Can Sex Be Addictive?
Is it possible that sex can destroy your life? Nowadays, we are still speaking of sex-addiction. But where are those sex-addict people? Here in Spain, when a TV program makes a special report on this so-called “illness”, the “victims” do not appear, or if they do, their faces are hidden. They paint the picture of a “disease” and a shame in our society with the main characters explaining how sex has ruined their lives. But can sex really grip a person that completely? What is true and what is wrong in this statement?
Addictive psychological profiles
I am going to be very clear: sex does not grip a person and is not addictive at all. Obviously, this sentence seems to be an opinion just like any other. But I am going to argue why I do not agree with the fact that sex-addiction exists: there are determined addictive psychological profiles. This does not mean that sex can be addictive. It means that some persons can be addicted to a lot of things (alcohol, gambling, shopping, etc…) In that sense, sex is not dangerous at all; it is a specific addictive psychology which can use sex in a wrong way. An example: a knife is not dangerous if it is between the hands of a “normal” person. It turns into a weapon in the hands of a murderer. This fact does not prevent us from using knives in order to cut our meat for dinner. Nevertheless, as far as sex is concerned, we do not use the same logical arguments.
Did you know that in Spain the most important addiction which exists is the addiction to…our cars? Of course, nobody speaks about it, while there is a terrible traffic jam blocking our way to work, everyday. However, since sex has always been “bad”, a “problem” instead of a value, there is an interest in showing this human activity as a dangerous one which can even destroy forever the life of those who suffer from “sexual excess”.
But what does “sexual excess” mean? Some people are very keen on “measuring” the times you “do it”, the times you masturbate per day. This is ridiculous. It is like comparing the appetite. Some people need to eat a lot to feel well, others have very little appetite. Both groups are perfectly normal.
Anyway, the fact that famous people like Michael Douglas, David Duchovny or Jude Law declared themselves as sex-addicts does not help us to attain a different viewpoint on this matter. I think that they were more addicted to the eroticism of power than anything else.
What are the symptoms of an addictive psychology?
According to physicians, those with a clear addictive psychology lose their freedom to make decisions unaffected by their state, have no control over their life, risk their jobs, their families, etc…
In general, what is really important to know is how the addicted person feels (if they suffer from their attitude). If they suffer, it will always be due to the gaze of the others. If not, this person should not be considered an addict.
Considerations on “sex-addiction” and genders
When a man is an overweight person, we call him a “fat” man, in a pejorative way. If it is a woman, we speak of a “fat” woman. As you can see, we use the same adjective to describe both. In the case of the so-called “sex-addiction”, we do not do the same.
What is the male equivalent term for “nymphomaniac”? It is amazing because in 99% of cases, people do not know what to answer.
The nymphomaniac, in the XIX century, was called “hysterical” (this word comes from hystera, which means “the cervix”, in the classical Greece) that is to say, a woman with a huge sexual desire. At present, the nymphomaniac is a woman who has “uterine fury”. Always the same root! It seems that nothing has changed. In fact, it is a way to say that female desire is more dangerous and has to be controlled more than male desire. I think that I already spoke about it in my last article. And what does happen when we speak of male sex-addicts? The male word should be “satyr”, but, honestly, it’s odd that it has not the same pejorative connotation…
“Sex-addiction” and countries
Why, in the United States, do some public and private associations against sex-addiction exist and not in other countries? An example: The National Council of Sexual Addiction (NCSA). Are American people more prone to sex-addiction than other nationalities?
A sex-addict is, perhaps, an “ill” person who shows not an excessive level of sex drive, but a defect in moral principles, a too low use of Puritanism. Sex-addiction is perhaps not an addiction to sex, but an addiction to guilt.
Don’t pay attention, dear readers… these lines above are only mental speculations from a nymphomaniac…
I am a public figure in Spain, a writer and a sex-therapist. I work for different Spanish media (radio, TV, press…), I give lectures on sexuality in universities and, above all, I am Brand Ambassador of LELO Spain.