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Is Sex Addiction a Myth?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Village Idiot, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Dcc001

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    The thread is asking if sexual addiction even exists; you said yourself it isn't listed in the DSM. I don't think "most people are in agreement" about anything.
     
  2. Allord

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    No.

    I'm sorry, but you guys have no idea what you're talking about.

    The mechanism of dopamine release in relation to a certain task/experience/chemical present in the body causing positive experience and therefore recurring creation of the same circumstance by repeating the task/experience/acquiring the same chemical in the body is what motivates repeating a pleasurable activity. That's not addiction. That's simply doing something you enjoy.

    Addiction is more than that. Addiction means that you are physically unable to stop taking this course of action, and when you attempt to take control and limit yourself your brain begins to, in essence, torture you through withdrawal symptoms in order to strong arm you into taking the desired course of action once again and fill its percieved need for the former course of action in order to maintain what it believes to be a stable state. Addiction is, by all means and ends, a battle between the conscious and the subconscious. It's not "I really like this, so I'm going to keep doing it" it's "I NEED this, I CAN'T stop doing it. If I don't have this then SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG and I might DIE"

    That's addiction.

    You want to test it? Easy. Hold your breath. There's no reason why low blood oxygen levels should in and of themselves trigger a panic response. There's no reason why they should cause physical pain in your lungs. There's no reason that they should cause a strong impulsive desire to inhale and exhale rapidly. You are addicted to Oxygen. This response is similar to the response a drug addict has when he goes cold turkey. The only difference is that you actually need Oxygen to live, you don't need cocaine to live, but an addict's subconscious has been conditioned to not see the difference.

    That's a very important distinction, and I don't think you guys are recognizing it.

    Dopamine release in and of itself is not addiction, the subconscious association of a certain chemical or activity with the mind's image of homeostatic normalcy that is not naturally one is.

    Sex addiction, in theory, would involve a person who didn't WANT to have sex, but who NEEDED to have sex, and the deprivation of the individual of sex would not result in disappointment/frustration, but instead in withdrawal symptoms that might manifest as depression and mental agony.

    I don't know or care about Tiger's personal life, but if he was a sex addict in the sense I've stated above he'd be one hell of a psychotic, and I just don't see that coming across in what I've seen of him.

    In theory I'd argue that if true sex addicts exist, they're probably the people who are the least likely to get sex. The ones who are socially awkward "nice guys" who totally emotionally invest in individual women, and the denial of sex to them drives them into a manic depressive state and fills them with chronic mental agony because even their own brain is torturing them over the fact that they never get laid, and they're doomed to failure because their approach is fundamentally flawed. I'd argue that sex addiction is a result of lack of sex.

    Of course, a similar, but not quite the same pathway to chronic impulsive sexual gratification would be the same as all other impulsive behavior. It would be the brain coping with one source of pain by putting energy into compulsive behavior that might manifest itself as sex. However, that wouldn't be sex addiction, because in the true sense there would be no addiction to the sex itself. Instead that would just be a coping mechanism that could in theory be replaced by another form of coping mechanism, and so the sex itself is not the actual issue.

    Regardless, Tiger's young and verile. He's probably just got a regular sex drive, but is subjected to a disproportional amount of pussy thrust upon him. He likely just chose precisely the wrong point to get married/have a serious long term relationship.

    You want to see nutjob addict behavior? Look at Steve-O.

     
    #22 Allord, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  3. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    Thinks he has a chance with Christina Hendricks...

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    Where is the Last Psychiatrist when you need him?
     
  4. Trakiel

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    Well according to the book in that article, you probably are:

    So there you have it. If you get off more than 6 times per week you're probably a sex addict. Better limit yourself to 5 just to be safe.
     
  5. Primer

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    See, I think that definition is bullshit. Yes, I can jerk off three times a day and if I wanted to I could go fifteen times a week but I don't need to get off that many times. It's the point I was trying to make to Grind, just because you masturbate a lot doesn't mean you're a sex addict. It's also the point I was trying to make earlier, in a somewhat round-about way, about the vast majority of people who self-diagnose themselves as sex addicts.

    Difference between a guy like me, who gets off when he's horny and the guy who is actual sex addict is that I don't have a compulsion or feel withdrawal symptoms from not having sex - I don't feel any agony from not having sex nor do I feel guilty about having it. In fact, it never interferes with my normal life, which is a far cry from actual addicts.
     
  6. scotchcrotch

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    Let's not forget Tiger is in peak physical condition.

    His testosterone levels must be off the chart, thus, his libido is probably overactive compared to the average Joe
     
  7. Nick

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    Theoretically, couldn't you be a "sex addict" if you were addicted to fucking your own wife? It seems to me like it's just a made up cop-out that justifies your desire and willingness to fuck a variety of people. I used to call it being single.

    "Yo bro - did you fuck that blonde girl with the good boobs last night?"

    "No man. I mean, I got her home, and I tore off her clothes, and I was like - Oh my God, look at that pussy. I've had too much of this stuff lately. I better not fuck that thing or I might get addicted."

    Under that pretense, as it relates to masturbation, you're technically not a sex addict unless you get tired of hammering yourself and start jerking off other dudes.
     
  8. dewercs

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    Consistently engaging in a high risk activity that you know will have negative consequences on your personal and professional life but doing it anyway is addict behavior and it fits Tiger to a tee.

    You can't but addiction in a box, a disease that is caused by an abnormal and dysfunctioning hypothalamus is very hard to diagnose and treat.
     
