23 thoughts on “Debunking David J. Ley’s The Myth of Sex Addiction

  • April 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I am interested in this subject and do not think I agree with the opinions of Dr. Ley.

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    • August 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

      I agree, he’s WAYYYYY off base. Oh you bet your life it’s an addiction. For a Dr he’s way behind the curve!!! DEBUNKED is code for I’m a democrat and this guy is as full of shit as they are.

      Hey Doc? wake up debunked lmfao ya okay

      Reply
  • April 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Generally I tend to agree with those, specialists or otherwise, who, like Dr. David Ley, take diagnostic labeling and criteria with a grain of salt. On this matter, however, I can in no wise agree with Dr. Ley in his denial of the existence of sexual addiction (or whatever name we wish to give this and its allied phenomena).

    So far as I have been able to discern from his articles in Psychology Today — both in content and tone — it seems as if Ley has never been confronted by individuals who truly were helpless before their issues. As I find this unlikely, I’d simply wager that he has employed the old trick of discounting evidence that flies in the face of his preconceived conclusions.

    I know whereof I speak. As a Bipolar individual, when I cycle into hypomania, my libido flies through the roof and my impulse control diminishes. Whether or not my — or anyone else’s — sexual behaviour in such instances indeed bespeaks an actual addiction, it certainly has all the hallmarks of one.

    Tellingly, though, Ley seems to define addiction in a way which excludes anything he has determined not to (chemically?) affect *all* areas of judgement. For example, he questions whether a man driving the streets looking for a prostitute is “out of control,” or has merely *given up* control, comparing such behaviour with the global lack of judgement and limitations one has when drunk.

    That’s a pernicious distinction. Yes, I know precisely what I’m doing when I’m acting out. I’m rational and aware in the grander sense, and feel some degree of control over the bulk of my behaviour. But I do regrettable things anyway, because I am decidedly *not* in control of the one key element: where my sexual drive wants to take me. This is not a cop-out. When Dr. Ley says that we are confronted by a series of choices between planning and execution, he should remember that for an addict, those choices are often constrained. Once a person is locked into a negative behaviour pattern, especially if that behaviour is motivated by something demonstrably pathological, personal volition utterly ceases to apply. Sexual acting out just goes with the territory of my hypomania — as does a complete absence of libido when I’m in a depressive cycle, or an utter inability to speak to people when I’m overcome by anxiety.

    Given the above, I must say I do not disagree entirely with Ley’s therapeutic approach: for anyone with a “mental illness” of any kind, I do believe that taking ownership of one’s actions and thoughts is central to the self-knowledge whence all success follows. So I’ll admit that while I do not choose to have hypersexual urges, I am aware that I can, in principle, choose to act on them.

    My issue is in how Ley chooses to frame repetitive and compulsive sexual activity that has negative consequences. Like many other addictions, sexual addiction has a strong context-dependent component. The context (environmental/subjective, personal/objective) accounts for much of where, when, how and why an addiction manifests at any given time. To say that these are all matters of choice with no mitigating, overpowering, inward or outward pressure is absurd.

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  • April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    It seems that it is usually the non-addict with no personal experience who wants to deny addictive disorders. We have as Rob notes seen too many people whose lives have been tormented by their inability to deal with their own powerlessness and life mismanagement. Sex addiction certainly has tolerance , loss of control and withdrawal.
    If it was about orgasmic excitement one would never have to have outside stimulation like fantasy. Never heard a sex act say it was about producing seminal fluids. In fact most are disappointed because the hole in the soul remains and sexual activity never fills the voids.

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  • April 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Great article, Robert. Every time I read Dr. Ley’s arguments, I just keep thinking how much he doesn’t understand what addiction really is. He still views addiction as a “disease”, as if having an addiction excuses unhealthy bad behaviors. The addiction process is not a disease, it is a result of shame, emotional mismanagement, and fear of intimacy. His idea of addiction is outdated. Sex is not addictive in and of itself, but the addictive process can latch onto anything, such as sex, gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc.

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  • April 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Obviously, Dr. Ley has never interviewed a recovering sex addict. If he had, he wouldn’t make such a foolish and misinformed statement like “an orgasm never stops feeling good.” Got news for Dr. Ley – it sure can, and does. Where does he get his information? Personal experience, perhaps?

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  • April 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    The key take away from Weiss’ post needs emphasis: ALL addictions are “process addictions”. As such ALL involve significantly abberant neurochemical activity regardless of whether a substance is physically introduced to the body. Some do add ‘salt to the wound’ by provoking additional physiological complications due to the bio-chemical mechanisms of the physical substance. But the ‘persistence of behavior despite significant negative consequences’ (forgive the paraphrasing here) that forms the foundation of all DSM addictions/dependence (as opposed to abuse) diagnoses is all about the neurochemistry of PROCESS.
    It’s 2012: Wake up and attend to the science, Dr Ley!

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  • May 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Weiss explains how sex addiction is diagnosed and the legitimacy of process addictions in the most clearly understandable way I’ve seen. This article is one I will refer clients to and add to my media kit.

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  • August 18, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for this article. I haven’t read Ley’s book but i’m amazed that he appears to be ignoring the neuroscience to such a degree. Surely his argument is more sophisticated than a blanket assertion of free will? Of course we can all accept that behaviour results from a series of choices, but the point is surely that the conditions in which to properly exercise tthe rationality to make choices is severely hindered by addiction and compulsivity. The process of therapy involves restoring the conditions under which one can act rationally. We are not automatons who make moral decisions in a void, after-all, and nor are we simply purely driven biological machines with a certain preordained quota of sexual drive. I’d be interested to know whether the major thrust of Ley’s book tends toward the assertion that sexual acting out is the result of moral failure, or does he make the converse claim that sex drive is natural and that the concern with excessive sex is just a cultural convention? The reviews i’ve read seem to suggest both args are implicit at some point. Interestingly both these lines of thought, aside from being obviously contradictory, seem to efface the whole purpose of psychology as a discipline itself!

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    • August 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Thank you for your comment, Josh. Interestingly, the thrust of Dr. Ley’s argument is, as you rightly surmise, that sexual acting out is a moral failure, and sexual behavior is a natural phenomenon. In general, he thinks that sex addiction is indeed a cultural convention. I’m not sure he’s contradictory, though, in that the moral failure he’s talking about is sexual acting out that hurts others, whereas the cultural convention refers more to consensual sexual behavior among adults. And, I must admit, he is quite correct that there is, as of now, not enough research on sex addiction. We need a lot more information. But that doesn’t mean, as he argues, that sex addiction doesn’t exist and that clinicians should not be treating it when they see it!

      Reply
  • March 2, 2014 at 5:31 am

    It does not surprise me that an IITAP certified Patrick Carnes trained “counselor” would chose to defend against criticism of the sex addiction “treatment” industry.

    Sex “addiction” *is* a myth and other people besides Dr. Ley agree.

    Moreover, you claim that the sex addiction treatment industry is barely in its infancy, then – almost in the same breath – continue to highlight your career experience … including being “a licensed sexual addiction specialist with over 20 years experience in the field of sex and intimacy”. Seems to me that 20 years would represent a mature industry.. not a nascent one.

    Additionally, Patrick Carnes – the ostensible guru of sex addiction “therapy” – wrote his addiction “model” way back in 1989… a quarter century ago.

    You say you’ve seen thousands of people who meet the “criteria of addiction”… yet no “criteria” exists. Any model of “addiction” is largely a subjective on and, in any case, no model of addiction is recognized by any legitimate and objective governing or regulatory body. They’re all made up… and largely by people with a financial or moralistic interest in promoting addiction “therapy”.

    Since you first wrote this opinion hit-piece, the DSV-5 has been released and, appropriately, “sex addiction” has been denied as an entry.

    The sex addiction “therapy” industry is filled with unqualified people – many of whom have never even taken a college level course in psychology – who do more harm than good. The “certifications” – of which IITAP’s CSAT is one – are a money making scheme from which people like Patrick Carnes profit. It is literally a pyramid scheme with no proven and where Mr. Carnes and his organization offer so-called “certifications” to just about anyone off the street under the guise that this training will afford them the knowledge and expertise to treat sex “addicts”. And, there is absolutely no conclusive evidence that the methods work.

    Indeed, Carnes, IITAP and their fraternity of snake oil salespeople can offer zero independent studies or statistics showing any sort of long term success rate.

    The whole thing is a scam.

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    • February 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      You got it. What I find so amazing are the gay therapist who believe this unscientific crap. It seems like being a member of a sexual minority who has been stigmatized minority would sensitize one to the lack of scientific rigor that once labeled them pathological. Just like the idiotic childhood sexual abuse witch hunt of the 1990s, this sham will be resolved with malpractice lawsuits. If anyone needs a good attorney, let me know.

      Reply
    • May 12, 2017 at 1:39 am

      It’slikely that anyone who denies addiction as a real existing issue must themselves be caught up in a debilitating addiction of one sort or another (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, porn, chaos, drama, food etc etc). Since addictions are so pervasive among us it must also ensnare a good 60% of all doctors and counselors alike. No wonder some of them are writing books to justify the concerns.

      I can’t think of anyone who might be more in denial of a problem than an addict which has a problem to defend and needs intervention.
      Until you try to stop your own destructive behavior, fail, lose healthy relationships over it, but rock bottom and finally admit you have a problem, don’t judge the reality of millions of people who suffer from addiction.

