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New book questions 'The Myth of Sex Addiction'
Tiger Woods is just one of the celebrities -- from Russell Brand to Anthony Weiner -- who has allegedly entered sex rehab.
March 29th, 2012
01:53 PM ET

New book questions 'The Myth of Sex Addiction'

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Is sex addiction for real? Or is it “nothing more than a pop-psychology phenomenon, serving only to demonize sex, enforce moral views of sex and relationships and excuse irresponsible behaviors?”

Those are the fighting words of psychologist David Ley, who, in his rousing new book, “The Myth of Sex Addiction," expresses concern over the slippery ease with which America’s mainstream media and burgeoning “addictionology industry” have seemingly conspired to transform a debatable diagnosis into a foregone conclusion.

“There are real dangers inherent in the sex addiction concept,” Ley writes. “I believe that for the field of health care, medicine, and mental health to endorse and reify a flawed concept creates a very dangerous slippery slope of moral relativism, where any socially unacceptable behavior is labeled a mental disorder subject to psychiatric treatment.”

Ley has a point. While many are quick to put sex addiction in the same category as other addictions, it is still not recognized within the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As Ley maintains, “Sex has no tolerance or withdrawal effects. No one has ever died from being unable to have sex, nor has anyone ever overdosed from sex.”

But is Ley going too far when he contends that the majority of men who enter sex-addiction treatment do so because they’re in trouble with their wives for infidelity?

It’s no surprise that many within the mental health community have taken issue with Ley’s assertions.

"I have had dozens of patients every month sit in my office and cry, broken and desperate, because they can’t stop going to prostitutes, or because they can’t stop masturbating, or because their casual ‘hookups’ in bars are getting more dangerous and less appealing,” says Dr. Tammy Nelson, a noted psychotherapist and author of “Getting the Sex You Want.” “Are these men and women sex addicts?"

Many seasoned professionals would say yes.

Sex and relationship therapist Dr. Joe Kort points to the nuts and bolts of addiction, explaining that the main symptoms are loss of control, failed attempts to stop the unwanted sexual behavior, and a pattern of negative consequences such as anxiety, depression, legal troubles, sexually transmitted diseases and relationship problems.

In his view, sex addiction is a very real problem, and he takes issue with Ley’s assertion that the "sex addictionologists themselves are true believers, and little that I say will shake their belief system, grounded as it is in rhetoric and pseudoscience.”

"I am a CSAT-certified sex addiction therapist,” Kort counters, “and these therapists are very serious about helping people with sexual suffering, and are very dedicated to high standards regarding treatment."

Still, many men seem quick to turn to a sex addiction diagnosis as a means of explaining away their bad behavior. Jonathan Alpert, a psychotherapist and author of the forthcoming “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days," says, "I've had more and more males coming in to see me with the idea that they are a sex addict. This is largely fueled by the media, as it has become the diagnosis du jour. Way too many times, it is used as an excuse for someone who simply cheated on his significant other. Fact is, one act of infidelity doesn't make someone a sex addict; it makes him a cheater.”

Addiction therapist Edward Ratush acknowledges that sex addiction has been over-diagnosed. But for that matter, so has depression. That doesn’t mean the issue isn’t very real.

“Yes, I do think it is possible to be addicted to sex,” he says. “To need it even when you don’t want it. To pursue it even at the cost of your health, happiness, relationships, and career.”

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz goes even further, saying that sex addiction "could fit into numerous diagnoses: OCD, bipolar disorder, various personality disorders, etc. The goal is to help a patient see the cost, and to treat the larger diagnosis and the symptom itself. Most important is to avoid seeing a label as any sort of absolution from responsibility, the responsibility to get treatment and stop being destructive to yourself and others."

So is sex addiction for real? Is it a diagnosis? A symptom? A poor excuse for even worse behavior? Despite the bad behavior of certain Hollywood actors and politicians, perhaps, in the end, the label itself isn’t what’s important.

"Whatever we decide to call this stuff, 'sex addiction,' 'compulsive sexual behavior,' 'out of control sexual behavior,' or 'hypersexuality,' it does exist,” says noted sex therapist Russell Stambaugh. “It can wreck lives, and it is wildly over-diagnosed and threatens to further marginalize sexuality in general and specific sexual minorities in particular. It is not sex negative to recognize that sex both causes harm sometimes, and can come from bad places."

