I’ve always felt like the two absolute worst addictions that a person would have to battle are food and sex. Both are things that your body automatically needs and craves without you even tempting it. It must be a complete and utter nightmare if you are inflicted with the physiological, mental and emotional demands of your body and mind constantly desiring these two basic needs that your human instincts say that you require. With the 24/7 availability of an endless stream of online pornograpghy, the ability to order escorts off the Internet, having a sex addiction must be a tough habit to kick. And if you are a sex addict that lives in a place that has a nickname of “Sin City,” you are sure to let your every desire ravage your life. The Las Vegas Review-Journal spoke to several sex addicts who live in the entertainment capital of the world to see the obstacles that they face each and every day because of their obsession.
A 51-year-old man who only went by the name of “Richard,” and revealed that he is a recovering sex addict. He stated that he had a normal childhood, and didn’t have his first sexual experience until he was 18. But by his late 20s, he began paying for sex and hooking up with strangers online. “I was never satisfied,” Richard said. “It wasn’t all hookers and picking people up. I was always looking for something different, whether it was different fetishes or role-playing.” He estimates that he’s had hundreds of sexual partners, but could not provide an exact number. “At first, I thought I was just a horny guy doing what guys do,” Richard said. “I didn’t think it was a problem until I cheated on a woman I really cared about and wanted to be with.”
Richard told the LVRJ:
“Las Vegas is a huge town for sex addicts. The amount of vices that go on here given the number of prostitutes and strip clubs becomes a challenge for sex addicts. The city is geared towards that. A lot of excitement goes on here. You’re a sex addict, you’re like a junkie. It’s like a drug for you. It affects your decision-making and the types of relationships you have with women. I was never honest. I was always cheating with whoever I was with. It’s hard to explain what motivated me to this addiction. Underneath, I’m certain there’s a loneliness and desperation of not being satisfied or loved or appreciated. There’s also the excitement factor and the thrill that I craved. I enjoyed taking risks like having sex in public places and meeting women.”
They also spoke to Marina, a 20-year-old aspiring plus-sized model. She started having sex when she was 15, and in those five years she has had sex with 60 men, including a 50-year-old man. “The ‘addiction’ kicked in around the time I was 16,” she explains. “I was having sex with a new partner almost weekly. I have never been monogamous in a relationship due to my constant desire for new sexual partners.”
She details the repercussions from her addiction:
“I have contracted an STD before and thought that would end my promiscuity, but it only worsened after I was treated. I may not ever be able to have children because of contracting chlamydia at the age of 16, and that has impacted my life greatly. I have lost many friends due to my tendencies. I have also experienced a great deal of hurt from men I have slept with and dated. Sex has blinded me into believing that I was in love when I really was not, numerous times. I have had sex with strangers and have never felt more empty as I did after those experiences. I also have exchanged sex for money and regret that very much. I would say dealing with my mom’s death and my abandonment issues is what led me to become addicted to sex. Having sex fills the void of being alone; at least, it did in the past. Now it’s almost a habit I can’t shake. I love the feeling of it. I love feeling submissive to a man because I am so dominant in many other ways in my life.”
Another anonymous man named “Bill,” said that he didn’t diagnose his addiction because he thought it was normal. “I would imagine I had this addiction my whole life. I used to frequent prostitutes and massage parlors religiously when I was 18 or 19,” Bill said. “Growing up in New York, it was all perfectly normal. Everyone I knew was doing it. They were all cheating on their wives and girlfriends. It was a part of life. I never thought it was a problem until I had a nervous breakdown.”
Then there’s 34-year-old James, who is a member of Sex Addicts Anonymous in Las Vegas. He became addicted to pornography in 2013. “I couldn’t stop myself from watching porn,” James said. “Every day, I would go to the computer to look at porn, regret it and watch it again within the hour. I started viewing it at work and would stay late to watch it in the office sometimes until 2 a.m. I became much more distant from my wife. I was not present with her even when I was physically there. In my mind, I was having flashbacks of the porn that I viewed that day. I also started viewing my wife as a sexual object rather than the human being that I cared about. ”
The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health estimates that between 3-5 percent of the U.S. population could be considered sex addicts. If you think that you have an addiction to sex or pronography you could seek guidance from the Sex Addicts Anonymous or Sexaholics Anonymous.