*iStock photo
*iStock photo

Sex is everywhere in our society and there are no truer words than ‘sex sells’.

But it can also destroy lives. Sex addiction is defined as sexual urges, thoughts and behaviours beyond one’s control.

It came to prominence as a problem in society in the 1970s, when members of Alcoholics Anonymous applied the principles of their 12-Steps programme towards the compulsive behaviours associated with it, which they compared to alcohol addiction.

Various groups were born, including Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), founded in Boston in 1976. 

‘Kat’, a friend of a woman currently seeking help for sex addiction in the Bermuda SLAA group, spoke to the Bermuda Sun about the problem. 

Now 60 and living in North Carolina, she blames her addiction for the breakdown of her marriage.

She also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show (in 1998) to try to raise awareness of the problem in society. “It was in 1998 that I recognized I had a sex addiction,” she said.

“I was having affairs on my husband and those weren’t my values at all, it’s not what I wanted to do. 

“But I thought I was a body.  I was in my forties then and I also felt like, ‘I’m not always going to look like this’.”

She added: “I needed help and to come out with it, but the worst effect was telling my husband. He stopped talking to me and stopped having sex with me, for the next 11 years, until we got divorced.”