Romantic Love has been described as one of the most sublime Human experiences; it has also been viewed as an addiction and illness. The apparent paradox between being madly in Love and being addicted can be resolved by analyzing the nature of Love and particularly its depth.
Profound Love can not be achieved by only repeating pleasant experiences. Love is not an isolated achievement; rather, it is an ongoing, dynamic process in which we feel good about the whole process and not merely about an isolated feeling within it.
A line exists between romantic behavior, expressed in the phenomenon of being madly in Love, and the phenomenon of sex addiction. This line is based on the differences between profound and superficial activities. The difference is illustrated in the romantic realm by the difference between the activities typical of profound Love and those of superficial sex.
This difference is in turn related to another significant difference: when someone is madly in Love, he can think of nothing but the beloved; when someone suffers from sexual addiction, his thoughts are only about the next sexual object.
Being madly in Love involves many different activities with the beloved; being a sex addict confines your World to very narrow and partial activities. The partial and superficial attitude involved in the sexual interaction of a sex addict greatly impedes his ability to be involved in other significant activities.
Sex addiction is not rare and there are many celebrities who are addicted to sex. The list includes Warren Beatty (12,775), Charlie Sheen (5000+), Gene Simmons (4600), Mick Jagger (4000+), Julio Iglesias (3000), Jack Nicholson (2000+), John F. Kennedy, David Duchovny, Amber Smith, Jennie Ketcham, Amy Winehouse, and Kari Ann Peniche.
A documentary on Fidel Castro puts the number of his sexual partners at 35,000 women – two a day (one at lunch, one at dinner) for the entirety of his four-decade rule. In this regard, Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain, who claimed to have slept with 20,000 women, said
It would have been better for me to have one woman 1,000 times. I was not bragging that I was a great lover. Actually, if you look at it, you can say that I had so many women because I was such a bad lover; they never came back a second time.
Even though sex addiction occurs among both men and women, the term ‘Sex addict’ is more derogatory concerning women since today’s culture discourages women from being assertive and open in expressing their sexual needs.
Terri Hunter, a 25 year old British woman who needs sex up to a dozen times per day admits that her addiction is out of control. She trawls the Internet for partners, agreeing to have sex with them no matter how unattractive they turn out to be.
That is another sad part of this problem – the desire for sex overrides any quality control issues. She does not perform any profound activities with the men she sleeps with; hence, her sexual activities ruin, rather than develop her. Her mind is not occupied with the man she is with, but with her next sexual partner.