  9. The Village Idiot

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    I hear you, and part of why I'm so confused by the whole phenomena is the bolded part above. Is sex a high risk activity? I guess it could be, but even with your wife/husband if they are cheating on you. Or say sex with your spouse without using birth control knowing you can't afford a child. I guess it gets so subjective with the phrases used that it's very difficult to say one way or the other.

    Plus, the urge to have sex is one of the most important urges humans have. Now, due to social factors, we are told we need to 'control' those urges. Theoretically, I think it's been shown that men are generally wired to want to have sex with as many women as possible, but due to social conventions we are encouraged not to engage that urge. Same with women.

    I would be curious to see what percentage of people abused as children are later diagnosed as sex addicts - if such a study exists.

    And someone mentioned withdrawal symptoms. I get irritable if I don't get laid regularly. I'm not as nice to my wife if I don't get laid regularly (because I'm irritable). Are these negative consequences in my personal life? I think so. I always want to be happy with my wife, and know I should be, but if I'm not getting the sex I 'want,' and I get irritable, and therefore maybe am short with my wife, does that mean I'm an addict? I personally don't think so (but I don't know), I think it makes me human.

    Interesting responses though.
     
  10. ghettoastronaut

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    Wikipedia contest!

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolimbic_pathway" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolimbic_pathway</a>

    Now, sure, drug addiction is more than just doing some innocuous thing that gives you pleasure (I though I had said more than a few times than sex addiction is more than a high sex drive and overeating is more than just obesity), but if it's regulated by dopaminergic pathways involving motivation, stimulus and reward, don't come in and tell me that a discussion of the stimulation of those pathways means I have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Also, your comparison to oxygen is fucking retarded. It's the equivalent of saying that someone being out of breath after sprinting is really just jonesing for a fix. I hope you know about CNS control of respiration, O2/CO2 balance determining blood pH, chemoreceptors that detect blood pH, and metabolic drives to increase inspiration of O2.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_respiration" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_respiration</a>
     
  11. Allord

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    My point was that if the only point you're considering is the dopamine reward mechanism, then you're ignoring a large portion of what an addiction truly is. I'd argue that an addiction without withdrawal is merely a fetish. Sure, you WANT it. You WANT it a lot. You might even WANT it so much you ignore other activities and needs in favor of it. And that's all because of the dopamine pathway. But you don't NEED it. Your fundamental subconscious perceived state of stability has not changed to reflect that [activity/drug] is a normal and required component of your well being. You are not PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT on it. So while it may be an unhealthy fetish, it's not an actual addiction since in theory you could still stop any time without consequence and your body does not begin a panic response as soon as you cut yourself off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_dependency

    Thanks for that, I'm very familiar with the MECHANISM behind CNS. My point was, and still is, that the response to low oxygen/high carbonic acid concentrations in the blood, which are caused by lack of sufficient breathing, are first to increase the rate of breathing, and then, if the O2/CO2 balance becomes low enough, a panic response that causes hyperventilation as a survival response.

    You'll find that my point is completely valid. The lack of one particular chemical in the blood (in this case Oxygen) causes a survival response that is panic, in an addict the lack of a particular chemical that has been used sufficiently to be associated with the general homeostatic state causes a survival response that is withdrawal symptoms.
     
  12. sunny jim

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    Maybe my experience with addiction and withdrawal is atypical, but for me, hanging out and kicking an addiction equates with having the flu and dealing with it. I would think, based on that, sex addiction would be comparatively easy to kick.
    Then again, i've always felt rehab was for sissies.
     
  13. dewercs

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    Really, recovering from addiction is very easy, all you have to do is change your entire behavior pattern.
     
  14. scootah

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    k, Srsly - Sex Addict is a colloquial term to cover a range of conditions that revolve around hypersexuality in a negative context. I posted the DSM-IV deffinitions for addiction, Impulse control disorders and and Sexual disorders - you can google this shit to find out that I haven't altered them to suit my point - you can go and buy a copy of the DSM-IV at your local campus book store. Why the fuck is there still an argument about what constitutes addiction and what doesn't? Sex addiction as defined by a peer reviewed group of people who spend years studying the topic and then accepted by the medical community in every first world country on earth falls into one of those three classifications with diagnostic criteria from one of those three groupings.

    Either you can't control your impulses, you're sexually dysfunctional or you're addicted to a neurochemcial release that occurs in relation to sex, or you're not a sex addict.

    I don't get it - why the fuck are ya'll still arguing? Are you thinking that you're better informed about this issue then the AMA and APA and their equivalent bodies through the rest of the world? Are you thinking that a topic that has spent 15 years as a hot button, garunteed grant topic like sex addiction might just need a bit more thought or a the kind of clarity of description that the idle and vaguely educated of the internet can provide? I'm confused.
     
  15. Allord

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    Some of us [and by "some" I mean "all"] just like the sound of our own voices.

    Also I'm awesome and if I think it I'm right.

    GO TEAM ALLORD
     
  16. iczorro

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    It sounds like you're saying jerking off is bad.

    I'd explode in a cloud of unused semen if I didn't jerk off.
     
  17. bebop007

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    There ya go.
     
  18. Roxanne

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    Really the most upsetting part of this whole debacle is that Dave Chapelle isn't still around to spoof it.

    Focus: I think sex addiction is real. Addictions all start out as poor impulse control that spirals until it takes over your whole life, doesn't it? So if going out of your way to bang anything that moves is tearing your life apart, you're certainly an addict.

    That said, I'm not really sure Tiger counts as a sex addict, since if it weren't for the media his life would pretty much be carrying on in a relatively functional manner. I'm not saying cheating is okay by any stretch, but actual sex addiction seems to come concomitant with other problems, and so far as we know he's pretty normal other than wanting to have sex with chicks all the time, and one might argue that just serves to make him more normal anyway.