The debate of whether Sex Addiction is really an addiction will not be settled soon, especially while expensive treatment centers continue to offer five figure ‘cures’.
I have stated for years that I do not believe that the compulsive sexual behaviors that these so called Sex Addicts engage in are not signs of a true addiction but are symptoms of an underlying Personality Disorder.
So, if I believe that Sex Addicts are not really addicts, then why do I have web sites and eBooks where I continue to use that phrase?
I have the following disclaimer at the beginning of my eBooks:
A Note From The Author
I have used the words Sex Addict and Sex Addiction extensively in my books, eBooks and on my websites even though I do not agree that these are accurate terms. In addition, I acknowledge that these terms have no basis as a legitimate diagnosis.
The reason I continue to use these terms is based upon the fact that these terms have become widely accepted within popular media and if I chose to use terms such as Sexually Compulsive, Compulsive Sexual Behavior, Personality Disorder traits or Hyper-sexual Disorder I might not reach the partners of these people simply because they might not recognize the significance of my work in relation to their relationship problems.
So, until the general public becomes more educated about these issues and how they affect partners I will continue to use the terms Sex Addict and Sex Addiction.
Not only does the term Sex Addiction confuse, I think it also does a disservice to both partners. The so called addict is given treatment that has no proven benefit and gives a lot of false hope to the partner. In addition, the popular 12 step based treatments include labeling the partner as part of the problem, which empowers the Sex Addict to shift blame and avoid accountability.
He is told he is powerless and he is also told that part of the problem lies within his partner, which, in turn, traumatizes her even more. This is a sick and extremely harmful treatment model that, in my opinion, helps no one.
A much better model would be to empower these men to overcome their compulsions. Empower them to take responsibility for what they have done and what they want their future to look like. Empower them to make honest choices and man up to those choices.
If they want to continue fucking around, then okay, make that decision and be a man and file for divorce and get on with your life.
If they want help, truly want to change, well, then they must take the initiative to find the help they need with the right doctors, counselors and then they must do the really hard work of becoming an honest human being who lives with integrity.
This ‘I am powerless’ excuses their behaviors and allows them to shirk the responsibility for what they have done and what they will do. That’s what powerless means. It means you couldn’t help yourself.
I will never, ever buy that.
They are grown men. They made choices. And, they can make different choices. Sure it’s hard, but that’s what taking responsibility is, doing the tough stuff.
So, I am asking for some suggestions.
If it is not a true addiction then what should we call it?
I don’t think we will change public opinion, nor will we be able to take that provocative phrase away from the advertising driven media, but I think we could change what we call it in our own little world of the Sisterhood.