The Soccer Mom Sex Addict

A Philly woman cleans up her fucking act.

By Brian Hickey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 22 | Posted Feb. 9, 2010

Share this Story:

“There’s a tremendous amount of shame and guilt being a slut,” confesses Patricia (not her real name). “It takes a lot to say that,” she sighs, looking out on the scenery beyond the kitchen window of a suburban nook so leafy that realtors would highlight “Serene Views of Natural Beauty Just 20 Minutes From Philadelphia!” The place is cozy. Any woman juggling marriage, motherhood and a high-end career would find comfort and security inside.

Patricia is a middle-aged, shoulder-length blond who wears glasses and a friendly smile. There’s nothing exceptional about her, nothing seems unusual, though she’s embarrassed that she gained, and subsequently lost, close to 100 pounds in recent years.

As she wraps her hands delicately around a teacup, Patricia uses socially acceptable jargon to explain how discomfort and insecurity snuck inside her world. “I was two different people,” she says, “I was a soccer mom with a secret life as a sex addict.”

That declaration is not as Lifetime- movie-ready as you’d think. Patricia’s told this story plenty of times, but not openly. She’s being candid about experiences she’s only shared with fellow sex addicts, but hopes that by telling her story publicly it will help people see sexual addiction as a legitimate disorder that should be recognized.

More than that, though, she thinks it will resonate with other sex addicts who’ve known there was something wrong with them, but just didn’t know what to call, or how to handle, it. 

Patricia got hooked on sex after her marriage ended in 2001. Her husband had been having an affair for a while. She knew about it, but being co-dependent, decided not to do anything. Co-dependence is a word that comes up often in the burgeoning field of sex addiction; it explains why people shoulder incredible burdens as long as they feel loved, even when they aren’t.

Life was too good to make waves, so other than withholding sex for a few years; Patricia chose to ignore her husband’s transgression. That worked for a while, but the couple eventually went their separate ways when their son turned 12. “That gave me the opportunity to date for the first time in 21 years,” recounts Patricia. “And I did it very, very well.”

She started out frequenting a dating website. That quickly became four dating websites. She got a buzz from the attention, and was swept up in “the addictive hit” that searching for partners gives you. “Dopamine, that’s our drug,” says Patricia. “We’ll drive over bodies to find some.”

That rush—when it comes to sex-and-love addiction, easy Internet access to prurient interests have made a sideshow issue mainstream—turned mainline when she opened responses from men who wanted to get to know her better, so to speak.

“Someone likes me!” she’d think when emails arrived.

“Nobody loves me,” she’d lament when the inbox was empty.

At first, there were rules to her newly rediscovered—and heartily embraced—sexual freedom. She only went out on dates when her son was with his father. She always met the men in public places, and never brought any of them back to her house until the third date.

Soon, all those rules were broken.

“There were men I don’t even know their last names,” she admits. “Man after man after man after man.”

Asked for a consummation tally, she laughs, but immediately discloses a number: 30 in four years. Most didn’t get to the third date, instead those now-faceless conquests were treated to sex on the first date, and condoms weren’t necessarily required.

“I thought this was just how dating was done these days,” she says. “I had no idea I was caught in an addictive cycle. I just couldn’t control it.”

The addiction took over four years of her life.

“I was literally having phone sex upstairs while my son was downstairs. I never even thought to lower my voice. It’s such a high that the way you avoid the crash is going out and getting another one.”

“I was fighting with my son to use the computer. You don’t ask a drunk to share his drink; you don’t ask a sex addict to share his computer.”

Patricia admits she’d drive past partners’ homes just to get a mental fix: “Stalking never manifested itself. Just looking for a hit, like drugs on a street corner.”

Sometimes, she would sneak out of the house for a sunrise booty call while her child was still sleeping. “I was emotionally absent from my son,” she admits.

She’d log on to dating sites while working at a “very prestigious firm.” Eventually, she was fired. “They didn’t say it was because of that,” she says, “but I was told in no uncertain terms that spending six hours a day on dating websites was not acceptable.”

