Repost: Marty Klein and "Sex Addiction"

I have a big academic crush on Marty Klein. I think his writing is clear and informative, although at times inflammatory (which I like).

I also appreciate his stance on “sex addiction” See his two most recent blog posts on it:

Are These Symptoms of Sex Addiction? No.
and
If It Isn’t Sex Addiction, How Do You Treat It?

Definitely go take the Sexuality Addiction Screening Test: it’s a hoot if you use pornography or erotica, go to sex clubs, engage in casual sex, have BDSM as part of your erotic life, or engage in exhibitionism or voyeurism. It’s also funny because it assumes that the people around you hold the same beliefs and values that you do around sexuality; thus, other people’s value systems are the basis for how you score.

Although I haven’t read a bunch about “sex addiction,” from what I know about addiction in general and from the information I have read from Marty Klein, I would tend to agree with him. It is interesting to me, though, that even sex positive organizations that serve the LGBTQ community in Portland offer space for sex addiction support groups  to meet. Clearly, there are folks who believe sex addiction is a real thing. In fact, I then came across the website for Portland’s Sex Addicts Anonymous group; according to their criteria for what may be part of sex addiction, feeling asexual could be a component of sex addiction. What?!

Klein offers many other ways for folks to be treated for their compulsive or obsessive sexual behaviors, and his list makes sense to me. I especially love the last paragraph of his second post:

“Finally, let’s not forget that some “symptoms” of sex addiction don’t need treatment at all. They need a better understanding of the broad range of human sexuality, a bit of tolerance, and a culture that’s far less suspicious of eroticism. And a willingness for couples to confront their actual relationship (and for people to confront their actual desires), rather than taking the easy way out and demonizing sex.”

What are your thoughts on sex addiction? Have you ever felt addicted to sex? Do you know someone who feels they are addicted to sex?

4 thoughts on “Repost: Marty Klein and "Sex Addiction"

  1. Was this tagged with asexuality just because of the Portland group? I may not be familiar with sex addiction, but it’s pretty confusing why they would suggest “feeling asexual” as one of the components, which just makes it sound like they don’t know what they’re talking about. A sexual orientation can’t be a sign of an addiction. That doesn’t even make sense.

    • Yes, that is why I tagged it with asexuality. On the “Are You an Addict?” page, #6 reads: “Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality, such that you avoid touching your body or engaging in sexual relationships? Do you fear that you have no sexual feelings, that you are asexual?” It’s pretty crazy to me. Even if their intention was to talk about shame or guilt, they conflate asexuality with those things, completely overlook the fact that aasexuality is a sexual orientation for some people, and also assume that experiencing shame or guilt around sex means one is a sex addict. I don’t understand it either.

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