Tue, 09 Oct 2012 07:00:00 GMT

Is sex addiction real?

Sex addiction has stirred a lot of debate and interest. Does it or doesn't it exist?

Is sex addiction real?

The origin of sex addiction in literature dates back to 1983 where it was introduced by Dr. Patrick Carnes, who is presently the executive director of the Gentle Path program in Mississippi and the author of several books on sexual addiction and recovery. Yet, despite being nearly 3 decades since its introduction, we still do not have any solid diagnostic criterion that exists with regard to sex addiction or, for that matter, sexual compulsivity. In fact, sex addiction is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders which is the main reasons there is so much debate on its existence.

What do we know?

We do know that people can become consumed with certain behaviours, sex being one of a countless number of them. Sex is pleasurable, therefore sexual encounters are naturally sought out -- we accept this -- however, what some professionals have done is created an idea that if you seek out too much sexual pleasure you are doing something unhealthy or even wrong, which may not be the case as the whole person needs to be considered -- not just the behaviour. This coupled with the high profile celebrity scandals and public overuse of the word 'addiction' has depreciated the true meaning and familiarized most of us with the term.

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