Sex Addiction? Stop Feeling Ashamed! by Stephen Newman

When people hear the term “sex addiction” they often laugh. If you’re addicted to sex, it just means you’re a pervert, right?

But sex addiction is very real. It’s caused by the same problems and life experiences that lead to drug and alcohol addictions — things like stress at work, financial troubles, relationship problems, abuse, low self-esteem, a death of a family member, and many other factors.

Whether it’s sex, drugs, or alcohol, people do it to self-soothe, to self-medicate, to ease the emotional pain.

I believe sex addiction is the MOST dangerous addiction. Here’s why: Sex is legal. So while good, law abiding citizens might not ever try drugs (I have never done an illegal drug in my life, as an example) and while law-abiding people might know better than to drink alcohol if they’re under 21, or to drink and drive…they still need to find a way to cope with their emotional pain. Sex is legal. It makes you feel good. It numbs the pain, and it doesn’t have immediate negative side effects on your brain. We see TV ads for the health effects of drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, but not sex. And it’s not going to get you arrested, as long as it’s consensual and you are both 18 or older.

Sex addiction was a huge problem when I got arrested in 2007, and it has gotten even more prevalent with the advances in technology over the past decade. In 2007, very few celebrities (David Duchovny was one, and LeAnn Rimes was rumored to be another) were brave enough to admit they had a problem with sex addiction. Today, even fewer will come forward, as the #MeToo movement encourages secrecy amongst sex addicts.

If you’re a drug addict, society looks at you as a helpless victim of circumstances who needs support and help. That’s why shows like A and E’s “Intervention” tug at the heartstrings. You root for the addicts. You want them to get the help they need. You want them to succeed. If someone publicly admits to having a problem with sex addiction, though, he will be laughed at, made fun of on late-night talk shows, and people will have a hard time looking him in the eyes. It’s like he (or she) is somehow contaminated, disgusting, vile.

Why is there this visceral reaction? It’s because everyone (or almost everyone) enjoys sex So when a person sees a sex addict, he recognizes that it could very easily be himself with the same problem.

She might have noticed that her promiscuity has increased significantly. Maybe he stopped using condoms. Maybe she recently downloaded a casual sex meetup app. Maybe she was diagnosed with Chlamydia. And because they realize “holy crap, this could very well be me getting made fun of,” they resist harder. They act repulsed by it, because heaven forbid they admit to themselves that they, too, have a problem. The truth hurts.

Few people are proud of it. If a single mom meets a married man from or AdultFriendFinder or MeetMe or Tindr, and sleeps with him in a motel room, she will feel good for a few minutes, maybe a few hours, but then the shame sets in. That woman isn’t going to call her mom on the drive home and say, “Guess what, Mom? I just fucked a gross married guy and I don’t even know his name.” Well, maybe some women are that close to their moms. But my point is, when most people engage in risky or deviant sexual behaviors, they are ashamed. They can’t face the reality. They try to forget they did it. They tell themselves, “this will be the last time” or “it’s really not that bad, I just needed a stress release” or “everyone else is doing it so it’s no big deal,” but then they will feel dirty and disgusting and ashamed.

Maybe they cheated on a loved one and now have to live with the remorse. Maybe they slept with someone they weren’t even attracted to. Maybe he threw $100 at her after he finished. Whatever the case may be, it’s rarely something people feel proud of, so the toxic shame spirals. When they feel ashamed for what they did, they cope by having more sex. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Someone, right now, who is reading this, knows he or she has a problem. You want to stop, but feel out of control. You hate hiding it. You hate lying. And you’ve recognized that it’s getting worse, but you’re embarrassed or too ashamed to tell anyone. You’d be too humiliated to ever ask for help. You have gotten really good at hiding it, at keeping secrets. You’re sure nobody will ever find out. And besides, it’s your body, right? You’re not hurting anyone.

I used to think this, too. I hid my behaviors since I was 14 years old. I hid them well for 18 years. All through college, all through my marriage, nobody ever had a clue. Yes, I felt ashamed. Yes, I felt dirty. But I also felt good. It took away my pain. It made me feel special and wanted. Who doesn’t want that, right?

Suddenly, one day, it was no longer fun and games. I was surrounded at gunpoint by three police cars. I was the lead story on the nightly news. I lost my career. I lost my friends. I lost my wife. I lost over a million dollars in legal fees. I lost the last ten years of my life. I lost people’s trust. I’m going to be “tainted” on the sex offender registry for the rest of my life. The process was gradual. It took 14 years, but this is how it ended.

