Rebecca Barker, 37, from Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, said she used to demand sex from her former partner five times a day and thought about it constantly – likening the rush she got from making love to that a drug addict would get from a hit.
A former sex addict and mother-of-three appeared on This Morning today in an effort to shatter stigma around the condition – but left some viewers insisting it doesn’t exist.
Speaking on This Morning today, Rebecca, who says she has been cured of her addiction, said she felt ‘ashamed’ of what she was going through, and is making it her mission to raise awareness to let others like her know they’re not alone.
She said today: ‘If it happened to me, it could happen to anybody.’
But not all viewers were convinced by her story, with some taking to Twitter to brand sex addiction a ‘made up’ condition, or an ‘excuse’ for self-obsession.
Rebecca Barker, 37, from Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, suffered from a sex addiction
Rebecca told how her need for relentless sex ultimately ruined her relationship, and left her isolated from the outside world.
At first her partner welcomed her growing need for sex, but then it put a lot of pressure on the relationship when she was constantly demanding it.
She said: ‘I only got relief from the obsessive thoughts during sex, but as soon as it finished it was back on my mind again.
‘I felt very ashamed that it was all I could think about.’
What are the symptoms of sex addiction?
- Recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior, lasting at least six months
- Excessive amounts of sex, frequently used to cope with stress
- Sex interfering with the ability to function in daily life, e.g. job or social life
- Feeling out of control and having to act on sexual urges, even in situations it might cause significant problems or harm, such as job loss, relationship problems or financial difficulties
- The sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors must not be brought on by drugs or alcohol, or another mental disorder
But some dubious viewers took to Twitter to question her story, insisting the condition, which isn’t recognised by the NHS, isn’t real.
One tweeted: ‘Sex Addiction – that made up ”illness” favoured by all cheating celebrities.’
Another ranted: ”’sex addiction”………………. another non condition invented to excuse people’s stupidity, inadequacy and self obsession!!’
‘Sexual addiction? B******t…it’s not an addiction, she just likes s****ing…’ a third said.
A fourth agreed: ‘I’m horny horny horny – but let’s dress it up as an addiction and then i can appear on This Morning looking hard done by.’
Rebecca was used to criticism about the condition, and said she wanted to break the stigma.
She said: ‘There’s so much stigma attached to it, but I feel like if it happened to me it can happen to anybody.’
Having sex would give her an ‘instant hit’, she said, but within five minutes she would want more.
She said she wanted to appear on the show to raise awareness and break the ‘stigma’ on the condition
In 2014, however, she took a ‘break’ from her boyfriend and went to live with her mother, which ‘very quickly’ led to the collapse of her relationship.
Rebecca believes her compulsion was linked to depression – she was diagnosed with the disorder after the birth of her third child in 2012 – and a ‘lack of serotonin’.
She became so self-conscious about her sex obsession that she struggled to be around other people
‘I stayed at home because I felt ashamed that it was all I could think about,’ she previously told the BBC.
She explained: ‘It was literally the first thing I thought about when I woke up, I just couldn’t get it off my mind.’
But when she broke up with her boyfriend, changed jobs and moved to France, she said she conquered both her depression and her sex obsession.