We need to talk about sex addiction

Those of you who know me will know that I’m passionate about reducing the stigma and shame that surrounds sex addiction. To do that, we need to start talking about it. Not with judgment and cynicism, but with compassion.

There are still some who don’t believe that sex addiction exists and others who continue to quibble over whether or not the term ‘addiction’ is an accurate label or not, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that more and more people are seeking help for sexual behaviours that are wrecking their lives. Behaviours that they have tried to stop, or limit, but have failed to do so. Behaviours that they frequently don’t enjoy, but they continue to seek out nonetheless.

Earlier last year I had the privilege of being invited to submit a proposal to deliver a TEDx talk. It was a daunting prospect, as public speaking continues to terrify me. But it was such a great opportunity to spread the word on the reality of sex addiction that I had to grab the proverbial bull by the horns. The problem was, with an absolutely maximum of 18 minutes (TED’s stipulation), what was I going to say. Deciding what to leave out was harder than deciding what to put in. I would have loved to talk about the latest research on the neuroscience of porn addiction and explain more about treatment strategies, but doing so would potentially detract from my main message that this is a ‘real’ problem, that affects ‘ordinary’ people and we need to talk about it.

Anyway – the proposal was accepted and in November last year I anxiously took the stage in Leamington Spa and delivered my talk. And now it’s available on the TEDx site and also, of course, on YouTube.

Please do watch it and let me know what you think. Whether you’re someone with an addiction or someone who knows someone with an addiction. Or if you’re a professional in the field or someone who’s curious to know more. I’d love to know what impact it had on you.