Ley has clearly thrown down the gauntlet, and hopefully the debate will continue. What do you think? Is sex addiction a myth or the real thing?

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Filed under: Addiction • Sex

soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Styx Hexenhammer

    Sex is awesome. Anyone who isn't addicted a little to sex is obviously either not performing well, or their partner(s) haven't performed well.

    March 30, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wcus445

      Or they are simply not normal. Having an unusually low sex drive is a medical condition. I would define sex addiction as being so preoccupied with sex that one is unable to be a productive member of society.

      March 31, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • mullahfullahbullah

      I would agree with your assertion that someone so preoccupied with sex that it infringes on their work or lives has issues. Bill Clinton is NOT a productive member of society based on this definition (nor any other).

      March 31, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      or they have been taught by religious nuts that they should be ashamed of their bodies and sex is dirty.

      March 31, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
    • Adannis C.

      I'm with you on this! Yeah!!!

      March 31, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Addiction isnt a "little".. People either have a massive problem with it or they dont

      April 1, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Avatar22

      I agree with you that sex is inherently addictive. Indeed, that's just evolution in action – if sex weren't so, then we wouldn't survive as a species. Unlike, say, alcohol, some degree of dependance on sex is hard-wired into men.

      That said, there is no doubt in my mind that like any behaviour that triggers a powerful pleasurable response, there is always the potential for an addictive behaviour to escalate and for certain vulnerable people to become "addicts" in the truest sense of the word. The brain chemicals produced by sex are no less powerful than many drugs. It would be surprising to me if some members of the population did not escalate this behaviour to the level of a true chemical dependancy.

      April 1, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Art Vandolay

      @styx Obviously you are an expert on this. Someday you may realize when you get older and more mature, that there are people in this world who cannot control themselves when it comes to sex. If you read the article, there are some very accurate descriptions of those types of people. I was one for many years. The endorphin release from sex can be pursued just as any drug high. And it can control your life as much as any drug. I'm glad you've never experienced this, but your statement is totally inaccurate and frankly, immature.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
    • Well

      I find this to be arousing...

      April 12, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  2. Ted Striker

    I think many celebrities that get in trouble and then get bad PR just use these conditions as a way to shun responsibility for their actions. Mental health therapists provide a tremendous service to society, however I get tired of it when all the California ( I live here) therapisty talk comes out everytime a celebrity messes up in public.

    March 31, 2012 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Barbara C.

    @Anie: And who exactly is going to raise and socialize children in your non-monogamous world o' hedonism?

    March 31, 2012 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AresMuse

      It takes a village, yes? Maybe if we were open families children would be more influenced by a circle of people rather than just a couple. And also, with the divorce and infedility rates what they are, is what we have now really the best way?

      March 31, 2012 at 04:39 | Report abuse |
    • ZarGoth

      The responsible parents of those children, who are even better able to meet the needs of their children because they do not have to hide who & what they are from each other.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • trueview

      The anti-abortion nuts will adopt all unwanted children. No? I guess you are right, they are just a bunch of sign waving, self riightous, bags of air.

      April 1, 2012 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
  4. Phil Just Phil ok

    Sex addiction for me has been so over analyze for all the wrong reason and I totally agree with the industrialization mentioned in this article. I think personally the problem is not sex addiction but sexually responsibility. Sexual responsibility goes far beyond protection. Don't get me wrong protection is number one on the list but I think in America the knowledge of both the physical and emotional aspects of sex have not been a primary focus far too long in today's contemporary western civilization.

    March 31, 2012 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ZarGoth

      Sounds to me like you are on the right track with this...

      March 31, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
  5. studdmuffins

    Therapy – the new religion. Brought to you by people who swear they don't believe in religion.

    March 31, 2012 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ZarGoth

      Well put!

      March 31, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      re·li·gion
      noun /riˈlijən/
      The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

      ther·a·py
      noun /ˈTHerəpē/
      Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder

      March 31, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Um Stud, what part of therapy requires a belief in an invisible deity? What part of religion helps any mental problem whatsoever?

      April 1, 2012 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    It is a problem magnified by recent advances of "Women's rights". When a wife starts giving that old answer to her husband that she has a "Headache" and the various other reasons for not allowing sex – then the frustrations of the men begin to increase.

