“It was a way for me to feel powerful — holding erotic sway over a man with a boner makes me feel huge, unstoppable. Being lusted after, with all its intensity, especially when amplified by sickness, fetish and addiction, feels so much better than love to me. Sex addiction is a drug addiction where other people and your own body chemistry are the drug.”
A blogger (and editor) that I’m madly in love with over at XOJane, Emily, wrote honestly and vividly about her experiences as a sex addict and it’s a piece I’d recommend to anyone with an opinion on the topic.
There’s been a lot of controversy around sex addiction and whether it’s a legitimate addiction. Some call it an excuse, but then there are people with lived experiences pushing for recognition as a true addiction.
I’ve never experienced sex addiction so I’ve always remained open to conversations from both sides of the debate because I don’t believe in downplaying lived experience. I can understand how someone could get addicted to things like sex or masturbation. Addiction is after all the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity, to the point at which it interferes with your day-to-day activities or there is a compulsive need for it. With drugs the payoff is often the high and release, and really an orgasm does offer a high and release, caused by real hormones. I can see how some people may get addicted to that endorphin releasing activity and need to feel it over and over at the cost of relationships and their own mental and physical health.
I’ve spoken to many people who have expressed the need to masturbate several times daily, sometimes to the point where they no longer even enjoy the activity because it’s more of an addiction to the short payoff of an orgasm. Some have even expressed that it can feel more like self-abuse than self-love at times.
I’m sure there are people who use the term “sex addict” superfluously but can we (and should we) really confirm that people aren’t struggling with this when stories like Emily’s are out there?