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The politics of sex addiction

Friday, June 10, 2011 - 03:45

June 9 - U.S. Rep. Weiner is just one of many politicians consumed by a sex scandal, and sex addiction could be to blame, founder of Sexual Recovery Institute says.

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SOUNDBITE: Rep. Anthony Weiner, saying (English): "Last Friday night I Tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I posted it to Twitter I panicked, I took it down and said that I'd been hacked. I then continued with that story, to stick to that story, which was a hugely regrettable mistake." Truth and consequences. U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, ensnared in a sex scandal for sending lewd pictures admits that he lied. He now faces calls for his resignation, and he joins a fraternity of other political figures whose sexual escapades engulfed their careers. Founding Director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, Robert Weiss says while the Weiner case is not comparable to the attempted rape charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it does fit the bill of a sex addict. SOUNDBITE: Robert Weiss, Founding Director of Sexual recovery Institute, saying (English): "There's no question that, as far as we know, Congressman Weiner's behavior is not of the level that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's was because Dominique Strauss-Kahn offended. But both men were engaged in behavior that clearly was going to destroy their careers and their personal lives and they disregarded that in order to pursue the same behavior over and over and over again. And when you pursue a behavior, despite the obvious consequences, and anybody looking at you would say, 'wow that behavior seems out of control considering the life you're living,' we would look at that person and say they probably have a problem with addiction or compulsion around sex." Weiss says it's not really about sex itself. SOUNDBITE: Robert Weiss, Founding Director of Sexual recovery Institute, saying (English): "Sex addiction, compulsive sexuality, inappropriate impulse of sexuality is a lot like compulsive gambling. Compulsive gamblers are not in it for winning or losing, they're there to play the game, to see which card is going to turn over and what is the next card and the next card and the next card, because that's the excitement and the thrill. The winning or the losing is sort of what just happens when you play the game." There is little that is new in American sex scandals. Former President Bill Clinton, first denied, and then admitted to having a sexual relationship with then intern Monica Lewinsky. More recently, former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards was charged with, among other things, using illegal campaign funds to cover up his extramarital affair in which he fathered a child. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also recently revealed that he had fathered a child outside of his marriage more than a decade ago. And with new media adds a new dimension. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, resigned amid a prostitution scandal, he found the call girl online. SOUNDBITE: Robert Weiss, Founding Director of Sexual recovery Institute, saying (English): "Technology has driven immediacy, anonymity, and access in a way that, to intensely pleasurable experiences, that are likely to be problematic going forward for many, many people." And it is not just the United States. Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing charges that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his power to cover it up. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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The politics of sex addiction

Friday, June 10, 2011 - 03:45