|Dr. Ley, stop trivializing the pain and suffering of sex addicts to promote your book. It’s irresponsible and demonstrates how little you actually know about how sex addicts suffer and the stranglehold their compulsion has on them, let alone the increasing weight of science supporting a sex addiction diagnosis. Sex addiction, or whatever you want to call it, Doctor, is ruining lives. Either join the fight or be quiet.
The label sex addiction isn’t about morality or imposing society’s view on anyone’s sexual behavior. It’s about pain, about compulsion, about uncontrollable behavior that grows from a variety of past experiences, and sometimes childhood traumas and abuse. In mocking celebrities like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny and Michael Douglas (cited by name in your article) you make fun of the men I’ve dedicated my life to helping. While you know nothing about the private lives and personal motivations of these celebrities or what caused them to hurt themselves and the one’s they love, you conclude that they are abusing the label “sex addiction” as some sort of publicity stunt to direct public attention away from their irresponsible behavior. You intimate that their bravery in seeking treatment for sex addiction is somehow an excuse contrived so that their spouses or significant others will forgive them. Did you talk to these spouses?
I haven’t spoken to these spouses and I did not treat these men for sex addiction but I have spoken with hundreds of spouses. These spouses, I can assure you, did not simply forgive and forget because their husband said they had an addiction. However, the diagnosis did help them understand how someone could act so contrary to what they really want, which in the majority of cases I see, is true intimacy with the one they love.
Sex addiction is not a myth and I’m living proof. If you asked me before writing your book mocking sex addiction, I would have told you these things: how I suffered; how I lost two marriages to sex addiction; and how I tried to commit suicide before getting help. I would have told you about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.
I would have told you about my clients from all walks of life, rich and poor, celebrities and not . . . men who lost control. Good men whose sex addiction caused them to wreck their marriages, hurt loved ones, get arrested, lose their children, and/or amounts of money that would make your head spin.
I would have told you how the label of sex addiction is not used as an excuse in my office but as a first step towards recovery. I’m a no bullshit kind of guy and as a former sex addict I can see it a mile away. I know my clients would agree.
I would have told you how my unique brand of sex addiction treatment keeps families together and how it restores sanity to those who reach out to me, often when they hit rock bottom. It’s no excuse — that’s for sure and frankly it doesn’t excuse anything, it explains.
George Collins is the author of the best seller on sex addiction, “Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame” and is the founder and director of Compulsion Solutions. As a recovering sex addict, he didn’t just go to college and read about sexually compulsive behavior. He lived “the life” and got over it.
George and his team practice from their offices in Walnut Creek, California in person and via phone with men and women from all over the world who are suffering from the results of sexually compulsive behavior. They also offer counseling and support for wives and partners. As a recognized expert, he’s appeared as a guest on local, national, and international radio and television shows.