Book: Reflections

Reflections On the History of the Sex Addiction Field: A Festschrift

As alcohol is to the alcoholic or drugs to the drug addict, the same reward pathways of addiction are activated and engaged when compulsive or impulsive sex and/or porn becomes the vehicle for escape. But, while sex addiction shares some basic neurobiological components present in addiction the existence of the issue still remains controversial and denied by some critics. For those  who seek help for sex, internet porn or anonymous and dangerous out of control sexual behavior the struggle is real and at times deadly. The trend toward tech-sex and/or webcam based sexual encounters is opening up a world of possibility for those seeking richer and sexual connection and excitement. And, along with these new and exciting sexual frontiers is the increase in the number of people who are self-identifying as having lost their choice and control of their sexual behaviors.

Out-of-control sexual behavior, sexual compulsivity, or sexual addiction may be described by different names but all share one fundamental and common element: sex used as an impulsive, compulsive, and/or maladaptive sexual response that results in adverse consequences. These can include public shaming of prominent figures, divorce, career loss, arrest and imprisonment, and sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately, some people still believe that this behavior isn’t a psychological problem but rather a moral failure.

This collaborative anthology offers a personal and historical exploration of the sex addiction and sexual health fields by the clinicians who fought to advance the fields of healthy sexual expression, sex addiction research, addiction recovery and treatment. Empathy is present in every chapter of the anthology, which reads like conversations with good friends. These contributors understand the devastating effect addiction can have on a life and on a family. This collection offers a personal and historical exploration of the sex addiction and sexual health fields by the clinicians who fought to advance the areas of sexual expression, sex addiction research, addiction recovery and treatment.”

Editors Jennifer P. Schneider, MD, PhD; Debra L. Kaplan, MA, LPC; and Mark Laaser PhD present a history of this new field with the help of fifteen other pioneering contributors, who reveal not only their personal motivations for entering the field but the way they have shifted social perspectives on sexual promiscuity and addiction.

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