Inside the Sex Addiction Crisis
The epidemic afflicts millions of Americans
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2011 5:37 PM CST
Many sex addicts find that they don't pursue sex for physical pleasure. “Sex addiction isn’t really about sex,” one expert says; it’s about “being wanted.”   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – With the Tiger Woods scandal officially behind us, the Daily Beast looks into our nation's sex addiction epidemic—which now afflicts more than 9 million people and employs some 1,500 sex therapists. “Where it used to be 40- to 50-year-old men seeking treatment, now there are more females, adolescents, and senior citizens,” says one expert. Whether it's online porn or a wild merry-go-round of sexual partners, millions of Americans are pursuing sex to sugar-coat long-suppressed emotional needs. Aided by the Internet and high-tech GPS gadgets, they can satisfy their needs faster than ever before.

Those addicts who enter treatment programs are encouraged to pursue "sexual sobriety"—which isn't cold turkey, but is less sex than before. Those who face their condition may plunge into depression or turn to drugs or alcohol to medicate their shame. But addicts who keep "chasing that emotional high" of sex "end up losing relationships, getting diseases, and losing jobs," says the founder of an LA sex addiction institute. Note that Tiger Woods and other marital cheaters aren't necessarily sex addicts—and may just use it as an excuse, one expert says: "'Because I get in trouble, because I cheat, I’ll just blame it on sex addiction. That’s my get-out-of-jail-free card.'" (Read the opinion of one doctor who says all men experience sex addiction.)

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Showing 3 of 82 comments
Winston_Smith
Nov 28, 2011 6:39 AM CST
Not much new here. 30 years ago people who were caught would say "I have sinned" and ask their minister for help in putting their misdeeds behind them Now that most of us aren't religious anymore, psychologists are the new priests and we call it sex addiction.
Mork
Nov 27, 2011 2:22 PM CST
I plead insanity. I'm just crazy about that stuff !
JoeQ
Nov 27, 2011 1:00 PM CST
If you are advised by your therapist to quit having sex cold turkey, and the mention of a cold turkey gets you going, you might be a sex addict.