As sex addiction spreads through celeb relationships we speak to ordinary folk whose lives have been torn apart by their obsession
Warning: Sensitive Material
THIS week Katie Price told The Sun on Sunday how she had wanted to kill herself when hubby Kieran Hayler’s sex addiction led him to cheat on her with her best pal.After having therapy for his obsession, Kieran has since renewed his wedding vows with Katie, bringing a happy ending to the episode.
But sex addiction seems to be spreading – among celebs and ordinary folk too.
Up to 20 per cent of Brits and one in 25 teens are thought to be addicts, with men three times more likely than women to suffer.
Seventy per cent keep their problem secret and there’s an 80 per cent relapse rate, one of the highest for an addiction.
Here LYNSEY CLARKE hears from three self-confessed addicts and a sex addiction psychotherapist.
REBECCA BARKER, a 34-year-old mum of three children aged 16, 12 and five, traces her sex addiction back to when she moved to France with an ex-partner around four years ago.It was all I could think of. Everything reminded me of my desire to make love
Housekeeper Rebecca, originally from Tadcaster, North Yorks, now lives in Vienne, central France, with partner Jean-Marc, 52. She says . . .
"I lost my virginity at 15 and met the father of my first two children several months later. Our chemistry between the sheets saw my love of sex kick in. We split up several years ago.
"My high sex drive tipped over into addiction when I suffered severe depression in 2012 while with the father of my third child.
I’d moved to France and had a toddler under two as well as my older two. Yet we didn’t have a home and were living with my partner’s parents.
In the grip of despair, sex was all I could think about. I’d be entranced by people’s lips or want to stroke their skin. Everything reminded me of my desire to make love.
Eventually I couldn’t risk going out and became a recluse. It drove my partner mad. I demanded sex five times a day. He was convinced I was having an affair too.
A year later I started seeing a psychiatrist. When I mentioned my sex addiction she upped my anti-depressants but it didn’t stop me wanting sex, it just dimmed the physical sensations.
I left my partner in 2014 and had a couple of rebound relationships based on sex.
Last summer I started to wean myself off anti-depressants. At the same time my desire for sex simmered down.
Three months later I met my current partner. At first we were having sex three times a day but it’s calmed down to once a day.
Now I’m finally in a stable relationship, I realise how lost I was. Sex addiction is a massively misunderstood medical condition.
DAD of one Andrew Goodall, a 36-year-old welder from Nelson, Lancashire, has sex with so many women he has had the snip to avoid any more children. He says . . .I've no idea how many people I have slept with. It's well in the hundreds
I’ve always loved sex. Right from being young I’ve been very sexually active.
I’ve no idea how many people I’ve slept with, it’s well in the hundreds. It’s only in the last couple of years I’ve started keeping a count. This year it’s been about 20 so far.
I love the thrill of the chase and chatting women up but I get bored easily. I am always looking out for the next one.
As you get older you just care less. I’ve had girlfriends for a year, a couple of months or a couple of weeks.
Some women definitely think they can change me but they soon realise they can’t. I would love to have a loving relationship but I want to have fun too. I’m like a kid in a sweetshop and I want to eat them all.
I’ve had a vasectomy to make sure I don’t get caught up in any unplanned pregnancies.
I meet most women online. I describe (dating website) Plenty Of Fish as eBay for women. It’s easier than chatting someone up in a pub because you never know if they might be taken.
I’ll chat to them first and then meet up for a date before we even start talking about sex.
One of my Plenty Of Fish dates was a psychotherapist and she suggested I would benefit from counselling because I think about sex so much. But I don’t have faith in most counsellors.
It’s going to have to be someone super-special who can keep me in check.
I do try to be good if I’m with the right girl.
But sex is such a big part of a relationship for me.
TOM – not his real name, as he wishes to remain anonymous – is having sex therapy after his relationship broke down and he spent three days in bed watching porn. The 27-year-old manager says . . .I once saw three women who worked in the same office, all at the same time, I don't know how I got away with it
Sex addiction has impacted on every relationship I’ve ever had. I started watching porn out of curiosity when I was ten and it just escalated.
In June last year another good relationship ended because of my addiction. I wasn’t open with her about it. I was still watching porn, having cybersex and cheating.
My worst point was last December when I’d stay in bed for three days at a time watching porn, barely eating or drinking. I’d wake up, switch on my laptop and watch porn or have cybersex with random women until the next morning.
I was single then and the kinkier the material, the better.
I like sex at least once a day too. I once saw three women who worked in the same office, all at the same time.
I’ve no idea how I got away with it but I had low self- esteem so attention from women made me feel better.
This March I found a therapist and started having weekly sessions at £60 each. The first thing she told me to do was to stop watching sex videos.
She taught me different distraction techniques. She called it my toolbox, which I could use when I felt tempted to go back to my old habits.
Now I’ve learned to keep busy and make time for people so I don’t have hours to spend in my bedroom. I’m allowed to have sex but it can’t be domineering or kinky.
Therapy has taught me to think about consequences so I count to ten if I feel the urge to watch the things I used to.
The girl I’m seeing now knows about my addiction and really understands. It was five weeks before we had sex. Before, I’d have wanted it to happen straight away.
I’ve learned to get the attention I need from just one person. Sex addiction is an illness and I’m not ashamed of it, I’m fighting it
A new habit for celebs to kickCOMEDIAN Russell Brand had sex addiction therapy in 2005. He reportedly once slept with nine women in one night and has had more than 1,000 sex partners.
Actor David Duchovny played a sex-hungry writer in the TV series Californication, and in 2011 he checked into a facility for the treatment of sex addiction himself.
Golfer Tiger Woods cheated on his wife Elin with several women in 2009 and checked into a therapy programme to deal with his “sexual impulses”.
Last month Ozzy Osbourne revealed he is having “intense therapy for sex addiction” after cheating on his wife Sharon.
And also in August MP Simon Danczuk told The Sun he needed “professional help” for his sex addiction after having sex with a woman on his constituency desk.
In 2014 TV presenter Gail Porter spoke of her sex addiction, saying it was a symptom of her depression. She went to a sex addicts’ group but said: “Everyone was really horny.”
Ulrika Jonsson says she realised she was a sex addict while working on a Channel 4 documentary which defined it as “someone whose sexual behaviour damaged their life”.
Phones mean porn any time
PSYCHOTHERAPIST Paula Hall, who specialises in treating sex addiction, writes . . .It is a massively growing problem. I have worked with hundreds of addicts.
The estimates for how much of the population are sex addicts range from six to 20 per cent. Porn addiction is the area in which we are seeing most growth.
The number of enquiries we receive is increasing three-fold, year on year. The increase is down to opportunity and availability. Smartphones mean you can access porn any time and all the apps mean you can get sex much more easily.
There is also a lack of education around the risks, particularly around pornography. Sex addiction can affect relationships, finances, work and social life.
If you are wondering if you could be an addict, you need to ask yourself whether your behaviour is escalating.
Are you spending more time looking at porn, is it more hardcore, has it escalated to cybersex or visiting sex workers, has it affected your sexual functioning?
It can also affect self-esteem because people prioritise sex over other things in life, then they lie about it and feel bad.
The critical question is, have you tried to stop and failed? If you cannot stop, get help from a therapist or the Sex Addict Anonymous support group.
For free self-help, visit sexaddictionhelp.co.uk or for more information on Paula, see paulahall.co.uk
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