From what the media tells us, sexual addiction is a strictly male problem – or least that is all we seem to hear. Men cheating on their wives, men seeing prostitutes, men going to strip clubs, massage parlours and of course, male politicians sexting online.
Does this mean that there are no female sex addicts? If there are women out there who are acting out with sex, where are they and why don’t we hear more about them?
The news media gives endless examples of famous husbands who betray their wives in ways that often result in public humiliation for them both (Clinton, Sanford, Tiger, Weiner, etc.). But what about women who ‘act out’ with sex and romance? While we know that women act out additively with food, drugs, alcohol, gambling spending and caretaking, the truth is that there is little to no research on female sex and relationship addiction.
In the not so distant past, it was whispering couples hiding in dark smoky bars, lipstick stained collars and clandestine motel room romps that made up the concrete realities of relationship infidelity. But in today’s world of online confidential chat, private web browsing, instant messaging and endless porn, not to mention mobile ‘apps’ that locate available sex partners as readily as a decent Italian restaurant, simply defining what makes someone a cheater has have become a lot harder to pin down.
Not to mention the fact that the act of cheating today is a lot easier to deny than in the past. The husband or mate today who is spending more time and energy intimately communing with strangers at the other end of a web cam than attending to the needs of loved-ones or family, can accurately say when facing a hurt and unhappy spouse, “How could you say I’m cheating when I’ve never even met her (or him)? Besides they’re thousands of miles away so stop giving me a hard time!”
The anxious or angry feelings of a partner who just discovered that her spouse is spending 2-3 hours daily looking at porn can easily be pushed aside with statements like, “Well it’s just a guy thing” or “My dad looked at magazines and I look online, what’s the difference? That’s just what guys do.”