Joined: 08 Aug 2007
|Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:47 pm Post subject: Sex Addiction
|The term sex addiction has been bandied about by the media, but in reality, medical science does not recognize it as a disease or clinical condition. There is no scientific definition of sex addiction. Nor does medical science recognize porn addiction. These are made up terms by those with an anti-sex agenda that have been taken advantage of by sex-phobic and unscrupulous "therapists", many of whom are not doctors or trained psychologists. The media has accepted these terms at face value, so they are repeated endlessly. The truth is, they are terms without an specific meaning.
The problem with these "therapies", besides not being medically recognized, is that they are often modeled after treatment for addictions. In many cases, people may have compulsive behaviors or impulse control issues that do need treatment, but the methods used to treat addictions are entirely inappropriate to treating what are technically very different issues.
Sometimes the treatments are modeled on things not even remotely recognized as scientific, such as Dr. Tom Reltney's use of Wilhelm Reich's long discredited orgone energy theories. It is hard to separate the fraud from the quackery.
The treatments can also can be quite expensive. Since there is also no definition of sex addiction, how can anyone know you have it, and how can they know when you are cured? When an illness has no definition, there can be no specific treatment, and that opens the door to con artists, quacks, and those on the borderline of sanity. Remember, you don't have to have a medical degree or be licensed to run a "sex addiction" treatment program.
How do you know if you are a sex addict? Numerous sex addiction sites offer a simple test. Some of these online tests are ludicrous, turning ordinary behavior into a sickness. Here is a set of 12 questions (with my comments after each one) from the Sex Addicts Anonymous page. Answering yes to any one of them may mean, according to them, that you have a sexual addiction problem.
1. Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Most people keep aspects of their sex life private from most people. Many gays would have to answer yes to this one. So would most swingers, those interested in BDSM, and anything else not completely mainstream.
2. Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Sometimes you have to take sex where you can get it. Some people would normally choose a supermodel, but they are driven to have sex with those who are actually available. Most teenagers have had sex in the car, not because it was their choice, but it was the only place available at the time.
3. Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
This one leads us to the question, "Are these people insane?" I am not making these questions up, nor are they that atypical of these types of self tests. This one makes virtually everyone a sex addict.
4. Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Hasn't this happened to everyone? Especially to young people who eventually learn to be more realistic?
5. Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Unlearning the negative messages you have been given about sex all your life will help. Going to a sex addiction therapist will probably reinforce your negativity, and you'll learn not to feel so bad after having sex by not having sex. One of the first things they do is make you go cold turkey and stop having sex, something that is really bad for marriages. Its like saying that overweight people have a food addiction and should stop eating.
6. Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality, such that you avoid touching your body or engaging in sexual relationships? Do you fear that you have no sexual feelings, that you are asexual?
How the hell is this sex addiction? This is more like the sex phobia foisted upon us by these same self-serving anti-sex lunatics. It also covers all bases- too much sex, no sex- you are a sex addict.
7. Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
This deals with patterns of behavior often modeled in childhood. I am unclear, though, what this has to do with sex. A real therapist could help you- a so called sex-addiction therapist would probably be useless.
8. Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Ask this of any long term married couple. The frequency goes down, then you realize that you need more variety in your sex life, and once you have that then you want more frequency, and all of a sudden, you are a sex addict.
9. Have you ever been arrested or are you in danger of being arrested because of your practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, prostitution, sex with minors, indecent phone calls, etc.?
This sort of makes sense, as getting arrested is bad, but this badness is all over the map. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are pretty normal, but the DSM (the diagnostic bible) does recognize them as disorders only under specific circumstances. They are not, however, related to sex addiction. Sex with minors, unless you are one, is really bad. With prepubescent children it is called pedophilia- a very different thing from sex addiction. Prostitution is pretty universal and it is hard to justify our laws against it. Making indecent phone calls- not sex addiction. It is actually a medically recognized form of paraphilia called scatologia.
10. Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
What does this mean? Are you not developing properly as a Christian because you enjoy sex in groups of three or more? Maybe your spiritual development needs to go in a different direction.
11. Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Pretty much all sexual encounters run the risk of pregnancy or disease, even though the risk may be small. They don't really quantify it here, and throw it in with violence and coercion which are entirely different things.
12. Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless, alienated from others, or suicidal?
I admit that these are signs that you may need therapy. If you really want help, though, go to a real therapist and deal with the real issues, which may well have nothing to do with sex.
Everyone from trained therapists to con artists are making money off of this. Anyone with any sexual issues suddenly becomes a sex addict and needs expensive and lengthy treatment. It has become a really big business. And a really big con.
The article Sex Addiction (http://www.ejhs.org/volume5/SexAddiction.htm) provides an excellent commentary by noted sexologist Marty Klein, that points out the dangers of belief in this non-scientific diagnosis. It was from a panel before sexologists.