Intimacy & Fidelity

What People Really Want to Know About Sex (My “Ask Me Anything” Experience) 

A few weeks ago I agreed to host a Reddit AMA without actually knowing what I’d agreed to do. So I did a quick bit of research and found out that Reddit is a huge website that hosts “discussion threads” on almost any topic you can imagine. And many of the site’s most popular discussions originate with AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, where celebrities or subject matter experts answer...


Pornography: Shame-Based Clients vs. Addicted Clients

Just Because a Client Says He’s Porn Addicted…

As digital technologies become more ubiquitous and porn usage becomes more prevalent and socially acceptable, clinicians, especially certified sex addiction therapists (CSATs), have seen a corresponding increase in the number (and variety) of people seeking help with shameful and/or compulsive porn use and related life problems. Importantly, there are multiple and often very different populations seeking such assistance. For instance, some clients seek treatment because they are addicted, while others seek treatment...


Can Therapists “Officially” Diagnose Sexual Addiction?

A Hopeful Outlook

In the April 2016 edition of Addiction, Dr. Richard B. Krueger of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute provided a short commentary on the ways in which psychotherapeutic clinicians, if and when it’s appropriate, can make a DSM-5 and/or an ICD-10-CM diagnosis of sexual addiction. This is important primarily as it relates to insurance companies, who don’t especially like to pay for the treatment of any issue...


New Study Links Compulsive Porn Abuse and Sexual Dysfunction

A recent study by Aline Wéry and Joel Billieux, both from the Université Catholique de Louvain, published in the journal, Computers in Human Behavior, sheds light on the characteristics, usage patterns, motives, and consequences of addictive online sexual activity.

Wéry and Billieux conducted a large-scale online study of French speaking men recruited on a university messaging service, social networks, research networks, and sexuality related forums. Anonymity of participants was guaranteed in an effort to achieve more...


Is Addiction an Intimacy Disorder?

In his popular 2015 TED talk, “Everything You Think You Know about Addiction is Wrong,” journalist Johann Hari discusses research into the underlying causes of and effective treatments for addiction, ultimately concluding, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.” While Hari is not a scientist and he tends to overgeneralize in his presentation, making it relatively easy to nitpick, his belief that addiction is linked to early-life and adult struggles with emotional intimacy is, in my opinion, right on target. In fact, any therapist who has worked with addicts on a relatively routine basis will recognize the addictive pattern he describes.


Problematic Porn Use: Quantity vs. Consequences

A new study by Mateusz Gola, Karol Lewczuk, and Maciej Skorko, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, looks at the factors that drive people into treatment for problematic porn use. In particular, Gola and his team wanted to determine if frequency of porn use or consequences related to porn use are more important. Unsurprisingly, as sex addiction treatment specialists like myself and Dr. Patrick Carnes have been stating and writing for more than a decade, when diagnosing and treating porn addicts the amount of porn a person uses is considerably less relevant than his or her porn-related consequences. In fact, Dr. Carnes and I have consistently defined porn addiction based on the following three factors:


Sologamy: Alone, Sexless, and Loving It

Sologamy: “The state of being single and not wanting a romantic/sexual relationship.”
—Robert Weiss

The Cult of the Individual

Not so long ago, the worst possible form of punishment was not prison or even death, it was exile. For instance, in 1814 the controversial military leader, politician,...


Understanding Covert vs Overt Incest

"Covert incest occurs when a child becomes the object of a parent’s affection, love, passion, and preoccupation. ... The boundary between caring love and incestuous love is crossed when the relationship with the child exists to meet the needs of the parent rather than...


Can Women Get Addicted to Porn?

Do Women Even Look at Porn?
It’s no secret that the Internet is bursting at the seams with pornography, and lots of people are looking at it. For instance, research conducted in 2009 and 2010 by neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed 400 million Internet searches (representing more than 2 million people), finding that approximately 55 million of those searches (13%) sought some form of erotic content. And this analysis didn’t include...