It’s easy to become lost in the descriptive pages of erotica, especially when the characters seem so true to life as they do in the works of novelist Zane. As of late, her best-selling debut Addicted has been interpreted by director Bille Woodruff, providing what many would like to believe is a clear depiction of a Black woman suffering with a sex addiction. But contrary to popular belief, the picture perfect scenario of sex addict Zoe Reynard isn’t a true depiction of a typical woman suffering from sexual addiction. (That’s Hollywood fantasy for you.)

Nympho, “sex fiend” and “super freak” are common colloquialisms used to describe women with insatiable sexual appetites. In some cases within urban culture, these words are used as terms of endearment placed on women who appear to be acting “overtly sexual” to seek attention. It’s a turn on for some men, but many don’t realize that the hypersexuality they praise isn’t a cute outcry for attention for the women who suffer with it. It can be a serious addiction requiring the help of a trained therapist and programs with steps very similar to those used to treat alcohol addiction and eating disorders.

Sex addiction: it isn’t a phrase that’s brought up commonly in African-American culture, but it is an issue that plagues a number of Black women—many who have to suffer in silence for the fear of being judged harshly for the admittance of their behavior.

But what exactly is a sexual addiction? Does a woman become a sex addict by remaining insatiable after having sex with multiple men in one sitting (cliché), or is sexual addiction something much deeper than one’s number count?



According to relationships expert Robert Weiss, “Sexual addiction has nothing to do with sex at all, but rather all of the things that lead up to the sex. Sex addicts are pleasure seekers who have learned to deal with past wounds experienced in childhood by using sex as their coping mechanism,” states Weiss, who serves as the director of Intimacy and Sexual Disorders Programs for Elements Behavioral Health. “The anticipation and the high received from being within a fantasy is what addicts seek the most. Sex addiction is a neurological disorder, and is not associated with the amount of partners or experiences one has had.”

The cause of sex addiction is typically linked to sexual, physical or emotional abuse sustained in the childhood home. And its definition is dependent upon one’s personal views of what’s considered to be “healthy behavior” within one’s personal sex life. “The desire for sex only becomes an addiction when the execution of desire becomes extreme and begins to consume every aspect of one’s life to the point of affecting their daily function negatively,” Weiss points out.

If you’re is always thinking about sex and ways to get to it before completing tasks or handling responsibilities, chances are you’re now dealing with addiction. “Everyone has a different definition about what is considered to be extreme behavior, so we have to deal with each person individually based on what he or she feels is right for their lives,” he says.

So what does therapy look like for a sex addict?

“Therapy for sex addicts is very much like the 12-step programs developed for those dealing with eating disorders,” Weiss responds. “Women tend to do better in group-based environments with other women who can aid as a support system for them during the process.” Therapists treating sex addiction dig into the past of the sufferer to revisit old trauma that has become the driving force behind their addiction, allowing the patient to grieve about these situations.

“We look at a person’s family history, relationship history and past trauma,” he continues. “We examine how the addicted person has hurt the people they love, and how this addiction has affected those closest to them, while closely observing the consequences of their past actions. It’s all about reconciliation.

“The goal is to give those suffering with sex addiction a better coping mechanism; to provide healthier alternatives to deal with life’s stressors that work better for the lives of the afflicted. We help patients develop a healthier lifestyle by aiding them in setting boundaries, choosing a new way to cope, writing it out and committing to the changes daily.”

According to Weiss, sex addiction predominately plagues men, who account for about 85 percent of those who check into sex addiction programs. Only 15 percent of those individuals checking in for this type of treatment are women, and far less are African-American women.

“We don’t see many African-American women come into our programs for treatment, and the reason for this is still unclear to me,” states Weiss, who believes that many Black women who suffer with sex addiction do so in silence because of a “cultural shame” placed on speaking about one’s issues outside of the home or beyond intimate circles.

“The reason we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of female sex addiction cases is because of our culture becoming more accepting of sexuality as a whole, and because the Internet has now provided a platform for women to become more open about discussing sex addiction. We see depictions of women in television shows, in movies and even in books”—à la Zane’s interpretation of a sex addict in Addicted—“and these characters have made more women comfortable with airing out their dirty laundry.”

Ok, so Zoe Reynard may not be the perfect example to depict the average African-American woman suffering with sexual addiction. But her character has provided a backdrop for discussion about an issue that’s kept in the dark corners of proverbial closets within our community. Many of the women who suffer with sex addiction tend to cope by going into sex work to feed their desires. This may be one of the reasons why female sex addiction is often overlooked as a woman simply “being a freak” or “out to have a good time.”

The first step to healing any addiction is admitting there’s a problem, and then realizing that seeking help doesn’t make one weak or sick, but healthier in realizing there needs to be a change in behavior. Zoe may be a fictional character, but sexual addiction is far from make-believe.

