It’s not my problem

[This post was started around two months ago, prior to my elective absence. The fact that it is being published now, along with its subsequent companion post, does not necessarily mark my return to regular blogging, but rather may provide some background to a subsequent post.]

As I walked into the kitchen, the breakfast radio presenter was discussing how addiction to computer gaming has recently been recognised by the World Health Organisation as a medical condition, thus opening the possibility (in the UK) of gaming addicts benefiting from treatment on the NHS.

I’ve never really had much interest in computer gaming; as I’ve never owned a console, the closest I’ve got to gaming addiction is Snake on my Nokia 3210. And whilst I’ll acknowledge that I drink a bit too much, I’m a long way from alcoholism. So if I’m addicted to anything, Dear Reader, you’ll not be surprised to know, it is …

 

Of course it’s sex!!! Seriously, Dear Reader, what did you think it would be?

So why then was I interested in Gaming Disorder being included as a classification in the WHO’s directory of medical conditions (ICD-11 : 6C51)?
Because it was only about 6 weeks previously that the same news outlet was asking

“compulsive sexual behaviour” is now being proposed as an entry in the International Classification of Disease (ICD) … [but] …Is sex addiction a real condition?

Unless I missed something, this new discussion on the radio made no reference to Sex Addiction. So I did a little digging … and found …

ICD-11 : 6C72 Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder
Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behaviour. Symptoms may include repetitive sexual activities becoming a central focus of the person’s life to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other interests, activities and responsibilities; numerous unsuccessful efforts to significantly reduce repetitive sexual behaviour; and continued repetitive sexual behaviour despite adverse consequences or deriving little or no satisfaction from it. The pattern of failure to control intense, sexual impulses or urges and resulting repetitive sexual behaviour is manifested over an extended period of time (e.g., 6 months or more), and causes marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Distress that is entirely related to moral judgments and disapproval about sexual impulses, urges, or behaviours is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

I wondered (not for the first time) am I a sex addict?

I wank on a near daily basis – occasionally more than twice a day.
I love porn and view it most days. Several times.
After I’ve unloaded my balls I invariably feel more positive and am more productive.
If I’m not thinking about anything else specific, my mind usually drifts to thoughts of sex.
The majority of my dreams are about sex.
The lack of sex has (debatably) had a negative effect on my life, especially in the context of stress levels and familial relationships.

Well, that all sounded potentially symptomatic of addiction, so I examined the official criteria:

  1. failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges
    I wouldn’t say I fail to control impulses or urges. From time to time, and for various reasons, I will decide I’m not going to masturbate for days on end. So it’s controllable. So not a sign of sex addiction.
  2. sexual activities becoming a central focus of the person’s life to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other interests, activities and responsibilities
    Whilst sex is a central focus, my physical health and personal care have not been negatively impacted, and masturbation and porn fit into the times when I’m not prioritising other interests, activities and responsibilities. So not a sign of sex addiction.
  3. numerous unsuccessful efforts to significantly reduce repetitive sexual behaviour
    Well, I’ve never really tried to reduce repetitive sexual behaviour on a long-term basis. I like sex, and it has a positive effect on my life, so why would I try to cut down? Indeterminate evidence of addiction.
  4. continued repetitive sexual behaviour despite adverse consequences
    The list of adverse effects can probably be limited to rubbing my cock raw, or wearing ball stretchers to the point where my nuts ache or my scrotum stings. And occasionally spending too much time writing sex blog posts rather than working. But there always comes a point when I consciously decide enough is enough, and I stop. So not a sign of sex addiction.
  5. deriving little or no satisfaction from it
    There are times when wanking is unsatisfying, but who hasn’t had an unfulfilling fuck? Moods ebb and flow. As long as it’s not persistent, surely that’s just normal? In general, I love sex, and I thoroughly enjoy masturbation. So not a sign of sex addiction.
  6. repetitive sexual behaviour is manifested over an extended period of time (e.g., 6 months or more)
    Now this is the interesting question. Because my repeated sexual behaviour has been manifested for about 4 decades. A sign of sex addiction? Possibly, but surely this aspect is only a consideration in the wake of the others? [Ed: Or is AM just in denial?]
  7. causes marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
    A lack of sex results in significant stress and has in turn impaired family relationships, but is the cause sex, a lack of sex, or something that has been exacerbated by a lack of sex? Even just a little sex (not on my own) would make a disproportionate difference. I’m not convinced that in itself would qualify me as a sex addict.

So am I addicted? If these are the characteristics, I think probably not.
I’m almost disappointed.
Maybe I should buy a Sega Meagadrive.

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