      Please be aware that addiction to any substance is like a bad relationship of sorts. One which doesn’t judge, gives relief, and comes with a price. An addiction isn’t only defined by how incessantly you want something, it’s also defined by how it gets in the way of healthy more meaningful and positive relationships.
      The healthy developmental human needs connection and bonding with other humans, addictions throw us into isolation and rob us of those things most important to us.

      Get your head out of the sand and let’s stop thinking so clinically about this.

      Reply
  • September 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    My life’s rebuttal to Dr. David J. Ley:

    I am now 74 years of age. This writing began on the day I was born and has taken this long for its fruition. The decision to write this has been exceedingly difficult. Nearly all my life has been one of turning my back on taking a good long look in the mirror, particularly when the image staring back is evil and a clear reminder of the hundreds of people whose lives I’ve transgressed.

    Early on in my life, had I developed a working talent for whatever field of endeavor I had chosen at that particular time, a talent even remotely comparable to my genius of avoiding introspection, this end of my life would perhaps not have been nearly as tragic. Of singular importance, perhaps I would not have spent my entire life turning my back on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Salvation aside, had I chosen the study of the Bible, two commandments from His Book would not now be haunting me. Rather, the pursuit of them may have led me down an entirely different path. Those two commandments are: John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” and Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    My early childhood years, especially those spent at Middle River, Maryland, were delightful. Those years are precious memories for me, memories that always bring a smile of warmth to my heart.

    The road that led to our home was about a mile in length, with grand tall oaks bounding either side of Weber Avenue. It was called that because the family that had owned all of the property and the homes, including ours, were the Weber family.

    Their magnificent two-story home sat as the focal point of the estate. It was nestled at the center of the property, atop plush green rolling grass. The river was about a hundred feet from their home, almost giving the illusion that it was only there to accommodate their 70-foot sail yacht docked at their pier.

    The only dark memories of that time in my life began when I was seven years old. I was born without a right ear. Mom and Dad thought it best that I have reconstructive surgery. 1947 was the year it began.

    I recall being terrified out of my mind. And now, coupled with the memory of that first surgery is the disgusting smell of ether! That was what they used in those days to put a patient to sleep. Horrible, horrible stuff. I quickly discovered that it also carried with it the side effect of gut-wrenching vomiting, nearly as soon as one awoke. Joy for joy…

    Another down side of the surgeries was my not being able to play with my friends for about a month afterward. All in all, there were a total of 13 surgeries. My understanding is that this had to be done cumulatively, over a long span of time. This all ended at around age 14. I had asked my Dad if it could end. I had quite enough and was not then concerned with how I appeared to others. Dad was gracious enough to concur.

    The year of my second reconstructive surgery, I was also to undergo a tonsillectomy. The only negative memories of the tonsillectomy was when I was given pure squeezed orange juice afterward. All of that citric acid washing over my fresh surgery. Whew! Now that smarted!

    A side bar, if I may: my tonsillectomy was done on my Grandmother’s kitchen table! Apparently, there was no room in the hospital. No room in the hospital? I’ve been operated on fifteen times in my life and that is the only time I’ve ever heard of such ridiculous nonsense.

    There were many things for a child my age to do during those times in Middle River. I rode my bicycle every day. I would make at least one trip, up and back, on Weber Avenue. It was just right, not too curvy and not too hilly and with very little traffic. Oh how I loved that place!

    I had a really neat red wagon with wood sides that resembled three-tiered fencing. I remember my Grams siting in it, while I proudly gave her a tour of our “estate.” I think she enjoyed that as much as I did.

    During the winter months our home was heated with firewood in pot-bellied cast iron stoves. I had one in my bedroom and I remember lying there at night, while dozing off, my senses alive with the wondrous sounds and aromas of the crackling wood as it gave off its warmth. A night light was not necessary. The cast iron stove glowed cherry-red in the otherwise dark room.

    The winter months left me smack in the middle of another surgery behind me, and that of the one yet ahead. It was a reprieve. And when the weather cooperated, as it did just once, the river froze over. This meant ice skating, a passion of mine in those wonderful years. I loved this as much as riding my bike during the spring and summer months.

    That same winter we kids got together and created an ice ramp from the top of the bank down to the river. We nurtured that ramp with water and packed snow in such an ingenious way as would’ve made the Olympians proud. We each would take our turns belly-flopping down that ramp on our sleds, often finding ourselves gliding all the way to the other side of the river, a considerable half-mile venture!

    And then there was my dad and mom’s car, a beautiful black 1927 Chrysler Coupe. I particularly remember a trip that we took to my gram’s house in Guilford, a highly residential neighborhood in Northern Baltimore City.

    On that particular day it decided to snow, and snow it did. Worse yet, it was heavy and wet, making driving conditions a bit challenging. Not for ole “Betsy,” though. That’s what Dad nick-named the car.

