Addicted to love: When do you stop?

A reader contacted me recently to ask what had to be a very, very hard question to ask. To protect them, I have removed all reference to their identity.

Dear Cunt–
I have a major cheating problem. I love sex so much that it’s almost compulsive, almost a disorder. My love for sex has ruined every relationship I’ve been in. I can’t stop myself from cheating. Even if I’m completely happy in a relationship, my eyes are always wandering. Naturally I’m a sensation seeker, and I don’t know how to stop it. I know that it’s wrong and hurtful to cheat, yet I just keep doing it. I think maybe there is some type of psychological reason for this behavior. I’ve dated a few scumbags, but I’ve also dated some really good guys before. Either way, even if I am passionately in love, I still cheat. A friend gave me some advice recently when he said he thought that maybe I don’t feel like only ONE man can truly love me, and that is why I look to others. Have you ever heard of this situation? I feel like there is something wrong with me, like I don’t have control over it.
-Unintentionally Wanting

I’ve already responded to Unintentionally’s email, but I think it’s an important topic, and something people don’t like talking about.

Sex can be an addiction. Yes, there are folks out there snickering and saying shit like, “I’ll show you addicted…” But yes, it can be a compulsion, a life-affecting disorder. There are support goups for sex addiction, too.

I’m not a shrink. I don’t profess to have an inner Freud who can unlock the mysteries of the mind for my masses, but I’m at least a pretty with-it chick.

My speculation? Yeah, maybe, all right, maybe there are pangs of “no one man can ever love me enough,” kinds of sensations going on. Or maybe it’s something deeper, darker, like “no one man will ever love just me, so I need to protect myself and keep others on the horizon.” Or maybe it’s much more intense and buried than that. As Toucan Sam would say, “Only the nose knows. The nose always knows!”

The reasons for addictions of any kinds come from some pretty dark places. Places it takes more than just a flashlight and a curiousity to find your way around. Getting to the bottom of addictions takes courage, unflinching examination, and relentless studying. It’s hard work. It’s paralyzing at times, when you’re jumping without the only parachute that’s ever kept you insulated from the world. I don’t see why something like sex addiction would be any different.

Are you addicted? Well, has it negatively impacted your life? Have you chased away someone you love as a result? Has it ever affected your job? Has it ever affected your friendships? If you can answer yes to any of those, you might have a problem. But if you click here, you can answer a basic quiz that’ll give you a better notion on all ‘o this.

Like I says, I ain’t no shrink. I’m not some sorcerer of the psyche who’s able to wave a wand and make a diagnosis. This is my gut reaction, and the limit to which I feel comfortable commenting.

Sex Addicts Anonymous offers a support network that includes more than 750 meetings worldwide. There are online chat systems so you can talk to others like you. There are books, tapes, meetings, everything you need to have for an assessment of where you stand. Hell, there’s four or five groups that meet in my city, Vancouver, including one for gays and lesbians.

I’m betting there’s a few dickheads out there thinking, “Oh ho! Now there’s where to go when I need to be gettin’ a little somethin’-somethin’…” And if so, then it’s important to note that yes, you are indeed a dickhead. It ain’t a singles bar. These are people trying to eliminate unhealthy sex from their lives. Don’t fuck ’em, and don’t fuck with ’em.

I haven’t heard back from Unintentionally. I imagine she’s doing some soul-searching, or else she thinks I’m a twat. Either way, here’s hoping it comes together. What a shitty thing to be mired in. I’d like to hear back from you, chickie.