Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men
A moment comes for every addict when the consequences are so great or the pain is so bad that the addict's life becomes out of control because of his or her behavior. Some are news making moments, such as the public censure when a congressman, minister, general, or professional athlete is cited for unacceptable sexual behavior. For most people those moments are followed by resolves to "never do it again", but somehow after the promise is made, they often find themselves in the exact same location doing something they vowed to never do again. That is addiction.And for some, this addiction is more difficult to diagnose than in others. Such is the case for gay men. For some gay men fully committed to open sexual choices and experiences, modifying their sexual behavior and restricting their sexual freedoms is like going back in time and surrendering to homophobic attitudes often found in conservative culture. It just doesn't feel right. After all, the urban gay male culture surrounding him fully supports his sexual exploits as long as the sex is safe. And since gay male sex addicts may not discuss their sexual behavior even with good friends, nobody challenges them on their late-night exploits in unsafe places, their arrest record or brushes with the law, or potential health risks because of their behavior. The truth is gay male sex addicts are not compulsively sexual because of their sexual orientation, but rather as a consequence of their individual psychological issues and biological predisposition toward addiction. This is exactly the same set of risk factors presented by straight male sex addicts. Unfortunately, for the gay (sex) addict, his increasingly destructive patterns of behavior take place against a cultural background of dramatically greater sexual and social freedoms than those enjoyed by his heterosexual peers. The single urban gay man who has problems with sex, alcohol, or drugs is in some ways a prisoner of his own freedoms, having fewer cultural opportunities for self-examination and less cultural support for behavior change than does an average heterosexual male. Finally, there is a resource that can help gay men determine if they are indeed a sex addict and whether or not they are willing to explore behavior change because of their sexual behavior.
Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, is director of sexual disorders services for Elements Behavioral Health and founding director of The Sexual Recovery Institute, an outpatient sexual addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, California. His media appearances include ESPN, The Discovery Channel, the Today show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson Cooper 360°, and Dateline NBC.
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About the Author
-Dr. Drew, Producer of Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew
Robert Weiss, LCSW, is a sexual addiction and recovery expert. With nearly 3,700 followers on Twitter, he's the "go to guy" for the media on matters relating to sex addiction. He keeps an active blog at: www.robertweissmsw.com and is the founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute (SRI), Los Angeles and Director of Sexual Disorders Services for Elements Behavioral Health, which includes The Ranch in Nunnelly, TN, Promises Treatment Centers, and SRI. He is a UCLA MSW graduate and trainee of Dr. Patrick Carnes. He is a contributing author of Mending A Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts (2011) and co-author (with Dr. Jennifer Schneider) of both Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fantasy Addiction in the Internet Age (2006) and Cybersex Exposed: Simple Fantasy to Obsession (2001). He is a recent media expert to CNN, ESPN, Dr. Drew and The Today Show among many others.
Author, Say Yes to Your Sexual Healing and The Happy Heretic Cruise Control is the "go to" book for gay men struggling with out of control sexual behaviors. Now complete with a sober sexuality and dating plan, it guides you in not just how to stop compulsive behaviors but along a gentle path through healthier sexual behaviors. Joe Kort, PhD, author, 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives Finally a book for gay men that confronts sex addiction in an open and non-judgmental way. All the new technologies available today have changed the "old ways" gay men cruised for sex. In the process it has initiated a new breed of sex addicts. Rob Weiss tackles these powerful sexual temptations one by one and provides practical solutions for life long recovery. Cruise Control will be life changing to gay men struggling with their sexual behavior. I highly recommend it. Claudia Black Ph.D., author, Deceived
and Intimate Treason