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It turns out this Facebook group has received quite a bit of attention lately, much of it focusing on the tangled relationship between gender, the “male gaze” and issues around eating and self-image.
This in turn has led to an increasing belief that exposure to a lens is part and parcel of being out in public.It might prove useful to draw the group’s existence to the UK’s Information Commissioner, who ought to have a view on it.Aside from the legalities, what is at issue here is power.Like most partners, she initially didn’t buy into the concept of sex addiction (“it sounded like a pretty weak excuse for an affair”) and even when she did start to believe that her husband’s behaviour was compulsive, her friends didn’t (“they’d look at me in despair, asking since when had sexual desire became a monster that can’t be controlled”), leaving her feeling isolated.To be fair on Rachel’s friends, there is some debate about whether the term sex addiction is scientifically accurate, but the field of addiction is changing fast and emphasis is shifting from the substance to the psychological symptoms of addiction.“He’d always go to bed later than me and often made excuses when I brought it up,” explains the 41-year-old.
“So when he sat me down one day to tell me he was a sex addict, I actually laughed – although I soon stopped when he disclosed night upon night of watching pornography for hours on end and numerous short-lived affairs.
“Sex addiction feels extremely personal when you’re the partner because it affects the most intimate part of your relationship in a way that, say, alcohol or drugs just don’t,” she explains.
“I could have dealt with a gambling addiction or alcoholism – anything but this,” Rachel confirms.
But that is not the end of the matter, whatever the owners of “stranger shaming” sites might like to suggest.
Under Data Protection law, you have a right not to have your personal data collected, published or otherwise processed without your consent.
My life fell apart.” Sex addiction hurts partners in a way that no other addiction can, says Paula Hall, who has written a book on the subject.