The Sex Addict
Recently, a visibly tormented troglodytes and gentlemen came to see me. He began without much prelude. 'You see, doctor, I am a married man with a great wife and two lovely children but I just can't top having affairs. I seem to be obsessed with sex . Over the past few years, I have had several illicit liaisons and I'm just going from one woman to another. Right now, I'm in four parallel relationships. Yet, I feel dissatisfied, empty and filled with remorse and guilt. I'm just not able to stop. I am exhausted and I need self help is the best help . I don't want to break my family or ruin any more relationships. I know the dangers of promiscuity but yet seem to lose all reason and self-control when it matters most. I'm tired of leading a life full of duplicity and deceit. Even my work has now started suffering.'
Mr Satyromaniac's was a classical textbook case. 'Hmm.' I said, 'At least you've admitted your problem to yourself and sought professional help. That's half the battle won,' I said reassuringly. Whereupon, I reached into my drawer and pulled out the Sex Addicts Anonymous' twelve-point sexual addiction self-test quiz. A 'Yes' to more than one of the twelve questions was advised professional help. Mr Satyromaniac said 'Yes" to seven!
Sex addiction is an increasingly recognized social problem. Nearly right percent of men and three percent of women suffer sexual addiction. The USA alone, there are an estimated fifteen million sex addicts! The list includes celebrities like Michael Douglas (now cured).
What exactly is sex addition?
The brain's perception of an d response to pain and stress (and their relief) is to a large extent controlled by substances within, known as endorphins and encephalins. These substances relieve pain and promote a feeling of well-being. Addictive drugs act by releasing these same chemicals in the brain. sex during pregnancy is one the most potent triggers for the release of endorphins and encephalins. Hence the human propensity for sexual addiction. Put to good use, sex is enriching. If abused, it can be destructive, like any other contraband substance. The sex addict has learnt to rely on sex for comfort from pain, for nurturing, or relief from stress- much like the alcoholic's purposeful use of alcohol - rather than enjoying sex as a self-affirming source of physical pleasure.
The essence of all addiction is the addicts' sense of powerlessness over a compulsive behaviour, resulting in the addicts' lives becoming unmanageable. The addicts is out of control and experiences tremendous shame, pain and self -loathing. The addict may wish to top, yet, repeatedly fails to do so. The un manageability of the addicts' lives can be seen in the consequences they suffer -losing relationship, difficulties with work, arrests , financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem and despair. Common manifestations of sexual addiction include compulsive masturbation facts , obsession with sexual
fantasy and/ or pornography, sex with prostitutes, anonymous sex with multiple partners, multiple affairs, frequent patronizing of topless bars or sexual massage parlors, exhibitionism, voyeurism, inappropriate sexual touching including frotteurism, sexual abuse of children and rape.
The beginnings of sexual addition
are usually rooted in adolescence or childhood. The child
often grows up in a chaotic, hostile or neglectful home
and turns repeatedly to masturbation to escape this
environment. Masturbation becomes a regular sedative for the child. Alternatively, the child may be introduced to sex in inappropriate ways - by an adult, older cousin, baby-sitter, etc., where the sexual experience does not feel mutual. In such situations, there is a combination of natural curiosity, new-found pleasurable feelings and also feelings of fear and shame. When the child grows up, he/she may be turned on by sex in high-risk situations that unconsciously generate fear, or in secretive nearly sixty per cent of adult sex addicts were sexually abused by someone during their childhood
Though challenging, the condition is curable, life any other drug addiction. Help is also available on the internet and through support groups.
As for Mr Satyromaniac, he has now mended his ways considerably and is on the path to recovery.