Men who go from strip joint to strip joint are often hooked on a sexual high as potent as a drug or gambling addiction – and risk getting caught as a cry for help, experts say.
“People start having secret lives that take up more and more time,” said Puja Hall, a sex-addiction therapist in Manhattan and East Hampton, L.I. “Very often, they compromise their jobs and risk their relationships.”
Psychotherapists say married Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, who has visited lap-dance dens in Toronto, Tampa, Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas and New York – and at times taken along stripper gal pal Joslyn Morse – shows signs of a life spiraling out of control.
His off-field hanky-panky also hints he’s part of a team in trouble, said Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz, an NYU psychiatrist who consults CEOs on wayward execs.
“Sometimes this behavior can be a sign of a larger organizational dysfunction” such as poor work relationships and a lack of leadership, he said.
“It’s a symptom of a team that’s losing despite enormous individual talent.”
Strip clubs, like alcohol and drugs, offer an escape from depression and “incredible loneliness,” Puja said.
“And it always gets worse,” she warned. “Addiction is an escalating phenomenon. It has a life of its own.”
Robert Weiss, who treats doctors, lawyers, filmmakers and other professionals at the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, said many sex addicts have attractive, loving spouses.
“For whatever reason, there’s the constant itch to find something more. They’re looking for the high, the excitement, the thrill,” Weiss said.
But sometimes they act recklessly to get caught “because they want to stop, and they need help,” he said.
Rodriguez has admitted inner demons.
In 2005, when the Yankee superstar and his wife, Cynthia, a psychologist, donated $200,000 to a mental-health program in Washington Heights, he revealed he had benefited from counseling.
“Why let the train wreck come before you fix it?” Rodriguez said at the time.
Written by Susan Edelman