Sex Addiction – A Real Epidemic?

Newsweek devotes some serious column inches to the “epidemic” that has made its way into popular awareness via notable celebrities such as Tiger Woods and Domenique Strauss-Kahn:

Valerie realized that sex was wrecking her life right around the time her second marriage disintegrated. At 30, and employed as a human-resources administrator in Phoenix, she had serially cheated on both her husbands—often with their subordinates and co-workers—logging anonymous hookups in fast-food-restaurant bathrooms, affairs with married men, and one-night stands too numerous to count. But Valerie couldn’t stop. Not even after one man’s wife aimed a shotgun at her head while catching them in flagrante delicto. Valerie called phone-sex chat lines and pored over online pornography, masturbating so compulsively that it wasn’t uncommon for her to choose her vibrator over going to work. She craved public exhibitionism, too, particularly at strip clubs, and even accepted money in exchange for sex—not out of financial necessity but for the illicit rush such acts gave her.

For Valerie, sex was a form of self-medication: to obliterate the anxiety, despair, and crippling fear of emotional intimacy that had haunted her since being abandoned as a child. “In order to soothe the loneliness and the fear of being unwanted, I was looking for love in all the wrong places,” she recalls.

After a decade of carrying on this way, Valerie hit rock bottom. Facing her second divorce as well as the end of an affair, she grew despondent and attempted to take her life by overdosing on prescription medication. Awakening in the ICU, she at last understood what she had become: a sex addict. “Through sexually acting out, I lost two marriages and a job. I ended up homeless and on food stamps,” says Valerie, who, like most sex addicts interviewed for this story, declined to provide her real name. “I was totally out of control.”

“Sex addiction” remains a controversial designation—often dismissed as a myth or providing talk-show punchlines thanks to high-profile lotharios such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Tiger Woods. But compulsive sexual behavior, also called hypersexual disorder, can systematically destroy a person’s life much as addictions to alcohol or drugs can. And it’s affecting an increasing number of Americans, say psychiatrists and addiction experts. “It’s a national epidemic,” says Steven Luff…

[continues at Newsweek]

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  • Airl

    This, like most psychological problems, could be simply fixed by some good old fashioned will power. Or you know, thinking with her head instead of her twat

  • Airl

    This, like most psychological problems, could be simply fixed by some good old fashioned will power. Or you know, thinking with her head instead of her twat

  • Airl

    This, like most psychological problems, could be simply fixed by some good old fashioned will power. Or you know, thinking with her head instead of her twat

    • Andrew

      The Australian race car driver?

    • Redacted

      Good luck with that. The whole world is a slave to the twat and its whims and wiles.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    “We have a turd in the punchbowl. I repeat, we have a turd in the punchbowl.”

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    “We have a turd in the punchbowl. I repeat, we have a turd in the punchbowl.”

  • the easy button

    Mind controlled sex slave…

  • the easy button

    Mind controlled sex slave…

  • Andrew

    The Australian race car driver?

  • BigAl

    “What you do online leads to off line activities.”
    The internet is a gateway sex drug?
    Seems like we’ve been told that about something else.

  • BigAl

    “What you do online leads to off line activities.”
    The internet is a gateway sex drug?
    Seems like we’ve been told that about something else.

    • Redacted

      That explains the urge I’ve been having to run around bashing people with an oversized sword for experience points.

      You think there could be some phallic undertones as well?

      • Simiantongue

        I have to actually type out a he he he, because it was that good.