It’s easy to become lost in the descriptive pages of erotica, especially when the characters seem so true to life as they do in the works of novelist Zane. As of late, her best-selling debut Addicted has been interpreted by director Bille Woodruff, providing what many would like to believe is a clear depiction of a Black woman suffering with a sex addiction. But contrary to popular belief, the picture perfect scenario of sex addict Zoe Reynard isn’t a true depiction of a typical woman suffering from sexual addiction. (That’s Hollywood fantasy for you.)

Nympho, “sex fiend” and “super freak” are common colloquialisms used to describe women with insatiable sexual appetites. In some cases within urban culture, these words are used as terms of endearment placed on women who appear to be acting “overtly sexual” to seek attention. It’s a turn on for some men, but many don’t realize that the hypersexuality they praise isn’t a cute outcry for attention for the women who suffer with it. It can be a serious addiction requiring the help of a trained therapist and programs with steps very similar to those used to treat alcohol addiction and eating disorders.

Sex addiction: it isn’t a phrase that’s brought up commonly in African-American culture, but it is an issue that plagues a number of Black women—many who have to suffer in silence for the fear of being judged harshly for the admittance of their behavior.

But what exactly is a sexual addiction? Does a woman become a sex addict by remaining insatiable after having sex with multiple men in one sitting (cliché), or is sexual addiction something much deeper than one’s number count?

According to relationships expert Robert Weiss, “Sexual addiction has nothing to do with sex at all, but rather all of the things that lead up to the sex. Sex addicts are pleasure seekers who have learned to deal with past wounds experienced in childhood by using sex as their coping mechanism,” states Weiss, who serves as the director of Intimacy and Sexual Disorders Programs for Elements Behavioral Health. “The anticipation and the high received from being within a fantasy is what addicts seek the most. Sex addiction is a neurological disorder, and is not associated with the amount of partners or experiences one has had.”

The cause of sex addiction is typically linked to sexual, physical or emotional abuse sustained in the childhood home. And its definition is dependent upon one’s personal views of what’s considered to be “healthy behavior” within one’s personal sex life. “The desire for sex only becomes an addiction when the execution of desire becomes extreme and begins to consume every aspect of one’s life to the point of affecting their daily function negatively,” Weiss points out.

If you’re is always thinking about sex and ways to get to it before completing tasks or handling responsibilities, chances are you’re now dealing with addiction. “Everyone has a different definition about what is considered to be extreme behavior, so we have to deal with each person individually based on what he or she feels is right for their lives,” he says.

So what does therapy look like for a sex addict?

“Therapy for sex addicts is very much like the 12-step programs developed for those dealing with eating disorders,” Weiss responds. “Women tend to do better in group-based environments with other women who can aid as a support system for them during the process.” Therapists treating sex addiction dig into the past of the sufferer to revisit old trauma that has become the driving force behind their addiction, allowing the patient to grieve about these situations.

“We look at a person’s family history, relationship history and past trauma,” he continues. “We examine how the addicted person has hurt the people they love, and how this addiction has affected those closest to them, while closely observing the consequences of their past actions. It’s all about reconciliation.

“The goal is to give those suffering with sex addiction a better coping mechanism; to provide healthier alternatives to deal with life’s stressors that work better for the lives of the afflicted. We help patients develop a healthier lifestyle by aiding them in setting boundaries, choosing a new way to cope, writing it out and committing to the changes daily.”

According to Weiss, sex addiction predominately plagues men, who account for about 85 percent of those who check into sex addiction programs. Only 15 percent of those individuals checking in for this type of treatment are women, and far less are African-American women.

“We don’t see many African-American women come into our programs for treatment, and the reason for this is still unclear to me,” states Weiss, who believes that many Black women who suffer with sex addiction do so in silence because of a “cultural shame” placed on speaking about one’s issues outside of the home or beyond intimate circles.

“The reason we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of female sex addiction cases is because of our culture becoming more accepting of sexuality as a whole, and because the Internet has now provided a platform for women to become more open about discussing sex addiction. We see depictions of women in television shows, in movies and even in books”—à la Zane’s interpretation of a sex addict in Addicted—“and these characters have made more women comfortable with airing out their dirty laundry.”

Ok, so Zoe Reynard may not be the perfect example to depict the average African-American woman suffering with sexual addiction. But her character has provided a backdrop for discussion about an issue that’s kept in the dark corners of proverbial closets within our community. Many of the women who suffer with sex addiction tend to cope by going into sex work to feed their desires. This may be one of the reasons why female sex addiction is often overlooked as a woman simply “being a freak” or “out to have a good time.”

The first step to healing any addiction is admitting there’s a problem, and then realizing that seeking help doesn’t make one weak or sick, but healthier in realizing there needs to be a change in behavior. Zoe may be a fictional character, but sexual addiction is far from make-believe.

