Sex - when too much is barely enough
I love hot chips. I can’t get enough. Sometimes I’m thinking about hot chips when I should be thinking about work. Sometimes I hide them so no one will know. I think I have a hot chip addiction.
Addictions are, apparently, the disorders du jour. And sex addiction is the latest hot item. Psychologists are warning that since Tiger Woods checked into a posh sex-addict clinic last year, the number of people coming clean with their addiction has surged.
So they’re turning up in their millions (seriously) to programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous. Which may sound like the most awesome pick-up joint you ever went to, but is in fact quite serious.
Flippancy aside (just for a little bit), it’s clear there are people who suffer from hyper-sexuality. People who masturbate a dozen times a day, who can’t function without nicking off too look at porn, who just cannot stop themselves finding numerous partners and having ridiculous amounts of risky yet unfulfilling sex.
But it’s also clear there’s a bunch of philanderers out there who are pretty chuffed to jump on Tiger Woods’ bandwagon and claim their out-of-control libido is a legitimate medical problem.
Psychologists and psychiatrists can’t agree. So sex addiction is in a strange in-between world where some consider it a problem unto itself, while others see it as a branch of obsessive compulsive disorder. Theories abound.
This uncertainty allows people – private clinics, Big Pharma, opportunists – to jump into the breach and push the idea that we have an epidemic of sex maniacs on our hands.
Some experts say 3 per cent of the population have a sex addiction. Others say it’s as much as 16 per cent.
When you look around at people promoting the idea – just ask Google – you end up at the websites of those private clinic operators… or ‘family associations’ who are anti-porn and can help you with your sex addiction. One I came across also offers ‘hope for homosexuals’. How nice.
Treatment for sex addiction range from the aforementioned Alcoholics Anonymous-type program (which naturally begs the question – to recover do you have to abstain forever?) to counselling to cognitive behavioural therapy to medication.
All of which I’m sure can help the legitimate cases.
But as with so many ‘new’ disorders’, the people set to make some dosh keep pushing the boundaries. So suddenly woman are dragging their cheating husbands in for treatment, men are realising “It’s OK!” to admit they’re sex addicts – and women are ‘finding the courage’ to declare themselves addicted.
It becomes a way to absolve yourself of your behaviour. Not my fault, babe, I’m an addict. What with all the celebs checking themselves in, it’s practically glamourous.
So the disorder is legitimised, which creates a market, which feeds the demand for its services by broadening the definition of the disorder.
And before you know it there are giant boldly coloured billboards advertising nasal sprays for your sex addiction.
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