By Luke Ford

Dennis Prager on KABC Radio AM 790. Noon.

Is data plural or singular? Media? The words are plural.

Sex addiction article in Los Angeles Times.

There probably are sex addicts. They engage in behavior they know to be self destructive over and over. Generally however, many people love sex, but that does not make them sex addicts.

Prager was touched that many people wait for DP to finish his commentaries before calling in.

Virtually every male and some females are sex addicts. Most however control themselves. Every man that I (DP) have ever spoken to, could be a sex addict, but stops himself because he wants to get married, or for religious reasons, health fears, growth…

I'd rather people be sex addicts than drug addicts. My point is honesty, not the condemnation of these people.

I love shopping. I would get a new computer every week, and more fountain pens, and cars, and build more houses. Who couldn't be a spending addict? The difference is that I have a sense of responsibility.

The LA TIMES article does not mention the word values. The reason that people act addictively, is that they lack self control.

LA TIMES: 3-5-98

Working as a therapist at Del Amo Hospital in Torrance back in the early 1980s, Patrick Carnes had a lot of patients whose sexual behavior reminded him of alcoholism and drug dependency: Though it disrupted or ruined their lives, they just could not control it.

So he came up with a new concept, one that would jolt the staid practice of sex therapy, rock mainstream psychiatry, make Carnes a leader of the burgeoning recovery movement, and splashily enter American slang.

He called it "sex addiction."

Fifteen years after he popularized the term in a self-help book, groups such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous steer thousands through 12-step therapy programs. Advice books on sex addiction sell briskly. The National Council on Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity, an 11-year-old information clearinghouse that publishes a professional journal, promotes "acceptance and diagnosis of sexual addiction."

Few ideas have leapt from therapeutic circles into popular thinking so quickly. What therapists and patients appreciated was that it removed the shame and stigma from some behaviors long regarded as willful perversions. Classifying them instead as clinical conditions encouraged more people to admit the problem and seek treatment, therapists say.

It was perhaps inevitable that the phrase caught on, given that a lot of people are fairly hooked on the activity to begin with. But its very catchiness has created something of a public-relations crisis, inspiring more snickers than sympathy.

Ironically, a term invented to convey an agonizing, life-destroying compulsion connotes the opposite to non-experts, who cannot really be blamed for thinking that a sex addict--like a "chocolate addict" or a "Jerry Lewis addict" or "golf addict"--suffers from nothing but a naughty and vaguely comical resistance to common sense.

In addition, some psychiatrists and social scientists say that a self-destructive behavior cannot be "addictive" the way a drug can be, no matter how often the behavior happens and how much havoc it causes. Accordingly, to apply the label of addiction to sex--an instinctual drive, after all--is to invite unending debate over where to draw the line between the pathological and the merely excessive.

Nor have researchers established the basis for sex addiction in body and brain chemistry, as they have done for drug addictions. For that reason, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a group of health professionals that lobbies Congress on drug-dependence and alcoholism issues, staunchly refuses to recognize any compulsive behavior as an addiction.

The American Medical Assn. and the American Psychiatric Assn. also do not accept the concept of sex addiction as a distinct entity.

Reflecting the controversy, the current, 886-page diagnostic manual of psychiatry does not include an entry on "sex addiction," despite efforts by Carnes and others over the years to get the concept included.

Joan called in to talk about her ex's porn and sex addiction.

Prager said he had no problem with a couple using porn as a tool, as a variation. But Joan says her ex needed to use porn in almost all their sexmaking. He'd be boinking a woman in another room, come into another room and coo to Joan over the phone…saying sweet things. Then he went back into the other room.

Prager: What if we raised one million dollars for him to be faithful for one years?

JOAN: I think he enjoyed lying…A little boy wanting to get away with something.

Prager: At 45 he will wake up and realize what he has been missing. At 29, this is too exciting. And a pathology and values are not mutually exclusive.

And he may not even be pathologic. Men have drives in the direction that he is acting out.

DP: I have come to the belief that it verges on the impossible for the sexes to understand each other. Women should visit porn shops so they know what men want. The porn shop represents what even healthy men want. If I knew there was a shop about female sexuality, I would go there… Victoria Secrets?

