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brainstorm
brainstorm is offline
#54
Aug18-10, 02:47 PM
P: 1,117
Quote Quote by lisab View Post
I think agression without violence can be called assertiveness.

But for the OP...are you certain what you're dealing with is a true sexual addiction? I mean, was this a diagnosis from a trained counselor?
This is actually just one part of a hypothetical example, but it is a valuable topic so let's address it: regardless of what a "trained counselor" assesses, you really have to come to your own understanding of what addiction generally and sexual addiction in particular refers to. Different counselors will have different approaches, and of course people go to counselors for therapy so if it makes them feel better to hear one definition of addiction instead of another, they'll choose that counselor.

Addiction, imo, is not an absolute thing where people are either totally addicted or totally free of desire. Addiction is, imo, another word for "attachment," which I point out because buddhist philosophy offers some good approaches to evaluating the meaning of attachments and ways to deal with them.

Generally, the most dangerous part of recognizing addiction is the strong potential for people to react against the label. It's a hard thing for someone to be open to the possibility that they are addicted to something and calmly consider what they could or should do to deal with it. Instead, people are afraid that if they are labeled as an addict, they will be required to give up their attachment, which either frightens or just bothers them, either because they are truly addicted to some degree or because they just don't want to give up something unnecessarily to prove they're not addicted (who would blame them?)

With sexual addiction, why would someone engage in taboo or illegal behaviors, or ones that could endanger the health of their body or relationship if there was no level of addiction? Another question is whether there is a difference between addiction and simply being "hungry" in comparison to the difference between food addictions and simply being hungry (for food thus). People have different sexual appetites, so how can you know if you have a strong appetite whether this is the result of addiction or just a "natural appetite?"

Regardless, you can't get around social taboos and judgement. Whether Tiger Woods is addicted to sex or just has a strong appetite, he's become pretty much permanently stigmatized. What's more, public examples like the one made of him send out a signal to everyone to police their sexual behavior and not to divulge their feelings and desires when these make them susceptible to stigma or social judgment.

I haven't read as much of it as I probably should have to be discussing it so much, but I didn't see anyone coming out and defending Tiger Woods or sexual freedom for this kind of behavior. Surely there are still people who long to express this kind of sexuality, but why don't the speak out? Probably for the same reason someone in a relationship hides their potentially embarrassing secrets even though doing so causes them to live somewhat fictionally on the outside.

In posting this thread, I was sort of interested in whether some people had this problem figured out and had absolutely no trouble being open about even the most taboo desires and behaviors, but I don't get the idea from the responses that anyone really is. It's always more comfortable to talk about "a friend" with regard to something ridiculously bizarre like bestiality instead of being open with your partner about something like the fact that you fantasized about sex with her sister (for example). Even as I type that hypothetical case, I have to laugh because to treat it as a serious issue would make it too uncomfortable to admit. So maybe it's just my own repression that I'm dealing with, but this seems like a general cultural thing to me, no?