Womensex s chat talk
Sufferers latch on to a behavior — masturbation, pornography, anonymous hookups, or standard affairs — until it starts to take over their lives.
For addicts, there's always a progression — you seek more of the behavior despite its devastating consequences on your life." This might mean blowing the rent money on porn sites, trolling Craigslist for unprotected sex with strangers, or putting a loving marriage at risk over a meaningless affair.Anna is sitting in a New York café, sipping an English Breakfast tea. "I knew it was wrong — but I couldn't stop myself."Tiger Woods can relate.Dressed in patterned tights and a black sweaterdress, the 20-something Smith College grad has auburn curls and big brown eyes. His now-infamous Thanksgiving Day car crash and the circus that followed — a stint in rehab, a public apology, a rumored list of 120 lovers — upended his life and put sex addiction on the tip of every gossip-loving American's tongue. "I'd been lying to my husband for months," she explains. "But it never threatened to derail me." Not until last March, when her husband of less than a year grew suspicious of her late nights "studying" with a classmate. "I always knew I focused too much on men throughout my life," explains the grad school student.
But she's currently being treated for sex addiction, seeing a therapist once a week and attending daily support groups, after an affair last year almost ruined her marriage and landed her in sex rehab.
It also flamed a national debate over whether too much sex can actually be an "addiction," or just a compulsion, or simply bad behavior.
Against this backdrop, sex addiction therapists, Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) are all reporting a surprising trend: The number of women seeking treatment is surging. New York-based sex therapist Mavis Humes Baird defines it as any sexually related activity that is having a destructive effect on your life.
And just as a heroin addict chases a substance-induced high, sex addicts are bingeing on chemicals — in this case, their own hormones, says Alex Katehakis, a licensed family and sex therapist and the clinical director of the L. "For women vulnerable to addiction, the post-intercourse release of the bonding hormone oxytocin, coupled with the dopamine high triggered by the sex act, can put them on a neurobiological roller coaster," she says.
Baird agrees: "They're seeking the neurochemical cascades resulting from their addictive behavior."Not everyone's convinced. Michael First, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, says that while MRI studies suggest that gambling addicts react to the blackjack table in the same way that cocaine addicts react to a line, there are no comparable studies for sex.
"It's a biological process, and there's a limit to how long you can do it," he says.