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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Persuasive Essay on Sex Addiction - Sex Addiction is Real

            While there are others who do contradict the theory that sex addiction as a medical condition exists there are others who believe that sex addiction is real.  The first person who coined the term sex addiction was Dr. Patrick Carnes.  He said that this condition is common among many Americans and many have been suffering from this medical condition for several years now.  Based on his studies, Dr. Carnes revealed that an estimated 3% to 6% of the population is affected by sex addiction. This is roughly around 16 million Americans both male and female who are groping with this medical condition today. Moreover, based on his studies, out of the total number of individuals who seek help for their sexual addiction 20% are female.  He said that the theory that only males are addicted to sex is belied by the findings of his study as both male and female are susceptible to having sexual addiction.   

      There are a number of studies that associate sexual addiction with various behaviors.  These behaviors include frequent masturbation, having multiple extra-marital affairs, having multiple sexual partners, obsession with pornography, practicing unsafe sex, practicing phone or computer sex, exhibitionism, engaging in voyeurism, sexual harassment and molestation.  It must however be stressed that sexual addiction cannot be associated with a particular behavior.  Sexual addiction is a pattern of behavior related to sex that has adverse consequences to the person who has it. 

      As of now, it must be stressed there is no form of sexual behavior that may can be directly associated with sexual addiction (Aviel Goodman, 1998, p.1).  For a person to be considered to have sexual addiction there must be a pattern of sexual behavior.  Engaging in any one of the activities mentioned does not by itself constitute sexual addiction.  Neither is sexual addiction determined by the kind of behavior or the frequency or even intensity. 

Rather, the sole criterion in determining whether a person has sexual addiction is the relationship of the behavior pattern to his life (Aviel Goodman, 1998, p.1).  If the individual has not been able to control his behavior that is related to sex and that this behavior continues despite that it causes harmful consequences on the individual’s life there is sexual addiction (Aviel Goodman, 1998, p.1).  Thus, for a person to have sexual addiction it is necessary that the sexual behavior must consume the person’s thoughts and life.  It must be so dominating that the person entertains no other thoughts than sex. 

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Cases of Sex Addiction
            The statements by other psychiatrists, psychologists and social scientists that there is no medical condition known as sexual addiction and that people only have heightened desire for sex are belied by many patients encountered by Dr. Carnes.  These patients suffer daily from their addiction to sex which they say is uncontrollable.  It is surprising that these persons who have this condition are actually normal people who have a wife or husband, children, family, friends and a stable job.  It would appear that these persons are living a normal life outside of their addiction.  Yet, their addiction to sex is extreme and beyond control. 

A. Case of Mark Laaser
Consider the case of Mark Laaser, a confessed sex addict.  At first glance, anybody would not be able to know that Mark is a sex addict.  He works as a minister and a counselor.  He is happily married to his wife Debbie and has children.  He has a secret though.  He has an insatiable desire for secret sex.  For him, sex seems to temporarily fill a gap in his life.  Sex fills the loneliness that he has always experienced in his life.  Mark started experiencing these urges when he was still young.  At first, he was contented with merely looking at nude pictures which is known as pornography.  When he got married, he thought that Debbie will be a solution to his problem.  During the first months of their marriage he was happy with their sex life.  But his obsession returned during the first year of their marriage.  He began looking at nude photos, masturbating frequently and going to massage parlors to have sex with masseurs.  The desire to have sex is uncontrollable to the point that he was planning his every visit to the massage parlors.  He knew that what he was doing was bad and that he wanted to stop.  He knew that it was something to be ashamed of.  But he could not stop.

B. Case of Marnie Ferree
            Consider also the case of Marnie Ferree, another self-confessed sex addict.  Just like Mark Laaser, she too had uncontrollable sexual urges.  In her case however, she have sex because she wanted to accomplish certain goals.  She wanted to meet certain non-sexual needs such as having a long-term relationship.  She thought that she can achieve this goal by engaging in sex with acquaintances, friends and random persons.  She admits that sex was pleasurable but that was not important for her.  All she ever wanted was having someone to be with her.  As a child she was sexually abused by a family friend.  The effects of the abuse became manifest soon as she had become promiscuous during her teenage years.  Every time she has sex, however, she feels ashamed of herself.  She feels dirty.  Even when she was married her addiction did not stop.  She still had sex with other men not her husband.  There was even a point that she wanted to commit suicide just so everything would stop. 

C. Case of Karen
            Consider also the case of “Karen.” Just like Marnie Ferree she too wanted to be in a relationship and she wanted to find love.  She thought that the only way she could find love is by going out and picking up random strangers to have sex with them.  She would even go out with a group of guys who were ten (10) years young than her and end up having sex with several of them.  She felt dirty but she could not do anything about her situation.  

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