    On the rights of women to refuse sex to there husbands, it simply is not there. If you read the Bible, God dictates that either the man or woman has a "right" to his/her spouses body for that "Natural" purpose. To withhold sex – "IS" a sin.

    Okay – flame time, but I must respond in advance that if you deny your spouse this "right" to your body, you are simply NOT a Christian -

    Think of the fruits that would come from living as God directs us all to!!!

    God Bless

    Bill

    March 31, 2012 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kat

      You are disturbed, your 'good book' tells you it's okay to rape your wife and so you believe it. Why don't you just go ahead and move to the middle east where you can stone your wife to death for not producing male offspring – that's in that book of your too you know.

      March 31, 2012 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
    • Mordac

      Neanderthals still walk the earth.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • SomeGuy

      Well, then I must be a sinner. I love sex, no doubt about it and I do not have sex with my wife. Not because she doesn't want to but because I am no longer attracted to her in the least bit. Over 19 years of marriage, she has completely let herself go, weighing over 300 lbs. I am not a terribly picky guy but I have always found extreme obesity very unattractive. She does nothing around the house. Nothing. I am the one that earns the income and if I want anything done, I have to do it myself. Laundry, shopping, finances, cleaning and maintaining the house inside and out, etc. I have lost complete respect for her. You know, in order for me to have sex with her, I have to have some attraction ... or it just doesn't 'work'.

      March 31, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      Your belef is exactly what's wrong with religion. My brother is a minister and every day I see him and his congregation perpetuating this "husband is king" baloney. First off, it's MY body and I will grant access to it as I choose. Secondly, I am a human being with the EXACT same rights as my husband...his needs or wants have not one bit more importance than mine. Thirdly, any man who wants his wife to perform out of "duty" and not as an expression of love, is a disgusting, self-serving, ignorant and thoughtless jerk...and if he were my husband, I'd kick his butt all the way out the front door.

      March 31, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      This is an insane viewpoint.

      Sometimes I come home after a long day at work tired and turn my wife down. It's not because I don't love her or "hate sex", it's because I'm tired. Sometimes she has a particularly difficult day with the kids and turns me down for the same reason. We have a happy and stable marriage, but we're human.

      The last thing on Earth I'd want is for my wife to just lie there and let me "do my thing" like she's some kind of toy and I'm ome kind of animal. To even suggest that someone's obligated to do that is disgusting. I want her to enjoy sex, not view it as a duty or a chore. What's wrong with you.

      March 31, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
    • dr. ruth

      Bill you're an idiot! I pitty the fool that has to follow your pathetic rules...Be a real man and learn how to respect women! No means no, dumkopf!

      March 31, 2012 at 22:58 | Report abuse |
    • mdnc

      Bill that's why god gave you two hands and an infinite supply of hand lotion. Just make sure you lock the bathroom door so your Mom doesn't catch you (again)

      April 1, 2012 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Bill from a Christian point of view, yes you are correct. All secular replies here, though, which are always the opposite of truth. Non Christians just don't like you Bill.

      April 1, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • dirkk

      Relax, this guy is a troll.

      April 1, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • Perspective for cryin out loud

      Bill, I am a Christian and I think you're misinterpreting the bible. Yes, spouses have rights to each other's bodies. But you're taking it way too far. A loving husband will not demand sex. True, if refusal turns into a pattern where the spouse is continually coming up with excuses to deny sex, there may be a serious issue in their relationship that needs to be dealt with. But you need to treat the disease before you expect the symptoms to go away.

      Don't get so caught up with the idea that spouses have rights to each other's bodies and forget about Paul's challenge for husbands. He tells us to love our wives "as Christ loved the church." How did Christ demonstrate His love for the church? He died for her. So if husbands' love for their wives are supposed to model that same love, don't you think that means God wants us to be willing to make sacrifices? The church has gotten so messed up on their views of husband-wife relationships. Yes, husbands are supposed to be the head of the family. But that doesn't mean superior. It means FIRST. As in the first to take responsibility and the first to sacrifice themselves for the good of the family. Would you argue the fact that Jesus was the greatest leader of all time? He washed His disciples' feet. If you take that philosophy in your marriage, I guarantee the bedroom is going to be much better than the obligatory sex demanded by a domineering husband.

