Does Sex Addiction Lead to Gay Sexual Experiences?

There is no reason to think that sex addiction is inherently gay vs. straight.  Here are the available estimates to date.  Rob Weiss who writes on sex addiction and gay sex addicts reports that 10% of gay men are sex addicts.  Studies and estimates of the number of straight sex addicts in the U.S. are in the range of 6 to 9%, so a conservative estimate would be about 7%.

Given the available recent data, around 3.5% of the U.S. population are gay. So it seems that of the approximately 250 million adults in the U.S. around 16.9 million are straight sex addicts and around 875,000 are gay sex addicts. (The latter number may be a little off as it assumes lesbians are sex addicts in the same proportion as gay men which may not be the case.)

This set of numbers seems to show that there are an awful lot of straight people in the U.S. who are sex addicts and a relatively smaller number of gay sex addicts.  But proportionally speaking, sex addiction is an equal opportunity affliction.

Although there is no reason to think that sex addiction in and of itself does anything to change a person’s sexual orientation there is occasionally some spill over.  On the basis of my own experience with both straight and gay sex addicts I have concluded that there are some reasons why straight addicts, at some point in their addiction, can have experiences with gay sex and possibly the other way around as well.

Sex addiction is progressive

Untreated sex addicts tend to act out more frequently and to seek out new and more exciting sexual activities.  As with all addictions it takes more of the drug or a stronger drug to keep the high going.  Sex addicts who started out with internet porn and strip clubs may progress to sexual massage parlors and prostitutes.  Sometimes the addict will escalate into risky or illicit behaviors like boundary violations with adults or children or voyeurism.

In the search for a new and different high, I have seen many sex addicts who have had experiences with same sex partners.  This is not to say that they are covertly gay, but in this case it is only that they are looking for the next edgy thing.

Denial can dissolve normal restrains

Sex addiction depends on a sort of delusional state in which boundaries around what is unacceptable behavior become weaker.  Denial allows addicts to let go their inner compass.  And denial too is progressive and spreads to other areas of life.  Secrecy and lack of integrity become the norm.  As the denial and addiction take over the addict more and more ignores the consequences of his behavior regardless of whether he is gay or straight.  He may exploit others or allow himself to be in situations which for him are abnormal.  In other words he may lose the sense of control over his life and be less able to self activate.

Porn as the great accelerator

Internet pornography is so varied and intense it its content that it can present the addict with new and highly charged stimuli which trigger a forgotten experience or trauma from childhood.  If the scenario involves gay sex and if the addict acts on it then it can look like a gay-straight issue when in fact it is unconscious imprinting that does not relate to the addicts underlying sexual orientation.

Recovery and sorting out sexual orientation

In the first year or two of recovery, sex addicts are sorting out who they are.  As they let go of their old way of living and understand the experiences that led to their addiction, they will sort out their sexual orientation, possibly in a new way.

The addict who has been repeating childhood trauma with same sex partners may find that in recovery his more integrated and conscious sexual desires fall in a different direction.  I have seen a gay sex addict come to the realization that he may actually be bisexual and so on.

Sometimes the acting out behavior does represent a true underlying orientation and the person acts it out in secret due to shame.  But first the person needs to be evaluated for and possibly treated for sex addiction and their true orientation can become clear.  See also my prior post Can a Straight Man be Addicted to Gay Sex?