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile, in the reality based universe:
    http://www.salon.com/2011/11/29/dont_believe_the_sex_addiction_hype/

    Why oh why does Disinfo still allow Majestic to post his garbage… 

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile, in the reality based universe:
    http://www.salon.com/2011/11/29/dont_believe_the_sex_addiction_hype/

    Why oh why does Disinfo still allow Majestic to post his garbage… 

  • reubenavery

    Meanwhile, in the reality based universe:
    http://www.salon.com/2011/11/29/dont_believe_the_sex_addiction_hype/

    Why oh why does Disinfo still allow Majestic to post his garbage… 

    • Simiantongue

      “Why oh why does Disinfo still allow Majestic to post his garbage… ”

      The assumption being that because it’s posted by majestic, or maybe just being in print, majestic wants people reading it to automatically accept it at face value. The presupposition is that majestic wants you to believe what Newsweek is saying. You’d have to ask majestic about that to be absolutely sure I suppose. I never take any material on Disinformation at face value. Here is my take on majestic’s contributions. What’s interesting is that majestic uses scare quotes on “epidemic”.

      “When the enclosed text is a quotation from another source, scare quotes may indicate that the writer does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself), that the writer feels its use is potentially ironic, or that the writer feels that it is a misnomer. This meaning may serve to distance the writer from the quoted content.”

      So we have majestic using scare quotes, and in my opinion doing so to distance the writer from the quoted content. I think in fact your conclusion about majestic is wrong. Seems majestic is saying with scare quotes that its a supposed epidemic. It looks to me that in the short write up paragraph preceding the story, it’s pointed out that Newsweek is dedicating some valuable column inches to this idea of an “epidemic”. The question you might be asking yourself is why.

      Perhaps you think people don’t have the ability to vet these stories themselves, so you think they’re not supposed to be posted and talked about? Only stories you feel can be accepted without too much thought should be posted? That’s really all I can make out of any objections to having something posted here. Maybe you just don’t think very much of others ability to think about things themselves. Which is rather insulting actually.

      This isn’t the MSM where everything parroted is gospel. Question everything is the running mantra here. The assumption here on Disinformation is that you have intelligence enough to sort these stories out yourself and comment on them. Indeed when stories of this sort are posted by Newsweek you ARE supposed to take it at face value there. When posted on Disinformation though, I find this crowd most times reads it with an open but sceptical mind as to the truth value and angle etc. That’s a lot to ask perhaps but I think most here have proven they’re up to the task.

      You’re too used to the passive propaganda model of mainstream media methinks. When information is provided there, people are supposed to assume it’s true without much thought given. This is just my take on Disinformation and how I see it, but, reading here is supposed to challenge you to think about what’s written instead of just absorbing it without question. This causes one to challenge preconceived notions at the best of times. I’d imagine that is not very comfortable for some, they don’t like to touch on certain subjects and weigh them on their own merits. If so then those people would be much happier reading at MSN.com or FOX news. Those sites are very good at their intended purpose, to quell any discomforting thoughts, to not only tell you what to think about, but how to think about it.

      So, try opening your mind a little, but not so much that your brain falls out and you lose it. It’s a balancing act. Here’s to walking that fine line at Disinformation, salute.

      • DeepCough

        Nevertheless, all things considered, that don’t change the fact that this story is sensationalistic, pseudoscientific, Christian bullshit.

        • Simiantongue

          That’s how it reads to me too. My point was I don’t think Majestic was proffering it as something to be taken  at face value, and you obviously haven’t. But reubenavery was intimating he was. reubenavery seemed to be going for some type of one-upmanship by intimating that Majestic was doing so, and then “debunking” it with another article. But I think that sentiment is misplaced.

          Since I’ve started coming here I’ve always thought of the posted articles, especially Majestic’s, as a combination of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Jack Palance Ripleys believe it or not. Whereas both are commonly heard to say “Submitted for your approval” and “Believe it… or not”, respectively. I enjoy that personally.

          This article has a surreality to it, though with a jot of truth too. I think anything can be an addiction. Sex, drugs, food, collecting radios. That part of the article has a ring of truth to it.  There is a danger though in “diagnosing” every single thing as an “addiction”. To what end? To sell more drugs and treatment maybe? To turn to a church for help, a very good proselytizing tool perhaps? That sounds like Newsweeks agenda, there is something wrong with you, you’re all sick and need reprogramming type of bullhockey.  The answer to your sickness will be found without not within you, and we just happen to have a few names who address this. Very slick advertising for the mental health industry and such in the guise of a supposed “column”.

