For most people these forays into cybersex are relatively harmless recreational pursuits, but experts in the field say that the affordability, accessibility and anonymity of the Internet are fueling a brand new psychological disorder -- cybersex addiction -- that appears to be spreading with astonishing rapidity and bringing turmoil to the lives of those affected. Occasionally, they progress to off-line affairs with sex partners they meet online. Al Cooper of Stanford, who has conducted the largest and most detailed survey of online sex, calls the Net "the crack cocaine of sexual compulsivity." The survey, conducted online among 9,265 men and women who admitted surfing the Net for sexually oriented sites, indicated that at least 1 percent were already seriously hooked on online sex.
Researchers writing in the current issue of the journal Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity report that many of the men and women who now spend dozens of hours each week seeking sexual stimulation from their computers deny that they have a problem and refuse to seek help until their marriages and/or their jobs are in serious jeopardy. The survey found that as many as a third of Internet users visited some type of sexual site. Young of the Center for Online Addiction in Bradford, Pa., wrote that "partially as a result of the general population and health care professionals not being attuned to the risks, seemingly harmless cyberromps can result in serious difficulties way beyond what was expected or intended." According to Dr.
However, they may be more likely to hone in on issues more quickly, using whatever intuitive skills they have.
"Stephanie" came to see me after discovering that her attorney husband "Sam" had been visiting prostitutes during his lunch hour.
She learned this one night while up late with their sick toddler.
He was rarely home; when he wasn't spending time with other women, he was clocking long hours at the law firm, hoping to make partner. "But I think you should take a year to figure it out." Why Partners of Sex Addicts Benefit from the One-Year Rule The discovery of a partner's sexual compulsivity is a wake-up call. Addicts choose to cheat; they are not driven to cheat by their partners.
Stephanie had consulted with a divorce attorney and was told that she was entitled to a generous settlement package and monthly support. If both partners are committed to recovery, the marriage could actually be transformed into a real union marked by genuine intimacy and integrity. Unless physical abuse is present, or children's safety is threatened, sex addiction therapists recommend that partners spend a year in treatment before deciding whether to stay or go. This usually involves individual therapy, 12-step programs such as SAA, and, depending on the severity of the acting-out behaviors, an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment program. The first step in an addict's recovery is to take responsibility for hurting his partner and threatening his family's stability. These may include affairs, prostitutes, massage parlors, chat rooms, masturbating to porn. Disclosures are facilitated by therapists in couples sessions.