Terence Blacker: Hypersex is the new addiction of choice ... and it sounds like a right turn-off
IT is ime to brace ourselves for more bad news. The cover story in this week's Newsweek reveals a new epidemic which already has an estimated nine million Americans in its grip. This scourge is more frightening than bird flu, in that carriers of the condition are everywhere – in society, in the home. It could, as Ant and Dec might say, be you.
The disease is sex addiction, or, if you prefer a fancy name, hypersexual disorder. A blight of unzipped incidents is destroying marriages. Careers are being cut short by a thrumming over-enthusiasm for online porn. Heartbreaking stories are being told. "I was meeting girls on the basketball court, in the club, pulling my car over to meet them on the street," a man attending a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous clinic confessed to Newsweek.
Like all good epidemics, sex addiction has inspired media spin-offs. A reality TV show called Bad Sex traces the progress of a group of men and women with "severe sex issues". Shame, the much-touted new movie by the British director Steve McQueen, is an unflinching study of a man who is tragically enslaved to lust.