The Non-Sexy Addiction
Bill W called alcohol “cunning, baffling and powerful!” That was his drug of choice. But, what if the way you choose to soothe your pain and emotional hurts is with sex? What if sex becomes your “cunning, baffling and powerful” addiction? For some people, that is not a hypothetical but a real dilemma. Unlike drugs and alcohol, sex is a part of normal life. Human beings are social, sexual beings and sex addiction is as real as can be.
As I mentioned yesterday, addicts would die for their drug of choice. No, if you asked them directly they would not admit to this. The death drive is not a linear equation but more like cognitive dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance is that silly thing we humans do where we hold inconsistent thoughts or information and yet continue to engage in that behavior. You know, like when people say you should never text and drive because you are probably going to get into an accident but you did it anyway because you think ‘that won’t happen to me because I have snail eyes where one can look down and the other can keep an eye on the road’. Addicts have grown up watching the same things we all have. They watched an egg in a frying pan. They watched the AIDS movies. Unlike us old fogies, they grew up in a world where sex with a condom was the only way to do it. And yet, they engage in behaviors that are known to kill people.
Sex Addicts engage in sex not for pleasure but as medication. They feel bad so they soothe themselves by engaging in sex which makes them feel bad, ultimately. Like drug addicts, their tolerance goes up and must engage in riskier behavior to get the same effects as before. What does that mean? If one person is not enough, then 2 or 3 would be better. If 2 or 3 people are not enough, then complete strangers with questionable intentions are better. Condoms just dampen the ardor thus risky behavior becomes deadly. If they are not arrested for some of these behaviors, they certainly end up at a clinic with sexually transmitted diseases that may or may not respond to treatment.
When a sex addict realizes they have a problem, how does one give up sex? Unlike animals that have to go into heat or have a rutting season, human beings are ready to have sex 24/7 365 days a year. Drug addicts and alcoholics can give up the substance because you don’t need illegal drugs or even the occasional drink to be a fully functioning adult being. Sex, however, is kind of like drinking water- you need to do this to be a healthier you. If you are in a relationship, sex is kind of like important, right? If you had to give up drinking, would you force your partner to give it up, too?
So, yes, Sex Addiction is real. Despite the punch lines and South Park episode, this is a real addiction. Sex addiction has ruined many a life and is not this band aid that makes all the yucky go away. Remember Tiger Woods? How did coming out as a sex addict work for him? Bottom line is that addictions of any kind hurt people and the people around them. It doesn’t help to have the world against you, too.