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The Comforting Fiction of Sex Addiction

"It's not his fault, he has a disease. He can't control it. He needs help." These are the words I've heard repeatedly from spouses of alleged sex addicts, as my new book, The Myth of Sex Addiction, is getting increased media attention. Wives of these men sometimes seize the sex addiction label as a way to tell themselves that their husband's sexual misbehaviors are not a personal issue. Maybe if it's a disease, these problems aren't truly a sign of problems in the marriage, or in the husband or wife. When they call these choices a sex addiction, it's a way to say that their husbands really aren't meaning to be selfish, impulsive and destructive, but that their choices and consequences of those choices, are the result of an illness. And illnesses are out of out control, aren't they?

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