When I was a young girl growing up in West Virginia during the 50’s and 60’s open discussion about Sex Addiction would have been off limits with my parents and with most other adults for that matter. More than likely, the average family in the United States probably dodged this forbidden topic at the dinner table. In fact, I would imagine that during my childhood, Sex Addiction did not have a formal definition in the psychiatric field. Back then, people could identify the behaviors of someone who might have been struggling with this addiction, but the very thought of treatment for such an undiscovered disease was nonexistent. Looking back over the many years in my life having now obtained decades of experience, I clearly see that Sex Addiction was a common addiction among men and women, young and old, rich and poor.
Society as a whole looks down on poor African American young girls who end up with kids born out of wedlock. Statistics show that 72 percent of African American births are out of wedlock. Is Sex Addiction involved in all of these cases? I would guess 9 times out of 10—with the male and female equally guilty—that this assessment is true. The poor often lack the necessary adult supervision. Of course, having an adult present does not guarantee safety—especially if the adult is the one struggling with Sex Addiction. The poor sometimes lack the essential education on birth control. Abstinence is the best practice but other forms of birth control exist to prevent untimely births. Free birth control is available today, therefore the excuse of not being able to afford it is no longer valid. However, growing up, when a youngster purchased birth control it was frowned upon. The Sex Addict who is poor, often runs out of birth control and is more apt to engage in the behavior without it.
Sex Addiction and the behavior that accompanies it flows among the rich just as much as it does amongst the poor. The rich kids are heavily engaged in the same behaviors. The only difference is that parents of the rich kids educate their children about birth control at a very young age, and they are not ashamed to go and purchase birth control for their children. They figure that an untimely birth could hinder the career opportunities for Johnny and Annie. When unexpected pregnancies do occur, the rich parents have the resources to secretly schedule abortions—as many as needed. The same thing that happened to me could very well happen to the rich kid, if not for birth control and the money for abortions. The shelves in the grocery stores, department stores and pharmacies are not full of birth control because the poor are purchasing, but because the rich are.
One would think that Sex Addiction does not exist within the constraints of holy matrimony, but it does. The Good Lord allows individuals to partake of intercourse freely within the bounds of marriage, but the seed of Sex Addiction can reside within a husband or wife. This is evident when you see one or both parties continuously involved in extramarital affairs. I feel deeply sorry for those famous individuals who fall prey to this addiction and have their business unwillingly shared with the entire world who has absolutely no stake in the relationship. On the other hand, whenever Sex Addiction crosses the line into something illegal (i.e., Sexual Harassment), the victim has the right to full disclosure. I am not surprised about the number of Sexual Harassment charges and allegations being divulged involving rich men who in most cases are married. As I mentioned before, Sex Addiction is an equal opportunist.
In my life story, I had a father who struggled with this addiction, and I saw firsthand how this disease tore apart a family. As a young girl going through puberty, I was exposed to sex by a married man against my will. It became like heroin to my body, and I began to crave it just like a drug. I remember telling my mother before she died that I did not know how to stop. Instead I found myself sneaking out of the house for a secret rendezvous or volunteering to run errands to the store. Sex Addiction led me down a road where I ended up with five boys by the time I turned 18. Also mixed in between the fourth and fifth births was an abortion. There were many looks of disdain from others who thought that I knew better than getting pregnant so many times by the same married man. They had no clue of the disease that I was fighting against. A developing young girl being exposed to something during a period where her body is highly sensitive was a disaster waiting to happen.
Male professional athletes have written books in the past about their exploits which depicted behaviors driven by their Sex Addiction. The news lately has included several high-profile male executives whose Sex Addictions have been uncovered by recent sexual harassment allegations. The recently released book by Hollywood actress Jenifer Lewis details the many escapades she had over her career. In her new book titled, Jenifer Lewis: The Mother of Black Hollywood, she refers to her desire for sex as a drug. On page 80 of her book she stated, “If [she] couldn’t get [her] drug from [a certain man], then [she] had to find another pusherman.” In another section of her book on page 153 she stated, “The men weren’t human; they were [her] tool, [her] drug.” Again, I reiterate that Sex Addiction exist among men and women, young and old, rich and poor. The first step to overcoming any addiction, is to admit that you have an addiction and that in your current state you are powerless to overcome it.