Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sex Addiction Doesn't Exist

Several years ago the world was agog at the discovery that Tiger Woods had cheated on his wife.. Anyone who could cheat on Elin Nordgren, an exquisitely beautiful blonde Swedish socialist, must be sick. Don’t you think?

So, everyone decided that Tiger Woods was a sex addict. Woods himself offered a therapy-speak laden apology and packed himself off to sex addict rehab.

The topic was too good to ignore, so I wrote several posts about it… here and here and here.

In them I suggested that sex addiction was not a real addiction and that sex addict rehab was, basically, a fraud.

It turns out that I was right. It doesn’t happen all the time, so it’s noteworthy.

Yesterday, the Daily Mail reported on the latest research:

Sex addiction may not exist, according to a study.

Many celebrities - including Russell Brand, Kanye West, and Tiger Woods - have claimed to suffer from the addiction and even used it as an excuse for infidelity. 

But new evidence suggests that 'hypersexuality' is not a real neurological or physiological disorder, but just a case of heightened sexual desire.


Sam L. said...

Dang! That's something I'd like to be addicted to. Now all I can do is like it a lot.

I am soooo bummed!

JP said...

I think that some people do suffer from "sex addiction."

However "sex addiction" is most likely OCD + heightened sexual desire.

Meaning that it's basically OCD.

The problem with it is that it involves *other people*. Meaning that the "sex addict" is causing real disruption in a lot of peoples' lives.

However, this has nothing to do with Tiger Woods's ego whatsoever.

Now, OCD is a very frustrating condition to have, but it's quite well known and kind of a staple of psychiatry.

Bill Herring said...

Stuart, that's not really what the article stated. Have you read it? It's an important study but does not reach the conclusion you are stating. I can give you some links to rebuttals, as well as a couples of interviews with the lead investigator if you like. Tere's a lot here that's hard to digest into a headline.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Fair enough, they hedged, but the brain imaging studies suggest strongly that there is no such thing:

"However, there was found to be no link between the severity of a person's addiction and their brain's response to the pictures.

"Although Ms Prause questioned whether or not hypersexuality can really be called an addiction, she did acknowledge that there could be an effect that is too subtle to be picked up with EEG."

no such thing.

Sex Therapy said...

Just because something is addictive doesn't mean that you will get addicted to it. But . . . if your stomach ties up in knots while you count the seconds waiting for a phone call from that special someone . . . if you hear a loud buzzing in your ears when you see a certain person's car (or one just like it) . . . if your eyes burn when you hear a random love song or see a couple holding hands . . . if you suffer the twin agonies of craving for and withdrawing from a series of unrequited crushes or toxic relationships . . . if you always feel like you're clutching at someone's ankle and dragged across the floor as they try to leave the room . . . welcome to the club.

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