The Myth of Sex Addiction and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
The Myth of Sex Addiction has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by UK Media Source
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships SAME or NEXT business day. See our member profile for customer support contact info. We have an easy return policy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Myth of Sex Addiction Hardcover – 9 Mar 2012

5 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£17.14 £13.26
£19.95 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Myth of Sex Addiction + Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction: A comprehensive guide for people who struggle with sex addiction and those who want to help them + Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction
Price For All Three: £55.44

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition (9 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442213043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442213043
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,052,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Ley, a clinical psychologist and director of a behavioral health clinic, examines the position that the diagnosis of sex addiction is heavily influenced by social norms and values and is not a legitimate medical condition. He shows how what is labeled sex addiction is based on culture's social norms and covers a multitude of mostly male behavior. The fact that this behavior may be in conflict with social norms does not mean the individual has a psychiatric condition. In addition, the author argues, telling people their behavior is uncontrollable is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In chapters with titles like "Gender and Libido" and "Ignored Aspects of Masculinity," Ley examines the range of male sexuality and how that range is different from that of females. When norms are set based on female behavior, normal male behavior can be construed as pathological. "The label of sex addiction," writes Ley, "undermines our efforts to enforce expectations of responsibility, holding ourselves, and especially men, responsible for their choices and actions." The writing style is personal and easy to follow, and the book is well referenced with frequent case histories to clarify points. Summing Up: Highly recommended. CHOICE Sex addiction and its attendant diagnosed celebrities and reality TV shows may have been wholeheartedly embraced by the media, but this work of pop psychology takes issue with what clinical psychologist Ley (Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them) deems a dubious disorder. Here, Ley asks whether sexual addiction is really a bona fide ailment or merely a "culturally bound concept reflecting changing social views of sexuality rather than medicine or scientific research." Ley suggests that the label of "addiction" removes the issue of morality from the conversation, whereas in fact--whether we like it or not--he asserts that "sexual behaviors involve choice." However, Ley acknowledges the appeal of calling it an addiction, quoting an anonymous ex-spouse of a so-called sex addict, who affirmed that it would've been easier to cope with her husband's serial infidelity had it been the product of impulses literally beyond his control. Ley makes a thoughtful and persuasive argument, using case studies and ample references to the work of other psychologists to flesh out his case. While serving as an excellent resource on sex addiction, Ley's study also sheds light on the myriad cultural and sociological factors that influence relationships. Publishers Weekly Ley has clearly thrown down the gauntlet, and hopefully the debate will continue. CNN I cannot stress enough how important this book is, not just to the helping professionals but to the general public who get the read and hear (incessantly) about someone famous who is called a "sex addict"...If you are a teacher, therapist, or just a sexual person, I cannot encourage you enough to read this book. It contains an enormous amount of data, is well written, and has a great index and endnotes. Electronic Journal Of Human Sexuality For anyone who has cringed once too often at the term "sex addiction"-or questioned the blanket use of "addiction" as an explanation for behavior that is really a matter of moral choice-Ley's demolition of the bad science and worse reasoning behind the sex addiction industry will be refreshing. The Weekly Standard Dr. David Ley raises crucial questions in his latest book-questions that demand serious consideration before we allow American society to drift even further toward declaring all pleasure potentially dangerous and pathological. Ley shows that the puritanism underlying our politics may also be distorting our medical sciences. This book is well informed, well argued, and well worth your time. -- Christopher Ryan Ph.D, Co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality David Ley's book raises one important question after another about the nature of sexuality, the social phenomenon of "sex addiction," and the effects of our pathologizing so much of Americans' sexual feelings and behavior. -- Marty Klein This book's exploration of the available science will fascinate any reader. Beyond observing that there is no credible body of evidence to support the notion of sexual addiction, David Ley describes many historical problems in attempting to define it... Ley's writing style is highly accessible and entertaining. The structure and layout are excellent. He is meticulous in providing citations for his assertions, often preferring direct quotes to summaries. ATSA Fourm

