In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older boy from his childhood church.
“For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” he said.
That trauma, Van Ness revealed, led to a series of other “self-destructive” behaviors, including spending hours in AOL chat rooms, which he used to meet up with older men for sex in his teens. Later on, Van Ness started college at the University of Arizona in Tucson where he began doing cocaine. And after spending his monthly allowance on the drug, he began advertising sex for more money.