Infidelity vs. Sex/Porn Addiction: What are the Differences? Robert Weiss PhD, MSW

As the author of ten books on sex/porn addiction, infidelity, and relationships, I am asked relatively often if all sex/porn addicts are cheaters and all cheaters are sex/porn addicts. The answer is no. Plenty of cheaters are not sex/porn addicted, and plenty of sex/porn addicts are not cheaters (usually because they’re not in a relationship). Moreover, the criteria for cheating and the criteria for sexual addiction are very different. In my book Out of the Doghouse I define infidelity as follows: Infidelity (aka: cheating, adultery) is the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful sexual and/or romantic secrets from your primary romantic partner. Please notice that this definition does not talk specifically about affairs, porn, strip clubs, hookup apps, or any other specific sexual or romantic act. Instead, it focuses on what typically matters most to a betrayed partner—the loss of relationship trust. For betrayed partners, it’s… Continue reading

What Triggers Sexually Addictive Behaviors? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Sexually addictive behaviors are typically triggered by one of two things: a strong desire to escape an uncomfortable feeling, or a strong reminder of the pleasure experienced through sexual fantasy and activity. Either type of trigger will induce, in sex addicts, the craving to act out sexually. It is important to note that addiction cravings are not the same as a non-addicted person craving a bag of potato chips or a scoop of ice cream after a hard day at work. Addiction cravings are more like the need for air after holding your breath for a minute or more. Once addiction cravings are triggered, they are beyond conscious control. They escape reason and logic. They are so powerful that they overwhelm and take control of the addict’s thought process. This is why sex addicts (and other addicts) find it so difficult to establish and maintain sobriety, despite the promises… Continue reading

Does Sex Addiction Get Worse Over Time? (Yes, It Does!) -Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Addicts of all types almost universally experience an increasing tolerance to the mood-altering effects of their substance/behavior of choice. As a result, they must, over time, use more of that addictive substance/behavior or a more intense substance/behavior to achieve and maintain the escapist high they seek. If you’re struggling to understand this, consider drug addiction. Almost nobody shoots heroin right out of the gate. Instead, drug addicts ease into things by smoking marijuana or abusing a prescription medication. As time passes, their tolerance increases, and in response their habits escalate. Maybe they start smoking pot around the clock, or maybe they start popping pills by the handful, or whatever. Eventually, as their brain continues to adapt, even that level of usage doesn’t get or keep them high the way they’d like. At some point, they “discover” drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin, and they use these stronger substances in… Continue reading

Denial and Sexual Addiction – By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Active sex addicts rarely view their escapist sexual fantasies and behaviors as the cause of their unhappiness and life challenges. Even when they are neck deep in consequences, they somehow don’t let themselves view their sexual acting out as a contributing factor. In fact, they typically see their behavior as the solution to rather than the cause of their emotional discomfort and various life problems. They either refuse to see or are unable to see the destructive effects of their compulsive sexual fantasies and behavior. This is their denial. With sexual addiction, as with other addictions, denial is a complex series of internal and external lies and deceit. Typically, each fabrication is supported by one or more rationalizations, with each rationalization bolstered by still more falsehoods. When looked at objectively, denial is about as structurally sound as a house of cards in a stiff breeze, yet addicts act as if… Continue reading

Does Your Sex Addiction Drive Your Drug Addiction (and Vice Versa)? Robert Weiss

    Early this year, David Fawcett, author of Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery, and I conducted a seminar on the links between sex addiction and substance addiction – in particular methamphetamine abuse. David is an expert on meth addiction, especially in the gay community, and I am an expert on sexual addiction. Over the course of our careers, we have both seen a linkage between sex and drug addictions, with meth being the primary substance of choice. This is an issue that I too have written about – in my books Sex Addiction 101: A Basic Guide to Healing from Sex, Porn, and Love Addiction and Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men. In those publications, I discuss a wide range of cross and co-occurring addictions pairing with sexual addiction, with a focus on meth, as it seems to be the… Continue reading