2008-09-26 / On Second Thought

It's not a criticism, it's an observation.

California, addicted to addiction
Mike Cox

David Duchovny, former X Files star and current actor in the TV show Californication, is in trouble at home. His wife, actress Teo Leoni, is thinking about leaving him because of his philandering ways.

In the rest of the country, when a wife catches her mate where he shouldn't be, the husband, if he wants to stay married or financially solvent, finds the Lord and sells his bass boat or golf clubs. In California, they get treated for sex addiction.

Since life began, people have been trying to deny our hard wired behavior. Many of the things we do instinctively, especially guys' impulses, have been frowned on since we first started sleeping inside at night.

If men had their way, we'd still be wearing skins, eating meat cooked over an open fire using only our hands, fighting to resolve differences, and grunting to communicate. Actually, a lot of us still do all those things anyway.

As polite society has advanced and changed, several male actions have been declared illegal, immoral, or a detriment to good manners. The most recent, and most heinous, is claiming an urge to replenish the species is an addiction.

Of course it is, for every male mammal on the planet. We were designed that way. Our job in the cycle of life is to make sure there are lots of us. Ancient philosopher Chris Rock said a man's ability to stay faithful is based entirely on his options. That might be a little severe, but we are driven by procreation.

Now some quacks in California have decided this is a disease. Why do ideas like this always come from California? Is it the climate or do crazy people just congregate there?

I understand how one gets diagnosed; just act like a normal man. But what about the treatment? Do the afflicted have to watch a Rosanne Barr film festival? Maybe rehab involves what they did to Malcolm

McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. In extreme cases an addict might watch the Kathy Bates hot tub scene from About Schmidt.

An alcoholic will tell you he can never drink again. Same with ex- smokers, cocaine addicts, and victims of the Shopping Network.

Addicts go through withdrawal until the body disposes the addictive chemical. Then they are forced to reprogram their lifestyle to stay away from the substance they are unable to refuse.

You know that isn't the case with sex addiction. Even married women enjoy a little consummating every once in a while. Not as much as their husbands, but still. Surely a recovering addict doesn't call up his sponsor every time the little woman enjoys an extra white wine cooler and gives him "the look."

TV depends on titillation; not only the programs but the commercials can cause remission. I bet being someone's sponsor for this addiction puts the phone bill in jeopardy. I hope recovering addicts have rollover minutes.

If those afflicted only have to cut down, who decides what is acceptable? Do they go by Oprah's recommendation, or Hugh Hefner's? I think we all know the answer. You'll do better to sell the boat and watch the 700 Club.

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