• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Millions of Americans are addicted to sex

February 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Psychologists say more than 16 million adults in the U.S. have a sex addiction. Experts say as many as 12-percent of addicts are women. And the taboo topic doesn't just impact the rich and famous. Former sex addicts admit this problem can give you as many highs and lows as alcohol or drugs.

"I went into withdrawal," said Rachael Resnick, author of "Love Junkie."

Carol wanted to share her story. She says her downfall came soon after marriage.

"As soon as we got married, I remember thinking, 'You're the only person I get to have sex with forever?'" said Carol.

She slept with more than 10 different men, and had four longer affairs during her seven year marriage.

"The person I was having an affair with I didn't really like him. I just was addicted to him. I just couldn't get enough of him," said Carol.

What makes someone an addict?

They engage in risky behavior despite the consequences. They have multiple affairs, but don't connect to anyone. They constantly view pornography online or engage in cyber sex, and their sex life interferes with work and family relationships.

"They tend to be very highly driven, focused and have incredible attention spans," said sex therapist Alex Caroline Robboy. "They get sucked into this world where they can't let go. It's like compulsiveness."

This is the type of world Rachael Resnick spent most of her adult life in.

"I didn't even notice that I'd get a high. I would just get a rush. I simply thought that I was extra passionate," said Resnick. "I was more passionate than other people. I thought that I was just unlucky in love. I did not think there was anything wrong with me for decades."

Both women found help in 12 step rehab programs. Resnick committed to two years of celibacy. Carol continues intense counseling.

"It's not the first thing that I think of anymore, thank God," said Carol.

"This is not about being prudish or retreating from my life. My interest is in having better sex, and more intimacy and creative relationships," said Resnick.

Crossover or multiple addictions are not uncommon. One study estimates 42-percent of sex addicts also have a drug problem, and 38-percent have eating disorders.


Load Comments