In addiction parlance, Patricia hit rock-bottom in 2004 and was steered toward Greater Delaware Valley Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) by a therapist. SLAA hosts regular beginners meetings in Center City and monthly meetings near Northern Liberties’ southern edge. There, Patricia read a pamphlet called “40 Questions for Self-Diagnosis.”

1. Have you ever tried to control how much sex to have or how often you would see someone?

4. Do you get “high” from sex and/or romance?

5. Have you had sex at inappropriate times, in inappropriate places, and/or with inappropriate people?

37. Do you feel like you lack dignity and wholeness?

“I aced it. I answered yes to most of them,” recalls Patricia. “I immediately started crying, just broke down.”

That’s when she started to reclaim her broken life three weekly meetings (with a therapy session mixed in) at a time.

In theory and practice, sex addiction treatment is fashioned as a 12-step recovery program to get on “a pathway to sexual and emotional sobriety.” (Step One: “We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”) The only qualification for membership is “a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction.”

As the number of Americans suffering from sex addiction continues to rise, so does the demand for treatment. In 2009, SLAA’s local intergroup received roughly 300 requests for local meeting lists. Their retreats get filled to capacity. “This is about finding a safe place to share this stuff you’re feeling, or what you’ve been going through,” says John, a gay man who occasionally attends the same meeting as Patricia. “When someone talks about this pain, they finally understand they’re not the only sick one,” says John who cites an instance of a relative’s unwanted sexual attention in his youth as the first damage. “Things started to make sense about why I was doing the things I was doing. I had to get it out rather than deny it. If you bury your sexuality, it’ll come out sideways.”

Ironically, the rest of Patricia’s story involves Tiger Woods, world-class golfer, world-classless philanderer. Should the Tiger-in-sex-rehab gossip hold true, and the newly identified stud come out talking about how sex-and-love addiction tore his seemingly idyllic life to slivers of confetti, perhaps more people will not only know what afflicts them, but will seek help like Patricia.

Because the American Psychiatric Association has yet to officially deem “sexual addiction” a distinct classification–critics lean toward a “compulsive disorder” classification in which people can’t stop seeking random sex and what they perceive as love–those private rehabs remain the lair of the rich sex addict. Current-day street-level sex-addiction therapy is eight to 20 people sitting around a downtown conference-room table. They’re wealthy professionals, young female escorts and a whole spectrum of people who’d rather not be outted as sex addicts or compulsive masturbators or weirdo pervs.

What they need is a Magic Johnson/HIV moment. They need Tiger to take the issue of sex and love addiction mainstream. It might tamp down the shame that addicts can’t control their sexual impulses. It might prevent stories like the BBC’s “Does sex addiction exist?” which posits that people may be “just making excuses for being unfaithful.” It might answer the questions of whether a dopamine release in the brain can be construed as an illness or disease.

As with any other addiction, there is no cure for sex junkies, but Patricia says she’s changed. She dusted herself off, went back to school and got an advanced degree in an “entirely different field.”

Patricia’s still battling her urges and avoids the dating sites that led her to this point. “You never get fully cured. You always want that hit. We’re always worried about relapsing.” But so far, the one-time sex fiend is sticking to her sobriety. She’s been in a monogamous relationship for nearly a year now. “He was number 31,” she says. “I never know how something like this will work out, but I am behaving differently, and approaching life and conflict differently, so I anticipate, I hope, this will last a long time.”

Next up on her healing agenda: sitting down with her son to synopsize her journey. Patricia says he realized something was up when he saw SLAA written on her calendar. When he asked what that meant, she answered, “When your father left, I suppose I went a little overboard.” ■

Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend

COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 22 of 22
Report Violation

1. Anonymous said... on Feb 16, 2010 at 10:38PM

“What's so wrong w/ a modern woman embracing her sexuality? I slept with 19 girls in a summer once when I was 18. I wasn't addicted. I smelled like sex all the time but addiction is a crutch.”