    We had crossed Falls Road, traveling on West Cold Spring Lane toward Roland Avenue. At that time, West Cold Spring Lane was quite steep. Because of the snow, as we travailed the grade, cars were spinning on either side. Ole “Betsy?” Why she just kept putt-putt-putting along, passing all the disabled, much newer and expensive automobiles. This prompted Dad to toot the horn as we made our way up the steep grade. O-o-o-o-ga! was the distinctive sound of Betsy’s classic personality. People shook their fists at her as she continued on, unabashed by her critics.

    At this point I feel I must warn those weak of heart. It was around this time in my life when events took a turn on a one-way street, and I was heading in the direction opposite the flow of traffic. I am ashamed to say that has been true of nearly all of my life.

    Those early years brought me in much contact with my Aunt Joyce. We were six months apart in age, Joyce being the younger. We really were close and enjoyed much of our growing-up years together.

    A lot of our times together were spent engaged in an activity usually only found among adults: Cunnilingus. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in this activity. We were about seven years of age when this began and it continued all the way to the age of 17. It was then that Joyce got married and she put a stop to this activity. It was during all of these early years that I became more and more preoccupied with masturbation. This then led to voyeurism and peeping at women. I had even peeped at my own grandmother!

    I remember when I was about six or seven. I had been with my mom when she went to see a doctor at a well-known medical building in downtown Baltimore City. As we left the doctor’s office, I told mom that I needed to go to the bathroom. She took me to a bathroom for women.

    I distinctly remember being in a cubicle when I heard this woman’s musical “tinkling” to my left, a sound that excites me to this day. There were slats in the cubicle door that enabled me to see the women as they walked by or were washing their hands. They were unable to see me. This, too, excited me. I could hear them talking and laughing, and I could hear the distinctive sounds of one or more of them urinating. I was so excited! I found myself not wanting to leave, all the while engaged in heated masturbation.

    This was the beginning of a life-long downhill obsession that only ended when I became physically incapable of sneaking into the restrooms of women and their locker rooms. For at least five decades I spent hours, days, months, years and thousands of miles looking for ways to peep. I also often satisfied my sick perversions while peeping into the windows of people’s homes as well.

    At about age 12, we moved to Cook’s Lane in Ellicott City, Maryland. My Mom had been hired to work for Mr. Cook as a Florist. We shared a huge two-story home with the Cook family. This was part of Mom’s pay. It was an ideal job for Mom, for she loved flowers.

    This was a great place to live. The property was huge and was a wonderful place for a twelve-year-old boy to play. There were lots of kids my age. Cook’s Lane was much like Weber Avenue, in that it was about a mile or so in length, with very little traffic. Great for riding your bike. And there was the added bonus: the Cooks had a lovely daughter right around my age…

    We had been living on Cook’s Lane for about two years. While there, I had tried to peep on their daughter, to no avail. And then something strange happened. Mom began coming home each and every night in tears. Each night seemed worse than the previous night. The tears escalated to sobbing and hysteria. Every night the same.

    Apparently, Mr. Cook was very cruel in his approach to “teaching” Mom. I don’t believe he ever laid a hand on her while he pelted her with vicious name-calling, insults, often accusing her of stupidity. Mom was anything but stupid. But she was very sensitive to what others thought of her. This barrage went on for weeks. Dad didn’t seem to want to confront the man and set him straight. And so, I decided to try my hand at it…

    I had a b-b gun. I shot out every window in the man’s barn. I ran a pitch fork through one of his chickens. I shot up two of his panel delivery trucks, wind shields included. And now, at age 14, I had added animal cruelty and malicious and destructive behavior to my growing criminal bent.

    Mr. Cook did not report this to the police, but we were forced to move from their property. If memory serves me, we were given one month to get out.

    We were quite fortunate. Dad had found us a place to live in Joppa, in Harford County, Maryland. The house and property was a “fixer-upper,” but liveable. The house and nearly two acres of ground was a God-send at $7,500 dollars! We moved there in 1954.

    A new home, filled with the endless possibilities of new chances, a new life, new horizons. Right? Wrong! As the hormones raged in my body, I began looking for and creating ways to “hone my craft” as a voyeur. In those days I was actually proud of my craftiness as a voyeur.

    Voyeurism, peeping at women during their times of privacy, and while I masturbated, grew to an obsession. I became so totally consumed that I found myself taking Greyhound Bus trips to places I imagined would offer new and greater opportunities for one such as I, a Peeping Tom. I was without a car until around age 40, and so I either walked, rode my bike, hitch-hiked, took buses, yes, even taxicabs, so that I could prey on unsuspecting women.

    This obsession was such a part of me, it was all-consuming. I loved my mom and dad and yet there were times when, late at night, I would actually get out of bed, get dressed and sneak out of the house and begin walking with the sole intent of finding a house with a woman inside. Dressed, undressed, or partially dressed, it did not matter. All that mattered was that she did not know I was there to peep at her, and I would masturbate until fruition. Then I would return home.

