Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power

Charlotte Kasl, Author
Charlotte Kasl, Author Ticknor & Fields $19.95 (401p) ISBN 978-0-89919-519-3
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Certain women (and men) use sex addictively as a substitute for love, nurture or power, according to Minneapolis psychologist Kasl. Crammed with case histories, diagrams and therapeutic suggestions, this study draws on her work with members of two organizations: Sex Addicts Anonymous, a support group modeled on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program, and Codependents of Sex Addicts, a group for partners of so-called sex addicts, especially women who allow themselves to be used sexually in order to preserve a relationship. Kasl tends to find this purported disease or its symptoms virtually everywhere (``Codependency is a devastating disease''; some women have ``sexually addictive flirtations at work''). But she distills a great deal of common sense and therapeutic wisdom into her presentation, as she connects women's sexual neuroses to survival mechanisms evolved to cope with childhood wounds of incest, abuse, sexual shame and negative programming about being female. Many will support her view of all forms of addiction (sex, booze, food, work, etc.) as a misguided search for spiritual fulfillment. (June)
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