Report Violation

2. Anonymous said... on Feb 16, 2010 at 11:58PM

“For some people it's a way to heal after your partner betrays you. Sleeping with strangers helps to get it out of your system. After that phase you can return to normal relationships. Sex by itself is like junk food, empty calories. Without emotional connection you get short high and then crush, and crave more. Seems like some people have never learned, or forgot, how to connect on deeper/higher level. Nobody can make you stop eating and craving junk food unless you experience and feel the difference of real, clean, healthy meal. Once you find love, build connection and give each other all of yourself you'd never want to go back on low level. Gotta find that one. That's the best high and it keeps getting better.”

Report Violation

3. monica msteven said... on Feb 23, 2010 at 01:03AM

“Sexual addiction is generally defined as a compulsion to look for sex dating at any cost. It can accept any form of sexual activity, compulsive masturbation, relations of order, to pay for sex. I have read this interesting story about sex addiction blog here:
http://ping.fm/M92vu :)”

Report Violation

4. Diane Jbabin said... on Mar 29, 2010 at 07:06AM

“The addiction of sex and love at couples dating is a progressive disease that cannot be healed but that, as a lot of diseases, can be stopped. The addiction of sex and the love addiction, if left non-coachman, always obtains worse. For your more information:http://www.adultfriendclub.com/blogs/love-and-sex-addiction-in-adult-dating/”

Report Violation

5. Anonymous said... on Nov 15, 2010 at 01:51AM

“my wife is the only woman I have ever been with in my life, and in the last 10 years she has sex with more than half a dozen men and sometimes on the same day she is with me she is with one or more of them later the same day. She claims she is in control and not out of control. She says she is not a sex addict but admits to being a romance addict. She turns anything and everything I do wrong into fuel to justify why she turned to these men. I love her with all my heart and we are approaching our 20th wedding anniversary and the pain of the affairs is destroying our lives, our 4 sons, our marriage, and our home. I have anger issues and I release that anger by screaming profanely at my wife and it is wrong, but I have such rage over her affairs and then telling me she loves me. WHAT CAN I DO!!!!!!”

Report Violation

6. MommyMaster said... on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:29PM

“I think many women have the taboo turn on. I have personal experience with this. If any women would like to explore this safetly please email. I am 21 and have much experience.”

Report Violation

7. Cindy said... on Aug 11, 2011 at 04:28PM

“Brian-
I am working on a television show about female sex addicts. If the subject of your piece would be willing to be interviewed, please have her contact me at strangesexcasting@gmail.com.

Report Violation

8. Anonymous said... on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:12AM

“My husband and I have been together since he was 20 and I was 22: I am one year shy of 60 now and he is 57. All along he has looked at attractive women but in the past five years has started ogling them, staring at breasts, undressing them, crotches and he's been known to walk into buildings turning around to look st asses. All if thus has hurt me deeply, and I have addressed it many many times: he has always insisted he had no idea what I was talking about...he would beg me to believe him. I have never felt anything but loved by him, loved , cherished, and respected....but I began to realize that this behavior of his changed....it started to happen everywhere..even in a funeral home, always searching the horizon for a woman to ogle. I told him in June that it's over unless he gets help: he finally admitted he has been lying, denial has been cracked, he is working with a sex addiction therapist and I still don't know what else I'll find out. I'm sick over this. Sick.”

Report Violation

9. Anonymous said... on Dec 11, 2011 at 04:50AM

“people really need to realize how serious a sex addiction is I am a 22 year old female....started having sex when i was 16 i have now slept with almost 50-60 men I cant even remember them all. I have herpes and permanent damage to my reproductive organs. If i have sex now i am safe but in general I try to avoid being around men or alone with them i doubt i can control myself. I have had two other stds(when i was 16). I now am at high risk for cervical cancer and constantly have problems with cervical infections. My first man i had sex with was 42 he used me and abused me he knew i was just 16. I was also molested at a very young age and grew up in an extremly violent house hold. I am ashamed with myself and will never be a normal healthy female. I am extremly attractive and very curvy to look at me you would never think how bad my health is or that i could do the awful things i have done. my father never loved me he verbally abused me everyday him and my mother both made it very clear”

Report Violation

10. Alex said... on May 29, 2012 at 10:29AM

“I want to marry a sex addict! I'm dead serious, where are all the women like this and is there a dating site for us sex addicts?”

