One rehab clinic operating in Hong Kong has recorded a 30 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help for sex addiction — and counsellors believe hook-up apps, such as Tinder, are to blame.
You are a happily married woman out for dinner with your husband. He leaves his phone on the table while he He is addicted to dating sites to choose the wine, and a message flashes up on the screen.
Some of them live in the same block as you. Sex addiction wrecks families, destroys relationships and burns careers.
And it is behaviour that counsellors are seeing more of, thanks to the increased use of dating apps. That marks a 30 per cent increase on the previous year. Markham says she and her colleagues are seeing the first wave of people losing their jobs — as well as their marriages and children — as a result of sex addiction, He is addicted to dating sites is enabled by hook-up apps such as Tinder, Blendr and the like. A sex addict might be sitting at work, and rather than focusing on the meeting the deadline for a presentation, he or she is engrossed in a dating app.
Perhaps less discussed, but equally enabled by dating apps, is love addiction — the compulsive and chronic pursuit of romantic love. A love addict is addicted to the high created by infatuation seen in the early days of a relationship.
It was previously thought that love addiction was more of an issue among women, but it seems men are equally susceptible. A typical pattern for a sex addict on Tinder might be to delete the app because they feel guilt, remorse and shame over the fact that they may have had as many as 10, 15 or even 20 partners over a four-week period. After a bad day at work, or when they are bored at home, they might download the app another time, and the cycle starts all over again. In He is addicted to dating sites study last year of dating app use in Hong Kong by the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 40 per cent of those surveyed who met a partner online had sex on the first date.
Fuelled by the rise of dating apps, sex addiction and the increasingly reckless behaviour associated with it — such as having unprotected sex — is leading to an increase in HIV rates.
As the addiction progresses, it becomes less about the enjoyment and more about numbing the pain. Like many addictions, sex addiction is about acting in isolation, Markham says.
The Cabin is treating people ranging in age from 18 to those in their senior years. Someone might come to a treatment centre for alcoholism, but it turns out that sex addiction is the underlying problem.
When the activity is exposed, it can be devastating for relationships and marriages. Take, for instance, an apparently heterosexual man who has a wife and child, but who is using a gay dating app for hook-ups. The app will show how many people there are looking for sex within, say a 5km radius.
Similar mishaps have also happened using Tinder, Markham says, as people begin to take higher risks. They may have begun by using a fictitious profile, but as the addiction becomes stronger they use their own Facebook profile, perhaps because it has better photos.
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But they are on Tinder and forgetting there is a whole community around them who are also on Tinder — so it goes back to their workplace, wives and family. Both sex and love addicts have issues around self-esteem; they have a deep-rooted feeling from early childhood that they are not loveable.
They may feel flawed or damaged, and they are not good at dealing with feelings and trust issues in relationships. This is why, for the sex addict, anonymous sex is a way of having their needs met without having to have intimacy. They need to be able to receive love. Skip to main content.