          Well anyway this has taken up more time than I intended.

  • DeepCough

    So, Mr. Hicks, in your humble opinion, what would you say is the cause of sex addiction in the United States?

    Mr. Hicks: “Having a dick.”

  • DeepCough

    So, Mr. Hicks, in your humble opinion, what would you say is the cause of sex addiction in the United States?

    Mr. Hicks: “Having a dick.”

  • Anonymous

    That explains the urge I’ve been having to run around bashing people with an oversized sword for experience points.

    You think there could be some phallic undertones as well?

  • Anonymous

    That explains the urge I’ve been having to run around bashing people with an oversized sword for experience points.

    You think there could be some phallic undertones as well?

  • Anonymous

    Good luck with that. The whole world is a slave to the twat and its whims and wiles.

  • Anonymous

    Good luck with that. The whole world is a slave to the twat and its whims and wiles.

  • Hadrian999

    why cant I ever meet women like that

  • Hadrian999

    why cant I ever meet women like that

  • Hadrian999

    why cant I ever meet women like that

  • Simiantongue

    “Why oh why does Disinfo still allow Majestic to post his garbage… ”

    The assumption being that because it’s posted by majestic, or maybe just being in print, majestic wants people reading it to automatically accept it at face value. The presupposition is that majestic wants you to believe what Newsweek is saying. You’d have to ask majestic about that to be absolutely sure I suppose. I never take any material on Disinformation at face value. Here is my take on majestic’s contributions. What’s interesting is that majestic uses scare quotes on “epidemic”.

    “When the enclosed text is a quotation from another source, scare quotes may indicate that the writer does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself), that the writer feels its use is potentially ironic, or that the writer feels that it is a misnomer. This meaning may serve to distance the writer from the quoted content.”

    So we have majestic using scare quotes, and in my opinion doing so to distance the writer from the quoted content. I think in fact your conclusion about majestic is wrong. Seems majestic is saying with scare quotes that its a supposed epidemic. It looks to me that in the short write up paragraph preceding the story, it’s pointed out that Newsweek is dedicating some valuable column inches to this idea of an “epidemic”. The question you might be asking yourself is why.

    Perhaps you think people don’t have the ability to vet these stories themselves, so you think they’re not supposed to be posted and talked about? Only stories you feel can be accepted without too much thought should be posted? That’s really all I can make out of any objections to having something posted here. Maybe you just don’t think very much of others ability to think about things themselves. Which is rather insulting actually.

    This isn’t the MSM where everything parroted is gospel. Question everything is the running mantra here. The assumption here on Disinformation is that you have intelligence enough to sort these stories out yourself and comment on them. Indeed when stories of this sort are posted by Newsweek you ARE supposed to take it at face value there. When posted on Disinformation though, I find this crowd most times reads it with an open but sceptical mind as to the truth value and angle etc. That’s a lot to ask perhaps but I think most here have proven they’re up to the task.

    You’re too used to the passive propaganda model of mainstream media methinks. When information is provided there, people are supposed to assume it’s true without much thought given. This is just my take on Disinformation and how I see it, but, reading here is supposed to challenge you to think about what’s written instead of just absorbing it without question. This causes one to challenge preconceived notions at the best of times. I’d imagine that is not very comfortable for some, they don’t like to touch on certain subjects and weigh them on their own merits. If so then those people would be much happier reading at MSN.com or FOX news. Those sites are very good at their intended purpose, to quell any discomforting thoughts, to not only tell you what to think about, but how to think about it.

    So, try opening your mind a little, but not so much that your brain falls out and you lose it. It’s a balancing act. Here’s to walking that fine line at Disinformation, salute.

