Last week, while stationed around a campfire in brightly coloured Muskoka chairs, my cousin—seemingly out of nowhere—questioned the legitimacy of sex addictions.
“Everyone likes sex; anybody could say they have an addiction to it,” he said as the orangey glow of the fire highlighted his arched brow of skepticism. “But there are some people who can’t live without it; they’ll actually sleep with anyone to get it.” His girlfriend rebutted, sparking a lengthy debate fueled by beer, whisky, vodka, and eventually, copious amounts of water.
A recent study from UCLA suggests my cousin may be right. These researchers have published a study in the online journal of Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology suggesting that sex addictions are nothing more than people with higher libidos—meaning, people who are simply hornier than the rest of us.
Testing a group of 52 hypersexual participants (39 men and 13 women), scientist/senior author, Nicole Prause and her team of researchers exposed each subject to a series of sexual and non-sexual images, then recorded their neural responses.
“If they indeed suffer from hypersexuality, or sexual addiction, their brain response to visual sexual stimuli could be expected to be higher, in much the same way that the brains of cocaine addicts have been shown to react to images of the drug in other studies,” a press release on the study explained.
Which, contrary to similar studies performed on substance addicts, did not happen. Instead, the results found these self-diagnosed “sex addicts” were actually responding to higher sexual desires, (which we all have), not an actual disorder. Prause claims this is an “important finding” (as any lead researcher would), explaining that, “it is the first time scientists have studied the brain responses specifically of people who identify as having hypersexual problems.”
Prause later told CBS that she believes sex rehab clinics should be examined and stressed that she doesn’t want this study to discourage people from seeking help. Which is kind of contradictory, but whatever. If you yourself identify as someone with a higher sexual desire than most, get those hands out from under your waistbands and try your hand/hands/foot/mouth/etc. at some non-sexual activities.
A while back, I interviewed millennial and habitual masturbator, Ken Wallingford who went on a 30-day No Fap Challenge for a piece he was writing for Vice. His particular challenge was to abstain from masturbating for 30 days—though the allotted time is up to you. To keep his mind—and his hands—off his junk, he chose to exercise: he ran, did push ups, sit ups, just about anything physical that would keep him busy when he was feeling particularly horny. He also suggested reading before bed, as that was a time he would often pop open his laptop and enter pornland. Other changes he made were not sleeping in the nude and watching a lot more movies. After the challenge, Ken found that he was a more productive individual when masturbation wasn’t an option.
Coming from a guy who may have gone three days without masturbating at the absolute most, I trust Ken’s judgment. However, I am going to suggest a few activities going off what worked for him, and will assist the sexually needy from giving into their carnal desires.
Join a gym
When you’re paying a monthly fee to be somewhere, you’re more likely to go. That’s a fact. Besides benefiting your body, you’re keeping yourself busy for a good hour or two each day. If your gym offers classes, join a few. This will give you even more motivation when you have a scheduled time to be somewhere—much like organized sports. In the same way one claims to be too tired for sex, you may eventually be too tired to work your own dumbbell.
Get into a series with several seasons
When it comes to a good distraction, nothing does the trick quite like a series you just can’t stop watching. And a series with several seasons will hold your attention for weeks, even months. Pop in a DVD or Blu-Ray and with every cliffhanger, you will be coerced into watching episode after episode until it’s all over and you’re devastated. Don’t worry though, there’s always another season to get addicted to.
Get into a good book series
As Ken suggests, reading kept him from grabbing his junk. Reading a series will keep you from grabbing your junk longer. In the same respect that a television series keeps you watching consecutively, a book series will keep you reading consecutively. And, if you happen to know of a book club in your area, you can join and discuss with likeminded readers who can then suggest different entertaining reads.