      April 2, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      You are a moron. Being married does not ever mean a woman should have to "give up sex" to her married partner. Intimacy is a two way street that should never be forced upon another or made to feel guilty for not putting out on every desire. Would you rather hump a loveless, lifeless body? Shame on you and your book.

      April 9, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  7. ZarGoth

    Has it escaped notice that it is the way we have society formed that makes the actions problematic?

    In an open & sex-positive society, people would be free to meet their needs without guilt or damage to primary relationships.

    Long past time to think outside of the box, as well as The Book...

    March 31, 2012 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kit

      Wow..so if a man is in the mood, he could just approach every woman within reach and ask her if she'd like to satisfy his needs....disgusting. Civilized people appreciate restraint.

      March 31, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
    • ronn Vest

      Kit i think you have issues that you need to address. Very sensitive about this issue...

      March 31, 2012 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
  8. Mordac

    Who ya gonna call?

    March 31, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Otaner

      Ghostbusters!

      April 2, 2012 at 06:57 | Report abuse |
  9. ACrockOfHooey

    Sex addiction is a myth! Why is a high(er) sex activity incidence considered bad but a low or non-existent sex activity incidence considered good? Too little should be vilified in the media as well! Lack of sex ruins relationships just as often and as horribly as the opposite. Desirable sexual activity frequency should be the first question any person asks another potential partner/mate. The issue is too many people lie in their response and then fail to actually produce the stated frequency.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kit

      As a woman, I truly believe that men would like to have sex more often than most women because their urge to procreate is inborn. By the same token, women are not born with an urgent need to "spread seed." If you want your woman to understand where you're coming from, try understanding her too. You feel abused and angry when she doesnt understand and meet your needs...however, you are forgetting that the restraint she feels is also inborn.

      March 31, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • Otaner

      Hear! Hear!

      April 2, 2012 at 07:23 | Report abuse |
  10. banf

    i banged every female i could durint the 70s 80s and 90s...it was alot of fun...

    March 31, 2012 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SomeGuy

      So why did you stop?

      March 31, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      and you haven't grown up a bit in the past 12 years...amazing AND disturbing.

      March 31, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • DK

      Yeah, but what you didn't say was the total number, which was 1.
      That was all you could, poor guy.

      April 2, 2012 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
  11. addictswife

    You don't believe in sex addiction? Come meet my husband. I've lived with a sex addict for over 8 years now. I've seen the frustration, anger, hopelessness, tears, and impulsiveness. It is very much an addiction – a label which I think is conveniently and erroneously doled out on misbehaving celebrities as "justification" They don't have a clue what real sex addiction is. Yeah, sex might not kill you – but depression? hurting others with your actions? Destroying victims lives when they act out? Sex addiction itself is death. People's brains fall out when they get that PhD label behind their names – Mr. David Ley. Just trying to stir controversy and get their names out there to boost their clientel. Take a walk in the real world before you start making generalizations that will hurt a whole class of people.

    March 31, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ronn Vest

      he didn't say it doesn't exist, but is used too often in the place of taking responsibility for your actions...you are a bitter person who obviously aren't in a deep passionate relationship.

      March 31, 2012 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • Adannis C.

      ... "frustration, anger, hopelessness, tears, and impulsiveness"... Sounds like you're not giving him any.

      March 31, 2012 at 21:39 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Have you explored to what extent you may play into your husband's addiction? There a some therapists who like to absolve the wives from having any responsibility in the matter..and there are some husbands who will admit it has nothing to do with their wives...that they would continue to act out if they weren't married. The acting out is the husband's CHOSEN path for getting what it is he thinks he wants. The trick for the wife is to help the husband see that what he really wants is something she can provide. it starts with accepting that you, as the wife, are part of the problem and a big part of the solution.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • Cooper Salazar

      "Sex Addiction" is the perfect excuse for *you* to not change. You are heavily invested in being a door mat.

      April 3, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  12. Adannis C.

    I'm not a sex addict, but boy oh boy do I think about sex, and love looking at sexy women. And I'd say that the average male world wide would like to get laid on the regular – hell, just posting this makes me want to make a couple of booty calls.

    March 31, 2012 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Lets Produce

    Sex Addiction is a term coined by a guy with E.D. who was so jealous of his healthier friends he couldn't stand it.

