Is Sexual Addiction Real?
I was reading on some other blogs from folks who were questioning whether sexual addiction was a legitimate addiction, or just folks who are weak minded or morally corrupt. When we think of sexually addictive people, we think of celebs/politicians who were recently named in scandals, publicly humiliated while their families crumble and fade.
Some of these ideas about sexual addiction attributed myself being in denial for around 20+ years. I would think, “I’m not a sicko, I don’t get prostitutes, don’t go to strip clubs, etc. How can I be compared to those I see in the tabloids as a sexual addict? I’m no where near that bad, I must not be addicted.”
Sexual addiction is a fairly new concept overall. AA was founded in 1935 but it wasn’t until the 1970’s that scientists realized that alcoholism could be genetic, and that it was a disease which affects the brain. Now it’s obvious to most everyone that alcoholism is a legitimate addiction to alcohol.
What, exactly, is addiction?
“Addiction is the use of a substance or activity for the purpose of lessening pain or augmenting please, by a person who has lost control over the rate, frequency, or duration of its use, and whose life has become progressively unmanageable as a result.”
Another way of thinking of addiction is as a pathological (unhealthy) relationship with a mood-altering experience. People can become addicted to experiences as well as substances. Withdrawal symptoms occur when the addictive behaviors have been stopped, just as it does when you quit using drugs.
I’ve been going through withdrawals in a similar manner to those that quit cocaine or other addictive substances with 46 days of sobriety. I feel irritable, depressed, increase of appetite, headaches, fatigue, excessive tiredness, etc.
In short, YES, sexual addiction is real. It is more addictive than any drug or substance because as humans we are hardwired to be sexual. The world would have us believe that porn, masturbation, and promiscuous sex is okay, natural, and even healthy (as long as it’s safe sex some “experts” claim).
Don’t just think of strip clubs or prostitution as the main byways of sexual addiction. Prime-time TV, movies, media, Internet porn, etc., these are the drug dealers of sexual addiction. They are easily accessible and easy to keep secret.
The truth is that sexual addiction to any extent ruins lives. It ruins families. It ruins careers. It will eventually consume your life if you don’t learn to live and control your sexual desires in a truly healthy way.