Sex is an addiction like no other. It can wreck your relationship, ruin your reputation and even leave you jobless. From US rep Anthony Weiner to golfer Tiger Woods to former US president Bill Clinton, all have earned a great deal of ridicule for succumbing to an overdose of sex. Experts say that the most alarming bit is that often you’re not even aware that you are a sex addict and only agree you have a problem after being caught.
Psychiatrists in the city report a steady rise in the number of ‘sexoholics’ in recent years. "Five years ago, I hardly had a case, and now, I get some six to seven cases every month. It’s quite alarming," says psychiatrist Dr Avdesh Sharma.
A consequence of sadness?
Relationship expert Dr Kamal Khurana says that an increase in sex addiction is the result of growing dysfunctional families. "Sex addicts are mostly men in the pursuit of a fleeting sense of belonging. They are lonely people seeking happiness with wrong people at the wrong places," says the psychiatrist.
Sex addiction in real life and on the Internet often go hand in hand. Porn sites compete with each other to show novel ways of having sex and with multiple partners. This triggers the desire to experiment and sex becomes an addiction. Also, the chances of having affairs have multiplied. "With technology, odd working hours, and frequent travelling, it’s easy to have affairs and hide them," says Dr Sharma. When caught, an addict experiences remorse and hits an emotional low. But strangely, he goes back to the addiction, as that’s the only pleasure he knows.
Who is a sex addict?
Someone who has had 2-3 three affairs is not a sex addict. "A man who sleeps with his colleague, visits a prostitute, has a wife at home and has sex with different women while he is on business tours, is certainly one," says Dr Sharma. An addict’s mind is always preoccupied with sex related thoughts. Once he finishes the act, the craving resurfaces after a few hours, he starts ‘missing’ sex and wants more of it. Refraining from the act makes the person fidgety and irritable.
What’s the solution?
The first step towards de-addiction is accepting the problem and seeking medical help. Also try and confide into your spouse about the problem. You must also take a clean break. Cutting down time spent on surfing porn, or reducing visits to prostitutes, won’t help. To keep your mind off sex, take up hobbies. "Sports, painting or anything that you enjoy can stop your mind from wandering off. Also, spend more time with family and friends," says Dr Khurana.