Wednesday, 18 January 2017

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX

An unhealthy level of interest in bed can soon land you in rehab. AT tells you how to deal with sex addiction

When Tiger Woods entered rehab after his ‘transgressions’ became public, detractors were quick to pipe ‘sex addiction’ as the reason. Years ago, Michael Douglas took treatment to get over his unhealthy interest in sex. And later, so did Xfiles star David Duchovny. And just recently, it is disgraced footballer, John Terry who’s facing the music for his innumerable flings, even as his wife,
Toni is contemplating leaving him.



Interestingly, the American Psychiatric Association does not list sex addiction as a diagnosable mental disorder with no real statistics to show the magnitude of its prevalence. However, its existence cannot be refuted. Like any other addiction, sexual addiction, too, can be treated.


ADDICTED TO SEX? 
As the term suggests, a person can be called an addict when he/she can’t control his/her sexual behaviour — even with strangers, or in public situations. The need for sex becomes so compulsive that it starts affecting the person’s functioning. Addiction to masturbation or even porn are aspects of sex addiction. In extreme cases, the addict goes against societal norms, engages in unsafe sex and can repeatedly cheat despite being in a committed relationship.


WHY IT HAPPENS 
Personality type 
Often, kids can be seen holding on obsessively to their toys. This may indicate an obsessive personality type. Combined with a dysfunctional family, lack of love from parents makes the child excessively dependent on material factors to compensate for the lack of intimacy. While that doesn’t mean the child, later, might turn out to be a sex addict, it increases the risk.

Genes 
Some times the genetic makeup makes them more susceptible to addictions.

Stress 
If under severe stress, a person may look towards sex for temporary relief — not for intimacy but for the momentary ‘high’.


SIGNS TO WATCH OUT 
  • Spending excessive amount of time chasing sex and preparing for the same. 
  • Continuously compromising on social activities to make way for sex. 
  • Feeling extremely dissatisfied, depressed, even angry citing lack of sex (despite having an active sex life). 
  • Dwindling sense of intimacy and satisfaction despite engaging in sex. 
  • Engaging in sex with multiple partners. 
  • Dependency on pornography. 



THE WAY OUT 
  • Set a time-frame challenge of not engaging in the sexual act for a particular number of days, or say only once in X number of days. This exercise will accurately tell you about the degree to which you are hooked. 
  • Find an activity that can replace the craving, and channelise your energy towards it. Let it be something you enjoy or sticking to it will be difficult. 
  • If you feel the cause of addiction is stress, figure out the source and deal with it. 
  • Seek professional help. 


NOTE FOR PARTNER 
Most addicts are known to live in a sense of denial. Hence, if your partner suffers from the syndrome, do not confront with harsh words and most importantly, do not address the problem as an ‘addiction’. This will only backfire and strengthen the sense of ‘denial’. Instead, seek professional help citing lack of intimacy and a relationship problem ‘shared’ by both. Use the ‘our’ problem approach rather than mentioning it as ‘your’ problem. 

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