updated 23 Jul 2012, 11:34
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Tue, Jul 17, 2012
The New Paper
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Shame stops women from getting help
by Maureen Koh

The first step to dealing with sex addiction is to admit it, say experts.

Psychologist Richard Lim, who sees a new case every two to three months, says: "While some sufferers may be aware that something is wrong, they refuse to get help because they don't want to be labelled as abnormal or that they are mentally ill.

"And until the sufferer is willing to acknowledge that he needs help, it won't be easy for him."

Most times, it takes a crisis, such as losing a job, a divorce or in a worst-case scenario, an arrest, to make the addict come forward.

Mr Lim says: "Sex addiction is more private. It's not like smoking, drinking, gambling or drug consumption that another person can spot easily."

Both men and women suffer from sex addiction. And it's tougher for women to admit it. Among Mr Lim's clients, some 10 per cent are women.

He says: "A woman is less likely (than a man) to get help, mostly because of shame or embarrassment. "Our society is still very conservative and in general, women are conscious of the social prejudice."

But clinical sexologist Martha Lee says: "Why does it have to be harder? It depends on the individual's attitude towards sex and their perception of what a sex addict is."

She stresses that sex addiction is not a mental illness.

In her opinion, "all human beings are born sexual and there is no limit placed on the frequency of sexual encounters that humans can engage in".

Psychiatrist Tan Teng Kiat, who runs a private practice, explains that as with all other forms of addiction, the progressive intimacy disorder is characterised by a person's "compulsive sexual thoughts and acts".

"It all depends on the intensity of the addictive nature as the disorder progresses," he says. In most cases, all activities are restricted to masturbation or porn indulgence.

But when the addiction moves on to include exhibitionism, voyeurism, child molestation or rape, it indicates the condition is serious, says Mr Lim.

All three experts reiterate that sex addicts don't necessarily become sex offenders. "Just as not all sex offenders are sex addicts," Dr Tan says.

Depending on the person and the extent of the addiction, there are various methods to treat sex addiction.

Dr Lee says one method includes the use of anti-depressants which essentially lower a person's sex drive.

But generally, says Dr Tan, it takes sessions of psychotherapy to help addicts develop strategies to help them cope with their urges.

Mr Lim says: "Once they are willing to go from the first step of admission and move to the next step of accepting the cope-strategy, it's more than half the battle won."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

Related stories:
Confessions of a sex addict: I've lost everything that's dear to me
'I want to be cured before my wedding'
Think you may be a sex addict?
readers' comments

Who says so?
Posted by exportset23 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 20:04 PM

Well at least I benefitted from it but before that have to hear tons of their craps n tell lies la
Posted by mumbucky1 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 19:28 PM

Somehow I think you may be referring to perversions rather than addictions.

Step 1: No humour, charisma or socialising skills, and stay indoors.
Step 2: Due to no MICA blocks on hard-core porn, surf porn all day.
Step 3: Get fed up of computer, but cannot attract real GF. Cannot afford even Geylang because no ambition therefore no $$$.
Step 4: Spend life savings on covert surveillance cameras for shoes and travel up escalators all day for a hobby.

Beyond help.:o
Posted by Trouser Press on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 19:22 PM

Glad you are proud of it .... buahahaha :p:D
Posted by mystrawberry on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 19:16 PM

I also have stat showing sg female r 2nd most loose women in the Asia or world
Posted by mumbucky1 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 19:07 PM

Read from stats :D
Posted by mystrawberry on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 18:58 PM

Must be . Sg female r the best
Posted by mumbucky1 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 18:55 PM

Oh ya, maybe the editor wrote it wrong. aiyo...........
Posted by exportset23 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 18:52 PM

That's a prc , mind u
Posted by mumbucky1 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 18:49 PM

Take a look at my thread lor. See how many men she up already..
Posted by exportset23 on Wed, 18 Jul 2012 at 18:47 PM

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