About the Author

David J. Ley is a clinical psychologist in practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He provides clinical and consultative services in numerous other states. Dr. Ley currently serves as Executive Director of a large outpatient behavioral health agency in Albuquerque and maintains a current caseload of clients. He is the author of Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frederick M. Toates on 28 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
It seems that one either loves or hates this book. Of the comments on Amazon USA, almost all reviewers either give it a maximum 5 stars or a minimum 1 star, the ‘loves’ strongly outweighing the ‘hates’. The 3 UK reviewers were less generous. If possible, I would have given it 4.5 but, not being allowed this, I opted for 5 stars. I did this, not because I agree with its central premise that sex addiction is a myth – I don’t – but because of how well written it is and because of the obvious help that it has brought to many people who presumably have been falsely diagnosed. Dr Ley’s scholarship in assembling fascinating and highly relevant case studies is nothing short of amazing. If the book were reframed as, say, ‘Uses and Abuses of Sex Addiction’, I would unhesitatingly give it 5 stars. I must confess that, if I had read it before submitting my own book ‘How Sexual Desire Works: The Enigmatic Urge’ to the publishers, I might well have added a question mark after the chapter heading ‘Sexual addiction’.

Three fundamental issues seem to run through the debate, as follows.

First, is a moral agenda driving much of the discussion, forcing some people to see their perfectly healthy consensual activity as wrong, thereby causing much unnecessary distress and the seeking of expensive therapy? The answer that Dr Ley gives is a very convincing ‘yes’. However, does everyone who claims, or appears, to have an addiction fit this category? I would say ‘no’.

Secondly, do (so-called) sexually-addicted people have free will and agency over their behaviour or have they lost control? Here Dr Ley sails into rather treacherous waters, since the issue of free-will and determinism is one that has eluded philosophers from at least the time of the ancient Greeks.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hopeful Evangelist on 4 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
No author I know of denies personal responsibility for behaviour especially in choosing the activities that lead to addiction. Addiction helps to explain why it is so difficult to break the cycle without help. But the fact is 12 step programmes are not therapy and they focus on taking responsibility not just for the specific addiction but for the underlying personal problems; such as selfishness. If addiction truly removed all responsibility then addicts would need therapy or medicines and no 12 step or behavioural course could possibly help. Sexual addiction isn't just sexist male behaviour (and isn't confined to men) and while it would be wrong for an immoral but healthy person to hide behind the addictive label, I think it is wrong and unhelpful to try to destroy the concept entirely. Read Patrick Carnes or David Hawkins instead.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Yazzy on 3 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written and a good reference for university assignments
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By anon on 22 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here's a quote from the book:
"If sex is inherently dangerous, as the theories behind sexual addiction allege, then why does it feel so good? It’s kind of a silly question perhaps..."

No, Dr. Ley - it's a moronic question.

I bought this book with an open mind. I had been through some treatment for sex addiction with which I did not feel satisfied and I was ready to hear an alternative point of view to the one I had got from my therapist. I had heard a radio interview with Dr. Ley where he asserted that:
a) "sex addiction" as a label prevents therapists from getting to the deeper issues that their individual clients are dealing with and
b) "sex addiction" as a label encourages people not to accept responsibility for their own behaviours.

I hoped that the book would discuss those ideas in more detail. I was, however, totally disappointed. Mainstream theories of sex addiction, for all their many flaws, do NOT claim that sex is inherently dangerous. Maybe some religious fundamentalists in the USA do make that claim, but unfortunately for Dr. Ley they do not represent the whole field of sex addiction.

He goes on at length about how sex addiction theories must define what is "healthy" sex. Again, nonsense - surely it's about the problems that one's sexual behaviours are causing in their individual lives not about what is defined as "healthy" by professionals.

When discussing the role of secrecy in compulsive sexual behaviours, we get this little gem:
"Diogenes, the “dog philosopher,” who was one of Alexander the Great’s mentors was infamous for masturbating in public, in the town square, to show his intentional rejection of social rules.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book-addicted on 22 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you feel that your sexual behaviour - whether solo or not, porn addicted or 'sex addicted' - is affecting your self-worth and life overall in ways that do not make you feel good about yourself then you need to be aware that there is a growing movement of men who are taking back control of their sexuality. Google 'NoFap' to find them and empower yourself.

This community is changing lives. Online censorship, 'addiction' (or not), all the labels and debates that are flying around pale into insignificance beside a group of men who are actually doing something about this through personal choice. The changes they are making ripple out to affect their partners, colleagues and children.

Be a part of it. It's not what you read - it's what you do, and what you change.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again