... According to Michael Common and Practice Miller's research at the Harvard Department of Psychiatry, the early stress separation of a primary caregiver causes changes in an infant's brain and can alter their development of an infant's mind, making him abnormally susceptible to stress in his adult life. They write: "Parents should realize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently. It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma."
This was the case for Ben, whose primal core belief impaired his ability to trust or feel safe. He was often on the edge of frantic anxiety attacks, which he learned to soothe through his sexual acting-out addiction.
In a massage parlor, Ben would talk intimately with the large-breasted, dark-skinned prostitutes and ask to lie next to them so that he could rest his head on their breasts. Having had no power or control over his mother's abuse or his wife's distracted attention after the birth of twins, Ben purchased power and control with money. He paid for the assurance that he would not be rejected. But the cash bargain came with terrible shame. He would continue to feel shame until he could give it back to the person to whom it belonged: the mother who would not listen to his need for love and attention when he was a baby.
Because Ben's severe neglect, he never developed the capacity for complex intimacy in a relationship. The sexual element in his sex-for-hire escapades is not as strong as his desire for connection and intimacy.
The details of the sexual liaison are distorted re-creations of the parental intimacy he deserved, yearned for, and never got. Ben sought out sex partners who remind him of his abusers and sought to undo the lack of control he had over his caregivers, with a cash contract taking the place of unconditional parental love.