting," Frank says.


Barbara Levinson, a licensed sex therapist, was the one to first tell Ted he was probably an addict.

After his wife bailed Ted out and realized she was married to a liar, Ted looked at his attorney and asked, "Why the hell would I do things I didn't want to do?"

The lawyer referred him to Levinson, a tall, slim, middle-aged Bronx transplant who calls her practice the Center for Healthy Sexuality.

Sitting in her giant leather chair beneath a dreamcatcher and paintings of Native Americans, Levinson listened to Ted's story, one she'd heard countless times since entering the field in 1984. She told Ted that he most likely had two addictions: alcohol and sex.

Following her advice, he went to an SAA meeting. There he was, a retired big shot, a well-educated guy who had managed fortunes. His associates had looked up to him, which made his addiction so much easier to hide. If Ted came in late to work one morning and said there was a traffic jam, then there was a traffic jam. No reason to think he was out cruising Airline.

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39 comments
watermelon53
watermelon53

With any luck these sleazy scumbags will have the opportunity to meet one of these drunk losers on a road one night and see the damage they're causing. Keep the cops in line, but this legal trickery is getting people killed.

Lowwider
Lowwider

I was not drunk and Flood did not help at all he took my money said we had this then had me plead out

Gallahad
Gallahad

It's a fact, you can't always trust the cops. Google 'Kasi Beutel' from Santa Barbara, CA. She was a shining star on the DUI team until she arrested an investigative reporter. Mr. Flood may not be popular, but he's helping train cops to play by the book. And that really is good for us all.

Sad Dad
Sad Dad

Disgusting. I hope Flood is killed by a drunk driver who gets out of his car and pukes into his bloodied and mangled remains as Flood looses contiousness and dies.

Batsu
Batsu

Great. This douche is proud of endangering all of our lives. Congratulations.

Lynn
Lynn

Fuckin' fab. Drunk drivers go free to cause more potential fatalities of innocents. America's justice system at its finest...

Al W.
Al W.

It makes me happy to know that there are guys like Flood out there that are willing to stand up for our liberties in a court, albeit for a fee. The government's just itching for us to let down our guard and accept these draconian laws so they can take more of our freedoms and rule us like they did in the USSR. The way these laws are written and enforced is insane, and they show that our lawmakers, who swear to uphold the Constitution, apparently don't have to even read the thing over before they take office.

Go Flood, and let's get some rational laws on the books instead of allowing a police state!

Laura
Laura

In the article, it states that Mr. Flood hasn't defended any cases which resulted in major injury or death. I'm not saying it's every okay to drink and drive, and I certainly NEVER drink and drive, but I do have friends who may have 1 or 2 drinks and are certainly not drunk, that could probably be charged with a DUI if pulled over. I don't see a problem with defending those types of cases.

Cees
Cees

Easy solution: Video the lack of coordination.

But what about property damage? I doubt the jury would find it credible that the cop intended to get hit and be hospitalized. The "drunk" is a proven danger on the road and should at least pay for damages and have his license revoked.

Kathi
Kathi

Lets see how much all the money anf fame means to him, when it is his child or family member he has to bury.

Lacey
Lacey

When you have a family member killed by an idiot who didn't have the brains or self control not to drive after drinking, then you can tell me that driving under the influence isn't a big deal. I hope these people get hit by one of their clients. I really do. Where I live, we have the harshest DUI laws in the nation. It makes my blood boil to hear people complaining that they got busted for drinking and driving when they should have been responsible enough not to. It's not anyone's fault but your own that you get arrested. I don't care how many drinks you've had, or how less likely you are to be the one causing fatal accidents. That kind of thinking is ignorant,and doesn't make it okay.

St.Anger561
St.Anger561

Where was this guy when I got my dui?!?!? I lawyered up but with the wrong one. He was buddy buddy with the DA and was not really concerned about fighting my charge. You live what you learn. That is why I don't drink and drive anymore, it was an expensive lesson!

bradley
bradley

Wow. Awesome. It turns out all you need is thousands of dollars to get this dick to do his job.

Buck Stevens
Buck Stevens

Lord PLEASE forgive me for thinking this, but i can't wait until someone has an opprotunity to sue this attorney for allowing a drunk driver to remain on the streets and kill someone. It would be even better if a drunk driver would hit her, kill someone in her family or someone in the firm! That will be the actual Judgement Day!

Seems like it would be much better use of their time to educate officers the pitfalls they see so that NO ONE gets off and we can stop the madness.

BS

dario
dario

Come on people, this is just an article - freedom of speech, and an interesting one at that. I myself find it informative unlike some of you self-righteous and close minded people. Some of you fail to understand that this could happen to almost anybody. How many of you use cellphones while driving, I see many people driving reckless while they carry a conversation on one. Do you people really believe that some of these officers are always truthful, and that maybe they are not driven by any other motives. I am not condoning the actions of the drivers but I'm glad there is someone keeping the law in check, that's not often the case.

