Fine Line Between Seducer and Sex Addict

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It is considered a badge of honor for a man to have sex with as many women as he can. But experts say there is a fine line between a so called "serial seducer" and a sex addict.

"These concepts must be treated with caution, because we are at the border between so-called normal and pathological behavior," Paris psychiatrist Jean-Claude Matysiak told the news agency AFP.

But there is a difference. William Lowenstein, director of the Montevideo Clinic near Paris, said seduction is "conquering the desire of another person."

Sex addiction, he said, is characterized by a loss of rational control, as well as significant and measurable changes in the neurochemistry of the brain.

"Willful rationality is no longer the orchestra conductor -- knowing that something is bad for your health, or your social or professional life, is not enough to modify addictive behavior," Lowenstein said.

Often times this can lead to "acts of aggression in order to satisfy these impulses", Matysiak said. A serial seducer rarely uses aggression.

A growing number of people are seeking treatment for sex addiction, spurred on by celebrity stories such as the Tiger Woods scandal, even though it is not even officially classified as a mental disorder.

That may change with the upcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, informally known as DSM-5.

The reference book is the psychological standard all over the world. According to its website, the APA is considering adding a new category called "hypersexual disorder" in the next edition.

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