Lately we hear more and more stories about people who are “suffering” from sexual addiction. Is it really “suffering” and why it is being treated as disease?
What is sex addiction?
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As per definition it is engagement in sexual activity – mostly sexual intercourse, despite negative consequences – interference with your daily responsibilities and work.
How do one gets addicted to sex?
Let’s say you meet someone. Sex is good. Very good! You want to do it all the time. Are you an addict? What is the difference between being in love, simply liking it and sex addict ?
I guess if your behavior is in excess and it significantly(!) impacts your life in a negative way you are considered an addict.
Basically if you cannot eat, cannot sleep all you think about it is how to satisfy your intense appetite for sex then you might be an addict. But if you keep going to work, driving your kids to school and paying your mortgage on time…then you are not an addict even if you think about sex 24/7 or have 3 girlfriends?
But do you feel like 1/3 of all men ( and some woman, too ) are addicts in that case?
Everyone remembers Tiger Wood’s sex scandal. Was he a sex addict? He checked himself in clinic and he was seeking professional help.
Would he do it if he would never get caught ? Did he considered himself an addict or he is just being unethical cheater? Did he wanted to stop? or he just did whatever his PR team told him to do to save his public good boy image.
How about David Duchivny ( he plays Hank Moody in Californication )? He admitted to be sex addict. That could not save his marriage although his wife “stood by him” during his battle/treatment “.
Again… most of the married people ” seek help” after the fact – when getting caught.
Russel Brand at one point hired team of people who got paid to find woman for him to have sex with. That is one busy “sex addict”!
How about famous politicians : like JFK himself? it has been documented that he told British Prime minister at the time Harold Mcmillan :” I wonder how it is for you Harold? If I don’t have a woman for 3 days I get terrible headaches.”
And the latest super addict Harvey Weinstein is going to rehab center in Europe to address sex addiction. Some go to jail for abuse but wealthy go to rehab?
Are they really an addicts or they just have healthy appetite for sex? Mass media loves juicy sex story…they will spin it for days..because sex sells. I believe there is a lot of money in “recovery” and rehabs and counseling to be made.
Is Sex addiction real or is it excuse for bad behavior?
Neither sex addiction nor hypersexuality appears in the DSM-5 ( The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders ) , some are claiming it is not real, because there are no serious physical symptoms of withdrawal.
The most of people who identify as sex addicts are male. Is it just what men do?
There are also double standards in our society. If a woman admits to have a “sexual addiction” she is labeled as a “slut’ . If a man admits he is a sex addict, he is dealing with hypermasculinity and is admired by his peers.
For some who claim to be sex addicts their behavior does not progress beyond compulsive masturbation and extensive use of pornography.
Is porn addiction same as sex addiction?
No, it is not! One is actually being involved in act of sex with real people while the other is watching it on the screen.
There are few other types of sexual addiction that could be mentioned… like prostitution, masturbation, S&M behavior, exhibition…etc.
Now let’s explore what Western Medical Community is mentioning as reasons one becoming a Sex addict:
A. hormones – higher levels of sex hormones can result in more active sex activities
B. genes – genetic predisposition for sensation seeking behavior
A. mental health – anxiety or depression
B. environmental influences – early life exposure to sexual behavior or abuse
A. rejection in relationships
B. social learning – association with friends who are more exposed to certain activities
They claim that Sex addiction can show the same effect on the brain as drug addiction. It has to do with dopamine – when you satisfy your want or need you release dopamine which causes you to experience euphoria.
Sex addiction works in the same way as drug addiction. Each time an addict is involved in sexual behavior he experiences rush of endorphin creating powerful feeling to repeat the activity again. It is never ending cycle until a person puts stop on the distraction behavior.
Could it be that sex addiction is a BEHAVIORAL addiction , like gambling rather than chemical one, like alcoholism? Is it largely inability to hold oneself accountable?
You might say what is the big deal about it? Sex is natural activity and makes people feel good.
But think about all the negative side effects that can impact your life:
– loss of marriage
– loss of work
– loss of friendships
– health issues/ STD’s
– unwanted pregnancies
– financial issues
Once you realize that you might have a problem what can you do?
There are many ways person can be helped:
– Individual and group therapy
– couples counseling
– 12 step program
– meditation ans spiritual development
“Sex addiction is truly a social phenomenon, not a clinical or medical one” says David Ley, a clinical psychologist based in New Mexico and the author of The Myth of Sex Addiction.
At the end…is Sex addiction real or is it excuse for bad behavior?
So it is real or not? I guess you decide!