Am I Sex Addict? Or Is It Just This Culture?
by Joseph Boudreau
I imagine them nude—all the beautiful faces, people; the men who pass by on street corners, at restaurants. This habit of mine is recurrent and hard to control. It goes somewhat like this: I see a guy I’m attracted to, I don’t think about how he’d make a good partner; instead, I think about us having sex. There’s no desire for bonding, for a cute date, for seeing a movie together; the only thing I want to see is…
As a gay man, I hate to bring up hypersexuality. The idea that homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals is a problematic stereotype. But I do think my hypersexuality has something to do with my sexuality. If our attitudes, beliefs, and expectations about sex are formed by our sexual experiences, then apps like Tinder and Grindr are doing a lot of damage.
Hypersexuality is a clinical syndrome where constant sexual urges are associated with personal distress. A hypersexual person may think about sex at inappropriate times, i.e. at work, in public. The cause of these desires is often a non-functional perception of sex, its purpose and its value.
Apps like Tinder and Grindr make conversations about sex possible anywhere, anytime. Additionally, these apps, especially Grindr, tend to have a culture where sex is a one-off thing. Men go to a random house, get railed, and take a sad Uber ride back to their apartment. Sex becomes ubiquitous, but unfulfilling.
Dating apps magnify the necessity of sex, taint the benefits of sex, and make sexual thoughts uncontrollable. All of this causes hypersexuality. Wouldn’t that mean the majority of college students are hypersexual? I don’t think that’s the case. I think the problem is intensified with queer men because these dating apps are one of our only places to gather. For queer young men, our place of community is often a dating app, which, is by no means a safe space. It’s a place of preferences, prejudices. It’s hypersexual. It’s mean.
How, then, are gay men to form healthy perceptions of sex? Maybe, if we had a space where sex was not talked about, where the whole purpose was to network and get friends. I mean, yeah, those are options are Grindr, but so is distinguishing whether you’re a top or bottom. If queer young men could have a place to gather, totally void of sex, a place to just hangout and connect over all the other aspects of this identity, I think the stigma of promiscuity would be dismantled; and hypersexuality, a thing of the past.