Men are sex addicts by nature. We are all addicted to pleasure. The more you get, the more you want. Whether it be fame, cake, love, money, sex, fame…

Prager mentioned a personal phone call he received from a friend on a business trip to Texas. Friend said that the reason he did not fool around was that he wouldn't stop.

Lisa recommended the book AFFAIR OF THE MIND by Laurie Hall…a woman's struggle to get her husband back from sex addiction. She said that men who struggle with this issue are intimacy deficient…

DP: There are guys who are faithful to their wives who are not overly attracted to them, who need the stimulus of porn to get excited.

Lisa: Do you think that God intend us to fantasize about others' while making love?

DP: Did God intend people to become frigid?

The male sex urge is stimulated by the female. And many women have lost their visual appeal. So what does the man now do? He loves her as a human, but not sexually. Should he divorce her and get a younger woman? Is it ok for him to fantasize?

LISA: He should work on loving her soul. Instead of feeding his dissatisfaction.

DP: Male sexuality is such a big problem, that many folks want to deny what a problem it is. Many religious believe that if you just get right with God, the problem disappears. Many on the secular left, thinking that we are just animals, just genes and environment, believe there is no individual responsibility for behavior.

Psychiatry and Psychology have rejected diagnosing sex addiction as a disease.

Rob is a sex addiction counselor. He runs a center.

Prager sees the gambler and the sex addict as analogous. But not with the heroin addict.

Rob noted that Psychiatrists regard Gambling Addiction as a disease. Then why not sex?

Rob says there are many female sex addicts out there. If so, please E-mail me, Luke Ford.

The Professor who wrote the story which formed the basis for DANGEROUS BEAUTY will be Prager's guest tomorrow. Robert DuVall, actor, next Wednesday.

Prager got a call from a sex addict who has been sexually sober for three years. He used to masturbate and watch pornography for three hours a day.

Caller said being with 20-30 other guys who had similar problems helped. And seeking a higher power. He said that one of Prager's tapes helped him convert to Judaism ten years ago.

A female caller said women had a responsibility to stay attractive and sexy for their husbands. I am 37, and he is 49, I want to stay attractive. I don't rest on my laurels.

DP said that if she said this at Stanford, she would be picketed.

And the very act of a woman trying to remain sexy, evokes a loving response from a husband.

Caller said couples should wait to have sex. Sex makes lose perspective. You become a horse with blinders on.

She said her first husband was a sex addict.

LaTrelle Sprewell choked his coach PJ Carlisimo of the Golden State Warriors. The NBA Players Association appealed and the arbitrator ruled the team could not fire him. He said that choking did not mean moral turpitude.

To his great credit, NBA Commissioner David Stern condemned the ruling. "You can't strike your boss and hold your job, unless you play in the NBA."

The arbitrator, a professor, said the attacks should be treated as a single altercation.

Prager laughed at the Players Association head, Bill Hunter's comment, that the ruling reaffirmed the sacredness of contracts.

Prager says folks should boycott an NBA game, to protest bad behavior on the part of the players and others who supported Sprewell.

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.c The Associated Press

NEW YORK (March 5) - Latrell Sprewell will be returning to the NBA sooner than expected - although not as quickly as he wished - with his Golden State contract intact.

In a ruling that stunned the Warriors and angered commissioner David Stern, an arbitrator decided Wednesday to reinstate Sprewell's contract and reduce his suspension by five months.

Sprewell's suspension now will expire July 1, and he will once again become a member of the Warriors. He is due to be paid $8.3 million next season and $9.0 million in 1999-2000, even if Golden State, as expected, trades him.

``Half the people are going to love it and half the people are going to hate it,'' Greg Foster of Utah said of the decision.

Actually, no one was completely pleased.

``We were shocked at this decision,'' said Warriors owner Chris Cohan, whose team seemed to be the biggest loser.

``You cannot strike your boss and still hold your job - unless you play in the NBA and are subject to arbitrator Feerick's decision,'' Stern said.

