The River’s Jonathan Phillips tells us why he believes sex addiction is a myth.
I need it, at least twice a day, every day. I can’t get enough of it. If I don’t get any I go mad, I feel down. It’s not so desperate that I go around breaking into people’s houses to steal money to pay for it.
Yes, I am an addict – a chocoholic. I crave the nectar of the cocoa bean in every form. I wasted time denying it but eventually had to face up to my condition. Until recently, I had suffered silently – not even my fiancée knew. I’ve started seeing a therapist twice a month but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll have any effect.
I bet you’re thinking: “What a basket case. Therapy for chocolate addiction? Surely a bit of self-control is the answer, not throwing your money at someone who says they understand your situation and that the solution is to lie on their sofa and spill out your most private thoughts.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against therapists; I used one to get over a bout of depression and anxiety. He did a marvellous job (along with the happy pills he prescribed) but that’s not the answer to my current problem. Let’s be honest here, is there even such a thing as chocolate addiction? Didn’t think so. That is how I feel about ‘sex addiction’. To me it appears as a sheer lack of self-control; a yearning for something one derives great pleasure from.
You may point out that my opinion is quite a common one, and that I am somehow mistaken. The simple fact that so many voices in the medical community are opposed to classifying this particular condition acts as some proof that there is no clear evidence that allows us to categorize sex alongside alcohol and drugs as addictive.
If the phrase ‘sex addiction’ is not a medical one where did it come from? Had anybody heard of the term before Russell Brand needed to justify his philandering? In this day and age of sexual liberation, we just make up excuses for our actions to make them seem somewhat acceptable to those people that still cling on to a moral code.
To not appear completely ignorant, I did a little bit of reading up on the subject. Dr Trisha Macnair wrote on the BBC Health website, and said: “Sex addiction certainly meets some of the criteria for an addiction. Like other addictions, the person is driven by a compulsion to seek out and engage in the behaviour that brings them the benefits or a sort of intoxication that they seek, even though it may cause enormous disruption and even harm to their life. Many of those addicted feel intense shame about their behaviour and are reluctant to talk about it.”
I can certainly relate to that with my own problem. I spend 25% of my wages on chocolate, have put on five stone since my addiction started three years ago and couldn’t talk to anyone about it until just recently.
I could certainly see her point but then she goes and spoils it when she says: “It’s estimated that six per cent or more of the population experience sex addiction and one in five are women.” If sex addicts don’t come forward then how can you estimate how many suffer from it?
Is it a surprise that only 20% of the ‘estimated’ sex addicts in the UK are women? Dr Macnair seems to think that that particular statistic merits particular attention yet.
If the esteemed Dr Macnair had written the advice page on chocolate addiction would I be feeling special because only 1 in 8 men suffer from it?
Ok, I’ll come clean. I am not a chocoholic; I never have been and, fingers crossed, I never will be. I just wanted the attention, the sympathy, the pills (uh oh, I see another addiction on the horizon). The point I wanted to prove is that, spun the right way, anything can be made out to be worse than it is.