Suffering from an addiction is bad enough. But it’s entirely different when you’ve gathered the courage to share about it openly, in the hopes to help others who may be struggling, only to have your addiction and bravery mocked. That happened to me when I spoke about being abused in childhood on The Doctors and how it led to sex addiction in my modeling career. I was flooded with comments from people who thought that I was a slut for sharing. I heard that little voice for a little while: Sex addiction is a fraud. You’re a fraud.
Sex addiction is a real thing, but for some reason, it’s an ongoing debate. Some people believe that sex addiction is a valid addiction, worthy to be in the DSM-5, while others believe it boils down to a lack of moral character. Yes, that’s actually something someone said to me one time.
Well, I can debate this issue from two different perspectives. One, from my own personal experiences when I was in the, shall we say, “depths” of what I would like to call sex addiction, and two, from the more scientific standpoint.
In my darkest moments, I slept with strangers. Had affairs. Had sex with multiple people a day. Slept with my boss. And I did it all on autopilot, with a numbness in my soul that I couldn’t kill. Every time I thought I could walk away from the sex and the lifestyle, it trapped me like a slave, and I put myself in even more dangerous situations. The sex always got riskier; the inner pain, more pronounced. I wrote about my experiences, hoping to reduce the shame and stigma.
Sex addiction can be defined as “hyper sexual disorder.” Hypersexual disorder interferes with an individuals ability to have a healthy, normal life. The person spends so much time thinking and acting on sex that they can go broke, ruin their relationships and their job because of their inability to control their cravings and obsessions.
In the same way that an addiction to drugs follow a pattern, hypersexual disorder has been shown to follow a similar sequence. Erotic actions or daydreaming about the act completely takes over every aspect of a person’s life. Their mood changes and they have to keep doing more and more to reach the same level of pleasure. Pretty soon, they are unable to manage themselves and their desires, and before they know it, sex is the basis for everything.
So for anyone who doesn’t think that sex addiction is real, just ask someone who has lost their marriage because they couldn’t stop seeing escorts. Or can’t stop looking at porn. Ask the guy who has been divorced a few times, what the affairs have really cost him.