  • DeepCough

    Nevertheless, all things considered, that don’t change the fact that this story is sensationalistic, pseudoscientific, Christian bullshit.

  • Simiantongue

    That’s how it reads to me too. My point was I don’t think Majestic was proffering it as something to be taken  at face value, and you obviously haven’t. But reubenavery was intimating he was. reubenavery seemed to be going for some type of one-upmanship by intimating that Majestic was doing so, and then “debunking” it with another article. But I think that sentiment is misplaced.

    Since I’ve started coming here I’ve always thought of the posted articles, especially Majestic’s, as a combination of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Jack Palance Ripleys believe it or not. Whereas both are commonly heard to say “Submitted for your approval” and “Believe it… or not”, respectively. I enjoy that personally.

    This article has a surreality to it, though with a jot of truth too. I think anything can be an addiction. Sex, drugs, food, collecting radios. That part of the article has a ring of truth to it.  There is a danger though in “diagnosing” every single thing as an “addiction”. To what end? To sell more drugs and treatment maybe? To turn to a church for help, a very good proselytizing tool perhaps? That sounds like Newsweeks agenda, there is something wrong with you, you’re all sick and need reprogramming type of bullhockey.  The answer to your sickness will be found without not within you, and we just happen to have a few names who address this. Very slick advertising for the mental health industry and such in the guise of a supposed “column”.

    Well anyway this has taken up more time than I intended.

  • Simiantongue

    That’s how it reads to me too. My point was I don’t think Majestic was proffering it as something to be taken  at face value, and you obviously haven’t. But reubenavery was intimating he was. reubenavery seemed to be going for some type of one-upmanship by intimating that Majestic was doing so, and then “debunking” it with another article. But I think that sentiment is misplaced.

    Since I’ve started coming here I’ve always thought of the posted articles, especially Majestic’s, as a combination of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Jack Palance Ripleys believe it or not. Whereas both are commonly heard to say “Submitted for your approval” and “Believe it… or not”, respectively. I enjoy that personally.

    This article has a surreality to it, though with a jot of truth too. I think anything can be an addiction. Sex, drugs, food, collecting radios. That part of the article has a ring of truth to it.  There is a danger though in “diagnosing” every single thing as an “addiction”. To what end? To sell more drugs and treatment maybe? To turn to a church for help, a very good proselytizing tool perhaps? That sounds like Newsweeks agenda, there is something wrong with you, you’re all sick and need reprogramming type of bullhockey.  The answer to your sickness will be found without not within you, and we just happen to have a few names who address this. Very slick advertising for the mental health industry and such in the guise of a supposed “column”.

    Well anyway this has taken up more time than I intended.

  • Simiantongue

    That’s how it reads to me too. My point was I don’t think Majestic was proffering it as something to be taken  at face value, and you obviously haven’t. But reubenavery was intimating he was. reubenavery seemed to be going for some type of one-upmanship by intimating that Majestic was doing so, and then “debunking” it with another article. But I think that sentiment is misplaced.

    Since I’ve started coming here I’ve always thought of the posted articles, especially Majestic’s, as a combination of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Jack Palance Ripleys believe it or not. Whereas both are commonly heard to say “Submitted for your approval” and “Believe it… or not”, respectively. I enjoy that personally.

    This article has a surreality to it, though with a jot of truth too. I think anything can be an addiction. Sex, drugs, food, collecting radios. That part of the article has a ring of truth to it.  There is a danger though in “diagnosing” every single thing as an “addiction”. To what end? To sell more drugs and treatment maybe? To turn to a church for help, a very good proselytizing tool perhaps? That sounds like Newsweeks agenda, there is something wrong with you, you’re all sick and need reprogramming type of bullhockey.  The answer to your sickness will be found without not within you, and we just happen to have a few names who address this. Very slick advertising for the mental health industry and such in the guise of a supposed “column”.

