Sex Addiction Is A Myth (From A Guy Who's Been There)

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sex addict
A closer look at society's perception of promiscuity, our addiction du jour.

My name is Jesse Fink. I am a sex addict.

Well, actually, I’m not. I’m a serial monogamist who — outside of relationships — actually enjoys seducing and making love to beautiful women. I can be promiscuous, and I've made a few decisions I've come to regret. In other words, I'm no different than many other men who've had ample opportunity (and, some may say, questionable judgement). Nevertheless, I was promoted as a sex addict when my memoir, Laid Bare: One Man's Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders, was recently published in Australia and New Zealand.

In the book, I tell — with brutal candor — the story of my divorce from my wife of ten years, my subsequent freefall into the toxic coliseum of online dating and my quixotic search for the sort of rush that Hungarian novelist Stephen Vizinczey evocatively described as a "glimpse of eternity": that incomparable feeling of being truly, madly, deeply in love.

I met my (now-ex) wife when I was 23. She was the most wonderful woman I'd ever known. Gorgeous. Doting. Passionate. I was head over heels. We married when I was 25. Had a baby daughter together when I was 30. At 34, it was all over. She left me for another man. My charmed life — relationship, family, career, mental health — fell apart. I was suicidal. Sex, in many ways, kept me alive because it made me feel alive, however fleeting. Inside, for the most part, I was dead.

Over a period of five years following the split, I slept with a few hundred women — including a handful of prostitutes — most of whom I met online. In my experience casual sex — good casual sex — is not hard to come by if you're committed enough to the task. And I was.

Running on adrenaline, I burned through my savings on bar tabs, hotel rooms and air tickets. I slept with models, celebrities and the ex of a famous Hollywood leading man. I even fell for a hooker in San Francisco (who I also met online). In one harebrained moment, I suggested she get out of the business by starring in husband-wife porn movies with me. I was happy to quit my day job as a sportswriter in Sydney if it meant I could save her from the escorting business (spoiler: I didn’t do it).

To outsiders, it may well have appeared as if I were having a ball. And I was … at least for some of the time. The women I was getting involved with weren’t always having a blast, though. I was frequently cavalier, impatient and judgmental. I hurt some women's feelings along the way. I had gone from committed husband to committed player and rarely stopped to consider the impact my philandering was having on other people. Keep reading...

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