    When I stayed at my gram’s home, I would do the same thing. In Baltimore, it was very easy to find women upon whom to peep. And then I would go back to Gram’s house and get back in bed, as if nothing had happened.

    I did the same thing to my wife Joy. I did this several times. Worse yet, during our thirty one years of marriage, I got arrested twice and spent 30 days in jail each time. The charge was Trespass, a euphemism for voyeurism or Peeping Tom. What kind of “man” does this to the woman he professes to love? And yet Joy never left me. She even went to my court trials.

    A man should provide for his woman, or at least bring some kind of livelihood into the house and make some kind of effort, at least within his capabilities. The longest I ever held a job was a year. Even at that, I did not work to the best of my ability and often missed days.

    My arrest record grew extensively, having spent approximately ten years of my life behind bars. I can’t recall all the details. I spent about a year at Baltimore City Jail. The charge eludes me. I remember having spent about a month or so at Spring Grove State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. I was also evaluated at Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital. I was there for about a month, as well.

    I spent about eight years at Patuxent Institute, Jessup, Maryland. When sent there, you were given a definite sentence, say five years. Once there, you were evaluated by psychiatric staff. If found to fit the criteria of a “Defective Delinquent,” your five years was suspended and your stay there was indefinite. It could be one year, or five, or ten or twenty, totally depending on the findings of the staff and, of course, your behavior while there. I was there from 1965 to 1973, about eight years.

    I hated that place. However, It has been within the last five years or so that I began to realize they were right. Anyone who commits the same crime over and over, particularly of a sexual nature, should be held indefinitely and be required to make strong assurance that, if released, the crimes would not again reoccur.

    At this stage of my life, I’m hard-pressed to understand why people such as myself should ever be released back into the general population. Why, you ask? It was only a short time after my release, thirty days or so, and I was right back at it again!

    Most of my criminal behavior was that of voyeurism. I was a Peeping Tom. I often entered the locker rooms and rest rooms of women at various colleges and universities throughout a three-state area. This behavior also included invading the rest rooms of women in many of the hotels within a three-state area. I also stole three cars and was arrested once for that. I was sent to The Maryland Correctional Institute, Hagerstown, Maryland. I cannot recall the length of my sentence, but I believe I was there for about two years.

    I also broke into people’s homes and stole cash. I was never arrested for this. Additionally, when the opportunity presented itself, while in a rest room for women, I would steal a purse and take the cash. I did this several times. This is what led to my being sent to Patuxent Institute.

    There has been little to nothing in my life I consider a positive contribution to anyone, certainly not that of my wife, my mom and dad, and most definitely not that of the Lord. My life has been one giant compost pile.

    Now, given the circumstances of my life, there are many who would insist that “life is what you make it.” Each of us possess the capacity for change, we’re told. After all, we are made in the image of God. We are given minds with extraordinary capabilities, enabling each of us the capacity to reevaluate and recognize what has led us down a wrong path and then change our course. Most importantly, we’re told, we possess “free will,” a phenomena enabling us to choose to move in a more positive direction for our lives, a direction of change, of betterment, of hope.

    Oh, really? Is life indeed that simple? Then how do we explain all the horrendous things that happen to good people? What explains war? It is my understanding that there has not been peace on this planet, since man began recording history, with the exception of a hundred-year span. What accounts for that?

    What explains, in the richest nation on earth, approximately three million women, children and men desperately seek transitional housing or an emergency shelter? And how do we explain our obsession with placing far greater value on green toilet paper, commonly referred to as “money,” than human lives?

    What explains the horrors of rape, incessant murders, child molestations, and women throwing their babies in trash dumpsters? How do you explain incest? What explains children only 8 and 10 years old shooting strangers just to watch them die? And what explains a 6-year-old boy taking his Dad’s gun to school and shooting a 4-year-old girl to death? To what do you attribute all the shootings that have occurred in schools and colleges in our most recent memories? Evening news has every atrocity imaginable, to the extent that it cannot possibly be considered news any more.

    How do we explain half the world’s population, approximately three and a half billion women, children and men, in abject poverty and starvation, and without running water or sewage or a place to live? Are we to assume that all these people choose their circumstances?

    Can life be reduced to that of simple choices, “free” choices, devoid of any outside influences or forces of nature, illnesses, genetics, unforeseen and/or unpredictable circumstances or, oh my! God’s Will?

    Further, how do you explain, in a so-called “democracy,” only one percent of the people controlling all the worlds’ wealth? I’m quite positive, if queried, the millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires of the world would respond with a resounding, “we’ve earned it!” Yeah, right. You believe that and I’ve some swamp land in Florida I’d be happy to sell you.

