It usually makes headlines when a member of Hollywood’s elite heads to rehab, but nothing stirs the media as much as a star seeking treatment for sexual addiction. With movies and television shows also touching on the topic, it may seem like the insatiable and destructive desire for constant, anonymous sex is something unique to those on the silver screen. However, sexual addiction is something that many experts say affects everyday people, and can lead to the transmission of some of the most common STDs.
Because sexual addiction is a relatively new topic of discussion, definitions thereof are hazy. According to Independent Online, some people who have many sexual partners but are not addicted to sex may claim to suffer from sexual addiction as a way to justify their penchant for random hookups. However, the condition can be very serious and interfere with one’s personal life and relationships.
“It might also be seen as a titillating subject. Yet there’s nothing titillating about a man who continuously has unprotected sex with prostitutes who may have sexually transmitted diseases, and then goes home and has sex with his wife,” JC Durbin, CEO of an addiction treatment center, told the news source. “There’s nothing titillating about the compulsive masturbator, who masturbates up to 15 times a day, and whose life is spiralling out of control because of his compulsive behavior.”
When sleeping with someone unfamiliar, it’s always wise to wear condoms because there is no way to be sure of a partner’s sexual history. However, Durbin’s opinion may prompt some married couples to wear protection as well, particularly if philandering has been an issue in the relationship.
Durbin went on to explain to the news source that pornography can be a major factor in sexual addiction. Thanks to technological innovations like the internet and smartphones, people are exposed to sexually graphic images at younger and younger ages. According to Durbin, this exposure could prompt some individuals to develop unsafe sexual habits later on down the line.
Those who fear they may be suffering from sexual addiction should seek treatment to help with the issue. PsychCentral.com reports that individuals should keep in mind that the desire for regular sex, provided it is not a destructive compulsion, is natural and healthy.