Marie Claire ran a recent article investigating sex addiction, particularly female sex addiction. We all know about male “sex addicts” like Tiger Woods and Jesse James, but we don’t hear about female sex addicts. Are they out there?
First of all, what is sex addiction, anyway? New York-based sex therapist Mavis Humes Baird defines it as “any sexually related activity that is having a destructive effect on your life.” Well, then, cheating on a person and causing the relationship to end would technically count as a destructive effect, wouldn’t it? I don’t think we should consider them sex addicts, that’s just a cop-out for infidelity.
Obviously, there are serious sex addictions – if you can’t browse Craigslist without contacting 12 strangers for “Casual Encounters” or if you start missing work because you just had to watch another 17 hours of porn – those are diseases that need treatment. And yes, women get them, too:
To Veronica, a 39-year-old social worker in Seattle who became hooked on porn in the throes of a bad breakup, sex addiction is no joke. “My boyfriend stopped sleeping with me, and I was looking for other ways to get off,” she explains. “Soon I was masturbating to porn with the window open, hoping someone would see me.” By day, she was a buttoned-up temp at a law firm; by night, she was online, having sex chats with strangers and watching hard-core videos. Then one evening, she stumbled upon child pornography. “It made me sick to my stomach,” she says, “but I kept looking.” The next day, she found an SAA meeting.
So, is sex addiction real? I believe it is, but cheaters do use it as an excuse to have affairs – “I can’t help it, honey, I’m addicted.” Well, if you’re addicted to drugs, you’d best believe I’d leave you. And if you’re addicted to sex, I’d leave you, too. (Unless you’re only addicted to sex with me. That’s okay.) I’ll support a person who’s fighting an addiction and help them get treated, but I won’t date them.
So if you’re in a relationship with someone who says they’re addicted to sex, male or female, either A) they’re making excuses for cheating or B) they need to get help. Regardless, you should end the relationship immediately and deal with A or B accordingly.
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