I have question

If They Are Not Really Addicts Why Do We Call Them Sex Addicts?

questionThe 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?

Good question.

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.

Any suggestions?

6 Responses to If They Are Not Really Addicts Why Do We Call Them Sex Addicts?

  1. lanom February 13, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    Ha Ha katrina good analogy.

    The sex addiction industry is embedded in misogyny – embedded in contempt for women.,..

    I will add so are most religions. And society in general.

    My SA quote “it’s just plain lack of morals – thats all it is” (of course this was before I suggested he try the SA treatment…..

  2. katrina January 15, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Hey! I tried to fix my typos, posted two times instead… I am writing on my iPad and AFTER I send, my errors glare at me. Perhaps an analogy for marrying a sex addict: AFTER clicking “I do!” – the glaring errors flash and however much I tried to “edit,” and “revise,” and finally “submit” again, it was still a mess, disgused by small print!

  3. katrina January 15, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    I have spent the past two years trying to understand and recover from the devastating news that my husband had sexually betrayed me throughout our entire 18 year marriage, to next coming to terms with the realization thst he had perpetrated severely sadistic, covert abuse on me – and my son -, Discrediting me, sabotaging me, passive-aggressive cuts masterfully disguised, isolating us, diminishing us.,..
    He then played recovery while engaging in sexual liaisons and sexual affairs with at least 37 more women… He played me until I was completely destabilized …
    I have participated in support groups, been engaged in therapy, read every available work on sex addiction AND personality disorders … Child development…

    Several days ago I read a story by a psychologist who confronted the truth that her husband was a sex addict, and her description of her eventual understanding about his behaviors…. Although I had previously read her easy, this time I caught a key point I had missed on my first read. She explains: he is not a sex adduct, but a sexual deviant, an exhibitionist.

    WOW! I recently realized that my “SA ” husband is a rapist — I realized he had been coercing me, manipulating me, AND drugging and sexually molesting me.., I finally realized, he must be raping many women…. He is terrified I am figuring out the full truth and he is determined to absolutely destroy me so that no one will believe me. I had not added the two together, likely still some numbing and dissociation. I have thought extensively as I pyzzled through these truths, although writing now for this “public” audience creates a jolt of more alarm for me – the way once we speak truth, we understand it’s full context.
    A rapist….AND WHY did he choose a new partner who is dedicated to preschool,education and has 3 grandchildren? Why was he volunteering at Ronald McDonold House? Why does his Limked-In page, “Interests” section list: “Children.” Why did he select for his 12 Step sponsor a man recently released from prison for sexually molesting his grandchild?

    OMG. Finally, I understsnd. Not sex “addict,” but sexual “deviant.” The construct created by labeling “sex addict” and “sexual addiction” masks the true nature of many living – and “acting out” under the umbrella of “addiction.”

    The danger – and often the severe damage caused because this truth is being disguised, distorted, and as such disturbing manipulation is inflicted on countless numbers of partners and families … And even on the “sex addict.” If you are told you are a “sex addict,” I suspect certain attitudes are generated – versus – you are told you are a sexual “rapist” – a sexual predator…. If a partner is told – directly – “your husband is a sexual predator, seducing women and often raping them…” what happens?

    About the end of my foggiest and finally realizing I had to completely separate and detach from my SA husband who pretended he was working on “recovery,” he sent me an email that launched a string PTSD meltdown; he wrote: “you have no right to judge me… No right to make me feel guilty or make me feel shame…I am disappointed thst you will not join me on my recovery journey….but you will not hold my betrwywls and abusive behaviors over my head and beat me down with your blame ever again!”
    WTF? Not judge him for inflicting me with STDs that have caused 3 precancerous conditions? For drugging me and sexually molesting me, causing relentless, serial UTI and kidney infections that I could not get under control? For countless violations of my life, my civil rights, my free will?

    So, many who are actual sexual “deviants,” predators, dangerous people, are being enabled … And partners are being grotesquely abused by this “construct” about “co-addict,” and “her own issues,” and not upsetting the pervert, about supporting… I know there are many degrees of pathology wrapped into this construct of sexual adduction…

    And I know the term “deviant” can seem crude and judgmental… It seems that disgusting these terms, though, softens and therefore evades the harsh truth…. I do not want my husband – or any loved one – labelled a “deviant” nor a “predator…”

    BUT as the victim of a sexual predator, a rapist, I deserve to name the perpetrator of such abuse inflicted on me against my will the true name… And I deseve to be given the full support and compassion the victim of a sexual predator absolutely needs… The sex addiction industry is embedded in very distorted attitudes about women… The distortions have been “hard wired”‘ into the “entitled” construct of sex “addiction.” A serial rapist may be a sex “addict,” but he is still a rapist, violating women in he most destructive act…

  4. katrina January 15, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    I have spent the past 2.5 years trying to understand and recover from the devastating news that my husband had sexually betrayed me throughout our entire 18 year marriage, to next coming to terms with the realization thst he had perpetrated severely sadistic, covert abuse on me – and my son -, Discrediting me, sabotaging me, passive-aggressive cuts masterfully disguised, isolating us, diminishing us.,..
    He then played recovery while engaging in sexual liaisons and sexual affairs with at least 37 more women… He played me until I was completely destabilized …
    I have participated in support groups, been engaged in therapy, read every available work on sex addiction AND personality disorders … Child development…

    Several days ago I read a story by a psychologist who confronted the truth that her husband was a sex addict, and her description of her eventual understanding about his behaviors…. Although I had previously read her easy, this time I caught a key point I had missed on my first read. She explains: he is not a sex adduct, but a sexual deviant, an exhibitionist.

