I used to celebrate myself all the time. Any excuse to draw attention to something I did so people would call me special was really one of the driving forces in my life. But I wasn’t special. There are hundreds of film festival creators, thousands of magazine publishers and tens of thousands of city councilors. I may have been rare, but I wasn’t special. Then podcasts entered my life.
First Podcast I Ever Did: The Virtual Couch with Tony Overbay airing March 23, 2018
Ironically, as I dove into recovery and shed the need to be special, I found myself there. Between January 2018 and early May 2021, I have given 250 podcast and radio interviews about pornography addiction. Nobody else circling this planet can say that. Aside from Terry Crews, the celebrity “voice” of the issue, I don’t know if anybody has done 10% of what I have. Bragging? No. I’m enjoying the irony of wanting to be special and what I finally ended up being special for. Something tells me that mom didn’t have her 45-year-old son being the voice of an emerging addiction that is very taboo on her bucket list.
Show I’ve Been on the Most: Breaking Labels (4-part series starting January 2021)
I’ll be completely transparent. I have done 4 TV shows and 17 radio shows, but that means that over the past four years, I’ve still done interviews on over 225 podcasts.
I love the podcast genre. TV is weird. Radio answers are much too short. Podcasts allow you to tell stories, draw comparisons, challenge the host and most importantly, be yourself. I apologize to the hosts during the first 18 months. It took time to learn I was neither a therapist, doctor, nor professor. I was a dude with a crazy story, more information than most therapists, doctors and professors and a knack for talking.
Best Show Introduction: Brother Mike (from Nigeria) Announcing the Time and Urging People to Drink a Variety Beverages During My Three Appearances on Mind Closet 101.
In the beginning, I had to ask to be on 100% of the podcasts I went on. I looked at the list and I honestly don’t remember which show was the first to ask me to come on. I listed myself with podcast databases like Radio Guest List and Podcast Guests and several others that have risen and fell. It probably took a year for me to really figure out to write a profile, but I tried to give enough compelling angles that anyone would have me on their show. Really. I’ve even done a couple of financial shows talking about porn addiction.
I’ve done the mental health, general health, bipolar, alcoholic, porn-addicted, recovery-based podcasts, and they’re great. It’s a targeted audience that really needs to hear my story. And I have done off-genre shows, like the financial ones I mentioned. I’ve done shows dedicated to things that make as much sense as parenting and things that make as little sense as three guys in a basement smoking weed who somehow convinced me to humor them for an hour. I did a test podcast run of 4-5 shows and I didn’t know until the second show that one of the co-hosts was a Grammy winner. I did three shows with a naked lady! But, obviously, everything considered my favorite shows are…
Show Where My Facial Hair Appeared the Best: The Brandon Triche Show
…the personality driven ones. You’ll usually recognize them because they have the host’s name in them and they have the best logos. They’re also my favorite because it is the kind I’d host if I ever decided to get into it. I can’t play the straight man to anybody at anytime. And while I love the bookworm questions from the professionals, because I’m a professional bookworm, I really love hanging out with someone else who has a strong personality and having a conversation under the traditional confines of an interview.
I especially love this because for 20 years, I was a journalist and asked questions every day. Ironically, I’m doing it again now as a coach. And while there is a certain energy and power from asking questions, the real fun is in providing the answers. I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve probably conducted 5,000 interviews as the reporter. So giving 250 seems tame in comparison. Answering is still new, and novel, to me.
Host With the Softest Voice: Candyce Scott of Insight of New England Therapeutic Talk
This isn’t to say I don’t get the same question a lot. I would guess on half the podcasts I do now, I don’t get a question I haven’t been asked before. The hosts aren’t asking bad questions by any means. Most need to be asked to establish who I am and if you have a 30-minute show, you’re likely not breaking new ground. But, I find in the personality-driven shows, especially those with non-American hosts or more than one host, it doesn’t matter how long the show is because it is not just informative, but entertaining.
I’ve had many hosts who have told me that they didn’t think we could keep it light and laugh a lot along the way. Yeah, porn is graphic, but talking about it doesn’t have to be, and that’s a big piece of the equation if we’re going to move forward as a society trying to educate about porn addiction.
One Time I Hosted a Show: The Virtual Couch 200th Episode
I probably couldn’t be a podcast host because I just don’t think I have the staying power to deliver something original, topical and entertaining week-in and week-out while starting at 0 listeners and not making a dime. I do have an original idea for a morning show, but I’m trying to find the right co-host before I pursue it further. No, for me, it’s just easier to take the 5-10 hours of material I have and just go show-to-show.
