“I Am Jennie.” By Jennie Ketcham, July 2012, Kindle edition, $11.99, 352 pages, Gallery Books.
A major point made in “I Am Jennie” is that all too often women try to feed their inner loneliness with “love.”
Sex addiction has made headlines in recent years, sometimes in a joking manner. But only very recently has medical science - and the media - recognized love addiction.
Recovering sex addict Jennie Ketcham, a former porn star, reveals much more of herself in her book than she did even in her most hardcore film.
Ketcham had a long history of looking for validation in all the wrong places and abandoning men who truly loved her. She agreed to star on the reality television show “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew” not because she thought she had a problem, but because she wanted to gain publicity for her porn production company. But when she entered the 21-day rehab program, the show’s producers and the recovery center’s staff refused to call Ketcham by her porn name.
While Ketcham didn’t seem to have a “lightning bolt” epiphany, she realized the therapy was helping her and that she could not go back to casual sex whether for her porn career or her personal quest for fulfillment. After rehab, she continued a painful journey looking through her past including making amends to those men she had hurt. Ketcham comes across as a big sister but never talks down to her audience.
“I Am Jennie” sometimes has strong language, but people offended by descriptions of the porn industry or personal casual sexual encounters probably would pass on Ketcham’s account any way. While she certainly is not a saint, she comes across as a truly caring and intelligent person who found a way out of a rather dark world. Ketcham poignantly shares a few stories about women still in the sex trade who wish they could get out, but are too dependent on the money it pays.
Ketcham returned to college and found a happy, committed relationship with a man who accepts her past mistakes with sex and drugs. “I Am Jennie” offers a unbridled message of hope to anyone struggling with a sex or love addiction along with reminders that any journey of recovery is far from easy.