    And the other 99 percent? Do we choose a mediocre existence, usually just two to three paychecks away from living on the streets? And what explains nearly half the population of the United States, one out of every two people, now living in poverty? Did these people choose poverty?

    What explains some forty million people in “free” America without health insurance? How do we explain approximately 110 thousand people a year killed by legal drugs, even when taken as prescribed? Additionally, with all the noise and hype about illegal drugs, how do we explain the huge chasm between those that die by legal drugs (110,000 yearly) and those that die by illegal drugs (10,000 a year), and the consequent silence by “authorities” and the “news” media?

    And how do you explain there being more people killed by doctors and hospitals, in the United States, than by Cancer and heart disease combined? Interestingly, how do we rationalize the incessant news media’s portrayal of us as perpetrators and not as victims?

    What explains two out of every three marriages ending in divorce? What explains political corruption? How do we explain rampant corporate greed, such as we see all about us, as in the pharmaceutical and so-called “healthcare” industries, to mention just two? And how do we explain the incessant lies given by “pastors” at church pulpits? Is this simply a matter of pastoral choices?

    As I see it, life is essentially one huge cesspool, with occasional pleasantries thrown in to give some semblance of sanity and forbearance.

    Is “free will” a reality, or is it simply an egotistical fabrication of man’s mind? I submit that the only will involved in all our lives is that of the LORD Jesus Christ.

    We may not like it and we may not understand it, but all of life is God’s plan, the good, the bad and the ugly. This does not mean that He always causes what we see around us, only that He allows it. Everything began at the Garden of Eden and was set in motion, just like the weather patterns. From the Bible, let us see if what I am suggesting has any merit:

    Job 1:6-12 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

    Here, God is actually conducting a conversation with Satan. Moreover, Satan is impudent, disrespectful and arrogantly talking back to the LORD Jehovah Himself! It would seem the Bible is telling us that God allows Satan to walk about the earth and do pretty much as he pleases.

    In light of just this one passage, is it conceivable that Satan might have a hand in our daily lives? In spite of our self-inflated egos, is it remotely possible that there are other determinants for the paths we take? There are so many factors in life of which we are unaware. How can we be so adamantly positive that there are always choices we can make that will change our destiny?

    Again, reconsider these specific passages: “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Job 1:10 And let us not forget, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:12

    These passages paint a spiritual picture of the Lord’s hand in all we do. Apparently, Satan’s hand as well. This belies the notion that “free will” determines our station in life. These passages strongly suggest that all of us are part of God’s Master Plan. We are all included, along with Satan himself.

    If one is predisposed to rejecting the Bible, why we can always seek out the opinions of “authorities,” people who are in the know, the “experts.” Just take a look around the world at their handiwork: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6 As one renowned author and atheist had once said, “Man Also Rises.” Of course he does. We can see the evidence all around us…

    We can either perceive the passages of the Bible as interesting stories, or we can learn from them and strive to see the larger spiritual picture of God’s overall plan for man and His Salvation plan for His Elect. Let us look further:

    Job 1:13 -19 “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came alsoanother, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and Thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from thewilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”

    Sounds like Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it usually will. God, however, leaves nothing to luck, fate, chance, or destiny. The previous Bible passages gave us a true spiritual picture of not only what happened to Job, but is a spiritual picture of the part we play in God’s marvelous plan. Is it reasonable to conclude that Job had other things in mind, choices he would much rather have had to happen? Under these givens, can we accurately, positively state that Job was free to choose?

    Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

    Humility, repentance, the recognition that we are nothing without the LORD, are three of the hallmarks of His chosen people. Additionally, there is a desire to always do His will: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Rom 12:1 Anyone you know?

    Rom 9:13-16 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

    Is man truly the master of his own fate, put here to assert his will as he believes best, or is he indeed part of a Master Plan, a grander scheme of things that primarily focuses on Christ and those He was sent to save? Again, what does the Bible have to say?

    Rom 9:17 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” I don’t know about you, but I do not see even the slightest hint of man’s decision-making involvement in the marvelous machinations of God’s plans here on earth.

    Rom 9:18 “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Again, not exactly a resoundingly clear message of free will, eh what?

    Rom 9:19-20 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”Would you have the audacious chutzpah to face the LORD in such a way? Better you than me!

    Rom 9:21-33 ”Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law ofrighteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

    The following Scripture, I believe, lends credence to my argument that free will is an illusion, rather a delusion. See 2 Thessalonians 2:8-13 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”

    I found little with which to agree while listening to Dr. James Dobson‘s radio broadcasts, years earlier. However, he once said something I have never forgotten. And, yes, this too convinces me of the very real fiction of free will.

    He described two different types of personalities that come into the world. One is a very compliant and docile baby that quickly develops into a personality whose sole intent and purpose in life seems bent on pleasing his parents and those around him. This child grows up with no apparent contentions or disagreements with his parents, and gives all evidence of being at peace with the world.