    Well anyway this has taken up more time than I intended.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always had a hard time distinguishing between physical addiction and psychological addiction.  The latter seems to provide greater lattitude for self-control, so would be the more appealing explanation for me, since the operating assumption underlying all social interactions is volition.

    Yet it’s hard to say.  There’s never been a completely satisfactory controlled experiment.  Can’t rightly draw up a control group of disembodied psyches, as that would pretty much thwart measuring response to sexual stimuli.  I believe that the bare minimum threshhold requirement for sex is a physical body.

    Maybe the answer is a Ouija(tm) board with a dildo on one end and a replica vag*na on the other.  I’ll draw up a proposal and see what kind of funding grants I can scare up.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I’ve always had a hard time distinguishing between physical addiction and psychological addiction.  The latter seems to provide greater lattitude for self-control, so would be the more appealing explanation for me, since the operating assumption underlying all social interactions is volition.

    Yet it’s hard to say.  There’s never been a completely satisfactory controlled experiment.  Can’t rightly draw up a control group of disembodied psyches, as that would pretty much thwart measuring response to sexual stimuli.  I believe that the bare minimum threshhold requirement for sex is a physical body.

    Maybe the answer is a Ouija(tm) board with a dildo on one end and a replica vag*na on the other.  I’ll draw up a proposal and see what kind of funding grants I can scare up.

    • Misterfurious

      Physical addiction simply means that your actual, physical body has withdrawals/gets medically sick if it is not getting something. Physical addiction is actually pretty rare. Opioids cause physical addiction, as do Barbituates. Alcohol can also cause a physical addiction, but you really have to try at it.

      Most addictions are psychological. There is a movement to label them “neurological” but the evidence is basically nonexistent. Of course, there is a certain kind of chemical and electrical activity going on in the brain of someone with an “addiction” but there is a “certain kind” of chemical and electrical activity that goes on in the brain of someone who is playing the piano, or eating a tasty sandwich or playing video games or walking. The point here is that once we get into the habit of labeling certain behaviors as “diseases” as many researchers are wont to do re: addiction, we make it very difficult to distinguish which behaviors are simply “behaviors” and which are “diseases.” Psychiatrists would love to let societal norms decide, but society is filled with half-educated creepy little geeks (myself included). In the past, for example, our society decided that masturbation and homosexuality were a “diseases.”  Of course they aren’t, and addiction isn’t either. But once we start labeling diseases based on societal norms, we open the door for any kind of unfashionable behavior to be labeled as such. And the ramifications are stupefying, as we already force those with “mental health” issues to be “treated” even though we don’t force anyone with “physical health” issues to do so.

  • Misterfurious

    Physical addiction simply means that your actual, physical body has withdrawals/gets medically sick if it is not getting something. Physical addiction is actually pretty rare. Opioids cause physical addiction, as do Barbituates. Alcohol can also cause a physical addiction, but you really have to try at it.

    Most addictions are psychological. There is a movement to label them “neurological” but the evidence is basically nonexistent. Of course, there is a certain kind of chemical and electrical activity going on in the brain of someone with an “addiction” but there is a “certain kind” of chemical and electrical activity that goes on in the brain of someone who is playing the piano, or eating a tasty sandwich or playing video games or walking. The point here is that once we get into the habit of labeling certain behaviors as “diseases” as many researchers are wont to do re: addiction, we make it very difficult to distinguish which behaviors are simply “behaviors” and which are “diseases.” Psychiatrists would love to let societal norms decide, but society is filled with half-educated creepy little geeks (myself included). In the past, for example, our society decided that masturbation and homosexuality were a “diseases.”  Of course they aren’t, and addiction isn’t either. But once we start labeling diseases based on societal norms, we open the door for any kind of unfashionable behavior to be labeled as such. And the ramifications are stupefying, as we already force those with “mental health” issues to be “treated” even though we don’t force anyone with “physical health” issues to do so.

  • Simiantongue

    I have to actually type out a he he he, because it was that good.

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