’” The expansion of women’s sexual freedom made it easier for Riley to justify her harmful behavior as “rebellious” or “antiauthoritarian,” she said, because it’s more palatable to consider yourself “free-spirited” than, say, a homewrecker.
“I look back on it now and I think, Wow, I was really hurting a lot of people."But as with any type of addiction, the addict in question probably isn’t thinking clearly about who her behavior could hurt.
“[With sex addiction] it’s not really about the person,” Hudson says.
“People become objects to be used and not people to be related to.”Our society mostly focuses on guys with sex addiction because, well, from the outside their spiraling-out looks pretty juicy.
There’s also the need to stop sexualizing any kind of nurturing and instead give platonic friendships or professional relationships with the opposite sex room to breathe.
Often, they don’t get caught until they do something illegal and/or incredibly stupid (paging Anthony Weiner), which makes the sex addict tabloid stereotype all the more salacious.
“We don’t do it because the addictive substance feels so good, but because nothing else in life feels at all.”Recovery for de Guzman and Riley came from joining Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA).
Like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, it’s a 12-step group that provides a support system for anyone seeking to control an addiction, though individual therapy can be helpful as well, explains Linda Hudson, the counselor.
“From as early as I can remember, I would be what was called boy-crazy by anybody who was watching,” Riley says.
But this "boy-craziness" didn’t stop in her teenage years, or her 20s, or even her 30s.