Report Violation

11. Carrie said... on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:24AM

“I agree with the Anonymous female who is number 13. Sex addiction is not a joke. I am 26 and have been with over 26 partners (started having sex when I was 16). Sex has taken over my life. I was never shown love the way I should have been. I was tortured in school. I do not blame my past for who I became, although it did have major influence. I should have been strong enough to say no. But how could i? When sex with random men felt like my very best escape. I used sex to medicate my feeings, but I should be dealing with the problem. I have recently started to prostitute myself. I am putting myself and my partner at risk. I want help, but I do not know where to turn. I want to stop this before I end up getting killed or hurt. Like the Anonymous poster I contracted stds when I was 16-17. Thankfully, I haven't gotten anything serious (at least to my knowledge yet). But this cycle needs to stop. If anyone knows how I can get free help in ny for this addiction please post.”

Report Violation

12. Rebecca said... on Aug 30, 2012 at 03:01PM

“This is what my soon-to-be ex-fiancee is driving me to do!!! Haven't porked anyone yet but I think tons about it! If my imagination and daydreams were transferred to real life, I'd be the biggest **** in the world!”

Report Violation

13. Anonymous said... on Oct 8, 2012 at 12:52PM

“For those people who say that they want to be married to a sex addict, think again. It's good for awhile, and then there may not be sufficient drama or danger in your relationship and they need attention from other people, no matter what you do. It's extremely difficult to sustain a relationship with someone who lies all of the time, has secret friends and cheats on you. That's the addiction. Good luck with that.”

Report Violation

14. Anonymous said... on Oct 29, 2012 at 08:26PM

“There is recovery from porn. lust, internet, sex addiction. Check out Sexaholics Anonymous. For parteners of sex addicts check out sanon.org”

Report Violation

15. Anonymous said... on Nov 6, 2012 at 04:17PM

“Hey Soccer Mom,
When it comes to SEX Addiction, having a daily MANTRA, and a proper eating practice; (often times we forget that nourishment is so important for proper balance) through daily sacrifice and discipline-everyday can offer empowerment with the sex addiction. It can be invaluable. There are many self help groups, therapies, CD's, and books that can offer support, encouragement, and be very helpful. But nothing or no one is going to help you like you can help yourself. The best help is within You! May I suggest a book at lulu . com called the 'The Masseur'. There is also a Free 'Eating Practice booklet there as well. Just go to www.LuLu . com and type in Eating Practice. Download for free.

Report Violation

16. Jessica said... on Dec 10, 2012 at 05:14PM

“I just came to realize I am a sex addict can't hold onto relationships always not satisfied just want sex sex sex I've been with over 300 partners I'm only 23 it's so sad what my life has become but I am trying to get help && hold onto a normal relationships I've dated 8 guys seriously until I cheated but they never found out”

Report Violation

17. Anonymous said... on Mar 5, 2013 at 06:58AM

“I really don't see what is so bad about. Our bodies are wired to crave sex (as well as different partners). Why does it matter how many partners you have been with? Its not detrimental to your health (in fact, the more sexually active a person is, usually, the more fit and in shape they are). if your single your not hurting one else (as long as you practice safe sex and stay away form people already in a relationship), and once its all said and done your rewarded with a feeling of euphoria ( which can be multiple times in one session). As long as your take measures to protect yourself and your partners, I really can't see why people aren't having all the sex they can get.”

Report Violation

18. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2013 at 05:13PM

“Dont look around..look up there is one who delivers us from these addictions. Jesus IF you reaalynwant it.”

Report Violation

19. DW said... on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:11PM

“I find it hard to believe that anyone, of either sex, could make some of the pathetic, calloused, irreverent, and condescending comments I read in this discussion. But then, there indeed are a few single-cells organisms out there that, unfortunately, know how to type.”

