Why there IS such thing as sex addiction, a rebuttal to Dr David Ley

sex addiction

Why I believe Sex Addiction is REAL

I just finished and article published in the Telegraph by Dr David Ley titled “Why there’s no such thing as sex addiction”. I must disagree with his article, since I believe that sex addiction exists.

The main points he makes to back up this statement are.

  • It isn’t an illness, it’s a weakness – there is no evidence sex addiction is a valid psychiatric disorder.  It hasn’t been recognized as a bona fide disease by the mental health profession
  • Sex addiction is wrongly applied the same characteristics of drug and alcohol addiction. He doesn’t believe there are any ill effects on the body, nor withdrawal symptoms.
  • He doesn’t believe that men can get lost to the powers of internet porn.  He says that there is no evidence of harm it does or we would be awash in sex crimes and public sexual displays.  Since addicts can function at a high level there is no evidence of addiction.  Phil Varone of Skid Row never considered himself an addict to sex because he functioned so highly and it didn’t mess up his life.
  • Sex addiction is a product of social and religious institutions that portray sexual desire as something destructive and weakening and men must rein it in.  These institutions have labeled sex as evil.  Sex is healthy and good for you; more sex equals healthier, happier people.
  • People use the label of sex addiction to shirk responsibility for their actions.  The real reason is the bad choices they make.


Let’s deal with his statements one by one; you may be surprised at my point of view.

Dr Ley says that sex addiction isn’t an illness, it’s a weakness.  First off, I think it is funny that he keeps labeling this as sex addiction while stating there is no such thing.  He should come up with another term to label this weakness so that we won’t get his point of view confused.  On this point I have to agree with him.  Shocking as it may be I don’t think sex addiction is a disease.  Just like I don’t believe that drug and alcohol abuse are diseases.  In my very un-clinical mind a disease is an illness that you contract by either contact with another person or genetically.  You cannot catch alcoholism, drug abuse or sex addiction.  You are not born into them, nor do you have symptoms of them without bringing it on yourself.  I’m not sure where the disease label originated from, but I disagree with it.  You can have the tendency to like alcohol or pornography and drugs, but diving into these doesn’t happen without you first giving into the temptation after making some poor decisions.  We are not robotic in this sense.

Next he goes on to say that sex addiction is wrongly applied the same characteristics as drug and alcohol abuse, mainly because there are no ill effects on the body or withdrawal symptoms.  On this statement I have to disagree.  Too much sex or pornography does indeed have ill effects on the body.  I won’t give you all the details, but you can read my account on how pornography made me sick.  It wasn’t until I gave up porn that I began to recover from the mysterious illness that plagued me.  I’m not certain, but I believe it had something to do with the adrenal system.  How can he say for certain that too much sex is not bad for the body?  At what level is it considered too much?


To say there are no withdrawal symptoms with sex addiction is another unfounded statement.  There were many times that I decided to quit pornography and went through withdrawal.  It consumed me to the point I could not function.  There was no concentration or rest.  The urges would only go away after I would indulge in porn.  Don’t just take my word for it, read the testimonies of other sex/porn addicts.  Read Kastleman’s book on the brain science behind internet pornography use.

Dr Ley does not believe that men can get lost in the power of porn.  The quote by Skid Row’s drummer backs up his statement.  Do all addicts lose their functionality and mess up their lives…of course not.  Some are able to lead (on the outside) normal functioning lives.  They are able to compartmentalize their addiction from the rest of their lives.  Others are not so lucky and lose everything.  Dr Ley fails to realize the internal harm that wreaks havoc on the addict.  The guilt, shame and feelings of worthlessness as a result of the addiction may not always appear on the outside.  The truth is that porn is like the siren calling to you day and night to come in and visit her.  There is a pull that appeals to our sexual natures, our need for escape and the physical feeling of euphoria.  The call is there around every corner for the addict.

He also feels sex has been given a bad rap by social and religious organizations that have deemed sex to be destructive, weakening and evil.  These stigmas on sex then make those who have active sex drives to think something is wrong with them and they are addicts.  Lots of sex is good for you.  In this statement I think he has twisted the view by social and religious organizations.  Free sex and promiscuity are deemed destructive, sex without a boundary is destructive, not sex itself.  Sex within the boundary of a marriage is responsible and healthy.  Lots of sex within a marriage is very healthy.

The last point he makes seems to be the crux of his whole article.  Dr Ley feels that sex addicts use the label to escape responsibility for their actions when it is their choices that have gotten them into trouble.  I say right on!  People like to blame someone or something for their bad behavior.  Blaming sexual addiction and then checking into rehab somehow makes everyone feel OK about it, like it’s not their fault.  I say it is their fault and they are addicted.

