I made a comment on The Today Show last week that there was no such thing as sex addiction, and my commentary immediately netted me this email:
Yeah, well, he signed his real name, but he could have just written "Sex Addict." I bet his wife caught him viewing on-line pornography again or found the motel receipts.
I didn't back down. Later that evening on Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell:
Then, I got a nasty phone call pointing out my stupidity.
It was that kind of day until I got an email from Dr. Stanton Samenow, author of Inside the Criminal Mind and numerous other books, renowned psychologist, and my hero. He wrote:
"As a forensic psychologist, I was delighted to hear you say that there is no such thing as 'sexual addiction.' I have testified to this in civil (child custody) and criminal cases. This was a breath of fresh air."
Thank God. Someone with sense. Someone who doesn't buy into excuses for poor and illegal behavior. Dr. Samenow, like myself, believes in free will and individual choice.
Who knew that wanting lots of sex meant one has to rape and murder to get enough? I guess since paying for it is breaking the law, one wouldn't want to do that; rape is the only answer. I have some "addictions" myself. I have a thing for Diet Pepsi, but I can't remember having shoplifted the sodas from convenience stores in recent months.
Manuel Garrido, father of Phillip Garrido (pictured left), the vile creature who kidnapped then 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard and imprisoned her for eighteen years in his backyard, says this of his son:
"He was a sex addict, that was his problem. I believe my son killed the prostitutes."
Dad is referring to prostitutes who oddly disappeared near one of the locations Phillip Garrido worked. Dad thinks his son liked having sex with prostitutes. Dad also says he thinks Phillip and his wife, Nancy (pictured in court below), chose to kidnap a girl to "give them babies after discovering they could not have children together."
Clearly, since Jaycee Dugard had children by Garrido when she was 14 and 17, she was raped. But was this so that Garrido could have children or sex-on-demand? He liked the idea of sex slaves, so I'm guessing the sex angle is more believable than the need to procreate. Garrido raped little girls and had sex with prostitutes. How does this logically connect to some supposed label like sex addict?
First, let's look at the definition for this supposed "disease" or "syndrome" from Medicinenet.com:
"The term 'sexual addiction' is used to describe the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. Sex, and the thought of sex, tend to dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts engage in distorted thinking, often rationalizing and justifying their behavior and blaming others for their behavior. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions.
"Sexual addiction also is associated with risk-taking. A person with a sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict's relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at risk for emotional and physical injury. For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls, or molestation. However, it should be noted that sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders."
Behaviors associated with sexual addiction include:
Multiple extra-marital affairs
Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
Consistent use of pornography
Phone or computer sex (cyber sex)
Prostitution or use of prostitutes
Obsessive dating through personal ads
Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
Phillip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, thinks the concept of sexual addiction is rot. He calls supposed sex addition a behavior better described as obsessive, compulsive or greedy. He further comments that successful men - say, someone like Roman Polanski (little girls), Michael Jackson (little boys), or Michael Douglas (young beautiful women he hoped his wife didn't find out about) - because "some very successful men have a habit of thinking they can get away with anything, especially behavior they view as exciting," he says.
Michael Douglas' first wife divorced him because he was a womanizer. She must have been right because he was likely already bedding Catherine Zeta-Jones, an actress young enough to be his daughter (young thing pictured left with old thing). Apparently sexual addiction for Douglas is so target-specific, he never hit on women his own age.
But Douglas was merely a cad. He wasn't breaking a law, and he wasn't using the label "sex addict" as anything more than a way to excuse his greed for hot women and bad behavior.
Phillip Garrido's defense lawyer will likely try to toss this label into court. Ryan Jenkins, the millionaire reality-TV star who stuck his murdered wife in a suitcase, had already used "sex addiction" to avoid a jail sentence -- for beating up another woman before beating up Jasmine Fiori, his wife. Apparently, he suffered from alleged sex addiction just as much as his victim suffered from its result. When girls wouldn't give it up, he got ticked off.
Using this logic, all crimes would fall under the same category: "entitlement," as in "I should get what I want or else."
Jenkins had no trouble getting sex, but because he couldn't get it from everyone he wanted whenever he wanted, he thought he was deprived. What a greedy little bastard! He had zero empathy for the women; apparently, their needs and desires didn't matter. Jenkins was found hanging in a hotel room in British Columbia in August, choosing suicide over life in prison. I guess he wouldn't be able to feed his kind of sex addiction behind bars, poor baby.
Phillip Garrido could get sex. He could get a lot of sex from prostitutes if he weren't such a cheap schmuck. What does killing these women have to do with getting sex, unless you don't want to pay or you like murdering women? He also could get sex from his wife, who clearly made a fine doormat. But that wasn't good enough for him. So what was his real problem? He gave us a clue when he told one of his rape victims that the Romans were lucky to have sex slaves.
Garrido wanted a sex slave. Not because he can't control himself, but because he likes control over others. Sex is not the problem. Mr. Hudson puts it correctly when he talks about the adrenaline rush being the real issue. Sex provides an adrenaline rush. So does sex with women 20 years younger than you, sex with your next-door neighbor's wife, raping little girls. Ditto for knocking over a convenience store, robbing people, and killing the innocent. Even that chocolate I love causes an adrenaline spike.
Everything we like to do and feels good to us comes with an adrenaline boost. But the difference between Garrido's adrenaline rush and mine is legality. This is why we make laws. It's true that the adrenaline rush I get whenever I chomp down a Toblerone dark chocolate bar could encourage me to eat my way into diabetes and heart failure, hurting myself, hurting others. But this self-destructive behavior is not illegal. I overeat, cause myself pain, cause others pain, they run away, and I pay the price.
Garrido has broken the law, and no phony addiction label should be used to house him in a mental facility until he gets his supposed addiction under control.
Sexual addiction seems to be the rage for explaining away kidnapping, rape, and murder. Even if one decides to follow a path that might lead to destructive behavior (excessive masturbation, sex with strangers, sadism, etc.), the choice to step over the legal line and force violent perversions on others is not a psychiatric matter. It's a legal one. Let's keep it that way. Tweet