Sex Addiction and the movie, Thanks For Sharing

sex addiction and the movie, Thanks For Sharing film rollThe movie, Thanks For Sharing in many ways, realistically addresses the struggle of sexual addiction

By definition, sexual addiction is basically a scientific name to define frequent or out-of-control sexual urges, behaviors and/or compulsive thoughts. In other words, if you’re struggling with sex addiction chances are you may be doing things like looking at porn, having cybersex or just seducing someone every chance you get and constantly daydreaming about it. In Thanks For Sharing, they demonstrate much of the above very nicely.

One scene that stands out is that in which Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, Phoebe confronts Mark Ruffalo’s character, Adam calling someone in the middle of the night and he tries to hide his phone from her claiming that he’s talking to his sponsor, which makes Phoebe very suspicious. Phoebe finally starts telling Adam that she’s not sure if she can handle what he’s going through and Adam explains to her that to him, sex has been like a “secretive chase for a fix” and that being in a relationship that’s about love and intimacy is very difficult for him. At that point, it is clear that Adam also struggles with self-esteem issues and sexual addiction is often associated with low self-esteem and to a tendency to destructive self-behaviors.

Josh Gad plays Neil, who, at some point gets fired for feeling up his boss and comes to regret it. With sexual addiction, it often seems as if almost another whole personality gains enough power to temporarily take over and very little if anything can be done to stop it. Then once it’s done its damage and gone, the regret sweeps in with a vengeance. Neil seems to have an issue with a cycle very much like the above and as he goes through the 12-step program, he is dedicated to breaking the cycle in order to be able to start fresh.

Neil befriends Dede (Alecia Moore, a.k.a. Pink) who is also in the program and confides in him that it’s mostly that she associates sex with just about every emotion positive and negative and that she’s never been just friends with a male before. In return, Neil confides that it’s mostly his anxiety that triggers him. Sex addiction is very complicated but one thing that is clear is that the dopamine release in the brain during an orgasm produces the feel-good feeling of bonding with the other person. Any type of addiction, including sex, is triggered much in part by memory and the feelings associated with those memories.

Sex addiction often leads to infidelity, lack of a desire for intimacy, destructive behaviors, other addictions such as that of alcohol or drugs and in some cases, unhealthy co-dependent relationships. There are many available treatment options out there and yes, there is actually a 12-step program for it. If you are struggling with the addiction personally, you are not alone. Don’t hesitate to call a professional counselor who can help you.

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