I don’t believe being addicted to sex or porn and it being your own fault are exclusive of each other.  You are an addict and it is your fault!  This takes us back to the point where sex addiction is labeled as a disease.  A disease label seems to absolve the afflicted from responsibility.  I think this is the whole hang-up Dr Ley has with using the label Sex Addiction.  He firmly believes (as I do) that the person makes bad decisions and is fully responsible for their own actions.  They are not victims to a disease.  They are just people who succumb to a weakness or temptation that has taken them farther than they imagined they would go.

What do you think?  Please leave your comments below.

Other Posts you may find helpful:

The Signs of Pornography Addiction

Side Effects of Using Porn: Caution

Confessions of a Sex Addict

Seductive schemes Satan uses against us

satan tempts us

From the beginning of the history of man, Satan has been hard at work trying to exploit our weaknesses.  In the garden of Eden, Satan used Eve to appeal to Adam and influence him to disobey God by eating from the forbidden tree.  Would Adam have disobeyed if the attack was directly from Satan?  Would Eve have been talked into eating the apple if Satan had not used the snake as cover?  Luke Gilkerson has a fantastic post “How Nakedness Effected the Fall”  where he makes the points that we are fighting against Satan’s attacks masked as flesh and that Satan knows our weak spots and exploits then to make us fall.

Satan is a cunning and crafty enemy.  He knows that us men are visually stimulated and attracted to the beauty of women.  The nakedness of a woman is powerfully appealing to the flesh of a man.  Scripture talks about the two natures of man:  Spiritual and fleshly, and how we need to “walk by the spirit so we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh”.  These two natures are contrary to each other.  The spirit nature agrees with God and seeks to obey Him and fulfill His will.  The spirit wants to please God and bring about His kingdom, it is God-centered.  Our fleshly nature causes us to seek fleshly pleasures such as feeling good & looking good.  The fleshly nature feeds off of sex, food, drugs, & other sensualites.   The fleshly nature is self-centered.

Satan knows that we constantly battle between which nature to feed.  Knowing this, he goes after our weak point – sex – and uses it to trip up both men and women.  If he is successful, we will get hooked on feeding our flesh and we will be disobedient to God.

Satan can take down man through the woman!  Clever isn’t it?  He will get women to disobey God in a variety of ways.  Some are lured into making pornography.  Some women just dress provacatively.  Other women sleep around or get into partying & alcohol.  When Satan gets women to go against God & feed their flesh, they in turn will lure men away from God.  We men are weak when it comes to women.  Isn’t it very hard to push away from the advances of an attractive woman?  How hard is it to stop from taking a second look at an attractive woman or even more one without clothes?

God knew this and instructed the Jews to not marry outside women.  If a Jew married a pagan woman, most of the time he would abandon God for the god of his pagan wife.  Satan has been using this scheme to get men from the very beginning.  Its the perfect scheme – get the woman and she will bring a man down with her!  Worked back then and it still works today!

Now that you know this scheme, what are you going to do about it?  Has this tactic used by the enemy to take us out now lost power in your life?

Women – Stop being used by Satan!  Be pure, honest & loyal to God.  Don’t let yourself be a stumbling block for those around you.

Men – Don’t get so easily led to failure by the sensuality of women.  Stand strong and see this scheme for what it is – the battle for your soul.

I welcome your comments below.

What Triggers Your Urge For Pornography?

Suggestive ads that exploit women

Regular users and/or addicts of pornography generally have a handfull of triggers that set them off on another binge of pornography use.  Many of you can identify with an event, a state of mind, or the influences that drive us to using porn.  Here are a few items that may trigger your urges:

  • A fight with the wife
  • Boredom
  • Depression
  • The glimpse of an attractive woman
  • Lonliness
  • Anger
  • Free time

Let me share a really BIG one for all of us – suggestive ads –

What is this ad promoting?

What is this ad promoting?

This ad from netflix that features actress Megan Fox really caught my eye.  Here’s why:

  1. She is attractive and the middle of the ad focuses on her breasts. – us men are obviously visually oriented.
  2. She has a look of vulnerability or fear on her face – this triggers the manly need to rescue her.
  3. She is posed in a way that asks you to help her, rescue her, love her.

I have seen this ad off to the side of my Yahoo mail at least 50 times and it has caught my eye everytime.  In the past, I would have focused on this ad and it would have revved me up to the point of search for pornography then acting out.  How do I respond differently now?