    The second child enters the world in fits of rage, as evidenced by his incessant caterwauling, his little face all twisted and contorted from the physical and emotional turmoil of having just been thrust into this world. How dare anyone interrupt his peaceful and tranquil slumber within those warm, soft folds of his mother’s womb! This is a child that gives everyone grief, particularly his parents, for they are always around and they symbolize the very thing he hates most: authority.

    Biologically, he passes into “adulthood” with all the earmarks of a hellion, a rebel indeed with a cause, that of immediate self-gratification. He is defiant toward anyone in particular and everyone in general. Psalms 58:3-5 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:”

    No matter how we enter this world, in fits of rage or quiet, tranquil calm, we all are born “estranged from the womb…speaking lies.” This estrangement has nothing to do with our separation one from the other. Indeed, we are separated from the LORD Jehovah Himself.

    Mom once told me that I was a quiet kid, “a good child,” much unlike that of the child just described. My childhood memories are happy ones. In retrospect, it is as if I had gone from childhood to adulthood in slow reverse. My life had begun quietly, normally, and then exponentially deteriorated with the passage of time!

    This all, no doubt, smacks of rationalizing, an elaborate attempt to explain away my perverted and criminal life. There are those of you who are highly offended, for it would appear that I am using God as a scape goat, a way of placing blame for my life on Him. Hardly. I am my own worst critic. I hate myself for my life. I hate my life. I can find absolutely no redeeming value for my existence. I cannot understand why God has me still here. Matter of fact, I cannot understand why He placed me on this planet in the first place. God has this to say: Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

    I just cannot explain away my abhorrent life by casting aspersions at God. That has not been the focal point of this book . I did not write this as an elaborate way of again avoiding that long hard look in the mirror. I still do not like what I see there, but sticking my head in the sand is hardly the answer.

    At 74, I am now so entrenched in porn and masturbation with little, if any, evidence of escape. And so, I’ve replaced the activity of physically seeking out unsuspecting women to satisfy my masturbatory proclivities with that of pornography. One of the ironies of my life: unsuspecting women are replaced with women who expose themselves for profit!

    Here is how I see it: our lives are filled with choices and ultimatums. They are sometimes achieved through a labyrinth of complex inductive and deductive reasoning, though more often through simplistic snap decisions, based on little more than “gut” feelings and “instinct.” A brilliant author by the name of Ayn Rand once said that animal instinct is “an automatic and unerring form of knowledge.” Interesting…

    We are responsible, often, for the outcome of those decisions we make. Ultimately, however, all that goes into the making up of our lives, good and bad decisions and in-decisions, fall within the parameters of God’s overall plan for humanity in general, as well as His plan for His Elect, His Predestined.

    I cannot believe, after all the years of painful introspection and self examination, of the hundreds of times of crying out to the Lord, asking and begging Him for help, even Salvation, that it was ever possible for me to do an about-face, to achieve an epiphany without His aid. I don’t really believe, had my mom, dad or grams caught my aunt Joyce and I in the act of cunnilingus, and severely punished me, that it would’ve changed one thing, that I would have continued on to enjoy a happy and normal life. After all, it was just thirty days after my release from an eight-year stint at Patuxent Institute and I was right back out there doing the same vile behaviors.

    In addition to the horrors of imprisonment, very often while actually in the throes of peeping, of masturbating, I experienced intense feelings of dread, fear and guilt. Of course I dreaded and feared apprehension and incarceration. My very worst fear, however, is the fear of knowing that I could quite possibly die and my life had all been for naught. I would leave this life knowing I had not left anything to the honor of my wife and mom and dad and, most importantly, the LORD. Hell, to me now, is the knowledge that I could quite possibly die unsaved and never know the joys of being with the LORD, knowing at that instant that I had achieved nothing more than an offense and disgrace to Him and everyone, my wife, my mom and dad and my grams.

    All of the crimes I had committed, all of the hundreds of times I was violating the privacy of women, all of this became a huge ball of self-hate and dread and fear and stress. I was causing my wife, my mom and dad and grams and other family members great shame, coupled with the emotions of anguish, anger, frustration, sometimes rage, as well as just not being able to understand why.

    And so for those isolated, cumulative moments of peeping and masturbating, over the decades, I had traded a normal life for a lifetime of anger, bitterness, self-hatred, deceit and lying. I missed the very real joys of friendships, of relationships, an honest, open, loving and healthy relationship with the only woman in this world that God was gracious to give me. As said previously, my life has been one huge cesspool. Given this, if it were indeed possible for me to trade all of this, isn’t it remotely conceivable that I would have jumped at the opportunity? I know I would now.

    Incidentally, for those who believe this writing to be a kind of catharsis, it isn’t. I still feel just as horrible about myself. Dredging all of this up has certainly not improved the image of myself. If anything, it has only made it worse.