    WOW! I recently realized that my “SA ” husband is a rapist — I realized he had been coercing me, manipulating me, AND drugging and sexually molesting me.., I finally realized, he must be raping many women…. He is terrified I am figuring out the full truth and he is determined to absolutely destroy me so that no one will believe me. I had not added the two together, likely still some numbing and dissociation. I have thought extensively as I pyzzled through these truths, although writing now for this “public” audience creates a jolt of more alarm for me – the way once we speak truth, we understand it’s full context.
    A rapist….AND WHY did he choose a new partner who is dedicated to preschool,education and has 3 grandchildren? Why was he volunteering at Ronald McDonold House? Why does his Limked-In page, “Interests” section list: “Children.” Why did he select for his 12 Step sponsor a man recently released from prison for sexually molesting his grandchild? OMG. Finally, I understsnd. Not sex “addict,” but sexual “deviant.” The construct created by labeling “sex addict” and “sexual addiction” masks the true nature of many living – and “acting out” under the umbrella of “addiction.”
    The danger – and often the severe damage caused because this truth is being disguised, distorted, and as such disturbing manipulation is inflicted on countless numbers of partners and families … And even on the “sex addict.” If you are told you are a “sex addict,” I suspect certain attitudes are generated – versus – you are told you are a sexual “rapist” – a sexual predator…. If a partner is told – directly – “your husband is a sexual predator, seducing women and often raping them…” what happens?
    About the end of my foggiest and finally realizing I had to completely separate and detach from my SA husband who pretended he was working on “recovery,” he sent me an email that launched a string PTSD meltdown; he wrote: “you have no right to judge me… No right to make me feel guilty or make me feel shame…I am disappointed thst you will not join me on my recovery journey….but you will not hold my betrwywls and abusive behaviors over my head and beat me down with your blame ever again!”
    WTF? Not judge him for inflicting me with SatDs that have caused 3 precancerous conditions? For drugging me and sexually molesting me, causing relentless, serial UTI and kidney infections that I could not get under control? For countless violations of my life, my civil rights, my free will? So, many who are actual sexual “deviants,” predators, dangerous people, are being enabled … And partners are being grotesquely abused by this “construct” about “co-addict,” and “her own issues,” and not upsetting the pervert, about supporting… I know there are many degrees of pathology wrapped into this construct of sexual adduction… And I know the term “deviant” can seem crude and judgmental… It seems that disgusting these terms, though, softens and therefore evades the harsh truth…. I do not want my husband – or any loved one – labelled a “deviant” nor a “predator…” BUT as the victim of a sexual predator, a rapist, I deserve to name the perpetrator of such abuse inflicted on me against my will the true name… And I deseve to be given the full support and compassion the victim of a sexual predator absolutely needs… The sex addiction industry is embedded in misogyny – embedded in contempt for women.,..

  5. bev January 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    I believe we already have the word and it had to be changed because Patrick Carnes is a narcissist and couldn’t handle being ordinary. The word is cheater. They are nothing more than cheaters. Just because you fancy up a word doesn’t mean that it changes the behavior. These guys aren’t numbing anything. They are just plain old ordinary cheaters. They yell sex addiction because they get a pass. Just because I go to bed with a bag of Cheetos does not make me a food addict. Maybe I just like Cheetos …… Just like they like porn and hookers and strippers. No one is addicted to sex. That’s just ridiculous. We have a perfectly good word for people that lie to their partner about fidelity. The word is cheaters. They are nothing more spectacular than that. The reason that they don’t man up and divorce their partner and get on with their life is that they LIKE the thrill of conning someone. They LIKE being cheaters. Single people don’t have anyone to cheat on so that’s no fun. The cheaters that end up single waste no time finding their next victim. Cheaters cheat. It’s who they are.

  6. lightl January 8, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I’ve heard a lot of terms sex addict and hypersexual disorder, among others, but it’s name is fitting if the behaviour is addictive – the addict’s ‘go-to’. Other addicts soothe/numb with alcohol or drugs or food but we all know it is to avoid a painful void in their life. I’ve learned sex addiction is a deep fear of intimacy, but we, as humans, are born with that innate desire to be in intimate relationships. So if their go-to is sex every time they crave intimacy, but don’t have it and fear the real thing, then doesn’t it makes sense to call the acting out behaviour an addiction. No? Otherwise maybe intimacy phobia? Just a thought…

Leave a Reply