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G. Frank Lawlis

Frank Lawlis Ph.D.

ADD and Sex

There are great potentials or traps with ADD.

As many of you have seen, I am on a mission to highlight some of the traps to be avoided by those lucky individuals who have symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Being categorized in this realm for all my life, I will always be grateful for my "condition" because once I got beyond the heavy regimentation of academic education, I found my brain dynamics to spur me into tremendous advantages of creativity and personal gratification in fantasy and life philosophy of joy.

But yes, there are some traps I have learned that can be trials, both for the individual and those who have to live with him or her. My last discussion was about flying, which did not seem to excite many readers from the low response. However, this trap might be more interesting - sex.

For a person with the symptoms of limited focused concentration and out-of-the-box imaginations for novel experiences and thought, sex is the playground for our brains. I could predict that a person with this description is not one kind of a sex partner, but likely 3 or 4, depending on the time of day. If you think that he or she is going to be predictable, even for those GREAT events, think again. Of the types I have done my private research with, I offer this information to whoever is committing to a long-lasting relationship. For the ADD person I can recognize many sexual scenarios they like to engage in: 1. The highly impulsive, super romantic lover. 2. The fantasy lover. The passionate, intimate lover. There are others, but these three appear to be consistent.

If you are guessing if these types are generalized to all people or part of the brain structure, my guess would be the latter. The ADD brain lends itself to these realms because of its neurological needs. This type of person wants highly stimulating conditions and boredom grows easily. Just as there is a tendency toward dangerous and dare-taking events for stimulation, there is the excitement of the thrill of highly charged sexual conquests and "chancy" situations. Such a person loves the imagery of sex, probably as much as the sex act itself. Since sex is 90% imagery and fantasy anyway, this would be a good sign of continuing interest beyond novelty or having babies. In fact, it may be disappointing that I have had these individuals tell me that they often don't care who their partner is, just don't mess up their fantasies. This observation is more prominent among females, so don't ask what they are thinking, guys. You may be disappointed. On the other hand, this brain issue also makes these individuals very susceptible to fantasies of their partners. One could exploit this factor with a really good story. I know of a man who was biologically paralyzed with no function below his waist but could tell fantasy stories to his wife with an amazing talent, having her reach organism quicker than the old fashioned way by many minutes.

With this information I asked some individuals if they had a choice as to whether they would rather have a great fantasy story teller or a great sexual athlete. It would not surprising to me that a wide majority of the women chose the story teller, but what surprised me was that a large minority of the men did so as well. I think there might be a business for porno CDs out there.

With any dynamic there are always limitations, and these often show up in marriage counseling and divorce processing, making me wonder if there should be pre-marriage counseling for all ADD-like people and their potential partners.

Trap one: Same place, same station scheduled sex. Whenever you try and schedule sex with a person with a rich fantasy-life, you are going to empty the energy fast. There is nothing worse than making sex the last event of the day, after everything is done, the kids have gone to bed, the dishes are done and the Tonight Show is over. This is like trying to find an interesting television show after the power is turned off. There is just nothing of interest but a blank screen.

Trap two: One channel sex. As could probably be expected, the individual with ADD thrives on imagination and creativity. If you are still doing it the same way you did five years ago, I would predict that you are doing it alone, even if your ADDer is physically there.

Trap three: Absent seductive behavior. We all can remember when we were just learning about the more intimate conditions between boys and girls, and the smartest among us caught onto the art of flirting (which wasn't me, by the way.) Flirting behavior is usually thought as seduction behavior, similar to the male turkey flaunting his tail feathers. But when we settled down to a long-term commitment, we boxed up all that behavior because we had "caught our limit." Not so fast. Hopefully we have progressed past 15 years old (maybe not), but that flirting or seduction stuff is fun and full of fantasy and could be more fun than the sex act itself. Regardless of age and experience, women still like to feel like a prize and pursued as a worthy conquest. Men still like to think they can capture their treasures with clever tactics, even if their lines are as old as leisure suits. It is fun, especially for those with high needs for novelty, to surprise their partners with dress-up dates and suggestive moves at the dinner table, even if both of you are too tired to turn out the light at 8:00 P.M. It is the thought that counts.

As I say at every close, there is more traps to know. The important message in these traps is that the dynamics of any personality will always create challenges, especially in interpersonal relationships. ADD or ADHD is no different. We all stumble into at least one challenge every month, even if we have been married for 50 years. And like the whole concept that a relationship has strengths from both sides, a successful bond discovers what those strengths are in each other and uses them as power resources to the trails of life. You can't use our limitations as resources very well because they are often the problems. And we all realize that sometimes there are little power resources yet developed and relationships can't work efficiently. Maybe these pieces of information can help guide those with ADD in traps to discover the best opportunities for joy that life can offer.


About the Author

G. Frank Lawlis

G. Frank Lawlis, PhD, is principal content and oversight adviser of the Dr. Phil Show.