Category Archives: Sexual Misinformation

Sex Addiction, or Too Much of a Good Thing?

This last post of 2010 will start with a declaration. One of my famous “Thus Sayeth Dr. Dick” sorta things, if you please.

Ready?

I categorically reject the concept of sexual addiction that has been floating around in the popular culture for the last 20 years or so.

And yes, I know this will rankle a bunch of you, but you’ll just have to get over it. You see, there is no such thing as a sexual addiction. Period!

Nowadays people bandy about the term addiction as if it can be applied to any and all obsessive behaviors. I have an addiction to chocolate; I’m addicted to shopping; I’m addicted to video games; I’m addicted to porn—or, I’m a sex addict. NONSENSE!

That being said, I hasten to add that I do believe there are sexual obsessions and compulsive sexual behaviors, plenty of ’em in fact. However, obsessions and compulsions are not addictions, and addictions, while they may involve irresistible impulses, are not the same thing as compulsions. Get it? Got it? Good!

I want to be absolutely clear about this. An addiction is a very specific condition. It denotes a dual dependency, physical as well as a psychological.

  • A physical dependency occurs when a substance is habitually used to a point where the body becomes reliant on its effects. The substance must be used constantly, because if it is withheld, it will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Psychological dependency occurs when the substance habitually used creates an emotional reliance on its effects. There is no functioning without it. Its absence produces intense cravings, which if not fed will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.

Check it out. With the help of my handy-dandy dictionary, a good place to start in discussions of this sort, I discovered these three very distinct definitions:

Addiction: The need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. Broadly: persistent use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. A state of physiological and psychological dependence on a drug.

Compulsive: Driven by an irresistible inner force to do something; i.e., a compulsive liar.

Obsession: A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.

See? Different words. Different meanings. Not a particularly complex notion to grasp, right?

And listen, just because a bunch of yahoo afternoon talks show hosts and even a load of my esteemed professional colleagues banter these words about like they were interchangeable doesn’t make it so. In fact, we do ourselves a huge disservice by muddling these very specific concepts into a jumble. My fellow therapists should be the first to recognize this because finding help for an addiction or an intervention for an obsessive/compulsive disorder will be as specific as the problem itself.

One thing is for certain: identifying one of the things, as the other will complicate the problem solving. It’s like going to the doctor with a headache, and when the doc asks where does it hurt, you point to your stomach. It just won’t do.

Hi Dr. Dick,
I recently found out my boyfriend has been cheating on me. He wants me to forgive him, but he keeps on doing the same thing over and over again. He’s like addicted to sex or something. I love him very much, but I feel dirty just by being around him and knowing what he’s doing. It also makes me feel stupid putting up with all of this and at the same time I still love him, please give me some advice. Thank You.
— Darlene

Before we turn our attention to your boyfriend’s behavior, let me make a quick observation about you. You’re a big fat ball of contradictions, huh? How can you say that you love the person that makes you feel dirty and stupid? You’re deceiving yourself about at least one of those feelings. And if I had to guess, I’d say what you’ve got with your man ain’t love—it’s an obsession.

Your boyfriend probably has you figured out by now, and he knows that you will tolerate his misbehavior, which gives him tacit permission to do whatever he feels like doing. From where I sit, you’re the real sap. If you’re really serious about reining in your wayward BF, you’d better come up with a clear, unambiguous message about what you will and will not tolerate. Until you do precisely that, he’ll just think that he can roam wherever he wants and whenever he wants.

If the two of you are supposed to be living in a sexually exclusive relationship, and he’s taking his business elsewhere, then he’s got a problem, too. However, I caution you against thinking that his sexual behaviors are an addiction. Because they’re not.  And thinking they are will not help you find the solution to the problems you folks are having.

There are root causes for his behavior, just like there are root causes for your behavior. To get to the bottom of all of this, each of you will need to invest a good deal of time and energy with a qualified therapist. One can only hope that there’s a big enough bank of goodwill between the two of you to carry the day because overcoming your obsession and his compulsions will demand all of your emotional resources.

Dear Dr. Dick,
I have been in a relationship for five years now and truly love my partner, however I can never seem to get enough sex. I am 30 and he is 29, but I constantly find myself in the chat rooms lookin’ for younger guys to have sex with. It’s more than just a hobby—it’s a habit! I’ve actually lost jobs because he’d be out of town and I’d spend almost every waking hour on the PC with a cocktail looking for sex, not caring about anything else. It’s like I’m addicted to sex. He knows I have played around (I actually have talked him into three-ways a few times), but he has no idea how extreme it’s become. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not unhappy with him. I just can’t seem to stop wanting sex with younger guys. Any suggestions?
— Brian

It’s interesting that you should tell me about your compulsive sexual behavior in the same breath that you tell me of your love for your partner. As you’ve probably guessed already, there isn’t really much of a connection between the two. Love and sex are two very different things. Sometimes they go together, but not always or even often for that matter.

It appears to me that you’ve really got two problems happening simultaneously: First, your compulsive prowling of the internet for sex (complicated, I might add, by your alcohol consumption). Second, the deception you’re practicing on your partner. Let’s deal with each of these in turn.

Your particular sexual activity, like any compulsive behavior (overeating, excessive shopping, etc.), is more than just a bad habit. It’s a serious psychological dysfunction. Take it from me: breaking this behavior pattern will be nearly impossible without some professional help. If the problem is as serious as you say, then you’d better seek help right away. This sort of thing, if left untreated, will not only destroy your relationship, it will ruin your life. When you seek that professional help, I encourage you to include information about your alcohol consumption. If there is an addiction in all of this, it’s the alcohol, not the sex. And in your case, the addiction may be fueling the compulsion.

