Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken

Insights on Addiction and Philosophy

Is Sex Addiction Real?

Is sex addiction more of a guy thing? Read More


I feel like you're making too many assumptions. I'm particularly skeptical about your statement that "Hypermasculinity is becoming the norm".

That sounds incredibly alarmist considering that you're using male "sex addiction" as a key indicator of said "hypermasculinity." And just earlier in your blog post, you claimed that only 3% to 6% of the US population has a sex addiction (granted criteria were not provided). That's hardly close to "the norm".

Of the 3% to 6%, you claimed that 80% to 85% are males. You attributed this behaviour to "hypermasculinity" and so-called "rigid gender roles," so what's the explanation for the 15% to 20% of female "sex addicts"? After all, that's about 3 million US females.

I know this is anecdotal, but I just don't feel that the following is accurate:


Hypermasculinity is becoming the norm, which means that men are encouraged to act in ways that toe right up to if not cross the line into hypersexuality or sex addiction. Many men will not want to do this while others will feel pressured to do so. They know their masculinity will be called into question if they do not behave in certain ways.

That may have been true 40 years ago, but times have changed. As a male, I have to say that in no way do I (or any other males I know) feel the need to have sex with multiple people (and flaunt it to male comrades) to prove my masculinity. That, in itself, sounds like a stereotype. More than anything I find that males who do so are negatively stereotyped as well.

Completely disagree

From what I observe in my friends and acquaintances women are just as hypersexualized these days as you claim the men are. Especially among younger women many times I see my female friends almost in a contest to see how many guys they can bed. It appears to be not so much a game so that they can brag to other women, but more a means to make themselves feel powerful because they know how easily guys can be manipulated by an "easy" woman. So it's a matter of how many guys they can manipulate. I don't notice this hypermasculization in the US either. What I see is major feminizing of the male population. For the record I am a feminine lesbian and many of my friends oddly enough are straight men. One thing I notice with straight men is how much more interested in "womanly" things like cooking, gardening and crafts than are my straight female friends. Then I see the young guys are all so feminine and sensitive and honestly weak. They wear feminine hairstyles and clothing, walk in a feminine manner and are not "tough" like guys used to be. Women are now generally speaking tougher than men among the under 40 crowd. I find it very puzzling sometimes because it goes against logic or maybe not logic but what we have been engrained to believe are male & female roles. So I don't see this hypermasculine trend among males that you describe and I've lived on both coasts so feel like I have known quite a diverse group of people. I see more guys longing for longterm relationships than women, but yes some do watch porn a lot because they have no other sexual outlet and have turned to that because they have given up on all the girls that are only interested in sleeping around and not being in a mature relationship.

I pretty much fulfil all the

I pretty much fulfil all the criteria (watch porn, use hook-up apps, engage in risky sexual practices) and I find whereas previously I went looking for guys my own age (I'm in my 40s), I'm now looking for looks and body over personality or chemistry. The hook-ups are usually not particularly sexually fulfilling, which is no doubt due to the guys' youthful inexperience, but then within a couple of days back I am on Tinder and the hunt is on again. I don't know if it's addiction or just looking for validation that I'm still attractive to hot guys - especially as I'm aware menopause is around the corner and it will be all over then. Or maybe it's a big FU to guys my own age who are only interested in much younger women - two can play at that game, bub.

I don't feel bad about shagging random strangers. I don't drink, smoke, gamble or use substances so I'm obviously not someone who gets addicted at the drop of a hat. So am I addicted or is it just a fun pastime?

article and comments seem

article and comments seem harsh and extremely insensitive, and down right dangerous and filled with a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance. Because something is not in the DSM, does not mean that it's not a disorder. And if you look at the effects of sexual activity neurologically, it acts much like the effects of drugs on your brain. This attitude I'm hearing sounds like how we as a society sounded in the 1930's when alcoholism was stigmatized and misunderstood, and not viewed as a disease yet.

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Peg O'Connor, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.


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