Report Violation

20. PATRICIA said... on Oct 11, 2013 at 05:49PM

“I am Patricia, the woman in this story. It is now almost five years after this story was written, and I have been sober from the compulsive sexual behavior for all of them. I found help in the rooms of sex and love addicts anonymous, check online for a meetings near you:

SLAAFWS.ORG”

Report Violation

21. Number 31 said... on Oct 11, 2013 at 09:38PM

“I guess with a title like the one above you get all the idiots along with a few people it was intended to reach.
Thank you Pat for reaching out to those who are caught in an addiction that must be hidden at all costs. Makes us AAers feel like we don't have it so bad - at least admitting you are an alcoholic has become almost commonplace.
I know you have worked very hard at SLAA and dedicated yourself to helping others recover and I salute your efforts.
Maybe it's time for another book.”

Report Violation

22. Anonymous said... on Nov 16, 2013 at 08:11PM

“OPRAH WINFREY WAS RAPED WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG AND SHE HERSELF SAID THAT SHE BECAME PROMISCUOUS I WONDER WHAT THE CONNECTION IS MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY IM NOT READY TO TELL MY STORY BUT IVE ALWAYS FELT ALONE AND SADDENED BY THE WAY I THINK AND FEEL SMH”

ADD COMMENT

Rate:
(HTML and URLs prohibited)

Related Content

Sexy Issue: Erotica in Philly
By Tara Murtha

What better way to learn what lurks in the chasm between reality and fantasy—sex and sexy—than from women in the very real business of selling fantasies? PW's Tara Murtha explores the other side of Philly's kinky side.

Related Content

Philly’s Unlikeliest Porn Kings
By Dan Eldridge

“It’s porn. It should be fun and humorous. You don’t have to be a complete dirty pornhound to enjoy it, and you don’t have to be a complete right-wing Christian to be against it. There’s a middle ground that a lot of people fall into.”

Related Content

Bringing Love To Death Row
By Frank Rubino

Convicted baby slayers, lethal arsonists, cop killers and other evildoers—they all languish behind razor wire at State Correctional Institution Greene. Most people wouldn’t want to spend Valentine’s Day weekend there. But one person does.

Related Content

Sexy Food in Philly
By Tim McGinnis

Tradition tells us to rut the day away like frantic animals on February 14. We’re prescribing edible aphrodisiacs because, believe us, we feel your pain. Goodbye emptiness, hello orgasm!

Related Content

Evan Jonigkeit: Philly's Sexiest Actor
By J. Cooper Robb

There are an abundance of theatrical roles that call for a young, good-looking man, and there is little doubt Evan Jonigkeit could float by on his looks alone. The characters he inhabits are typically handsome and know how to use it.

Related Content

PW’s Guide to Erotic Gifts
By Dan Eldridge

Aside from munching edible undies, there’s nothing that brings out the goofier side of sex quite like painting on your partner’s sensitive spots. PW's got a few suggestions for that situation -- and a few others.

Related Content

Sexy Salad at Varga Bar
By Joel Mathis

In honor of PW's "Sexy Issue," we went to one of the sexiest restaurants in town -- Varga Bar -- and got a lesson in how to make a scrumptious salad.

Related Content

Sex in the Movies
By Dan Savage

A few years before my wife and I met, she made porn with her boyfriend. I was a bit upset when she told me, but the idea of seeing the hottest woman I’ve ever met—and am now married to—doing porn might be really enjoyable.

Related Content

Six Films Where The Actors Aren’t Faking It
By Matt Prigge

Sometimes that sex on the screen in mainstream movies isn't simulated. Here are six movies that showed us the real thing.

Related Content

Have a Queer Valentine's Day
By LD Beghtol

Whether you’re single or partnered, looking for a playmate or drowning in a pool of LGBT inertia, Valentine’s Day fun is yours for the taking this weekend. Stay home and be a Debbie Downer if you like, but don’t blame us.