There is much confusion about sex addiction and whether it really exists, especially considering it is a proper biological function that usually is pleasurable. For men, it is much more than a mere biological function. Sex is a large part of life for men, they are taught, “big boys don’t cry, suck it up, be a man, don’t show weak feelings.” Sex is the only real way men are allowed to feel and express anything other than anger. Sex, we men are taught, is what quells the loneliness and fills the inner void. It is the tenderness we crave inside, the intimate vulnerability. To need all this is disallowed for men. So get it up and get it on! Sex is also taught as the measure of the man. This can be true for women too, but it is usually not as overwhelming a measure.
Now, what are addictions? At their roots, all addictions are the distraction from feeling. Usually a distraction from something we could not or would not handle. Whether it is tobacco, drugs, alcohol, overeating, over-sexing, over-working, over-meditating, over-exercising, over-praying, over-anything. Additionally, addictions like over sexing or over eating have the added dimension of being something needed for human continuance in reasonable amounts, unlike say drug addiction, which would be a great if you stopped. So for example, if you can’t stop thinking about food, this is indicative of an addiction, but if at meal times you thought about food that would be normal. All these addictive behaviors we took on, because they served our purpose. That purpose is and was to avoid feeling disagreeable, unpleasant, and repressed emotions.
So, in my opinion, all addiction therapies must include regression work, which is necessary to identify these hidden disagreeable feelings. This is so we can understand what has driven us, make new decisions (reframe), and release our attachment to these feelings. Yes, we have become attached to our negative feelings. Trance work (hypnosis) is the best way to access them. These repressed feeling are stored in our “shadows,” or dark-side. Talking about the issues (cognitive based therapies) is of use after the access via trance to the root causes.
The error I see many therapeutic settings take is treating the addiction as the main or only focus of therapy, instead of a symptom of an underlying root cause. Certainly, modifying behavior to minimalize the addictive acting-out is beneficial, but will have high rates of recidivism if the underlying issues are not address simultaneously and vigorously. However, the later is not pleasant; it is asking the addict to take a healing trip into their inner hells that they didn’t want to see in the first place. Selling this prospect is difficult, albeit, a required one. And celebrities are the worst clients, as they are spoiled, “make it painless and pleasing,” they demand. “Oh, and can I have a tranquilizer so I can be comfortable.” This will all but deny access to the very place they need to go.
So the question, does sex addiction exist, has the answer, of course it does. We humans can make anything into an addiction. Some like pain, and can’t get enough of it. The pain takes them away, distracts them from what they perceive is the more painful inner pain. This is the nature of addiction. It is a learned behavior used to cover buried feelings. These buried feelings are the culprits behind the addictive behaviors and they must be addressed.
We’ve seen many male celebrities with this addiction to sex. Why, partly because of the above, and partly because women throw themselves at them playing out the role of sex toy. We don’t see men throwing themselves at celebrity women to be used sexually. Nor do these women seem to need it. We have taught women the role of sex object, which ties directly into the addiction many women have, attention. Give me attention at any cost and I will do and be what you want, even if only for a “quickie.” So men’s sex addiction is part of the gender dance with women’s attention addiction. If one gender stopped, so too would the other. But I don’t see that happening. In fact as the “sexual revolution” proclaimed, “if it feels good, do it!” And the dance goes on, and on…
Selling sex and using it to sell promotes and continues these unhealthy behaviors too. But Madison Avenue is not likely to give up that sales tool anytime soon. So it is up to us individually and collectively to address our issues and use of addiction to distract. Let’s turn all this into a sexual evolution. It will feel far better too.