Some hosts have an audience of 100 and some have an audience of 10,000. Some people wish they could have an audience of 100. I’ve been on shows almost nobody listened to and I’ve been on shows where tens of thousands have listened. I’d rather tell the same stuff to a fresh audience than present new stuff to the same audience. That makes me the Johnny Appleseed of Porn Addiction (trademarked, all rights reserved 2021) which I do want in my obituary.
Best Podcast Host Name: Teena Love of The Lovers’ Lounge
If you count the interviews on the site, you’ll see that it’s just shy of 250. That’s because there are a few interviews I’ve done that I hope are never found. Either I was so miserably off or the host was so miserably inept that it would be painful for the audience to hear it. There are still a few dogs listed on the site, which if you’ve heard one, you can imagine just how much worse the stuff I won’t share turned out. Those are usually the shows that ask me to submit a list of question for the host to ask. I just pass on those at this point. Unless you’re getting a huge amount of listeners, I’m not going to script your show for you. Take an interest in your guest or don’t have guests.
The most interesting thing about the podcast as a thing, is that it wasn’t a thing until I was 23 or 24. I was working as the staff writer at a B2B trade newspaper covering the tech sector in Northern New England and somebody introduced me to the concept. Apparently the old VJ from my teenage years watching MTV, Adam Curry, was reinventing the interview for a digital age. I use the fact I didn’t grow up with podcasts to explain one of the dirty little secrets I carry around: I almost never listen to podcasts. I will check out what my second book co-author Tony Overbay is doing, and if a podcast I’ve been on and maintain a relationship with the host has an interesting guest I may listen.
Number of Emmy Winners Who Have Interviewed Me: 1 (Todd Newton of The Host With the Most Podcast)
I wouldn’t listen to Kelly Osbourne talk recovery, but since she did it on Knockin’ Doorz Down, I did. I liken this to when I was a magazine publisher and we sold advertising. Sometimes, our advertisers would say, “Everybody tells me they see my ad in your magazine!!!” and I’d be left thinking, “Who tells somebody they see their advertising?” That’s a foreign idea to me, much like listening to podcasts, but thank God you people are out there. I’m slowly adapting to new technology. I just learned Venmo this week. (Audience says, “Awwwww…” as if I did a cute old-man thing)
Interviewed by a Childhood Hero: Former WWE Interviewer/Commentator Sean Mooney on The Upside of 40
Will there be another 250 interviews? I don’t know. I can guarantee it’s not going to be over 3.25 years (actually less because I took 4 months off in 2019) because it’s an exhausting pace. I’ve really fallen in love with coaching, both for porn addiction and trauma, and it could be a great way to advertise my services. Most coaches can’t buy the attention I can get for free. And no matter what happens with the coaching, I still feel like it is my mission — hell, maybe my penance — to continue to educate about pornography addiction to whoever is willing to listen. I hope there will be another 250.
If you interviewed me once, whether I asked to come on or you asked me, my profound thanks. At the core of all of this is a guy who was almost irretrievably broken and felt the pull to write some books, then promote those books. You allowed that second part to happen. At the end of the day, I’m a writer. And I want people to read what I write. When I ran a magazine, it was easy. Now, it’s not. You allowed me to share my story, even when I couldn’t figure out why a women’s line of clothing wanted to interview me. (I figured it out later.)
Thank you for giving me the gift of your time, of your hard work and energy, but most importantly, thank you for treating me like a human being. I may tell a good story and rattle off interesting statistics, but this was all born out of that very, very sick person. And he’s never going to be fully recovered. Probably over 99% of you treated me with respect and dignity. If the rest of society were like you, porn addiction wouldn’t be a taboo. Some of you stopped doing your shows. In some cases that’s good, in some it’s kind of sad. If you interviewed me more than once, you’re a brave soul. And probably someone I now consider a friend.
Absolutely Nicest Host (Male): Unmit Mital of Learning Beyond School
Absolutely Nicest Host (Female): Dr. Zoe Shaw of Dr. Zoe Shaw Show
And of course, those of you who listened. I have heard the entirety of 75% of the podcasts I’ve done. I wouldn’t wish 76% on anybody. My kick-ass son, Kaden, who has had to sit in the other room and sometimes hear me give interview after interview has been so patient, not just hearing me explain the signs of pornography addiction for the 173rd time, but for dealing with our dogs and cats. He’s been almost perfect. I’m sorry if you got a stray bark or if one of the kitties appeared from nowhere. At this point, Kaden could be my understudy.
If I ever get laryngitis, he could pinch-hit and none of you would ever know. Realistically, if you listened to me on one podcast, you’ve heard a bunch of what you’ll hear on most shows. That’s why the hosts are so important, but even moreso than the host, even moreso than me, the most important ingredient is the audience. No audience and it’s just two attention-starved people having a conversation. An audience makes it less weird.
If you’d like to hear any of these podcasts, click on the link of visit the Appearances page for all of them.