The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity: A Handbook

By Louis Diamant; Richard D. McAnulty | Go to book overview

15
Hypersexuality and Impulsive Sexual Behaviors

Victor J. Malatesta and Matthew S. Robinson

The diagnosis of sexual addiction seemed ridiculous and almost laughable to this 41-year-old, married, successful businessman who actually enjoyed, and to some extent, took pride in, his long history of multiple sexual partners, extramarital affairs, and periodic frequenting of "high-class" prostitutes and "gentlemen's" clubs. He agreed to see a professional only after he was confronted again by his justifiably angry and exasperated wife, who threatened divorce if he did not see someone. Informed of his diagnosis after a clinical interview with a therapist who specialized in addictions, he was told that his initial treatment plan recommended (1) a period of complete sexual abstinence, including marital intercourse, masturbation, and bottom-line forms of sexual acting out, (2) weekly individual psychotherapy, and (3) involvement in a twelve-step, AA-oriented self- help group, SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous). After reluctantly attending his first SLAA meeting and hearing the painful personal stories of men and women alike (who, surprisingly, were struggling with different, but in many respects similar, sexual activities and resultant negative feelings), he finally realized that since early adolescence, he had been "addicted to love and sex." (from the authors' case files)

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