October 16, 2012

Sex Addiction Is Real?

Last week, Dr. Brooke Magnanti issued a scathing report for an article written in the Daily Mail online which suggested that men are susceptible to becoming addicted to Viagara.

Dr. Magnanti’s main issue with the Daily Mail article was the overuse of the word addiction to describe compulsory and habitual behaviors.

In her piece, Dr. Magnanti also takes issue with the notion of sex addiction, noting that she does not believe in such an affliction and has even dedicated an entire chapter in her book to the matter.

Today, it seems as if the Daily Mail has fired back, offering up not only a scientist who claims sexual addiction is real but has also defined the symptoms.

According to a new study from a Los Angeles psychologist, there are people who should be considered addicted to sex, as their urges prevent them from functioning in their daily lives.

In a new study conducted by researcher Rory Reid, an assistant professor and research psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, an addiction to sex is called “Hypersexual Disorder,” and can be defined as “recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior” for longer than 6 months.

Those with this disorder reported feeling out of control and unable to resist their sexual urges, no matter the consequences.

“They might consider the consequences momentarily, but somehow feel their need for sex is more important, and choose sex even in situations where such choices might cause significant problems or harm, such as job loss, relationship problems or financial difficulties,” said Reid, speaking to

In order to be diagnosed with this disorder, patients have show that their lives have been interfered with or in same way disrupted by their dangerous and destructive sexual behaviors. Furthermore, these behaviors cannot be brought on by alcohol, drugs or other mental disorders.

To reach these parameters, the UCLA researchers studied more than 200 people who had been referred to a mental health clinic. These individuals were not told why they were referred to be interviewed by these researchers. After asking these people a series of questions, the researchers discovered that some 150 of them had real sexual behavior problems. The rest of the participants, according to Reid, had problems with substance abuse. The aforementioned definitions were then applied to the remaining 150, with 134 matching these guidelines.

With these potential hypersexual disorder candidates picked, the researcher began to ask them about their sexual behaviors, such as which behaviors were the most problematic for them.

For the majority of these candidates, they struggled the most with masturbation and watching pornography.

In fact, some of these candidates for hypersexual disorder reported having lost their jobs because they simply couldn’t control themselves at work.

As for those who might use such a disorder as an excuse to cheat on their partners, Dr. Reid said, “Having a disorder didn’t help them avoid consequences, such as divorce, but it is advantageous for them when they want to get help and change.”

Image Credit: hxdbzxy / Shutterstock

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