When Asked What They're Addicted To, Men Boast Instead

Men confessed their "horrible" addictions: aftershave, and being great dads! Published on November 14, 2010

We're in a funny position where the DSM-5 Work Group has designated compulsive gambling as an addictive disorder (as I described in the September issue of Psychology Today), but most people mock the idea that something besides heroin, or drugs, or alcohol, or cigarettes can be addictive. Especially if you ask them what they're addicted to, they tend to react with two sorts of things – things they're actually proud of which they pose as addictions (like "I'm addicted to honesty"), and habits which (as with coffee) might actually be addictive but are so accepted in society that there's no harm in admitting to them.

Recently, Benoit Denizet-Lewis – who has confessed his sexual addiction in spectacular fashion on the pages of the New York Times, has created a publication – The Good Men Project Magazine – and recruited a group of men (including me) to confess our addictions. In his introduction to the on-line publication, Denizet-Lewis describes addiction in the most dire terms, and calls for addressing it as a national priority:

Today, nearly 23 million Americans – 9.2 percent of the population 12 or older – are hooked on alcohol or drugs, another 61 million smoke cigarettes, and millions more are slaves to gambling, compulsive overeating, and sex and pornography.


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