Jan. 25, 2010— -- It's not the first time that sex addiction has been thrust into the spotlight by a high-profile celebrity's behavior.
Still, the range of reactions to growing speculation that superstar golfer Tiger Woods may be receiving treatment in a sex rehabilitation program proves that the topic can still whip the public into a frenzy.
Thus far, the reports that Woods has checked into the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Miss. -- which on its Web site puts the price tag for approximately 45 days of treatment for sex addiction at $37,100, not including doctor fees or medication -- have not been confirmed. Messages left Friday with Woods' publicist and with Pine Grove were not immediately returned.
A handful of grainy photos, posted last week by the tabloid National Enquirer, of a man resembling Woods at the Hattiesburg clinic serve as the only evidence that the golfer may be seeking professional help at the clinic; however, these photos have not yet been authenticated, and some are already calling into question the veracity of the images.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis was one of those who mentioned Woods' possible treatment at Pine Grove in his blog. But as a recovering sex addict himself, the author and contributor to New York Times Magazine said that celebrity cases of sex addiction -- whether it be that of Tiger Woods or the 2008 admission of actor David Duchovny that he was checking in to a sex rehab clinic -- tend to stir up equal measures of awareness and misconception about the condition.
"I can't think of a condition where there is a bigger gap between public perception of it and the reality of it," said Denizet-Lewis, who recently authored "America Anonymous," which profiles eight personal stories of addiction. "People's knee-jerk reaction to it is not founded in fact and is unfortunate. ... It's not as fun as people seem to think it is."