If you feel you don’t have control, whether it’s porn, sexting, hookup sites, etc, I implore you to get help NOW. Pay a therapist. Be honest about your problems. Tell your spouse. It won’t be comfortable. It might really suck. But it will pay off in the long-term, and just might save your life.

Get rid of the shame and secrecy. If not, it’s highly likely you’ll end up here like me. Trust me, you don’t want that.

I’m not saying to never have sex again. I’m just saying to deal with the underlying problems that led you to lose control. Reclaim your life. Confront your pain, don’t run from it.

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843


11 replies »

  1. Very good post. I’m still struggling with my addiction. I actually just started a blog. I wanted to get all the dirty details off my chest before I start fixing it, but your higher road approach has me thinking if my route will be wrong.


  2. Yes, many people will be sex addiction, especially the first several time to try sex (include me). Also, there are many online platform or apps you can use: Adultfriendfinder (largest adult site), Tinder & Lucky(Large & new date hookup app).


  3. When writing the DSM5, there were 3 additional addictions (aside from substance addictions) that were considered to be a “mental disorder.” They were internet addiction, gambling addiction, and sex addiction. Eventually they decided against internet addiction because they noticed that an incredibly large portion of the population fit internet addiction so it couldn’t be seen as abnormal, and they decided against sex addiction. Their reasoning for that one is that sex is a common, natural human experience and so they couldn’t see it being “abnormal” or “wrong” so eventually it was only gambling addiction that stuck and is now in the DSM5.
    However it just seems outdated. Especially with these movements so against sex (for good reason), it’s plaguing all sex and making it seem shameful or like down the road someone might sell you out for your actions. It’s almost becoming taboo and people don’t wish to seek help because of the stigmatization. It just makes it worse for people who want to get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hear, hear. Excellent post. Sex addictions is one of the more difficult addictions to treat because it involves a biological function. Another? Eating disorders and food addictions. People who have addictions related to biological behaviors are harder to treat. Not impossible though. As you aptly say, it’s easier to treat early before one gets too far down the proverbial rabbit hole.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really honest and important. Sex is one of the aspects of human life than can cause a lot of shame, more so, I think, than a lot of other aspects. I think if more people shared and sought help, they could avoid going down some dark paths. It needs to be spoken about more, so thank you for sharing.


  6. Stephen, I have seen people prosecuted for a lot of crimes, yet never being a sex addict. However, in 2008 Dr. Drew became a household name through his sex therapy TV show. He has completed 5 seasons, one of his clients being the Playboy model Nicole Narain in 2009, because of her obsession with masterbation. I am not a voyeur by nature, but I would have liked to watch that.
    SNL hosted David Duchovny, and they actually played him as the sex addict he is.
    However Charlie Sheen, and Eric Benet and Michael Douglas, along with Tiger Woods have all come forward to tell their stories.
    Jesse James lost his marriage with Sandra Bullock because he could not refrain from his deviances. Too Bad For Him.
    The saddest is young Kari Ann Peniche, the 2004 Miss Teen USA, forfeiting her crown, after doing layouts in scandalous magazines.

    I could have majored in Psychology if I had wanted to, as I studied it for three years, but I’m pretty sure I’d spend my entire time on the show with an erection. I gave two years to Law, but being a lawyer was the farthest thing from any of my goals. I just needed to know what I could get away with during the 80’s, and that’s what lawyers are best at.

    You have posted before, not as elaborate as today’s, but with good content and vocabulary control.
    I am sorry for your million dollar loss, as mine was just as great in the 80’s, and I know what it’s like to have a gun pointed at me.
    So I’m hoping you realize that in the amount of time it took you to create your message, you could have written an appeal letter, and gotten someone less fortunate than yourself out of jail.
    I am neither criticizing you nor making jest of the addiction for which you’ve addressed here. I am hoping you see the talents you still have.
    I have done every drug under the sun, and every liquor that can be consumed. So I know addictions can be kicked. And whether or not you kick yours is irrelevant to my post. Use your gift of words to free those who you can, before the doors are locked forever on you.
    Marshall Law is coming, and those in, will stay in. Gas chambers are being erected as we speak, because we can’t just incarcerate 25 million more people without making room for them first. In freeing others, you just may free yourself; and wouldn’t that be nice.
    Best to you and God Bless you as always.


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