The isolation that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to look within. Comedian and actor Chris Rock shared with CBS how introspection has forced him to take his therapy sessions more seriously. The divorced 55-year-old father of two says he spends around 7 hours a week in therapy

 

Chris Rocks therapy address among other things his porn and sex addiction. Opening up about his addiction in his 2018 Netflix special he said his addiction lead to infidelity is was ultimately what ended his 10-year marriage to the mother of his two children in 2016.

 

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Chris Rock is one of many celebrities who have been open about their addictions to porn and sex and while many people consider this a perversion. Relationship therapist and clinical sexologist Leandie Buys, says sex and porn addiction are real disorders and aren’t all about sex and pleasure. 

 

What is sex addiction? 

Sex addiction is defined as problematic sexual behaviour, such as a paraphilia or hypersexuality, regarded as a form of addiction similar to drug addiction by the APA dictionary of psychology. 

The media and entertainment industry have played a hand in trivialising porn and sex addiction. For people struggling with sex addiction, and their loved ones the reality of this disorder is more serious than movies like ‘Hooking-up’ would lead you to believe.

 “While it may not have the same neural response as drug or alcohol addiction, it has the same devastating consequences in the lives of sufferers,” says Leandie. 

Are you a sex addict or do you just like sex? 

Humans are biologically predisposed to have an interest in sex. Most people are actually concerned and would take medication to ‘correct’ a lack of interest in sex or a weak libido. 

How do we differentiate between liking sex and being addicted to sex? 

Leandie sets sex addiction apart in her definition of it, highlighting that the sexual behaviours or people addicted to sex and pornography becomes compulsive and interferes with their day to day life. 

“Individuals may be preoccupied with porn and masturbation, but it often progresses to voyeurism and exhibitionism. Sex addicts often cheat on their partners, putting their own health, and that of their family at risk,” says Leandie.

 

Sex addiction isn’t about pleasure 

At a glance, it may seem that sex addiction and even porn addiction is an addiction to sexual pleasure, but Leandie says there is more to it. 

“Addicts use sex to compensate for something in their lives which is missing. To treat it, they need to identify the trigger – go back to the root cause. Only then can addicts begin the road to recovery,” she says. 

While sex and porn addiction are often grouped together, Leandie says porn addiction has another element to it. 

“Pornography is not just about addiction to sex. Pornography typically shows explicit images of individuals involved in abuse, degradation or aggression. Addiction to pornography has a similar effect on the individual’s life as other behavioural addictions,” she says.

 

Women can be addicted too

While the majority of people coming out to talk about sex and porn addiction are men. Female celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Britteny Spears and Jada Pinkett Smith have spoken openly about their past struggles with sex addiction. 

“Sexual Addiction in women often manifests as a survival skill. It is a technique adopted in childhood to cope with wounds such as neglect, abuse, loss, sexual shame and negative sexual programming about being female,” says Leandie.

“The addictive relationship fulfils the woman’s need for security.

For both groups of women, romance is a driving force in the addiction. Romance is either the prelude to sex, or is proof of being loved, and sex is the price she pays.” she adds.

 

Source: Leandiebuys.co.za

             Psychology Today

            Cafemom.com

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