Book Review: Cruise Control

Robert Weiss has written a very interesting and unique book about gay men who are involved in sex addictions. Throughout he not only describes the changes that have occurred over time for the gay culture but also addresses many of the stereotypes that have been held by society.

Weiss begins by clearly defining sex addiction and the myth are surround it. He keeps it simple with statements such as “Active sex addiction is an unhealthy way to get your emotional needs met”. (Page 48).

The author describes the delicate interplay between nature and nurture as well as factors that can lead an individual into an addictive cycle. He also addresses the shame and other vulnerabilities trap the addict not only in their dysfunctional sexual patterns but also in other chemical and activity obsessions.

Knowing the differences between healthy, addictive and offending sexual behaviours can be confusing but Weiss clears up the confusion with his honest and detailed writing style. He does not generalize or label “right” and “wrong” but instead talks about the expectations and boundaries that couples have for themselves and each other. Their relationship is jeopardized when these are broken or disrespected.

When is comes to change, Weiss states that promises to self and others are not enough. The sex addict is unable to make and maintain healthy changes on his own They need a carefully designed written plan as well as support from helpful friends, professionals and others in recovery in order to maintain long-term transformation.

“Cruise Control” outlines the specific steps in detail for creating goals and writing the boundary plan. It consists of goals, beliefs and principles in three specific areas. The Inner boundary is for those behaviours that are damaging and can no longer be tolerated. The Middle boundary identifies triggers such as people, places and experiences that will lead back to addiction. The Outer boundary states the rewards that will be enjoyed as a result of the desired changes. Examples of Boundary plans are included as well as a template for creating a personal boundary plan.

Weiss uses two chapters to talk about the need and benefits for getting support from others and for obtaining appropriate therapy. He devotes a chapter to technology and provides one for partners and spouses.

It is obvious that Weiss wants the reader to understand that there are resources to help the addict and their loved ones to become healthier. Lists for Recommended Reading, Support Resources as well as a screening test are included as appendices.

This book is amazing. It provides an educational as well as a therapeutic perspective for any reader who is interested in learning more about how humans think and act. You don’t have to be gay or involved with someone who is gay in order to benefit from the wisdom that Robert Weiss has invested in “Cruise Control”.