Is casual sex a cure for so-called “love addiction”?

First, I’m not a fan of the phrase "love addiction" (it’s really a popular media term for a clinically recognized pattern of when someone gets into multiple love relationships – and is sort of hooked on the feelings, highs and dramas related to falling in love – and it becomes a distressing or maladaptive pattern for them). But I am trying not to get too much into semantics here and instead just accept Alanis Morissette’s quote for what it is – which is to say that she apparently feels that she found herself always committing to men – one after another – and this got her into a pattern that didn’t work for her. So she decided that for one year, she would only date casually. And by "date", she means that this dating included "lots of sex".

More and more it seems that women celebrities are becoming comfortable (well, is it comfort? attention-drawing? I guess it’s unclear) talking about their sexual behavior in the media – and particularly non-traditional sex roles. Whereas Britney Spears once drew media attention talking about a traditional sex role (e.g., being abstinent until marriage; something that apparently turned out not to be true), a few years ago Angelina Jolie drew media attention by talking about how she was having lovers, but no serious relationships, until she found someone to parent with (who, as we all know now, turned out to be Brad Pitt). And now Alanis Morissette describes her casual sex and how it has been helpful for her. Read the full (and short) article here.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at