It is his child’s sports day, and while he told himself he wouldn’t use the app, he can’t stop himself and he clicks on it.“Perhaps there are two teachers at the school who are gay, they now know that little Joe’s father is hunting around on a gay website. Similar mishaps have also happened using Tinder, Markham says, as people begin to take higher risks.A love addict is addicted to the high created by infatuation seen in the early days of a relationship.“You can normally tell a love addict: they will have a series of short-term relationships, they are chaotic, very on and off, and they will be all in the moment and then they find fault and retreat really quickly,” Markham says.
“We are now witnessing a pandemic of this type of behaviour and it’s global; there aren’t pockets of this, it’s going everywhere,” Markham says.
As the addiction progresses, it becomes less about the enjoyment and more about numbing the pain. It’s what’s known as a “process addiction” and is grouped with eating disorders, internet addiction and gambling addiction.
Like many addictions, sex addiction is about acting in isolation, Markham says.
The knock-on effect on normal living is massive,” says Fiona Markham, chief clinical officer at The Cabin, an addiction treatment and rehabilitation centre based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Primary sex and love addiction clients account for one in four cases at The Cabin, which has an outpatient addiction counselling clinic in Hong Kong’s Central district.