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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: I think a lot of the whole sex addiction movement is simply an attempt to pathologize sexual expression that somebody doesn't like.
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
It's pretty easy nowadays to use that expression, "sex addiction," to say this person has a disease and with the addiction in...
It's pretty easy nowadays to use that expression, "sex addiction," to say this person has a disease and with the addiction industry being so popular in this country, the infrastructure of handling that "disease" of sex addiction is all set up.
I just want to have my struggle recognized, so that I can stop wavering with useless guilt over my behavior.
This is not a porn addiction model I would stand behind. We should stand guard against a hegemonic addiction industry and the over-pathologizing of sexual expression. But the prominent pro-porn addiction model folk don't advocate for this. Just about everyone in that camp prescribes therapy and a regimen of behavior change, targeting the emotional-psychological roots of the user's decision making while simultaneously curbing problematic behaviors.
Furthermore, addictions are often intertwined with other emotional and behavioral issues (which perhaps renders the "primary illness" debate a bit inane). But by denying the possibility that porn could be a primary factor in such troublesome behavior, we fail to support people who would benefit from targeting porn directly with cognitive behavior therapy or twelve step treatment programs to complement psychotherapy.
Tellingly, Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson also take a consequentialist perspective, and it's exactly why they push so hard for the addiction model:
We don't necessarily think everyone having symptoms from overconsumption of porn is "an addict," but we think the addiction model is still the best one for helping guys understand how they could have conditioned their sexuality in unwanted ways.

What Robinson and Wilson understand that Klein doesn't is that there are profound psychological effects of being unrecognized -- suffering, and being told it's either your fault, you're making excuses for yourself, or you're making it up altogether.
If we codify the category of "porn addiction," everyone will more accurately appreciate the potential power of porn to condition sexuality (brains are most plastic as teens, so be careful) and perhaps most importantly, porn users will be more precisely differentiated under the porn addiction umbrella.
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