I let it slip to a male friend that I thought Andrew Weiner is maybe a sex addict.
“Why?” He immediately seemed on the defensive. “Just because he was sexting? Or because he sent a picture of his – nether regions – to this woman?”
Oh my god, I thought, looking at my friend with bemusement. You have so totally done that.
“Not that I’ve ever done anything like that,” my friend said.
“No,” I said, “because he was so stupid about it.”
Sex addiction is a process addiction, which means that the addict gets his rush off the chemicals -- serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline – that the behavior activates in his own brain. Under this theory, Weiner made his highly questionable use of social media not because he was ignorant of the potential consequences -- but because he was in an altered state.
He was high.
Sending some near-stranger a picture of his underwear-clad erection through a public channel like Twitter no doubt seemed like an excellent idea at the time.
Which is usually how and why a sex addict gets caught – if he gets caught. He (or she) gets careless and leaves something on his cell phone or laptop for someone else to find. If he’s famous and/or wealthy, he leaves himself open to exploitation by the less-than-savory characters he encounters through the Internet.
“But you know what I think?” a girlfriend said to me over dinner at Spago the other night (I had the gnocchi, and it was awesome). “I think 99 percent of all men cheat on their significant others. Don’t you think that?”
“No,” I said.