I just had a conversation with a friend and we were at odds as to whether or not Tiger Woods is acting as almost any male would who was famous, rich, and attractive or does he have a mental defect, namely sexual addiction.
After years of being around, listening to, and learning about men, my early view has evolved from men and women “equally” wanting, pursuing, and having sex to the realization that in general, men are on a whole ‘nother level, as I explained in a previous post, Understanding Men and Sex. Basically, I am not the least bit surprised at the lengths that men go to have sex or how often they think about sex (including watching porn). I honestly believe that if given the chance to have sex 24 hours a day for a year with a thousand (or more) different women, most men would jump in and give it the old college try.
However, I do believe there is such a thing as sexual addiction.
Psychcentral.com defines sexual addiction as “as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.” Interestingly enough, the bible of mental disorders, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), does not recognized sexual addiction as a diagnosis, but does list a miscellaneous diagnosis: sexual disorders not otherwise specified.
So here is the million dollar question: what is the difference between a male, for example Tiger Woods, having many sexual relations and man being addicted to sex? Like eating, shopping, alcohol, gambling, workaholics, or even compulsive exercise addiction, up to a certain point, all these activities are considered normal or at least NOT abnormal. The definition of a sexual addict goes beyond just causing damage (emotionally, financially, etc) to a serious relationship, if that was the case, half the people in marriages and committed relationships (men and women) would be sex addicts, because there is alot of cheatin’ goin’ on.
After reading and listening to various experts’ point of view (including my own opinion), there are some major differences between being a very sexual person and being addicted. A person with sexual addiction has a serious problem engaging in intimacy (whether in a sexual relationship or not). They cannot even enjoy the actual act of sex because, for them, it is a substitute for real intimacy. Another sign of sexual addiction is a person who is so consumed with sex that they can not function normally in their life because of their obsession, for example not being able to go work or becoming disconnected from family and friends. Even if a person enjoys sex for the sake of sex, an addiction can come about if the person engages in more and more risky behavior, for example engaging in acts that could result in some type of criminal charges.
So is Tiger Woods a sexual addict? From everything I’ve read so far about the scandal, I would have to say no. A guy who feels guilty after being caught is just sad that he was caught, which is just about every man unless he has “an arrangement“. In fact, according to one industry insider, Tiger’s behavior is the norm for married athletes. If his affairs seriously affected his performance on the golf course, then I would have a different diagnosis. Rumors about Tiger quitting golf are starting to surface, that, however, would be a result of the current intense media circus or because his sponsors no longer believe he would be a good spokesman…all a result of the aftermath of being caught as opposed to the actual sexual activity.
That being said, Tiger needs to decide if he wants to be married or be an international playboy. Granted this wouldn’t be so bad if he only had 3 affairs/liaisons instead of reports of up to 10 different women, AT THIS TIME. On the upside, Tiger is a bit of a freak….
The must see video of the year: Tiger Woods Voicemail Slow Jam Remix. Hilarious.