    March 31, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JD

      Sex addiction is a concept created by psychologists and psychiatrists that decided that they could make A LOT of money convincing men and their girlfriends and wives that they are addicted to sex. "Ooooh Deeear! This is a serious problem. It will take at least 10 or 15 years of therapy twice a week to fix this!" People may be compulsive about sex just as they may be compulsive about washing their hands, or eating, or not eating, or any number of other behaviors. That doesn't necessarily make them separate disorders. Thanks to the insanity of Judeo-Christian-Muslim mythology, people are made to feel guilty about having more sex than what someone else thinks is normal.

      April 2, 2012 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
  14. Really Now

    If "sex addiction" is in fact a REAL condition, how is it defined? How often does one have to have sex before this label goes on? Is it the length of time one has sex that makes them a addict? If so, do we need to set a timer to avoid "The Label"? I think the "Label" is somebody's idea merely to get attention.

    March 31, 2012 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bill

    As expected – the free thinkers are widespread and many in numbers. Like the Book says, the pathway to Hell is broad but the gate to Heaven is narrow and reached only by few.

    That is why God gave mankind "free will" and knew long in advance that most would fail.

    If one is incapable of reading and understanding the true meaning of the Bible and God's ways, I feel sorry for them, however this reflects nothing short of the exercise of "free will" and the results will stand forever upon judgement day.

    As I noted – let the flaming begin, as I knew it would from the masses of unbelievers. Let it be noted also that as a believer most will silently remain on the sidelines as "the meek shall inherit the earth" and this too shall be the judgement.

    No – I am not a fanatic, I built a million dollar company from scratch all on a handshake just doing the "right" thing as all business is done with prayer and to honor Him.

    For the doubters and angry offensive ones you might take the time, and brain cells, to actually read the Bible, starting at Genesis where the role of Men and Women are "defined" and into the New Testament where His word clearly defines the role of each and prohibits more than one wife to one man.

    The masses here – I pray for you.

    Bill

    April 1, 2012 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      For one so "versed" in the Bible, you are unable to correctly spell "Judgment Day" nor did you recognize it as a proper noun.

      Please back up your assertions with evidence that may be tested against the Scientific Method, and not a "magic" book.

      April 1, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey

      BILL,

      If it makes you comfortable to believe in something out there a book or a god or a furry animal so you dont have to look hard enough or think for your self it is fine but dont try to act like you figured everything and you have answers..you dont..you just like to pretend because you are too lazy to think for yourself.

      April 1, 2012 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I agree with you Bill. Happy Palm Sunday!

      April 1, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  16. Cheese

    We are all animals, we have an urge to procreate, this is an urge of the species and anyone that says they don't want to have sex all the time is lying. There is no possible way you can not say it isn't normal. Some people show restraint, some people don't, everyone loves sex.

    April 1, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JOHN

    It sounds like a hormonal problem. The sex drive is largely influenced by testosterone; that's why regarding sex most women can take it or leave it(and most leave it). Sorry straight guys; you can talk around it all day but that's why your wife would rather talk than have sex. Gotta go; my boyfriend's up for round two. Enjoy chattting.

    April 1, 2012 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. ElAleman

    Sex addiction? I suffer from an uncontrollable need to punch everyone in the face who invents stupid excuses for their misbehavior. I just hope some comes up with a name for my predicament!

    April 1, 2012 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jkheartthrob

    the desire for is driving by the partner that you have so partner that doesnot have driving sex does require alot of passion

    April 1, 2012 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SaayWatt

      I couldn't not said it better, myself!

      April 1, 2012 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
  20. MONEY IN IT

    Its a fake disorder whose primary purpose is to generate cash for therapists. These people are always looking for a new disorder to treat to increase cash flow. They are really shameless beyond what any politician could ever hope to achieve.

    The core group to be 'cured ' of this new fake cash generating disorder will be men who basically behave as they have always behaved and will always behave. Their wives will send them. These wives are for the most part delusional also.
    They saw some special on day time TV about it, hence the disorder must exist. Men also become "convinced" that the disorder exists. What convinces them is the relative cheapness of therapy in contrast to a very expensive divorce.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. PumpNDump

    We're not hard wired to be monogamous, end of story. It's a biological imperative to breed and procreate. This is a fake disorder but marriage is pointless and overrated.

