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Expert to speak in Oklahoma City on technology and sexual addiction

Robert Weiss, who specializes in treatment of intimacy and sexual disorders, will speak June 21 in Oklahoma City.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: June 15, 2012

In more than 30 years of marriage, Steve hasn't ever been unfaithful to his wife in the sense that many might define infidelity.

Meaning, he has never had any version of sex with another person besides his wife.

“Except the 20,000 girlfriends I had on the Internet, and that's just as bad,” he said.

Steve, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is a recovering sex addict. It started with an unstable home life, a mother and stepfather both struggling with mental health issues. And over the course of about 50 years, it developed into an addiction to pornography.

There is no official diagnosis for sexual addiction, sometimes known as hypersexual disorder. Sex addiction is an obsession with sexual feelings or behaviors that affect a person's health, job, relationships or other parts of his or her life, according to the Mayo Clinic.

It's estimated that between 3 percent and 6 percent of Americans suffer from some form of sex addiction, according to the National Association of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity.

Robert Weiss, a sexual addiction expert, will discuss sexual and intimacy disorders on June 21 and June 22 in Oklahoma City.

When Weiss started counseling people with sexual and intimacy disorders, he had enough clients to pay the bills. But toward the end of the 1990s, he found himself with 175 patients per week and six therapists.

Weiss points to the Internet as the reason he has seen a continued increase in the number of people seeking help for sexual and intimacy disorders. And as technology becomes more personalized and mobile, it will continue to change the way people access sexual content and sexual experiences, Weiss said.

For example, pornography. In 1987, if you wanted pornography, you had to get in your car, drive somewhere you didn't want to be seen, park in the back, rent or buy something, take it home and have content with a limited number of images, Weiss said.

“What do I have to do to get porn now? I simply pick up my phone,” he said.

Emotional issues

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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