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But the constant exposure is going to trigger people who are susceptible,” says Dr.
For Valerie, sex was a form of self-medication: to obliterate the anxiety, despair, and crippling fear of emotional intimacy that had haunted her since being abandoned as a child.
“In order to soothe the loneliness and the fear of being unwanted, I was looking for love in all the wrong places,” she recalls.
After a decade of carrying on this way, Valerie hit rock bottom.
Facing her second divorce as well as the end of an affair, she grew despondent and attempted to take her life by overdosing on prescription medication.
Valerie called phone-sex chat lines and pored over online pornography, masturbating so compulsively that it wasn’t uncommon for her to choose her vibrator over going to work.
She craved public exhibitionism, too, particularly at strip clubs, and even accepted money in exchange for sex—not out of financial necessity but for the illicit rush such acts gave her.Some 1,500 sex therapists treating compulsive behavior are practicing today, up from fewer than 100 a decade ago, say several researchers and clinicians, while dozens of rehabilitation centers now advertise treatment programs, up from just five or six in the same period. “Where it used to be 40- to 50-year-old men seeking treatment, now there are more females, adolescents, and senior citizens,” says Tami Ver Helst, vice president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.“Grandfathers getting caught with porn on their computers by grandkids, and grandkids sexting at 12.” In fact, some of the growth has been fueled by the digital revolution, which has revved up America’s carnal metabolism. log on to some 4.2 million pornographic websites, according to the Internet Filter Software Review.I ended up homeless and on food stamps,” says Valerie, who, like most sex addicts interviewed for this story, declined to provide her real name.“I was totally out of control.” “Sex addiction” remains a controversial designation—often dismissed as a myth or providing talk-show punchlines thanks to high-profile lotharios such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Tiger Woods.In November the Logo television network began airing Bad Sex, a reality series following a group of men and women with severe sexual issues, most notably addiction. 2, the acclaimed psychosexual drama Shame arrives in theaters.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating