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EmpowHER Guest

Nice article - one editorial note - my book is nonfiction, not a "novel" - I'll offer a couple of comments, in response to some of the points:
1. The inclusion of "distress over a succession of lovers" in the Sexual disorder NOS is a holdover from the days of the Don Juan diagnosis, and does not in fact fit a huge percentage of those individuals allegedly diagnosed as sex addicts - including those with excessive masturbation or pornography use, and does not fit the ideas of the "love addict."
2. Your article illustrates very well one of my main points - sex addiction is very poorly and vaguely defined - each expert you cite has their own pet theory explaining this concept, and their own way of defining it. This leads to incredible subjectivity.
3. The concept of "love" addiction is incredibly gender-biased, in an offensive way. Three are women out there who enjoy anonymous, casual sex, and there are men who cannot get an erection unless they are in love. Love is a powerful, wonderful thing - not a disease or a pathogen.
4. To assert that we should preserve a fictional diagnosis in order to not hurt people is a ludicrous argument - the American Psychiatric Association is responsible to establish and maintain diagnoses based on science and evidence. I assert that it is far more harmful to tell people they have a disorder that doesn't exist - the history the Recovered Memory Syndrome and the controversy around the Sexual Orientation Conversion efforts to make people stop being homosexual are just two examples of the damage that can result from the misuse of unsupported diagnostic categories and treatments. I've seen countless people who were stigmatized and shamed by the label of sex addiction. Where is the voice for them, and their suffering?
5. I agree with you - I am relatively unique in standing up and publishing this book to challenge this concept. Why is that? If, as you assert, most clinicians really don't believe in this disorder, why are they going along with it? I think that's a very interesting story, and reveals the economic conflict of interests of the sex addiction industry, and the way in which this concept has become a moral panic, rather than a medical diagnosis.
My book, The Myth of Sex Addiction, covers all these issues and more, and is available on Amazon.
- cheers, and thanks for writing such a well-done article. Ultimately, my goal is to engage and facilitate the debate.
David Ley PhD.

March 16, 2012 - 9:32am


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