Increasingly, much of sex behavior is being mislabeled as sexual addiction. Lots of folks are buying into this misconception and are understandably very much concerned about themselves and others for there are all types of sexual behavior going on, including those never before experienced, such as sexting or watching a porn movie on a computer in the privacy of one’s room. So where is the line drawn between non-addictive and additive sex?
In a movie preview New York Post article of Thanks for Sharing starring Gwyneth Paltrow, examples of sex addiction cited included voyeurism and watching a woman dance in her underwear. If the latter is true, then all men in the world are addicts! Dewayne Jones, the executive producer of the TV reality series, Bad Sex, believes that nobody can be totally sexually happy. Now “totally” is a big word, and since we haven’t surveyed all the world’s men and women, we cannot know this. On the other hand, there is certainly a solid core of truth in his belief. But this unhappiness of which he refers to is not principally due to addiction but, as I mentioned previously, to the powerful Brain Genital Law or BGL. It’s insatiable and once set free or deregulated as is happening today, it seeks relief or expression anyway it can get it.
What is sexual addiction? To my knowledge, a concrete medical-scientific definition does not exist. Attempts at definition include practically every natural sexual act from masturbation to sodomy to visiting prostitutes. But, even if it exists, where is the normal-addiction line drawn? How many times must a man or woman masturbate or undergo or perform sodomy or visit a prostitute to be classified as an addict? Once, three times a week or how about twice a month? And why are they labeled addicts for doing so when they are natural expressions of the BGL and our sexually permissive society?
The American Psychiatric Association update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DMS-5, which has expanded categories of mental disorders, does not mention sexual addiction. It’s, however, currently a rapidly expanding cultural term that has a strong sticking quality.
Here’s my concern: We’re now in a media-fed sex frenzy fueled by seriously flawed information where both men and women are being mislabeled as sexual addicts when, to repeat, there is no workable definition of it. The psychological and economic impact on such individuals will increasingly result in harm to them, their families and friends, among others.
Now this is what I’m afraid of: The increasingly intrusive hand of law is entering the general sex arena where sexual controversies from who owns the frozen egg to who owns the baby of a surrogate mother will be increasingly common and settled in the courts. Cases of sex addiction may soon follow. Convicted “addicts” will be forced to undergo therapy which will be stamped on their public records. Ask yourself, “Who wants to associate with or hire or marry a sex addict?”
I’m not trying to downplay the existence of sexual addiction but simply trying to have its limits defined before it spins way out of control and lots of men and women are hurt. Don’t forget we’ve now entered the “era of addictions” where the addiction label is being used loosely to many human acts.
Paradoxically, there is indeed a welcomed side to the sexual- addiction- labeling movement. It’s an implicit recognition by our country that the BGL is going out of control, and that, in a sense, it’s an attempt to pull the reins in on it.