Rosalie Capri

SEX ADDICTION THE NEW EXCUSE FOR INFIDELITY?

Sex Addiction the New Excuse for Infidelity?

In Modern Love on May 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

By Rosalie

Editor, Lynx Magazine

What’s love got to do with it?” sings Tina Turner.

According to today’s infidelity statistics on marriage; absolutely nothing.

Between 10 to 15 percent of married women and 20 to 25 percent of married men in the U.S. report having sex with someone other than their spouse. Researchers note that these figures may be higher, because survey participants may not be truthful about their involvement in acts of infidelity, especially, if these acts are considered taboo or illegal.

The temptation to taste that “forbidden fruit” can be traced to the beginning of time. Today, stories of infidelity, whether private or splashed across a newspaper’s headlines, still intrigue and leave us with the unanswered question of why.

Recently those caught breaking the vows of monogamy have offered some rather interesting explanations . For example, a growing trend has adulterous partners pleading “guilty with an explanation” by using their addiction to sex as a line of defense. Is there any truth behind these admissions of guilt? Or is this a poor attempt at hiding behind their indiscretion.

Is sex addiction real?

Whether sex addiction is real or not is a highly debated question being studied within the medical field today. The official handbook of psychiatric diagnoses, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders,” does not include a diagnosis for sexual addiction. Martin P. Kafka, M.D. is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a member of the task force that’s revising the fifth edition manual. Kafka specializes in social deviation and opposes the addition of a sex addiction diagnosis to the DSM-V .

However, therapists active in treating sexual addiction disagree.

“Just because sex addiction is not listed as a legitimate condition does not mean it does not exist, ” says Maureen Canning, author of “Lust, Anger and Love, Understanding Sexual Addiction.” Canning is a clinical consultant for sexual disorder services at the Meadows, which is a multi-disorder facility located in Wickenburg, Arizona that specializes in the treatment of trauma and addictions. Canning is also a l icensed m arriage and f amily t herapist. Canning’s practice in San Diego specializes in sexual compulsivity.

“It is frustrating because people are not getting the treatment they need,” says Canning.

Canning believes that sex addiction usually stems from childhood trauma, which then manifests into feelings of shame and lack of self- worth. C anning states that a sex addict uses sex to escape emotionally— in order to hide feelings of shame or low self- worth.

“When you like the danger, risk and (escaping) from any emotional connections, that is not a healthy expression of sex,” says Canning.

Canning describes sexually compulsive people as those who think that they are experiencing a healthy sexual relationship, but the opposite is true. “Sex for the addict is about intensity, power and control,” says Canning . It is about emotional numbing, conquering, and getting high. Sex becomes a commodity to be manipulated, a means to a self- defeating end. It is a hunger so powerful that the addict will risk everything to reach that sexual high.”

Canning explains in her book that healthy sexual expression includes desire, connection and a sense of well-being.

“The act of expressing one’s self sexually results in a positive, life-enhancing experience; it is an expression of love and respect that leads to an intimate connection,” says Canning.

But, if you feel emotionally detached from the encounter or if you are using sex to feel in control or powerful, these are signs that you may have an addiction problem.

If a person suspects they have an addiction to sex Canning asks the following question: “How do you feel after a sexual encounter? Do you feel connected and loved or do you feel shame?”

If you are experiencing these feelings or signs of addiction consult a therapist who specializes in sexual disorders and can provide you with a diagnosis and personalized treatment program.

Canning says, group therapy can be helpful in the healing process. “People are more willing to talk about their addiction,” says Canning . Sex addiction has become more normalized, which opens doors to discussion about it.”

In Canning’s book she recommends participating in a 12- step program. The 12- step program is modeled after the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but the focus and language involves sexual issues . The Meadows treatment center offers a 35 day program for trauma and addiction disorders. For more information on sex addiction and the treatments available Canning advises contacting the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health http://sash.net/ where she recently served as a board member. According to SASH, an estimated 3 to 6 percent of Americans could fall in the category of having an addiction to sex.

Victims of sexual addiction

Rachel, 36 (who wants to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from her employer) says she falls into that small percentage. Married for over 20 years, the Catholic mother of three discovered her addiction when she started working. “Even though my husband and I had a good intimate relationship, I was constantly flirting with my co-workers even my boss,” says Rachel . Suddenly, I found myself having an affair with not just one but three other men. I put my desires before the needs of my children and my husband. One of the men involved was my boss. After seeking help from my doctor, I was diagnosed with a sexual compulsive behavior.”

Rachel and her husband are currently attending marriage counseling. She is seeking treatment for her addiction.

An attractive and talented Paradise Valley Community College restart student, who wishes to remain anonymous due to her pending divorce, spent 22 years married to man who was diagnosed as a “cross-addict”. A cross-addict can start with substance abuse and cross over to into sex addiction. She explained the devastating impact that sex addiction can have on a family.

