Expert: Does Sex Addiction Really Exist?

couple in bed

After they took Carnes' on-line test (, it showed the husband was a sex addict. He started to attend Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and she S-Anon meetings. Both of them agree that SAA and S-Anon has been instrumental in fixing and changing the way they are as a couple, parents and individuals.

He confides, "It is the only place where I can be 100% completely open. I feel like I belong." They are grateful both groups have taken away the shame and stigma of what was happening in his sex and their overall life.

In this situation, the husband caused "severe stress on family, friends, loved ones and one's work environment," as well as possibly giving STIs to his partner. Obviously, it's a good thing when someone can get immediate and free help if they feel their sexual behavior is out of control.

Yet, it's been my experience this is the rare exception and not the norm. For the record here are a few things that are normal sexual behaviors.
•    If a person has a high sex drive and wants sex far more than their partner
•    If a person wants to experiment outside the heterosexual, monogamous boundaries and try such things as S&M, swinging or cyber sex
•    If a person wants to look at porn in moderation
If you are in the middle one of these typical couple difficulties, it's best worked through with a professional counselor.

If you feel strongly that you are dealing with a sex addiction, remember the road to recovery is not a quick fix, and cease and desist the behavior immediately. It's a lengthy, soul searching process where both partners must be 100% committed to fixing themselves and their relationship.

So the next time you read that someone in the news has a sex addiction, please take it with a grain of salt. Most likely they don't. But it does make for very sexy—headline-selling—news.