    The real motivation for this writing is the prayer that God will use this in ways that only He can, that He will cause those He chooses to read it, and then bring about changes so they do not continue the life that I have. I pray this is a part of His marvelous Salvation Plan, and that perhaps this is the very reason for my existence, to be used by Him for His own good pleasure.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Are people arguing about whether sex addiction is an “actual addiction” or just a “problem”? Is that problem impulse control? A moral issue (many would LOVE to write it off the page using that prognosis…).

    For me, porn replaced partnered sex. Porn stopped working, to the point where I would need to do it more often and with more intensity, variety and extremity than previous “Sessions” to get the same effect, or, towards the end, simply reach orgasm.

    Previous to the dissolution of my marriage, I quit porn for over 12 months. No slip ups, not a one. But I kept masturbating alone with the sex life with my wife to be a distant second – we were having “ovulation” sex (once monthly, on her schedule). All other times she was essentially repulsed by me.

    An addiction is something that you continue to do, that is harmful to you physically, emotionally, financially, vocationally, or maritally, and you need more of it to get your “fix” (tolerance). Then, when you DO stop, there are easily identifiable discontinuation symptoms. When I quit porn, the withdrawal was more significant than when I quit drinking OR smoking. (Smoking was a much larger withdrawal experience for me since I smoked daily for decades, but my drinking was moderate compared to what other true alcoholics would consume).

    So, I challenge people who are adamant that porn/sex addiction *does not exist* to please explain to me why I

    a) Needed more and more.
    b) Prefered porn to *available* partnered sex.
    c) Stopped finding my attractive wife attractive.
    d) Hid my porn/masturbation use.
    e) Porn resulted in total erectile dysfunction, inorgasmia, and sexual anhedonia.
    f) Had physical withdrawal symptoms, got sick, when I quit.
    g) Am suffering from some sort of sexual avoidance now, sexual anorexia or similar – I have no interest in sex or relationships now.

    If this is a MORAL problem, why am I a solid moral person in ALL OF MY OTHER AFFAIRS?

    If this is an impulse control problem, why am I able to stay clear of tobacco, alcohol, and keep my weight under control despite food being probably the last thing I have that I can use for comfort?

    What are the deniers of sex addiction going to call MY condition(s)?

    If it’s not addiction, what the h3ll is ruining my life then?

    Reply
    • February 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Self-diagnosis is always a bad idea. The place for you to start would be with an AASECT-certified Ph.D. psychologist and sex therapist who is not boxed in by their treatment paradigm and who can do a complete work up. Good luck and I truly hope the future is brighter.

      Reply
    • February 12, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Forget a psychologist or most of those with affiliations with AASECT (many of their certified therapists are social workers, whose training doesn’t require a single hour of undergraduate or graduate coursework in biology, let alone medicine). Find a neuropsychiatrist or medical psychiatrist (not a psychoanalyst) who can render a medication review and/or order the necessary neurological tests to rule out organic causes of your hypersexuality. Damage to the pre-frontal or temporal lobes can be two of several neurological problems that underlie hypersexual behavior. Reading Ley’s book is also a good start to wading through the pop psychology employed by many social workers and others without medical training who profit by creating this catch all nebulous and non-specicic disorder of “sexual addiction”

      Reply
    • February 12, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      BTW, Humbled Man- you ought to give us the page number and book that you cited verbatim by Carnes or one of his acolytes. Plagiarism only weakens your case.

      Reply
    • March 23, 2016 at 1:21 am

      Interesting. For me it was the other way around. Once I left the religious-induced guilt aside and started watching porn and jerking off to my heart’s content, I felt less desire to do it.

      Reply
      • May 12, 2017 at 1:49 am

        Yeah sure, you probably felt less like doing it the same way a honey moon wears off. Now I’d like to just hear that you can go a year without it. Billion bucks says you keep it regular.

        Reply
  • December 1, 2015 at 1:45 am

    You wrote: “Dr. Ley is correct in saying that the DSM does not list sex addiction at this time. However, it is being considered for the upcoming DSM-5, to be released in 2013.”

    Turns out it wasn’t. The vast majority of therapists simply disagree with your conclusions.

    Reply
    • March 23, 2016 at 10:24 am

      The vast majority of therapists would be committing insurance fraud if they submitted a claim for a disorder not found in DSM-5. I don’t know where or if you practice, but as attorney and a psychologist, I can tell you what insurance fraud is and is not. The vast majority of therapists are much better trained than social workers and have had ethics courses. Hypersexuality is a symptom of many different disorders and a side effect of several medications including l-dopa and Abilify. Only an under-trained social worker would not know that.

      Reply
  • August 27, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I want to get my wife to feel attraction to me again rather than living with a sexless marriage
    we have not been intimate is 10 years we are both 57

    Reply
 

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