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...


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...


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...

Sex & Technology

Teens, Digital Devices, and Sexual Problems

Tech: Sex Ed for All, Sex Problems for Some
The holidays are over and young people are diving headlong into use of their brand new digital devices. In addition to video games and social media, some kids, especially adolescents, are using their freshly acquired laptops, pads, smartphones, and the like as a gateway for sexual exploration, experimenting with pornography, sexting, video chat, “friend finder” apps, and more. Unfortunately, for some kids these...


The Question Sex Addiction Critics Don’t Want You to Ask…..

Guest Blog - Stefanie Carnes PhD, LMFT, CSAT-S

Over the years I have developed a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Stefanie Carnes and her work as both a clinician and a trainer of clinicians. Currently, she serves as President of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals and as a National Clinical Consultant for Elements Behavioral Health. She is also the author of numerous well-regarded...


Lesbian Women, Love Addiction, and “The Urge to Merge” – An Interview with Dr. Lauren Costine

Ten years ago the first edition of Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men was published in response to what I viewed as a meaningful missing puzzle piece for gay men to learn and grow. At that time there were few if any self-help books specific to gay men. Thus, gay men had to interpret their challenges and experiences through the written lens of heterosexual life and culture. Although...

Sex & Technology

A Review of Recent Research on Teen Sexting

For the last several years, teen sexting scandals have sporadically hit the news, most recently in Long Island, NY, where two 14-year-old boys sent a sex video (involving another minor) to a large group of their friends, and in Cañon City Colorado, where a hundred or more high schoolers turned sexting into a game of “whoever collects the most nude pics of fellow students is King of the...