    April 1, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Addict is in the mirror

      Pumpkin dump. Monogamy might not apply to you but I hope you take care of your litter. Not expect others too...

      April 4, 2012 at 02:07 | Report abuse |
  22. Mike

    Woman cheat almost as often as men.

    April 1, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      I think cheating has something to do with it sometimes....There are people who are addicted to cheating too, but sex addiction is not just about cheating. Single people have it as well.

      April 1, 2012 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      Actually, woman cheat more than men.

      April 2, 2012 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
  23. oogly boogly

    I've seen sex addiction too often in my practice to call it anything else but an addiction. It's not about liking sex nor about wanting more sex and it's not prudish to treat it as a problem. And, yes, it runs the gamut from bulimia to anorexia. But it's not about something you enjoy, it's about not liking how you are behaving at all, seeing the consequences for your job, your relationships, your finances and not liking any part of it, but being unable to quit.
    And, I agree, it's easy to use as an excuse for just misbehaving' whether you are a celebrity or just a cheater. But show me anything good that can't be misused!

    April 1, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bill

    George

    For one so "versed" in the Bible, you are unable to correctly spell "Judgment Day" nor did you recognize it as a proper noun.

    Please back up your assertions with evidence that may be tested against the Scientific Method, and not a "magic" book.

    ***************************************************************************************************************************************************

    So busy trying to be proper, some folks don't see the truth nor do they bother to read and understand.

    I could care less of the proper terms assigned by men, I do care for the enlightened truth and my friend you certainly are not there.

    If some self centered men, or women, would examine my company they would find many such errors. This does not say the company is invalid or ineffective, quite the opposite as I earned the highest respect in my trade. Now if you look at it from the moral, ethical, honesty, and honor of the Lord approach I am above reproach.....

    God is the "ONLY" way -– end of story.

    Bill

    April 1, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. svann

    I think everyone has an underlying addiction to sex, but most control themselves. Kind of like how an alcoholic is still an alcoholic even when he quits drinking. The underlying urge is always there.

    April 1, 2012 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Joe in Kalispell

    Sex addiction is a concept created by wives who don't want sex.

    April 1, 2012 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sarah

    Believe it or not some women have a sex addiction. You can be single and have a sex addiction. I think everyone likes sex however some people need a fix all the time. The problem is not that sex addicts may feel ashamed, however it is the consequences of having sex. I am in no way taking responsibility away from married people who cheat however there is a certain extra drive to go out and find sex for some people.

    April 1, 2012 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Polymath

    There are people with low sex drive who behave responsibly and others with low sex drive who, when they do have sex, behave irresponsibly. There are people with high sex drive who behave irresponsibly and others with high sex drive who behave responsibly. The issue is not how intense one's sex drive is, the issue is whether the person behaves responsibly. Does the person take advantage of others, take risks, expose others to STDs, or is that person considerate of the partner's needs, desires, emotional and physical well being? There are men who have sex only once every six months, but when they do so, are disrespectful and/or unfaithful. There are also married couples, both of whom have very high sex drives, who have loving, nurturing sex several times every day. Are these persons 'addicts'? I hardly think so; they are blessed to be matched in their drives. Sex in loving relationships promotes health and emotional bonding.

    'Addiction' is not the issue; responsibility is.

    April 2, 2012 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. hlangerhans

    "nor has anyone ever overdosed from sex."

    I beg to differ. Patpong, Thailand, 2007. Never again.

    April 2, 2012 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. doubledown

    Sweet... gambling is not an addiction... you can't die from it or OD from it.

    April 2, 2012 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JD

      If you spend all your money gambling and have no money left for necessities, you and your family can suffer a lot! If gambling leads you to put a bullet through your head, isn't that fatal?

      April 2, 2012 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
  31. Russ12

    Im sure theres a drug for this

    April 2, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. JGinMV

    Wow, astonishing that people have walked the Earth for millenia, and (manifestly) had sex for that entire time, and yet only now has our medicine advanced to the point that we've discovered this disease called sex addiction.

    Should I lambast the psychology profession for coming up with this, or for taking so long to come up with it?

    April 2, 2012 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. MtnCol

    I'm so addicted to sex I got aroused reading the comments to this article.

