The number of certified sex-addiction therapists has more than doubled since 2008, according to the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.
Hookup apps like Tinder (26 million matches per day) and Grindr (1.6 million active daily users) are growing wildly and multiplying, like real-life manifestations of the futuristic smartphone imagined by Gary Shteyngart in which rates the "Fuckability" of everyone around you.
The movie industry, for its part, has released at least five films on sex addiction in the past five years, six if you count both parts of Lars von Trier’s But even now, sex addiction seems to exist in parallel realities: one in which millions of people are struggling with it, and another in which it is barely studied and not even clinically recognized.
Research has yet to confirm that extreme sexual behavior really is addictive in the same neuroscientific sense that, for instance, habitual heroin use appears to be.
The NHS has a website page dedicated to sex addiction.
The growth in steamy chat room conversations and cybersex also has triggered a rethinking of the meaning of infidelity.
If there is no physical contact or actual sex, is it still an affair?
Eight years into her marriage, Rachel started to wonder if her husband had lost interest in sex.
“He’d always go to bed later than me and often made excuses when I brought it up,” explains the 41-year-old.