The sex-addiction eruption owes much of its force to the Internet explosion. Over the past twenty years, the fast-paced development of the World Wide Web has, curiously enough, been propelled by the multi-billion sex industry. Technology has placed the possibility of sexual indulgence on our desks, in our laps, and now in the palm of our hands. Online pornography, online hookup sites, video conferencing, sexting… the accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of sexual stimulation today is unprecedented in human history.
In many cities, the accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of online sex has trumped and replaced the sex industry’s physical outlets; many cities have been “cleaned up” where the sleazy neighborhoods of old have spawned fashionable art galleries and gentrified living spaces. Not so much so in Dallas, however. The opportunities to fuel the sex industry in Dallas remain abundant: from sex shops, to strip clubs, and massage parlors, to adult bookstores and other public cruising sites such as gay saunas.
Whether a sex addict’s compulsive activities gravitate around the actual or the virtual, in whatever combination that a city like Dallas makes possible, sex addiction therapy only works in actual reality, not in virtual reality. Social isolation and interpersonal angst are common outcomes of protracted sexual acting out (in which sexual partners are more sexual objects than relational persons). That is why an important part of healing from sex addiction includes learning to form healthy interpersonal skills. And this begins with working face-to-face with a qualified sex addiction therapist who understands the sex addict’s predicament.