Now, regarding your relationship. It’s imperative that you come clean with your partner about your sexual obsessions and compulsions, as well as your probable alcohol addiction. Not only will you feel better about not lying to him anymore, you’re going to need his support in overcoming the difficult obstacles you face. I suggest that you attend to this right away. There’s not a moment to lose.

Good Luck

Michael Perry, Part 2 — Podcast #62 — 05/05/08


Hey sex fans,

This week I am pleased to bring you Part 2 of my interview with the internationally known author,michael_perry.JPG producer, educator and sex therapist, Michael Perry, Ph.D., ACS. (If you missed Part 1, look for podcast #61.)

Michael has been in private practice for well over 25 years. He is Board Certified by the American College of Sexologists and a licensed sex therapist. He’s also the powerhouse behind SexualIntimacy.com. Michael has his very own production company: Access Instructional Media. You’ll find a complete list of his sizzlin’ hot, but oh so informative movies on his site. When you visit be sure to tell him dr dick sent you!

Today Michael talks about:

  • Sex addiction v. sexual compulsions
  • Surrogate sexual partners
  • Sexual surrogate training

Then Michael and I play a round of Myth Busters

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s dr dick’s toll free podcast voicemail. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question? No time to write? Give dr dick a call at (866) 422-5680. The TOLL FREE voicemail number is (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY !

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section — just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I don’t want you to miss even one episode.

I wanna take a moment to alert you to a new feature here on Dr Dick’s Sex Advice. It’s my PRODUCT REVIEW page. That’s right sex fans, now you can see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products.

From time to time I will be posting reviews of all kinds of adult related products — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the Product Reviews tab at the top of the page.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: Access Instructional Media.

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Strangers In The Night, Part 1

And now, we turn our attention to our first crop of anonymous submissions.

Name: MIke P
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: Los Angeles
My girlfriend needs to watch lesbian porn to get off and sometimes kicks me out of the bedroom to masturbate by herself. Initially I was turned on by her desire to watch porn — but now — it’s become a blockage. She always needs porn. I am frustrated and to make things worse — she has started abusing me through financial manipulation. I have to pay her rent — pay for her food, pay everything — and she never gives me nookie.
Should I leave this woman?

Hey Mike,Time to wake up, fella! Your “girlfriend” — and you notice I put that inlesbian_tickle.jpg quotes — is decidedly not YOUR girlfriend, and possibly not any man’s girlfriend. I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and say; I think your “girlfriend” is a certifiable, died-in-the wool, muff-divin’, coozie-lovin’ lesbitarian. All that’s really left for her to do to make the picture perfectly clear…even to you, is to show up one day in a mullet and a plaid flannel shirt. Holy cow, mike, how is it that you are missing the obvious?

Listen, bub, it’s clear to me, you’re excess baggage. She keeps you around for comic relief…oh and to foot the bill.

Should you leave this woman, you ask. Honey, she’s beaten you to the punch on that one. She’s long gone and left you way behind, at least emotionally and sexually. All that’s left for you to do is find the door and say good-bye to this embarrassing situation.

Good luck!

Name: leslie
Gender:
Age: 46
Location: Brisbane
Will bicycling make me impotent?

YIKES Leslie, what kind of bike riding are you doing that would put such a notion in your head?

img_6549.JPGMy initial response to your question, of course, was a wisecrack. “Sure, bike riding will make you impotent if you get your balls caught in the spokes. Throw those things over your shoulder when you ride, for christ sake!”

Then I thought to myself, “Wait, what does Leslie mean by impotent?” I know lots of people confuse and/or conflate the two very different concepts of impotency and sterility. So maybe this is an opportunity to sort this out some.

Impotence is characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection. And I suppose extreme bike riding, like the kind I see on TV, could possibly cause this condition. Especially, if you were knocking your cock around enough to cause your darling little willie serious injury.

Male sterility, on the other hand, is the inability of the male reproductive system (a guys’s balls, basically) to produce enough (or even any live) sperm for the purpose of impregnation. The reason I bring this up is, I know fertility specialists are very concerned about men wearing tight-fitting underwear and pants for long periods of time. (We used to call these cheap hotel pants — there’s not ballroom! Get it?) Tight fitting garments elevate a man’s balls to the base of his pelvis, which in turn increases the temperature in his balls. Too much heat kills our little juniors, don’t cha know!

The reason evolution designed our gonads to reside outside our bodies and actually hang off of and away from our bodies is so that all our cute little sperm buddies can stay relatively cool and comfortable till they blissfully shoot out of our dick into a vagina, ass-hole, condom or Kleenex.

Tighty-whities and all such things, particular those obscenely clingy Spandex — which is basically plastic — making things even hotter — bike shorts are notorious sperm killers! So in a way, Leslie, yes, biking can make you sterile if not impotent.

Good Luck!

PS: take a look at this: http://www.travelblogs.com/dougdo/world_naked_bike_ride.htm

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Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #01 — 02/12/07

DR DICK’S PODCAST PREMIERS TODAY

Hey sex fans,

My very first podcast is ready to rock and roll…your world! SWEET!

  • Frank needs bigger tits!
  • Daniel #1 has big meat; does he need to find a bigger pussy?
  • Daniel #2 is about to chow down on some butt-hole

(What’s up with all the friggin’ Daniels?)

  • George is not sure about his girlfriend’s cookies.

And finally,

  • Alicia gives her queer brother a Valentine!

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

This podcast is brought to you by Daddy Oohhh! Productions; Quality Adult Entertainment, Enrichment and Education.

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