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Sex Addiction: A B.S. Excuse for Not Thinking

Sexual compulsions are real and they harm the person in their grip as well as others. But treating them like a problem -- something to be 'fixed' -- isn't working.

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Everywhere that sex enters the public arena, whether it be in education, gay marriage, Internet sex, or the hypocrisy of self-righteous politicians getting busted for their indiscretions, we see a worrisome refusal or inability to think about psychological meaning, and to instead reduce the conversation to either a morality play or a voyeuristic parade of gossip and speculation. Replacing the psychologically complex and intensely human drama of sexual behavior with two-dimensional labels like addiction is but one example of this trend.

Michael Bader is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in San Francisco. He is the author of "Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies" and "Male Sexuality: Why Women Don't Understand It -- and Men Don't Either." He has written extensively about psychology and politics.