Sex Addiction: Real? Fake? And Does Tiger Have It?

The issue of sex addiction comes up quite often in the media and is often sensationalized. Sex researchers who study the topic are mixed on whether to call it an “addiction” – some feel that the idea of sex addiction is valid and quite a lot of others suggest that it is not like drug or alcohol addiction as people tend to not suffer physical withdrawal symptoms and it doesn’t share many of the other common features of “addiction”. Rather, many seem to see it as closer to a “bad habit” or a compulsive behavioral issue or disorder. You can read about the conflicting ideas and some of the more recent research on the topic – and yes, the issue of whether professionals should even be speaking to their media about Tiger Woods, having never met or treated him – on

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

  • Inferno

    I guess it could be a compulsive behavioral issue, but sex addiction certainly is not a true “addiction”.
    Many people have a high labido. Some act on it and some don't. It is in my opinion more a case of deciding if the risks are worth it when it comes to cheating on a spouse.

    Whenever a celebrity gets busted it is “sex addiction” in the news. I know a lot of men and many women too who love sex to the point their lives revolve around it.
    It is not an addiction however it is just how they are.
    They don't start shaking and masterbating in public when they have not had a dose of sex.
    They don't go rob banks to get cash to pay prostitutes for their sexual fix.
    They go about life and act like normal people.
    Sometimes they do stupid things (like cheat on a spouse) and sometimes they get cought doing them.
    Addicts? No.
    Sexual beings that happen to focus on that part of their lives a lot? Yes.
    Nothing more to it.