    April 2, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. SenorPlaid

    I couldn't agree more with David Ley: To sell someone the cure, first you must sell them the problem.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Brian

    All this terrible logic. Just because there are doctors, psychologists, publishers, hospital administrators who may profit from somone claiming to need sex addiciton therapy (and those who make money selling books claiming it doesn't exist) does not mean it doesn't exist. The best recovery for sex compulsions, food compulsions, drug addiction, alcoholism is 12 step programs. They happen to be free and they have the best recovery rates. Really the drugs are ineffective with these issues.

    I am sure all these people who think sex addiction is manufactured would jump on the ADHD bandwagon for kids. "They just need a good whipped behind! ... but go ahead and give them all the strongest pharmaceuticals out there to keep them out of my sight and off the street corner."

    The pharmaceutical companies are making their big bucks giving drugs for severe schizophrenia to school kids who can't sit in their seats.

    April 3, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. John

    If you want to know why so many men have this problem, just look around you. Every sign on the road has a beautiful half naked woman on it. The same with most commercials on TV. Watch Dancing with the Stars sometime and you will see why men are always looking for sex. We are constantly bombarded with gorgeous women with very little on and it keeps us thinking about sex. Maybe we should get smart and start using hunky men in the same way and keep our women thinking about sex all the time. Then we may get what we are looking for.

    April 3, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Orthodoxy

    The fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church understood the role of the libido well. It drives the process of procreation in marriage (St John Chrysostom +412 commentary on 1st Corinthians) and is ENCOURAGED. St John FORBID either partner to deprive the other of their desire. However this was only blessed in the sacrament of marriage. You see, the bellicose fools on here have mixed up several factors. They think that blessing sex only in marriage means that the Holy Church says it is dirty. What IDOTS. You know NOTHING about what the ancient church teaches, why? because you are BRAINWASHED MORONS, who are too lazy to even do the most basic research. You can have your "brand new" secular priesthood (Psychologists) I will stick with my time tested Spiritual Father/Spiritual child relationship, and the comforting wholesomeness found in the rich spiritual life of Holy Orthodoxy (Yes our Priests are married and rightly so)

    April 3, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kelly House

      You sir are the brainwashed delusional moron.
      Why hang onto non-scieticifc explainations of the word developed by much less intelligent and informed humans of the Bronze Age?

      April 21, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
  38. rh

    You can be addicted to anything. You can be addicted to church. You can be addicted to drinking apple juice. You can be addicted to clipping your toenails.

    Addiction is purely a symptomatic diagnosis. Does the addiction interfere with your normal life – your job, your family, your other activities? Do you get defensive if anyone talks to you about it? Do you sometimes wish you could do without it? Do you feel withdrawal symptoms if you purposefully stop?

    If anything can be an addiction, sex can be an addiction. But I do agree that sleeping around is not the same as sex addiction. DSK would be an example of sex addiction, where he risked and lost his career due to sex. That's the proof of the addiction, you end up hurting yourself.

    April 3, 2012 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Don Jones

    My favorite is Impulse Control Disorder. Every time my wife catches me checking out some cute gal's butt I swear to her I have this terribly debilitating affliction.

    April 4, 2012 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. American Food

    A new disease, a new stigma, a new pill. After thousands of years, and mastery of birth control, life is labeled a disease.

    April 5, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jess

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I believed this put up was once good. I do not know who you're but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger in the event you are not already. Cheers!

    April 6, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. DFWDelia

    How can you tell if you are addicted to sex, or the orgasms that come with it, or you just like having sex a lot? I think a sex drive can be made bigger with some hormonal medicines as well. I would go crazy if I had to give up sex! There's no way!

    April 16, 2012 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Kelly House

    I would think that a sex addiction would totally be possible. When humans orgasim, the brain releases Oxytocin, a powerful hormone that effects many areas of the brain. The hormone also appears to be linked with trust, bonding and love, with people secreting higher levels of the hormone when engaged with people they're close to.

    April 21, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kelly House

    What exactly does religion have to do with the topic at hand?
    That's the problem with religion, always poking it's nose into scientific topics and questions. But then expects to be exempt itself from scientific scrutiny.

    I agree with George, unless you have evidence that can be proven through scientific methods, it's irrelevant.

    Also, I would like to comment to all the religion advocates that have posted "you need to read the bible" blah, blah, blah. It has been my experience that non-believers typically seemed to be more knowledgable about the bible than believers.

    April 21, 2012 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.