Celebrities and Sexual Addiction

Contributor: Ryan Miller is a writer & blogger for DrugTreatmentCenterFinder.com, OceanBreezeRecovery.com and RecoveryHub.com

In 2008, actor David Duchovny separated from his wife for cheating on her. In 2009, PGA champ Tiger Woods went through a highly publicized sex scandal. In 2010, reality TV star Jesse James divorced his wife when it was revealed that he’d slept with other women [1].

What do these celebrities have in common? It’s not just that they’ve cheated. They’ve also entered rehabs for sex addiction.

Dozens of other celebrities have found themselves in similar circumstances. Caught up in a sex scandal, they go off to sex addiction rehabs. To many people, this is simply a convenient excuse. It’s easier to claim that you suffer from a disease than to own up to your bad behavior.

Sex Addiction Is a Serious Problem

Nevertheless, it’s clear that sex addiction is a real thing, and about 12 million people suffer from it [2]. Each of these people will attest to the fact that sex is not a luxury for them. It’s an obsession that cannot be relieved.

Researchers have been studying the brains of drug addicts for years. Now, some of that research is spilling over into the field of sex addiction. For drug addicts, there is a clear difference between enjoying a drug and being addicted to it. Drug addicts do not simply enjoy getting high. They need to get high.

Sex addiction functions the same way. In July of this year, researchers compared sex addicts’ responses to sexual imagery with the responses of non-sex addicts. Brain scans revealed that non-sex addicts experienced both a liking and a desire for sex. While sex addicts experienced a similar liking, they had a much stronger desire for sex [3].

How Sex Addiction Manifests Itself

Normal people can take sex or leave it, but sex addicts go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy their desire. According to Dr. Kathryn A. Cunningham, sex addiction can manifest itself in these 5 ways [4]:

  • The obsession with sex is so strong that it interferes with other areas of life
  • More deviant sex acts (phone or computer sex, prostitutes, etc.)
  • Compulsive need to masturbate
  • Cheating and/or having multiple sex partners
  • Criminal sex acts (rape, molestation, etc.)

So, we may have it backwards if we say that celebrity sex addiction is just a convenient excuse. It’s not that they claim to be sex addicts because they go through scandals. They go through scandals because they are sex addicts.

Sometimes an Excuse, Sometimes a Disorder

This is not to say every celebrity who’s hired prostitutes or cheated on their spouse is a sex addict. There are probably celebrities who use sex addiction as an excuse. However, we can’t ignore the reality of sex addiction.

Beyond all the headlines and tabloids, there are still 12 million people who suffer from sex addiction. Some of them are celebrities, but most of them are not. If we dismiss celebrity sex addiction altogether, we aren’t asking the right question: How do we treat sex addicts, whether or not they are celebrities?

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts!

What are your thoughts on celebrities and sexual addiction?


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/13/celebrity-sex-5-divorced-_n_1956368.html
  2. http://www.aamft.org/imis15/aamft/Content/Consumer_Updates/Sexual_Addiction.aspx
  3. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0102419
  4. http://www.everydayhealth.com/addiction/signs-of-sex-addiction.aspx

The opinions and views of our guest bloggers are shared to provide a broad perspective of addiction. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

About the Author:

Ryan Miller is a recovering addict located in Delray Beach, Florida.

He is a writer & blogger for DrugTreatmentCenterFinder.com , OceanBreezeRecovery.com and RecoveryHub.com.