``We are happy Latrell has his contract back, (but) we are disappointed that he will not be able to resume his NBA career until July 1,'' said his agent, Arn Tellem.

Sprewell's contract was terminated by the Warriors and he was suspended by the NBA for one year for his attack on coach P.J. Carlesimo at practice Dec. 1.

``I thought our organization made a statement of what they think is acceptable behavior, and the league supported that,'' Carlesimo said Wednesday night after the Warriors upset the San Antonio Spurs 90-83. ``To have that set aside is disappointing. At the same time, to get a resolution to this is great. It's good for Spree and that's fine.''

Carlesimo also said he would be willing to coach Sprewell again if the Warriors decide to keep him.

The players union argued that Sprewell was being punished twice and that the league conducted a flawed investigation.

Arbitrator John Feerick rejected those arguments, but determined that the punishment was simply too excessive.

``I find that a penalty of 68 games (and $6.4 million in lost salary) is commensurate with the severity of the misconduct, addresses the wrong done to the head coach and conveys a message that violence in the NBA will be dealt with severely, but always with due regard to principles of fairness,'' the arbitrator wrote.

It wasn't a total victory for Sprewell, however, because he was hoping to return to the league this season. The San Antonio Spurs would have been eager to add a shooter with Sprewell's ability, and the Houston Rockets were said to be mulling making an offer to the former All-Star.

Instead, Sprewell remains a member of the Warriors unless they trade him, which they can't do now because the trade deadline has passed.

Golden State general manager Garry St. Jean did not rule out the possibility of Sprewell's return to the Warriors, but said no decision has been made on what approach the team will take.

``One thing I have learned in the NBA is you never say never,'' St. Jean said.

Sprewell's attack on Carlesimo ignited a national debate over issues of authority, sportsmanship, out-of-control athletes and fair punishment.

His one-year suspension was more than six times longer than the previous harshest non-drug penalty in league history. The termination of his contract was unprecedented.

Word of the arbitrator's decision spread quickly around the league.

``That sounds pretty fair to me,'' said Travis Knight of the Boston Celtics. ``To lose $6 million and to sit out a year without playing basketball, I think he's been punished.

``Everybody won, everybody lost, nobody really won,'' said Robert Horry of the Lakers. ``Spree kind of won more than anything. He got his contract back. Was it the right decision? I don't know. I don't know anything about law, but you can't go out and punch or choke your coach.''

``I think it's important to understand that role models make mistakes, too,'' said Kobe Bryant of the Lakers.

Stern reacted with some of the harshest comments.

``The arbitrator is a very charitable man, and he made a charitable decision in respects to Mr. Sprewell in this decision,'' Stern said. Feerick ``missed the opportunity to send a message of what sports leagues stand for. On that basis, we're a little disappointed.''

DP dreams that sports fan treat athletes as though their moral actions mattered, in addition to their performance. Perhaps fans should take a night off, and play ball themselves, or read a book.

What message are we sending to our children, if we cheer this Sprewell?

One of Prager's old friends from RELIGION ON THE LINE, Greg Cokel, pastor of the Four Square Church, is getting married, to Prager's great joy.

Prager is distressed by the couple who were kidnapped and held in a cabin. He was repeatedly stabbed and eventually died. She was repeatedly raped but is physically ok. Prager hoped that the perpetrator would be caught and put to death, if not tortured to death.

A caller said that the NBA players and the league are partners, rather than employer-employee.

Prager remembers that when he was a kid, to see a man with tattoos all over him, you had to go to a circus. Now, Dennis Rodman is a spokesperson for a national company (Wendys)?

Prager says he can't imagine Bobby Howell and other hockey greats trashing their locker room.

[Howell skated for a hockey team a few months ago so that he could set a record… He never touched the puck. Does this contradict Prager's protest of the UCONN girls basketball affair?]

Are fans only fans for their team and not for the players on it? The players don't stay around. They move on.

There are things that are great today and there are things that are worse. When I was a kid, nobody charged for autographs. Nobody had tattoos all over him.

Prager feels sad over the decline in pro sports. He finds it sad that friends of his son David don't follow sports. When he was a kid, everyone knew batting averages, etc…

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