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LustSpiel agony --- Sex addiction? Is it real? --- Part I

Text from an article in 1843 (an offshoot of The Economist) Dec. 2017, pp 84-89. Images from Kristen Bjorn's short film Wild Seed, starring Ridder Riviera, Ivan Gregory, and Andy Star. For Bjorn's entire clip, see our earlier post Sheer Lust (6).

Andrew was in his late 30s when he was feeling that his masturbation habit was getting out of control

He was indulging several times per day while using pornography.

But his preoccupation with porn was getting in the way of the rest of his life.

When a friend mentioned that he was going to 12-step meetings for sex addiction, Andrew was fascinated.

Andrew joined his friend and found it "tremendously useful" to have a place where he could talk about his problems.

Andrew became more introspective, masturbated less, and eventually stopped using porn.

Andrew felt so grateful for these changes that he became a certified sex-addiction specialist himself.

For people like Andrews, the notion that they are suffering from a disease can be a comforting one.

Sex addiction came to light with a book by Patrick Carnes, "Out of the Shadows," published in 1983.

Carnes tells the stories of people whose sexual behavior consistently gets them into trouble.

Carnes approach to sexual misbehavior was timely. Ronald Reagan was president.

Conservatives and religious leaders were calling for a return to traditional family values.

For those who were nervous about their sexual cravings, the label of addiction offered some relief.

The new 12-step approach spread quickly.

People who have trouble regulating their sexual behavior tend to feel lonely.

So being in a room of people with similar predilections can be reassuring.

Today there are over 1000 SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meetings per week in the US.

The movement spawned an industry.

"I think there's an economic aspect to this," Eli Coleman of the U. of Minnesota says.

Tyler, a 28 year old New Yorker who identifies as a sex addict, says he's still in debt...

...for his 38 day stay at the Keystone Center Sex Treatment facility which cost him 38,000 dollars.

Stay tuned...