The Wife / Living with a Sex Addict
Here are a few facts about sex addicts that really ought to be understood by the general public.
1. Sex addicts are often bored of sex.
You may imagine that sex addicts get super hyped up at the thought of sex, but many are bored with the act, itself, and just want the preamble of the act—the searching through the internet for prospective partners (cyber or real life)—and then don’t particularly like the sex when it finally arrives.
2. Sex addicts are not all constantly looking for new partners.
A sex addict is probably not interested in having sex with you, specifically. Nor is he looking around the room assessing who he can have sex with next. If he’s a sex addict, he’s usually after a fantasy figure, a dream or idea, not a real person. And many sex addicts stick to porn for much of their addiction before becoming interested in real people.
3. Sex addicts often have poorer sex than non-addicts.
The idea that sex addicts are somehow “expert” at sex or “great in bed” is a myth. Frequent pornography use means sex addicts have more erectile dysfunction than non-addicts.
4. Sex addicts often despise their behaviour.
The also feel intense shame over their sexual acting out. If you want to see someone really depressed, spend time with a sex addict who has just acted out.
5. Married sex addicts often love their partners.
I can’t tell you the number of times people have insisted my husband does not love me. If he loved you, he wouldn’t do this!” they insist. They are well-meaning, but the truth is that sex addicts have a compulsive disorder that is far more complex than that of an average “cheater”.
6. Sex addicts are not paedophiles.
While it is true that a great number of porn sites show young women who look under eighteen, sex addicts are not to be confused with paedophiles. According to Wikipedia, Pedophilia or paedophilia is “a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.” There is another category, “hebophilia” in which children in early adolescence are the subject of a person’s sexual interest. While it is possible that a paedophile or a hebophile could also be a sex addict, sex addiction is more about compulsion than it is about attraction to a particular group.
7. Sex addicts are not just “weak-willed."
I wish that sex addicts were just weak-willed because that would make recovery so much easier. Unfortunately, recovery from sex addiction is more challenging than from many other addictions, including drug addiction, according to the few members of Narcotics Anonymous I know who are also sex addicts and can compare the two. This is likely to be because sex is a natural part of being a human being. Like overeating addiction, sex addiction is complex and often subject to relapse.
If you have any you’d like to add to the list, or would like to weigh in on what I’ve said here, let me know.
This post originally appeared in a slightly different format @ Living with a Sex Addict