Sex addiction is still not widely discussed, nor even considered a illness, by many in the UK. While this attitude can be understood to a degree, the damage that can be caused to the sufferer and their loved ones places sex addiction alongside any of the more recognised addictions. It is time we began to take this problem seriously.A recently released film focusing on Sex addiction is causing quite a storm in cinemas across the UK. Reviews of “Shame” have been mixed, but for those who have sex addiction it is a welcome if not sometimes uncomfortable recognition of their illness. Addicts who have seen the film have commented on how well it depicts the traditional behaviours of a sex addict and the film genuinely reproduces the nightmare and nightmarish dysfunction.
Negative feedback about the film is it does not really “label” the illness, nor does it show thoroughly enough how individuals can work through Sex Addiction, but it has been praised for how it reflects the fundamental issues behind the illness. Sex addiction is different for all sex addicts but for many there is an underlying fear of intimacy. The film puts over well the dilemma sufferers find themselves in where they are unable to have sex with someone they have built a loving relationship. Sex and love have become absolutely divided and the latter is satisfied compulsively through pornographic DVDs, books, internet websites, and fleeting promiscuous relationships.
In the UK Sex addiction to a large degree either remains behind locked doors, is not really accepted as a real addiction, or like the film suggests is hidden away due to shame. In fact the makers of the film had to go to New York to do all their research on the subject because they came up against too many blocks in the UK. Sex addiction however is real, and the outlook mirrors those of other addictions such as alcohol and drugs if it remains untreated. As it controls the sufferer’s life it can lead to emotional dysfunction, a breakdown in relationships and family life, loss of employment, and even imprisonment.
Many now see Sex addiction as an illness that needs much more recognition and funding to enable people to come forward and take advantage of positive treatment. It would seem sex addiction only differs from alcohol and drugs addiction in one respect: we can live as functioning healthy human beings without drugs and alcohol, but most of us need to engage in sex at some level to live as healthy adults within a stable relationship.