Bisexual Men Who’ve Chosen Straight Relationships Can Struggle To Manage Urges
The lines of sexuality are blurred these days. “Heterosexual” and “homosexual” no longer cover all of the possibilities. Straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and, transgender are more commonly used, but who are we to say that one of these labels can be used to describe everyone?
Several years ago, Oprah Winfrey had an episode of her talk show, at least once, that had seemingly straight men reveal to their wives that they were actually gay. More recently, men are coming forward to say that, while they are straight or bi-sexual, and choose to have a female partner in life, they have a strong desire to engage in sexual activity with male partners as well.
Is This Gay?
Does this make a man gay? Or does he possibly experience a sexual identity that does not fall into one of the categories that our society has created?
The online dating website, OkCupid.com reports that 13% of straight men who have a profile on the site have answered “yes” to having sexual experiences with men in the past, and another 5% of the male users of the site have not, but answered “yes” to wanting to have sexual experiences with men. It seems gay-curious can be added to the list of ways in which to identify ones sexuality?
So what does this mean for men who are in committed relationships with women, but who find themselves having urges to engage in sexual activities with other men? And what are the options for these men when they can no longer manage their urges on their own?
Sexual addiction comes in many forms, and may be a part of these mens reality. Roughly 5% of the United States population is affected by sex addiction, also known as compulsive sexual behavior or hyper-sexual disorder. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but with a population of 315,574,588, there are close to 16 million people struggling with some form of a sexual addiction.
How can you tell the difference between sexual addiction and acts of sexual behavior?
The definition of addiction is helpful. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, or ASAM, who determines the criteria for assessing addiction, believes that: addiction is characterized by:
- an inability to consistently abstain from the behavior, or the substance,
- impairment in one’s ability to control their own behaviors,
- craving the behavior, or substance,
- diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships,
- and a dysfunctional emotional response to events in everyday life.
People who are accurately diagnosed with sexual addiction suffer from an inability to regulate their personal negative feelings and emotional states, so in an effort to cope, distract, or escape these difficult feelings, they act out sexually.
As a result, interpersonal relationships decline, intimacy is nearly impossible to experience, or sustain, with another person, and closeness with another human being feels intolerable when someone is dealing the following symptoms of sexual addiction:
- Obsessive Thinking
Similar to most other chronic diseases, addiction operates in cycles with periods of relapse and periods of remission. When left untreated, sexual addiction is progressive, meaning it will to continue to get worse over time.
Is There Help Available?
The good news? There is effective treatment for a sex addiction. There are many options for sexual addiction therapy in Los Angeles, California.
With various modalities and strategies for recovery, everyone suffering from a form of sexual addiction can make choices to learn how to change their behaviors. Rehab for sex addiction focuses on the root of the addiction, so that a personalized treatment plan effectively helps the addict heal.
Dr. Priya Chaudhri, Ph.D. is the clinical director for a Beverly Hills holistic treatment center, The Control Center, that helps people by providing treatment for drug addiction, gambling addiction and sexual addiction in Los Angeles.