There are female sex addicts as well as gay and lesbian sex addicts. There are female partners of sex addicts and there are male partners of sex addicts. While it’s true that the majority of people who seek help for sexually compulsive behavior are men, women also suffer from the devastating effects of sex addiction.
When speaking and writing about sex addicts and their partners, the sex addict is almost always referred to as a man and his partner, wife, or spouse is referred to as a woman. Unfortunately, this hetero-centric bias has the unintended consequence of excluding many – female sex addicts, same-sex couples, and others who don’t fit the “norm.”
I remember a day in early August 2015 listening to one of my clients in session telling me a story about a friend of hers. She referred to the friend as “married . . . . to a man.” It was the first time I had ever heard someone specifically state the gender of the person a woman was married to. The United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015 has forever altered the way we think, and talk, about marriage and partnering.
For simplicity and ease of reading, I use the pronoun “she” to refer to partners of sex addicts and “he” to refer to the sex addict. This choice of pronouns is in no way meant to disregard or discount the deep pain experienced by female sex addicts and their partners or same-sex couples whose relationships have been devastated by compulsive sexual behavior and betrayal.
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© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2014)
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