“When you are involved with a cross-addict there are lots of signs that you throw away— especially if you are codependent— and the addict is very good at convincing you that you didn’t see what you thought you saw. They make you question your sanity.”

She advises other partners in a relationship to be aware of the following signs that cross-addicts display:

• Anger, unprovoked rage and fights

• Rejecting counseling or not being truthful during sessions

• Hiding money and bills (this is done to cover the trail of expenses, which can include soliciting sex from prostitutes or frequenting massage parlors.)

• Habitual Lying – sex addicts can be pathological liars to cover their actions.

To this day she is still stunned by her husband’s addictions and behavior.

“He had everything: a trophy wife, smart kids, a successful business and prominence in his community.”

Numerous therapists report that they have seen an increase in the use of the term “addict” by their patients. If patients claim that they have an addiction, they feel society will look upon their bad behavior as a medical condition. If society views their addiction as an illness, then these addicts can then seek the protection of a treatment center and escape the wrath of their dirty deeds.

Experts who dispute “sex addiction”

A number of psychologists do not believe that a person can be addicted to sex, because sex is not a substance.

Dr. Marty Klein, a licensed marriage and family counselor and certified sex therapist in Palo Alto, California, says, “I don’t treat ‘sex addiction’ . The concept is superficial. It isn’t clearly defined or clinically validated, and it is completely pathology-oriented. It is a set of moral beliefs disguised as clinical thinking, “

In Klein’s blog, “An Epidemic of ‘ Sex Addiction?’” published by P sychology T oday at http://sexualintelligence.wordpress.com, he explains that, “What I mostly see instead of ‘ sex addicts’ are people who are neurotic or narcissistic . They can’t quite believe that the normal rules of life (‘ tell the truth,’ and ‘ all behavior has consequences’ ) apply to them.”

In a phone interview Klein elaborated: “People like the idea of having a disease rather than having to grow up, or be responsible.” Klein believes people love the idea of escaping their responsibility by labeling themselves and their irresponsible actions as a disease or socially acceptable illness.

Klien does not believe “sex addiction” should be listed in the DSM-V. “It is not a clinically meaningful or useful term. There are people making diagnoses when they are not interviewing these individuals who say they are addicted to sex. I think that speaks volumes for the weakness of this claim. ”

Klein’s blog covers topics on love and marriage, and provides useful information on how to maintain a healthy sexual relationship.

Lack of satisfaction in marriage factor

Sex addiction may be today’s newest reason for infidelity. However, the most common reason for straying is associated with a lack of intimacy in a committed relationship. Bob (name changed for protection) of Scottsdale explains, “After several years of marriage, my wife lost interest in our relationship as husband and wife. All that was left was a legal contract to raise our children. After the marriage counseling failed, my affairs started.”

In the blog “Having an affair?” published in Psychology Today, at http://psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-resilience/, Dr. Douglas LaBier, writes that “there’s always a reason for beginning an affair, and it relates to some issue in your existing relationship. It’s far better to face and resolve that first. You do not just ‘find’ yourself having an affair, or ‘end up’ in bed with someone. It’s your choice, but it can be beautifully rationalized . So take a look at what’s missing or unfulfilling in your relationship, why that is, and whether you can — or even want to— do something about it. It’s preferable to try renewing your relationship, or end it with mutual respect.”

The technology factor

Modern technology has had an interesting impact on extra marital affairs. Many people who have admitted to having an affair note that they found that the lines between friend and lover tend to blur in today’s society. The ease of a private one-on-one communication can become an opportunity to extend an invitation of infidelity. The Internet chat rooms are populated with people seeking romantic connections. Many websites promote real- time interactions with males or females who are engaging in activities that many partners would consider unacceptable if they found the other half participating . Klein also notes that Internet pornography can contribute to sexual infidelity.

Cell phone texting has been instrumental in many illicit liaisons. No words are spoken and o nly typed messages are delivered between the intended parties. This is a popular mode of communication for arranging private liaisons because many cell phone companies do not keep records of the text messages. Also, a mobile phone account can be managed so the receiving numbers do not appear on the account users’ statement. However, these messages have to be erased manually by both the sender and the receiver and that leaves room for human error. But there is a way to ensure that these “for your eyes only” texts do not incriminate the either party.

There’s an app for that

To eliminate all traces of your incriminating text messages, technology strikes again. In a March 10 press release, X Sigma Partners LLC announced its development of an iPhone application called “Tiger- Text. ” “Tiger-Text” allows users to send text messages that delete off of both the senders and the receivers phone after a set period of time . Once a sender selects the text’s lifespan, expired text messages not only disappear from the phones, but are not stored on any server. They cannot be retrieved once expired. T hey are not legally discoverable. I t is as if the messages never existed.

