The Sunday Times: After five days undercover, I took up a new position on sex addiction

sex addiction

Does anybody really believe sex addiction exists? Even some sex addicts I’ve met don’t seem convinced. Sex addiction sounds suspiciously like a get-out clause for philandering men. No wonder all the usual suspects — Russell Brand, Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods and Robbie Williams — claim to suffer from it. And now, more problematically, Harvey Weinstein joins the list.

Sex addiction strikes us as a label to excuse bad behaviour. And unlike alcoholism or drug addiction, it’s a diagnosis with few apparent downsides for the “patient”. So when last week Relate, the relationship counselling service, suggested sex addicts (who are apparently rising in number) should be offered treatment on the NHS, the response was typically incredulous.

As if the health service were not struggling enough, are we now going to compel overworked junior doctors to treat people who have created a condition out of having too many one-night stands? Some might wonder whether the increase in sex addicts indicates not a new epidemic, but a new puritanism among millennials. Not content with giving up alcohol, gluten and meat, they have decided they are allergic to sex.

In the Swinging Sixties no one seemed bothered about sex addiction — they were too busy having threesomes with the Rolling Stones. Indeed, the term “sex addiction” came about only in the late 1970s, gaining popularity in the 1980s as society became more socially conservative.

Now a questionnaire on the Sex Addiction Help website (completed by 21,058 people since 2013) suggests the largest group seeking help for sex addiction (31%) are aged from 26 to 35. Could it be that a generation of snowflakes would rather claim a mental illness than own up to their mistakes?

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE SUNDAY TIMES: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/after-five-days-undercover-i-took-up-a-new-position-on-sex-addiction-gnfsj3rcb

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