Eddie Cortes, Attorney at Law
Eddie Cortes, Attorney at Law

And during Closing Arguments the Judge will usually instruct the Jury that whatever the attorneys SAY is not evidence. That they are to limit their deliberations to the evidence presented and the testimony taken.

Interesting that commentator Mike thinks that the Assistant District Attorneys are "dumb enough to believe them." Obviously he has never dealt with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. They are some of the most highly skilled, well trained trial lawyers in one of the most, if not the most, aggressive DA's Office in the country. They are a lot of things, but "dumb" is not one of them.

More importantly, one of the most valuable things one has as an attorney is his reputation. He has a certain amount of professional equity with each court and each prosecutor that he deals with. If an assistant district attorney catches him in a lie, intentional or because his client was lying to him, she will not believe another word that comes out of his mouth. That is detrimental to both the attorney AND the defendant...and both professionally and from a business stand point, the last thing in the world you want as a lawyer is to be viewed as something less than a straight shooter.

Mike goes on to say that a "witness on this case lied..." How he can be so certain of this not knowing all the facts or testing the veracity of the witness on the day of trial in front of a jury, I'll never know. Apparently he knows better than the six people who were sitting in judgment. But my question is this: how does he know it wasn't the cop that was less than truthful? Does Mike have a predisposition to believe the testimony of police officers rather than average citizens? Does he think they are more truthful than the average Joe Blow just because they have a badge and a gun? One thing I know for sure, Mr. Flood did not "tell" her what to say. We can't. As Officers of the Court we are ethically prohibited from telling a witness what to say...and there are sanctions for such behavior.

Again, easy to pick on but difficult to substantiate once you look at all the facts......

Mike
Mike

The attorneys do not testify directly, but when they make closing statements, they can make up whatever they want... They will lie to prosecuting attorneys who are dumb enough to believe them.So much for an oath.. A witness on this case lied. Does anyone really think that Flood would have put her on the stand without coaching what to tell her?????

John S Hickman
John S Hickman

I am truly glad to see drunk drivers get the representation the constitution offers. I hope Tyler defends the drunk who runs over his wife and kids with the same zeal he has offed his other clients.

EC_Esq
EC_Esq

What these negative commentators seem to forget is that drinking and driving IS NOT ILLEGAL! You can still have a glass of wine with dinner in this country and drive yourself home. You can have a glass of champagne at your daughter's wedding reception and not have to call a cab. You can have a beer at your friend's BBQ and not have to have someone pick you up. That is not, and should not be against the law. And if you want to make that illegal, then what you're really asking for is Prohibition...and we all know how well that worked out.

What most people don't understand is that this statute is written so BROADLY, that you could take two benadryl for your allergies and be arrested for DUI if you get behind the wheel. It is a HUGE net that is being cast and it is taking with it a large number of innocent people. People that deserve to be defended by the likes of Tyler Flood.

Remember people, attorneys are not magicians. In nearly all of these cases Mr. Flood was able to convince a jury of 6 reasonable, objective, 3rd party observers that had no vested interest in the case that there was another, reasonable explanation for his client's behavior. You want to get rid of the Jury System? You want to replace with these zealots who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents? Go ahead. But don't call it Justice.

Eddie Cortes, Attorney at Law
Eddie Cortes, Attorney at Law

Officer Egdorf, admittedly biased when enforcing DWI laws, stated, "Defense attorneys lie. They lie their asses off. He's the only person in there that's not sworn to tell the truth."

I would like to remind Officer Egdorf and others that attorneys DO NOT TESTIFY; therefore they cannot "tell" the jury anything. They are there to cross-examine and interrogate. They are there to ASK questions, not make statements.

Furthermore, he is mistaken when he says that attorneys are the only ones not sworn to tell the truth in the courtroom. In order to be licensed we must take an oath: an oath that includes being candid with the tribunal (court). In fact, we are the ONLY profession that provides sanctions for not being truthful. We cannot even put on a witness if we know they are going to give false testimony.

I could cite case after case where officers perjured themselves on the stand or obfuscated the truth. But I will not do so. I will simply say this, it is easy to bad mouth lawyers, but I guarantee you if YOU or one of YOUR loved ones was in trouble you'd want someone who would do battle for you and as Mr. Silverman put it, "Tries cases."

Dane
Dane

I hope, and I say it with all sincerity, that one of your loved ones is hit and maimed by one of your defendants. You are getting repeat offenders off on theatrical talent alone. And I wish the same on all of your fellow DWI lawyers.There is no such things as a first offender DWI. Just a first time CAUGHT DWI.

Tim O'Connor
Tim O'Connor

What a racket DWI is. I am tickled at how much Trichter emphasizes in his ads that he is looking for all the drivers who have been INCORRECTLY arrested for DWI.