Initially I was caught off gaurd with this ad and quickly looked away.  (fleeing)  As I saw it more often I started to analyze what it was about that ad that was so appealing and those details are above.  I did not take the ad into my head and run with it!  This is where we get tripped up.  You have to train yourself to stop the runaway thoughts that lead into acting out.  You need to stop yourself, calm yourself down and move on to another subject.  Don’t even entertain thoughts of sex for a few moments thinking you are just skirting the edge.  You need to estinguish these lustful thoughts right away!  Walk away for 10 minutes, change the channel, call a friend or your accountability partner – Don’t linger.

Many of the triggers that lead us down the road into acting out and using pornography can be counteracted by doing something to oppose that trigger.  If boredom leads you into pornography sessions, you need to keep yourself busy – do something to occupy the time.  If free time is your downfall, don’t allow yourself to have free time while you are alone.  Leave the house and go into a public setting.  Invite a friend over.  Do you see where I am going?  We have to set up a plan (in advance) of what will are going to do when we face a situation that could lead to our downfall.  That action plan is a part of your overall Battle Plan to stop using pornography.  You will then know what to do and excute the action plan to counteract these attacks before they start.

What are your triggers?  What do you find helpfull to counteract everyday situations that could bring your down?  Please comment.

Overcoming Sexual Temptations

overcoming sexual temptations

Overcoming Sexual Temptations – How to overcome and win.

Sexual temptations are common to all people whether man or woman.  We all run into situations where we are tempted in a sexual nature.  These temptations can come in the form of a flirtatious coworker, a tantalizing ad or maybe a photo on the internet.  Sexual temptations appeal to our inner desire to have sex and be close to someone.

overcoming sexual temptationsIs temptation a sin?  No.  Temptations if they are allowed to capture us will lead us into sin, but they are not sin themselves.  A temptation is that hook that can draw us into sin.  A temptation appeals to our lusts and waits for us to take the bait.  A man can see an attractive woman in a revealing top – the temptation.  What does he think after seeing the woman, is what determines whether he takes that temptation that appeals to his lust and turns it into sin.  It would turn into sin if he mentally undresses her.  It would not be sin for him to look another direction and focus his mind on something else.

Temptations appeal to our lusts, or those things we desire which are morally or ethically wrong.  Most all of us are sexually tempted because we have a desire for sex.  That desire is both physical and emotional.  We have desires for things which are wrong. We can lust after another woman or desire to watch a porno.  Temptations appeal to these desires and lure us into satisfying the desire.

Not all desires are wrong.  We all desire to eat because we get hungry.  When we are hungry and see an ad for a cheeseburger, is that cheeseburger temptation?  No.  It is morally alright to eat and the cheeseburger ad may sway you to heading down to your fast food place, but not wrong.

Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires as James 1:14 says.  These desires lead to actions.  Sinful actions.  These evil desires are inside of us.  We have the desire to do evil inside of us and temptation wakes us that desire for us to act on.

The key to battling temptation starts with the inside.  We have to defeat those evil desires within us.  Those desires are written onto our ‘hard drive’ and we have to overwrite them.  We can overwrite them with prayer & God’s word.  This is not a one-time deal.  We have to continually overwrite them because they keep coming back.  You need a battle plan.

Pray to God to help you change your evil desires and replace them with desires for pure things.  You need help to counteract all those sinful lusts that have found their way to your heart.  God can help you if you ask.

You also need to overwrite those lusts with the word of God.  Crack your Bible open and find some verses to memorize that counteract your lusts.  If you lust with your eyes, memorize Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a woman”.  Read your Bible daily to get God’s word written on your heart.  God’s word is more powerful than a two edged sword (Heb 4:12) and has tremendous power to not only save, but destroy the evil desires within you.

Now that you are working on your heart, you need to be aware of where you are tempted and set up a battle plan.  If you lust after women with your eyes, you need to set up a plan for numerous scenarios you may encounter that will be temptations.  For example:  If you are speaking to a woman at work who has a low cut blouse, you decide ahead of time to make eye contact with her or look away when not.  You will decide ahead of time what your action will be and then do it when facing the situation.

In other circumstances you will need to heed the Bible’s recommendation and flee temptation.  If you are on the internet and see tantalizing ad for free porn, log out and get away from the computer!   Flee and don’t let temptation get the best of you.  Take the exit God will provide for you.

These are only a few examples of overcoming sexual temptation.   You can find more help by in my book.

Prayer to overcome sexual temptation:  Dear God, I am under tremendous temptation at the moment to sin against you.  Please give me the strength to walk away from this temptation and focus on what is pure, what is true, what is right and anything that is excellent or praiseworthy.  I do not want to fall into sin to please my flesh.  Allow your Spirit to fill me and work in me right now.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

FREE report to overcome temptation