Is Tiger Woods Really a Sex Addict?

We examine the ins and outs of treatment for this particular type of addiction

By Leslie Gornstein Jan 26, 2010 2:27 PMTags
Tiger WoodsDarren Carroll/Getty Images

Is Tiger really a sex addict, or is he just trying to save his image and career?

—LizzyZ, via the Answer B!tch inbox

Jeez, so cynical. Just because Tiger and his sponsors sold him as a family man who lives for fatherhood and healthy marital relations, and just because said image was a complete fraud, well, that's no cause to accuse Tiger of lying. Again. That's just cruel and mean.

But then again, if you're asking whether Tiger truly wants to be in sex rehab right now, the answer is probably...

"Probably 75 percent of the people who come in for treatment come because they're being forced to," says Dr. Howard Samuels of Wonderland Treatment Center, which once treated Lindsay Lohan for something. "Whether it's drug, alcohol or sex addiction they're coming in for, it's usually because of family or the courts or massive outside pressure forcing this person to change."

But if you're asking if sex addiction is a real thing, it apparently is.

"The chemicals that are released in the brain when people are acting out with sex dependency are every bit as powerful as any substance they could be putting into their body," says Dr. Shari Corbitt, senior executive director at Promises treatment centers.

Reports have indicated that wife Elin Nordegren has been visiting Woods in sex rehab; Woods is reportedly seeking treatment called "Gentle Path" at the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services treatment center in Hattiesburg, Miss. If the visitation reports are true, it makes sense, addiction experts tell me; spouses are usually very involved in an addiction recovery process.

"Couples therapy is a huge part of the treatment," says Corbitt, whose Promises facilities also treat sex addiction when paired with substance abuse. "It would actually be odd if she weren't visiting."

As for what exactly the couple might be doing together in Woods' therapy, addiction experts say it's likely that their sessions are going for anywhere from 90 minutes apiece to two and a half hours or even longer. Among the topics: Tiger may be asked to spill exactly how many affairs he's had so that the healing process can begin.


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