I am sure Flood has his share of clients that he hopes never occupy the same road as him. He'll have to live with the deaths of innocent drivers when one of his clients kills somebody.

That said, the roadside gymnastics are garbage. I couldn't do those sober due to a problem with my ankle. DONT BLOW!

Rachel
Rachel

The article doesn't paint a very pretty picture of this guy does it? Yowza!

Penal Code 37.02
Penal Code 37.02

So Tukanov and Lena each had a "couple of glasses" and then Lena swore Tukanov had no more than "1/2 glasses." Sort of seems like perjury to me.

Why on earth would a competent attorney violate attorney / client privilege, assuming client waived, and expose the witness to perjury investigation?

CAK
CAK

Was this the biggest portrayal of I�m a douche bag attorney who needs to boost about my wardrobe, and trophy wife because he�s a real small fish in a big pond of legitimate criminal defense attorneys? The article shouldn�t have been headed, �Getting Off� it should have been called �Jerk Off�

Releasing this ridiculous farce of propaganda is irresponsible journalism� and who the hell buys their hair products at CVS?

Michael
Michael

Though Flood seems obnoxious & conceded throughout this article he is most certainly an essential part of our legal system & probably not a bad representation of it overall. I have dealt with overzealous cops who wanted to arrest me for having one beer, I was lucky I know many others who were not so. I am all for arresting drunk drivers, but I�m also glad theirs people out there defending them.

Pat
Pat

I'm quite sure at least one of the positive commentators is actually Tyler. Probably both.

Nick
Nick

What entrepreneur isn't a "self-promoter"? Isn't that how you succeed in business? As far as "helping others" - all that business would suggest he's doing something right.

Travis
Travis

This guy is a shameless self promoter. My guess is the two positive comments were written by himself. I know lawyers, some of them criminal lawyers, who take their jobs very seriously and help a lot of people in the process. This guy is more interested in representing himself.

Nick
Nick

These lawyers, and Tyler, defend your constitutional rights. You could get a DWI after one beer, you could get accused of a murder you didn't do. Just because you get accused does not mean your guilty people.

James
James

Don't be mad at Tyler Flood, people. Do you really think the people driving after a beer or two are the ones involved fatal car wrecks? But those are the people often getting arrested, charged, and convicted where they're represented by attorneys other than Tyler Flood. It could be you in jail for no reason. And as for the few cases where the driver was "drunk as a skunk," well, if there's no evidence that he was "drunk as a skunk," it's a criminal lawyer's job to argue just that - there's no evidence. That's what defending constitutional liberties and rights is all about. They're your rights too, you know. Respect yourself.

DNay
DNay

This is the dumbest thing I have ever read, and whoever published this article should be slapped. Try promoting NOT DRINKING AND DRIVING vs. drink and drive and KILL SOMEONE then get out of it with Mr. Flood. What a sad world. Mr Flood- how would you feel if your family were the ones in the car that got plowed by a drunk driver. would you defend them???

sue
sue

how do any of these lawyers sleep at night?

Gore Lando
Gore Lando

shut the fuck up you stupid cunt

Batsu
Batsu

...I don't recall driving drunk, or even driving at all, to be a liberty or mentioned at all in the constitution. In fact, driving a motor vehicle on a public-paid road is a privilege (which is why you can be fined for not following the rules), so stop talking nonsense.

DocChaos
DocChaos

And prosecuting attorneys aren't interested in themselves? Cops aren't interested in how they look when an accused walks free?

Attorneys are loaded with ego, but don't think that only applies to defense attorneys. In an adversarial legal system, there is no one trying to prove you innocent except your attorney and your private or attorney's investigator.

I'm happy see you know some criminal lawyers. I think so too.

JH GordonJoe Detectivehttps://www.smashwords.com/boo...

DocChaos
DocChaos

There's another dynamic the article fails to mention. Me. I spent lots of time as an attorney's investigator honing my craft. I can think of no case where an arresting officer didn't do at least something wrong. And that's not just on DUI cases either.

I'll tell you a secret; cops lie. They don't want to lose a case and face their superiors or a pissed off DA. There's a pit-bull mentality that forces justice into a corner all for the sake of a conviction. True, there are drunks on the road. But cops frequently take advantage by confusing people who have only taken a beer or a glass of wine at lunch. I don't like drunk drivers much either. But there has to be something and someone who prevents everyone being ground under the wheels of so-called justice. Here's an other secret, there is no justice.

Laws, all laws, are enforced selectively. That's another place a cop and a prosecutor can run afoul of a jury. It's not hard to show their win record supersedes their wish to see justice done. After the first year, my attorney clients never lost a case either.

JH GordonJoe Detectivehttps://www.smashwords.com/boo...

 
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