Porn Star Penny Flame Finds a New Life - Page 2

By McCarton Ackerman 08/01/12

When Jennie Ketcham went on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew to boost her porn career, she had no idea she had a problem—or that a TV show would help her find a solution.

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How many of the people who go on these shows do you think genuinely want to get better?

[Filmmaker] Duncan Roy, who was on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, always tells people he went on the show for a Los Angeles adventure. Obviously some people have done it as a career booster and that’s not surprising. I honestly feel like whatever gets you in the door is fine, though. Unfortunately, what got a lot of people in is the promise of revamping their career but the motives are irrelevant. Once you get in there, you have a chance of getting better. I went in thinking this was going to give me so much exposure in the porn industry and after two weeks of treatment, I decided not to do porn anymore. 

In your book, you write about a producer on Sober House getting loaded on sake in front of the cast and encouraging Seth Binzer (lead singer of Crazy Town) to break the rules of treatment. Is that something you blame Dr. Drew for, or do you consider him separate from the rest of the crew? 

Dr. Drew is 100 percent separate from the producers and the show. He’s a big part of the rehab and therapy that helps us get better. Unfortunately, my experience on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew was completely different from the one on Sober House. Sober House is reality TV at its finest. He comes in and does the rehab, but when he goes home at night we’re left to our own devices. And the producers were looking for ways to stir things up because the struggle of people trying to get better wasn’t compelling enough to them.

After that incident though, I called Dr. Drew and one of the head producers that night and freaked the fuck out. Drew was on my side and things changed immediately afterwards. He’s not doing Sober House anymore because he realized how little control he had. 

What does the after-treatment plan for sex addiction look like? It’s not like alcoholism where you can say, “I won’t ever have sex again.”

It’s an individualized plan and the way mine was set up almost looked like a bulls-eye. The inner circle consisted of behaviors that would trigger a relapse like sex for money, drinking alcohol or using drugs. The middle circle was slippery territory like masturbation, which had the potential to become chronic and compulsive. 

What’s difficult for people to grasp about sex addiction is that sex is a fundamental and necessary part of our lives. We have to have it. You don’t have to have alcohol. That being said, even if you abstain from drinking, you can white knuckle it the whole time and not have that emotional sobriety. In working through sex addiction, you’re learning how to have an emotionally sober lifestyle and that’s absolutely necessary for recovery.

What advice would you give to people who are trying to maintain their sobriety? 

Have good people surrounding you. I’ve been blessed to have such an amazing network of support like Dr. Drew and Jill and Dr. Reef. Taking part in anonymous programs has helped me stay accountable as well. And spirituality has become very important to me also. I pray every morning and try to pray every night. 

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer currently residing in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Time Out New YorkThe Huffington Post, abcnews.com and usopen.org, among others. He has also written about Carré Otis and Celebrity Rehab, among other topics, for The Fix. 

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