I was able to read several of your comments today. I enjoyed everyone’s feedback, and wanted to respond to some of you.
1) phillipbrockman wrote: “I have seen people prosecuted for a lot of crimes, yet never (for) being a sex addict.” Thank you for this comment, Phillip, as it actually helps prove the point I was trying to make. People who drink and drive know they’re committing a crime. People who experiment with drugs know they’re committing a crime. Yet people who have sex to ease their emotional pain — they think they’ve found the ideal (and legal) solution. As Phillip implied, it takes more than simply sex addiction to send a person to prison. And this thinking makes it all the more enticing for someone to choose sex (and lots of it).
I agree with Phillip that nobody has been been found guilty and sentenced to prison for the crime of “sex addiction,” However, once one learns the psychology behind compulsive behaviors, progressions, and escalations, it becomes clear that if someone has a sex addiction and doesn’t get treatment, odds are exceedingly high that they will eventually commit a crime related to their sexual behaviors.
Phillip’s statement isn’t too dissimilar to saying “nobody ever has problems in life simply because they are an alcoholic.” This is true. The behaviors stemming from alcoholism is what gets people into trouble, not the disease itself. And it’s the behaviors sex addicts exhibit that, likewise, get them into trouble. If they are in denial, if they’re afraid to seek help, these behaviors will happen. It may take years but eventually they will end up breaking the law.
Finally, Phillip, if all it took was an hour of me writing a letter to get someone out of jail or prison, I would have gotten thousands of people (including myself) out years ago. Sadly, it doesn’t quite work that way. The legal system is practically unbeatable. Besides, writing for InmateBlogger is a lot more fun!
2) cucabear wrote that internet addiction was removed from the DSM-5 because so many people are addicted to the internet that it no longer qualifies as “abnormal.” This logic fascinates me. Most people have a sexual fantasy they probably feel ashamed of. That is still “normal” because it’s a common trait among humans — we fantasize about “shameful” things. It becomes abnormal, though, once that person’s fantasy or behavior is publicly exposed. The others who aren’t exposed continue to fantasize in private, but will judge and shun the others. The very act of making someone’s “shameful” behavior public makes it abnormal in society’s eyes.
Also — it isn’t the act itself which determines whether someone is addicted. A professional gambler could gamble 12 hours a day, every day, for a year, and not have a gambling addiction. A store clerk could gamble half as long, for just 6 months, and lose half as much money as the professional gambler, and have a severe gambling addiction. When addictions are diagnosed (for sex, too) a therapist looks primarily at the ramifications of what the sex or gambling has caused in the patient’s life, not the act itself. Have you shown up late to work? Have you lied to your family members? Do you want to stop but can’t? Has it caused financial strain? Etc. To say something doesn’t qualify for the DSM because it is a “normal” behavior makes little sense to me, but I do admit that whether someone is addicted or not can be hard to quantify.
I’m also wondering — if everyone in the world had Bipolar Disorder, would that be removed from the DSM because it isn’t abnormal? Hmm.
3) Tara Lynn – Thank you for your feedback I agree with you 100 percent. We need to eliminate the shame and make it okay for people to share their problems, whatever they may be. I just wish I could figure out why there is so much shame associated with sex. Why it’s so much easier to talk about drinking, gambling, overeating, prescription pills, etc. Maybe it’s because it feels good, and people believe they don’t deserve to feel that good?
I am about to start writing about Friendships in prison, per your request. I’d love to hear more of your suggestions and ideas for topics I can write about! Please email your ideas to email@example.com if you have any others. Also, you’re right about The Bachelor. I don’t know why I get so sucked into those reality shows. I should know better 🙂
Thanks for your compliments on my writing. You have inspired me to work even harder. Please keep in touch! And I hope you are feeling better.
Categories: Stephen Newman