The Truth About Sex Addiction

Could Tiger Woods have a sex addition problem? The facts about this affliction.
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Like many problems, we can often chalk sex addiction up to bad parenting or childhood traumas. Very often, sex addicts were sexually abused as children and have a dysfunctional relationship with sex. Some feel like their only asset is their body or their ability to have sex. Others associate sex with getting attention from loved ones after feeling mistreated or ignored. O’Hara treated a woman who was ridiculed and physically abused by her mother and sexually abused by her uncle. In group sessions, she’d say things like, “I’ve been giving great blow jobs since I was 8!” It was less painful for her to talk about her abuse in a bragging way, and assert control over her sexuality, than it was for her to admit the real pain and confusion she must have felt as a little girl. Now, as an adult, she struggles with compulsive masturbation and performing meaningless casual oral sex because that’s how she feels a sense of self worth.

In Dr. Pinsky’s opinion, sex addiction is one of the hardest addictions to treat. It’s not as simple as “just say no” – sex addicts must be able to control their urges, while eventually being able to have sex be a healthy part of their life. For many addicts, that means entering some sort of intensive program, then joining a 12-step group and regularly attending meetings. Through this process, many are able to move on and eventually have normal — monogamous — romantic relationships.

For any of you who are still skeptical of sex addiction just being a fancy excuse, O’Hara points out, “Just because you have a disorder doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for the consequences of your actions.” An alcoholic who gets caught driving drunk isn’t any less culpable for driving under the influence than any other person who drove after having one too many. Likewise, you can cheat because of bad judgment or because of a sex addiction, but the consequences of your actions are still your fault. Addiction is not a justification, it’s just a diagnosis. Whether it’s Tiger Woods’ diagnosis – or excuse – remains to be seen.

Betty’s Sexpert Amber Madison is a sex educator and author of Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, and Talking Sex With Your Kids, to be released this March.

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0 thoughts on “The Truth About Sex Addiction

  1. He’s just a total uncaring jerk for choosing to be with these other women rather than spending time with his family. How many famous people/stars are out there sleeping around continually with multiple partners…are they “addicts”, too, or is it just totally accepted behavior just because they aren’t married? What is a sex addict really??? I think a lot of folks could be addicts…..single and married.

  2. Just because there’s “a new VH1 Dr. Drew Pinsky series, Sex Rehab, a segment on Oprah, and six, yes six, different anonymous recovery groups,” doesn’t mean this “disease” is anything more than a way to make money for those agreeing it exists and from “caught” celebrities to make excuses for philandering. How many poor people get it or are treated for it? It’s just DRIVEL!

  3. Hey “bryony1”, I see not everyone believes what they have read. There may be hope for the “general” public yet! Although many studies, experts, and researchers say that addiction is a disease, does not make it “true”. “…seek, and you will fine…” and discover there is, NO such thing as “addiction” !

  4. As someone who was unfortunately involved with a sex addict back in the late 90s and yes it does exist, and yes it can tear a family apart. My then BF spent EVERY dime he had (when he was alone of course) on phone sex lines, on demand porn, dancers, you name it. To look at him and the way he acted in public, you’d never think he had a problem. It wasn’t until he was arrested and then forced to seek help, did he do anything about. He had to go to mandatory SAA (sex addiction anonymous) meetings and see a therapist.

  5. The sex addict thing seems unbelievable to me. Though I strongly think I experience some of those things, I dont go acting erotic. I beg my BF to communicate with me everytime I get those urges.Once it overcame me and I was unfaithful, I immediately confessed and he forgave me, by the way Im female. He doesnt let me or himself forget and I feel bad. Anyway I guess its something I struggle with. I struggle plenty……..

  6. @sunnismile
    You said that you struggle with what seems to be an above average libido, but are (usually) able to control it in a healthy manner. Is that hard to believe that someone with stronger urges than you might not be able to control it?
    It just puzzles me that you admit that some people have sex drives that lead them to do things that they shouldn’t, and that even you can’t always control it, but refuse to accept that anyone might struggle with it more than you. Seems like a pretty selfish point of view to me…

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