What Is It About Those Who Have Sexual Addiction That Should Concern You About Your Child’s Safety? Part III

Portrait of Socrates. Marble, Roman artwork (1...Image via Wikipedia

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

When one sits down and examines the difference between a sexual addict and sexual offender it is like looking a mixed bag of assorted nuts. This complex bag of goodies makes it difficult to have your own opinion on the subject matter. It is important to understand when and why sexual addicts become sexual offenders and sexual offenders become sexual addicts.

Recently the word addiction has become a hot topic with the deaths of several entertainers. Over the years there have been many stories about entertainers who have had problems with sexual addiction. What is interesting is you rarely hear about some entertainer sexually molesting their child or someone else’s.
The last entertainer to be accused of being sexually inappropriate or sexually assaulting a child was producer Roman Polanski. He avoided prosecution. Many people were very upset about him being set free. Prosecution would have been the right course of action. However, sometimes after as many years as Polanski had been away from the United States things just move on. Still he should have been forced to plead to some type of sexual act.

English: Roman Polanski in Paris at the lunch ...Image via Wikipedia
The sexual addict deals with several levels of sexual compulsiveness placing them into specific groups. According to Patrick Carnes author of Out of the Shadow, “First, grouping provides perspective on the wide range of sexual behaviors in which addiction can thrive…Second, some sexual behavior involves great danger, breaks the law, or victimizes others…Finally, every addict must understand his or her own unique pattern of sexually compulsive behavior.”

The sexual addict deals with many obsessive compulsive issues. These issue can be considered normal acting out which would include masturbation, viewing pornography, and prostitution. Further the sexual addict moves to the next level which are considered illegal. When masturbation, pornography, and prostitution doesn’t provide the sexual high it once did for the addict due to the addict being sexually desensitized the addict’s behavior changes.  By acting out with the similar sexual conduct every day, the addict wants something more they have this needs to explore and find a new sexual high. Generally, the sexual addict will move to what could be considered the status offenses i.e. voyeurism, exhibitionism, and stalking i.e. not threatening or harmful. These types of sexual addicts are at the border between being a sexual addict or a sexual offender. The next level is when the sexual addict crosses the line and acts out with children or goes as far as rape. The final stage is becoming a serial rapist, which is rare, but the basis for the obsessiveness is the foundation of viewing pornography at a very young age, somewhere between five to twelve years of age. The sexual addict is generally sexually assaulted by peers, siblings, baby-sitters and so forth.

The then sexual addict and the now sexual offender are dangerous because he can’t control his actions. Coming home and getting on the Internet presented little threat to the community. Over a period of time the sexual addict needs more and therefore the actions of the sexual addict has nowhere else to turn except to violate the law. The sexual addict is driven by the high i.e. the dopamine which is triggered from the excitement the individual feels. This drive takes away the common sense and the ability to resist acting out violently and criminally.
Patrick Carnes clearly states that a sexual addict can destroy their lives at the initial exposure to pornography, masturbation and seeking prostitutes. The sexual addicts I have contact with on a weekly basis their lives are generally out of control and they have nowhere else to turn to try and stop their compulsivity of their sexual desires to act out.

The danger of being a sexual addict can reach to the point where there is what the term “anonymous sex between two lovers”, who don’t know each other, have never met before and will not meet after their sexual encounter. I have a client who is homosexual. He expends a lot of time on Craig’s List chatting with other men. When he feels things are right, he meets the other man in his car and they have unprotected anal sex. When discussing the danger this sexual act may cause him or places all of the individuals he will later have sexual contact with, he is remorse, but he goes right out there that night and repeats the same behavior.

He wants assistance from his family, friends and from me, but he is not willing to be accountable for his actions. Do you think he is a sexual addict or a sexual offender? It is difficult to distinguish between the two as if the sexual addict contracts HIV it would be considered murder if he knew he had the disease and continued to sexually act out, potentially infecting others. The sexual addict that meets with him is no different. If he is meeting men in the back seats of vehicles, and he has contracted HIV he is as responsible as my client.

This is how strong the compulsiveness and obsession is, to place yourself at risk so you can sexually act out. Time is running out for this individual because he has been doing this since he was sixteen. He did it all the way through high school, college and now in the community where he lives. There are psychological reasons why he does this, but this article is not the place to discuss it.
The need to take sexual addiction seriously is sometimes considered one step below being a sexual offender. What most of society doesn’t understand is that there is this fine line between which one a sexual addict is and a sexual offender is. There is only so long that a sexual addict can perform sexually at a safe (if there is such a place) level before he moves into a new sex area which is more enlightening, challenging and most important sexually pleasurable.

Tomorrow, we will continue to review the possible threat sexual addicts and/or sexual offenders are to your community. The area of sexual addiction is complex, but most importantly society needs to realize the ever evolving sexual complexity sexual addicts live with on a daily basis. We will continue to examine and evaluate just who these individuals are.


Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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