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Where I come from (and still live) we don’t know much about addiction. Yes, I grew up with a whole host of teens who drank and smoked some pot, surely I saw my fair share of out-of-control behaviours one might term compulsive and my friends and I chased enough women in our day you could say that at times we seemed obsessed (or just horny) but addiction, Nah, I have been lucky enough not to have seen so much of it. Even now when I hear somebody bandy about the term ‘alcoholic’ I realize they are flippantly self-diagnosing, I question contemporaries currently seeing a therapist more than once-a-week (or those many many more people one hears of taking pills to quell anxiety) and I wonder if we are all jumping to conclusions, being led and fed by social media and/or political correctness, aren’t all too afraid of our own shadows and want to even the highs and lows when in fact it is the highs and lows that make us us.
This consideration was once again brought to the fore for me over the recent problems of “The Prince of Darkness” himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy and his wife Sharon have recently been having some trouble because of an extra-marital affair Ozzy was in. But it seems the couple (Ozzy and Sharon that is) are going to stay together, especially in the light of Ozzy admitting (as it seems most contrite celebrity men do these days) that he is suffering from sex addiction.
Surely, when it comes to addictions you’d tend to believe Ozzy would be a candidate for one-he certainly is a man who has suffered through addictions I could never understand from my suburban bubble upbringing-but is he sex addicted? One tends to one wonder (at least if one is me) if something that is not even defined or mentioned in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a term with a veritable cottage industry built from it, something that has become a widespread cause célèbre, might the idea of sex addiction just be something thrust upon the world in the modern need to emasculate the hetero male and make money from him?
As heterosexual men are the one’s almost always the folks sex addicted I will admit that yes we can be (I happen to be a heterosexual man so I feel I can speak with some authority here) very much distracted by an upturned lady’s ankle, the feminine smile, even a slightly revealed cleavage; it’s in our DNA to respond to visual stimulus (something about perpetuating the species, look it up, I’m not lying). I can’t speak to the visual stimulations of heterosexual ladies, homosexual men or women, transgendered folk, all I can say with any certainty is that straight guys (and again it is straight guys you always hear about admitting to sex addiction) can be easily led by their sexual urges. Sprinkle in some celebrity (celebrity=time, money, recognition) then is it any wonder guys like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, and Ozzy ‘branch out’?
Should these guys cheat on their spouses, of course not! But are they sex addicted? Might there be other reasons for their compulsions, which might not even figure into how much sex they like to have? Might it be easier to place a label on behaviour that might be, for many, morally repugnant? Might there just be such juicy press in the words ‘sex addiction’ we are all addicted to think the label real?
Like I said, I don’t know about addictions.