It’s easy to become lost in the descriptive pages of erotica, especially when the characters seem so true to life as they do in the works of novelist Zane. As of late, her best-selling debut Addicted has been interpreted by director Bille Woodruff, providing what many would like to believe is a clear depiction of a Black woman suffering with a sex addiction. But contrary to popular belief, the picture perfect scenario of sex addict Zoe Reynard isn’t a true depiction of a typical woman suffering from sexual addiction. (That’s Hollywood fantasy for you.)

Nympho, “sex fiend” and “super freak” are common colloquialisms used to describe women with insatiable sexual appetites. In some cases within urban culture, these words are used as terms of endearment placed on women who appear to be acting “overtly sexual” to seek attention. It’s a turn on for some men, but many don’t realize that the hypersexuality they praise isn’t a cute outcry for attention for the women who suffer with it. It can be a serious addiction requiring the help of a trained therapist and programs with steps very similar to those used to treat alcohol addiction and eating disorders.

Sex addiction: it isn’t a phrase that’s brought up commonly in African-American culture, but it is an issue that plagues a number of Black women—many who have to suffer in silence for the fear of being judged harshly for the admittance of their behavior.

But what exactly is a sexual addiction? Does a woman become a sex addict by remaining insatiable after having sex with multiple men in one sitting (cliché), or is sexual addiction something much deeper than one’s number count?

According to relationships expert Robert Weiss, “Sexual addiction has nothing to do with sex at all, but rather all of the things that lead up to the sex. Sex addicts are pleasure seekers who have learned to deal with past wounds experienced in childhood by using sex as their coping mechanism,” states Weiss, who serves as the director of Intimacy and Sexual Disorders Programs for Elements Behavioral Health. “The anticipation and the high received from being within a fantasy is what addicts seek the most. Sex addiction is a neurological disorder, and is not associated with the amount of partners or experiences one has had.”

The cause of sex addiction is typically linked to sexual, physical or emotional abuse sustained in the childhood home. And its definition is dependent upon one’s personal views of what’s considered to be “healthy behavior” within one’s personal sex life. “The desire for sex only becomes an addiction when the execution of desire becomes extreme and begins to consume every aspect of one’s life to the point of affecting their daily function negatively,” Weiss points out.

If you’re is always thinking about sex and ways to get to it before completing tasks or handling responsibilities, chances are you’re now dealing with addiction. “Everyone has a different definition about what is considered to be extreme behavior, so we have to deal with each person individually based on what he or she feels is right for their lives,” he says.

So what does therapy look like for a sex addict?

“Therapy for sex addicts is very much like the 12-step programs developed for those dealing with eating disorders,” Weiss responds. “Women tend to do better in group-based environments with other women who can aid as a support system for them during the process.” Therapists treating sex addiction dig into the past of the sufferer to revisit old trauma that has become the driving force behind their addiction, allowing the patient to grieve about these situations.

“We look at a person’s family history, relationship history and past trauma,” he continues. “We examine how the addicted person has hurt the people they love, and how this addiction has affected those closest to them, while closely observing the consequences of their past actions. It’s all about reconciliation.

“The goal is to give those suffering with sex addiction a better coping mechanism; to provide healthier alternatives to deal with life’s stressors that work better for the lives of the afflicted. We help patients develop a healthier lifestyle by aiding them in setting boundaries, choosing a new way to cope, writing it out and committing to the changes daily.”

According to Weiss, sex addiction predominately plagues men, who account for about 85 percent of those who check into sex addiction programs. Only 15 percent of those individuals checking in for this type of treatment are women, and far less are African-American women.

“We don’t see many African-American women come into our programs for treatment, and the reason for this is still unclear to me,” states Weiss, who believes that many Black women who suffer with sex addiction do so in silence because of a “cultural shame” placed on speaking about one’s issues outside of the home or beyond intimate circles.

“The reason we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of female sex addiction cases is because of our culture becoming more accepting of sexuality as a whole, and because the Internet has now provided a platform for women to become more open about discussing sex addiction. We see depictions of women in television shows, in movies and even in books”—à la Zane’s interpretation of a sex addict in Addicted—“and these characters have made more women comfortable with airing out their dirty laundry.”

Ok, so Zoe Reynard may not be the perfect example to depict the average African-American woman suffering with sexual addiction. But her character has provided a backdrop for discussion about an issue that’s kept in the dark corners of proverbial closets within our community. Many of the women who suffer with sex addiction tend to cope by going into sex work to feed their desires. This may be one of the reasons why female sex addiction is often overlooked as a woman simply “being a freak” or “out to have a good time.”

The first step to healing any addiction is admitting there’s a problem, and then realizing that seeking help doesn’t make one weak or sick, but healthier in realizing there needs to be a change in behavior. Zoe may be a fictional character, but sexual addiction is far from make-believe.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.



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