Michael Douglas, Robbie Williams, Charles Hawtry, – all of these men have, at one time or another, been described in the press as ‘sex addicts’. But just what is this alleged affliction? Is it a genuine disorder, causing real distress and requiring expensive treatment, or is it merely a convenient excuse for libidinous celebrities to justify their increasingly empty sexual excesses? Dr Tom Reltney, Director of the ‘Downshires’ Sex Clinic, firmly believes that sex addiction is a very real, and very serious, problem. “People may like to laugh about it”, he says. “But its a very serious matter for the sufferers. If they fail to regularly satisfy their sexual urges, they can suffer serious physical damage, including ruptured testicles, grossly inflamed penises and even severe internal bleeding and muscular strains, as they try to hold in dangerously high levels of sexual energy!”

In severe cases the damage can become permanent. “President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended up confined to a wheelchair as a result of his sexual urges being repressed”, Reltney reveals. “His wife Eleanor was either unwilling or unable to satisfy his gargantuan sexual appetites, but worse than that, she prevented him from finding other physical releases for it. Consequently, FDR tried to divert his sexual energies into other avenues, taking the US into World War Two in 1941. But even that wasn’t enough, and he finally succumbed to his affliction in 1945!” However, the very act of satisfying their urges can also prove harmful to the sufferer. “Over-indulgence can result in extreme exhaustion, premature ageing and even death. Just look at the toll sex addiction has taken on Michael Douglas, for instance”, warns Reltney. “Or take the case of Errol Flynn, he never held back from relieving his inherent erotic tension. Consequently, by the age of fifty he had literally shagged himself to death! On the night he died, his partner had become too physically spent to satisfy him, so Flynn indulged in a marathon twelve hour masturbation session – its been said that by the end he was ejaculating blood from his flaccid penis!”

Reltney argues that sex addiction amongst celebrities is a result of their ability to indulge their every sexual desire, without limitations. “Their celebrity status ensures that that they have no boundaries placed upon the behaviour,” he explains. “Indeed, those around them go out of their way to make sure that the celebrities’ desires are fulfilled, in order to keep them pliable.” Consequently, Reltney believes, the sexual energies of their bodies goes totally unregulated, resulting in the risk of serious injuries. “Clearly, the key to bringing these energies under control is to learn how to suppress the orgasm,” opines Reltney, a follower of famed sex researcher Wilhelm Reich. “The orgasm represents an immensely violent ejaculation of sexual energies which, when performed as frequently as it is by a sex addict, can become enormously destructive. That’s why they have to learn to suppress the orgasm and instead release those sexual energies in a safer, gentler way.” One of these ways is through a special, sexual meditation technique taught at the clinic. “It’s based on the methods that Yogis and the like have been practicing for over two thousand years,” he declares. “At the moment of climax, the subjects put themselves into a trance like state, during which the built up sexual energies gently emanate from all over their body – it’s possible for someone standing next to them to experience a highly pleasurable, but perfectly safe, sexual thrill, during this process.”

Before proper therapies for the affliction were developed, sufferers would sometimes try and control their urges themselves, usually employing very crude means. “Jack Kennedy was known to favour shoving his genitalia into a bucketful of ice”, Reltney reveals. “When he couldn’t get enough ice, he’d sometimes resort to simply sticking his knob in the fridge for half an hour. His brother Bobby reputedly used to try and literally beat down unwanted erections with a sawn-off baseball bat – it was said that several times during the Cuban Missile Crisis he could be heard in the White House toilet stalls screaming “Be gone you evil bastard!”.” Thankfully, we now live in more enlightened times, where establishments such as ‘Downshires’ can safely treat celebrity sufferers with scientifically proven remedies.

During treatment, the addicts’ libidos are kept repressed by a variety of means, including traditional cold showers and aversion therapy – patients are often forced to stare at naked images of Anne Widdecombe for hours on end. They are only allowed to release their sexual energy under strictly controlled circumstances, sometimes under hypnosis. “The aim is for them to relieve their erotic tensions in a strictly non-orgasmic manner”, says Reltney. “In the early stages of therapy, before they’ve mastered the sexual meditation techniques, they are hypnotised and allowed to ejaculate safely. This, combined with a form of acupuncture which helps the energy to flow safely through the body’s key nodal points, allows them to establish a self- regulated form of sexual activity, with orgasms being rationed to one a week”.

Obviously, maintaining this pattern of behaviour outside the clinic is the real challenge for many patients. Sometimes a keyword can be hypnotically implanted in the patient’s subconscious – when sexual energy levels become dangerously high, the patient is triggered to speak the word out loud this, in turn, will set off a safe, non-orgasmic, ejaculation. Reltney believes that President Clinton may have received such therapy – although he suspects that too obvious a keyword was used: “If you watch footage of him at his last arms summit with Yeltsin, you’ll notice how he grips the edge of the table so hard his knuckles go white, every time anyone mentions the words “ballistic missiles”. Also, when he’s asked a question about “ballistic missiles” at the press conference, he suddenly doubles up, clutches at his groin and shouts “Jesus!”. However, I could be wrong on this one”. Aversion therapy can be also used outside the clinic to reinforce the treatment regime, although Reltney denies that he ever advised Robbie Williams to go out with former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell as a means of putting him off of sex.