Tag Archives: Sexual Addiction

Let’s Abolish Sex Addiction

Michael Fassbender: The Most Beautiful Sex Addict in the Land.

Michael Fassbender: The Most Beautiful Sex Addict in the Land.

To be human is to be a sex addict. To be subsumed in sexual fantasy, to masturbate regularly, “to have sex with inappropriate people,” “to think that there might be more you could do with your life if you were not so driven by sexual or romantic pursuits”: All these things are normal.  And yet we’ve clumped these behaviors into a haphazard diagnosis: sex addiction. In its pathologization of normal sexual behavior, sex addiction is a dangerous concept.

Even sex addiction experts themselves cannot agree upon what characteristics make up the sex addict. The founder of the sex-addiction movement, Patrick Carnes, offers up this unhelpful definition:

No single behavior pattern defines sexual addiction. These behaviors, when they have taken control of addicts’ lives and become unmanageable, include: compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, child molesting, incest, rape and violence.  

Not only is sex addiction nearly impossible to define, but there’s also no consensus on whether the disease actually exists. The bible of psychology, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of disease (which is used by insurance companies to determine coverage) included sex addiction in its pages in 1987, but then removed it in 1994. However, a lack of scientific evidence has not prevented popular culture from becoming captivated with sex addiction, and a slew of celebrities have blamed sex addiction for their cheating ways (see: Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, Rob Lowe). Furthermore, sex-addiction centers abound, supporting a healthy industry of 12-step treatment programs, expensive sex addiction therapies, and innumerable books. Given its shaky scientific basis, sex addiction should have faded away a long time ago. So why is the concept still being taken seriously? Continue reading

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Why Women Should Give Porn a Chance

Pornography Protest

A pornography protest organized by the North Carolina-based Praise Assembly Worship Center.

I’m tired of women becoming insecure after they stumble upon their boyfriends jacking off to Japanese teen bukkake porn. What men masturbate to is not a reflection on their girlfriends’ looks or sexual abilities in bed.

So why does porn upset women so much? (Full Disclosure: I know that not all women feel this way. I’m a woman who watches porn, and I have a lot of female friends who love it too). I’m not even referring to the  hard-core feminists here; I’m talking about the young professionals and stay-at-home moms who are threatened by their husband’s stash of vintage transgender magazines. How can a woman who professes to be enlightened chafe at her partner’s interest in pornography?

Men don’t get threatened by romantic movies, which present ridiculously unrealistic images of what a heterosexual love relationship should be like. Romantic movies never show farting in bed, pooping on the couch, or other things that happen all the time in committed relationships when one or both of the partners has norovirus. They aren’t angered by romance novels or 50 Shades of Grey. I believe that men are less threatened because most of women’s sexual fantasies live in the imagination or on the page; they are not acted out by beautiful acrobatic porn stars.  Of course, romantic movies do realize some of women’s fantasies, but they show the conventional fantasy of a committed relationship based upon undying love, which most people don’t consider grotesque. Even 50 Shades of Grey places a sadomasochistic relationship in the comforting confines of monogamy. In any case, women’s insane wedding fantasies are more disturbing to me than a triple-penetration rodeo-clown porn. So why can’t women learn from men and leave their boyfriends’ fantasies alone? Continue reading

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