But at the end of the day, was I really addicted to sex to the point I couldn’t get through the night without it? No. In fact there were times I could go months without wanting to have sex. I turned offers down. For all the women I bedded, the one thing I truly wanted — sex with love — felt like the most elusive thing in the world.
Admittedly, I didn't choose the best medium through which to find love. Online dating holds out the tantalizing prospect of finding true love easily — one click away! — but often makes it nearly impossible. Spoiled for choice, clutching increasingly lengthy checklists of what we will and will not accept in a partner and with geography no longer a barrier to making connections (it's as easy to meet a girl in Kamchatka as it is Kentucky because of the internet), commitment is getting harder, not easier, in the second decade of the 21st century.
Eventually I met a girl who gave me that "glimpse of eternity," but the relationship lasted only six months. The important thing, though, was that when we were together, being with another woman physically was the furthest thing from my mind. I was, as I had been with my wife, totally monogamous, totally in love and totally in control.
Sexual addiction is the ailment du jour of powerful men (and it does seem to be mostly men) who get caught with their pants down and are looking for a readymade excuse for their crappy choices. Society is fixated on it because sex, celebrity and spousal betrayal is a heady and very sellable cocktail, perfect for the covers of trashy weekly magazines.
"He slept with how many, again? But his wife is so lovely. How could he do this to her?!"
I have never cheated on a partner. I have never sought medical help for my sexual choices. And I don't take medication for anything, including my obsessive-compulsive disorder. I keep that in check with exercise, a good diet and cognitive behavioral therapy. I'm a perfectly healthy man with a perfectly healthy libido.
As I explained in the book: "I never saw myself as a sex addict. What I was addicted to was the rush I got from being desired, the thrill of graduating from introductory emails or pick-up lines to getting a wink in a text or a tongue in my ear and knowing that virtually whatever I did next I was 'in', metaphorically and literally. My self-confidence — shattered by my wife leaving me — was restored each and every time I logged on to my laptop. Sex itself was a diversion. Nothing more than a means of trying to escape a misery that shadowed my every move like a faithful but unloved dog. But it was a diversion that I came to enjoy, even relish, and for a time I had no regrets." Keep reading...