“For the first time you have complete control over what happens to your texts after you hit the send button,” says founder Jeffery Evans in the company’s press release.

“Tiger-Text” users can choose a delivery option to make the text disappear within a minute after the recipient opens that message.

However, the use of modern technology can act as a double-edged sword. Many partners agree that all is fair in love, war and counter-surveillance, especially if they suspect their other halves of cheating.

The answer to preventing infidelity?

“American has a psychotic view of sex and society,” says Klein . “There is not too much sex, it is the wrong sex. Our focus on sexuality tends to be negative.”

Klein believes the media needs to start focusing on important issues like sexuality education and healthy ways to communicate our needs in relationships . Klein thinks we as a society should stop placing the emphasis on the latest addiction or excuse for infidelity, but instead realize the importance of communication within a relationship. “It is valuable to talk about the pain and healing that occurs between partners.”

Perhaps the answer can be found in a study conducted by Christin L. Munsch, a sociology Ph.D candidate at Cornell University. Munsch’s research on infidelity revealed that a partner’s religious beliefs can affect how they view commitment or marriage. Munsch’s report also listed relationship satisfaction as key factor in reducing the odds of infidelity. Can it be as simple as Klein and Munsch claim— that healthy communication between partners can be the start to the pathway of love and lasting (or enduring) commitment?

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Five Fresh Ways to Find Love

In Modern Love on May 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

By Rosalie

Editor Lynx Magazine

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and with spring just around the corner, chances are Cupid is practicing his aim. So, if you are ready to let that membership to the lonely hearts club expire, but still find yourself asking these questions: “Where do I meet single people when I don’t like bars or clubs?” “My friends say I am too picky, but I refuse to settle. How can I ever find true love?” Then grab your bow and arrow and follow these steps to find your true love.

ASK THE EXPERTS – MEET WITH A LOVE COACH

Answers to these questions are exactly what Phoenix love coach, Joann Cohen, provides to her clients. Cohen teachers her clients the art of flirting and how to attract the love you are looking for. Speaking one-on-one with a love coach will give you a fresh perspective on seeking out your soul mate.

PRACTICE THE ART OF FLIRTING BY ATTENDING A CLASS

This summer Paradise Valley Community College will offer a class on flirting and online dating (dates to be announced). Love coach, Cohen, will be teaching the class. She will show her students how to design their personal profile for online dating, she says. Cohen will also give her students tips on how to flirt and find love on the Internet.

“The Internet is a great way of meeting people,” Cohen explains, “and college is the ideal environment for finding that someone special.

You are surrounded by more singles than at any other time in your life.”

BREAK UP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

Sometimes the simplest adjustments work the best. For example, a friend of my neighbor always stopped at the coffeehouse across from her work to pick up her morning java and a paper. However, one day, she decided to take a mental health day and went to a coffeehouse across from her residence. There she met an extremely attractive and available man who, as it turns out, has lived in her neighborhood for the past year. They now enjoy their coffee together at that neighborhood coffeehouse and have what they call a love-at-first-sight romance. So the moral to this tip is shake it up boys and girls. Stray from your normal route, and you and your true love might cross paths.

MOTHERS KNOW BEST

The old saying “home is where the heart is” may be cliché; however, family members can add to your dating network. Since they know your personality so well, they may be able to provide you with some good dating prospects.

Haley, the manager of a Starbucks located in the Northwest Valley, found her husband via the old fashioned way: with the help of her mom.

“My mom hooked us up,” Haley says of how she met her true love. “I never dreamed I would like a guy that my mom picked out. It was love at first sight.”

The man who became Haley’s husband worked for her parents. Both Haley and her hubby shared mutual friends but never met until her mom introduced them one fateful day. Haley and her husband have been happily married for several years.

GO WHERE THE OPPOSITE SEX GOES

Here is another way to even up the odds of finding that special someone. Think about expanding your playing field. Cohen encourages her clients to “look at the interests of the type of person you want to meet. What would be his or her hobbies or activities?”

Then she suggests that you do some brainstorming on what types of places or events they would visit, and that is where you go.

Here is a nice follow up story to this advice. A female friend of mine, Tina, was encouraged by her brother to attend football games.

There, he assured her the stands would be filled with many eligible males. She contacted her brother’s friend Jerry, who was selling his season tickets for a discounted price. When Jerry learned that Tina was single and not familiar with the new sports stadium, he offered to escort her to the game. Tina recalls their conversation.

“When I first heard Jerry’s voice, I got a chill,” she said. “He sounded exactly like my first love. We had a great time at the game and have been dating for two years. We both joke that when we grow older, we will be just like those retired couples who travel across the country in an RV to attend all the spring training games.”

For men, that translates into visiting some arts and craft fairs. For you ladies, it is time to head out to the ballpark for some peanuts, popcorn and a chance at catching your true love’s fly ball.

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