Although not addictive in the chemical sense, "these behavior patterns are pathological, self-defeating," said [Eli Coleman], a psychologist in the University of Minnesota Medical School's human sexuality program. "These individuals display hypersexuality in response to feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness. Many describe a sexual act as a `fix' to some very negative feeling. But this relief is short-lived and negative feelings recur."
[Martin P. Levine] said the sex-addiction-compulsion concept "appeals to most Americans because . . . if you're engaging in behavior that traditionally has been defined as sin, transforming it into a disease absolves you of any moral failing."
Levine and [Richard Troiden] view the notion of sexual addiction as a product of increasingly conservative American values, a backlash to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the upsurge in Christian fundamentalism, increased emphasis on monogamy and commitment, and fear of AIDS, herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.