Sex Addiction

Another Guy Who Isn’t a Sex Addict

He was 50, married, and he had all the symptoms of “sex addiction.” Let’s call him Joe. As he travelled the country lecturing (he was a pioneering ear surgeon), he’d hire an escort to spend the night with him. He’d lie about it to his wife, of course. He became a regular—or rather he had a few “regulars”—in cities he visited frequently, such as Chicago and St. Louis. What had started 12 years ago as an occasional treat eventually became a virtual necessity. While he wanted to be an attentive father and husband, he worked long hours and was emotionally…

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An Epidemic of Sex Addiction?

Before he even sat down, my new patient blurted out why he had come. “My wife says I’m a sex addict, and she demands I get treated immediately,” he said. I’ve been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist for 30 years. That’s some 30,000 sessions with men, women, and couples—a ringside seat at the human circus. The guy was yet another supposed “sex addict.” I listened to his story carefully, and told him I sympathized with how he had damaged his life and hurt people with bad sexual decisions. “But I don’t treat ‘sex addiction,’” I…

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Our Addiction to Tiger Woods’ “Sex Addiction”

What’s wrong with Tiger Woods? Three words: I. Don’t. Know. For weeks I’ve been flooded with media inquiries, all focused on Tiger’s alleged sex addiction. I’ve become the go-to guy when the media wants a professional with a different point of view on this. And so from Dr. Phil to Nightline, and on radio stations like Live 25 in Oklahoma City, people have been asking me if the guy’s a sex addict. And if he isn’t, what is he? My answer’s always the same: I’ve never met the guy, I don’t know him, I don’t know why he did what…

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Does “Sex Addiction” Exist? Does It Matter What You Call It?

One of America’s major websites is running a front page article today about “sex addiction.” The primary expert featured in the story is… me. That’s only fair, since I’ve spent years challenging the very concept. No reasonable person can deny that some people are involved with sex (e.g., via pornography, prostitutes, affairs, romance novels, anonymous pickups) in an unhealthy way. But the concept of “sex addiction” is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Why does it matter what you call it? Well, “frigidity” was a well-known diagnostic category for a long time. When physicians diagnosed a woman…

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