I get the impression that her forgiveness may be so provisional that simply facing a reporter’s questions for an hour could undo it.

Four pairs of running shoes, all so worn-out that they’ve lost their shape and turned gray, are lined up inside the front door.

Aside from a few desultory wall treatments, there isn’t much of a female presence in the apartment: Ikea couch and armchair, long desk by the window, computer screens.

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It may also be that she’s still not sure she’s going to stay here.

I’d hoped to talk with Ashley today, but she and Jacob have decided against it.

This much is certain: More and more people are seeking treatment. In each year over the past decade, the number of groups registered with Sex Addicts Anonymous, one of the nation’s largest twelve-step organizations for sex addiction, has grown by 10 percent.

Hollywood is just the latest market to capitalize on this phenomenon, even if filmmakers’ depictions tend to do more harm than good.

Most addictions require you to extend yourself in some way—go to a particular place, spend a certain amount of money. The fuel for your disease is all around you, invading your senses. But when I ask him if he’s tired, he says no, just the opposite: "I sleep In a wedding photograph on the wall, Jacob holds hands with his wife, Ashley, on a country lane.

The poet and professor Michael Ryan captures this experience in his unsettling, mesmerizing autobiography, JACOB* IS A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER, and on the morning he greets me at the door of his and his wife’s Seattle-area apartment, he looks as though he’s been up all night wrestling with code. He smiles hesitantly, his eyes skittering off to one side.The movie industry, for its part, has released at least five films on sex addiction in the past five years, six if you count both parts of Lars von Trier’s But even now, sex addiction seems to exist in parallel realities: one in which millions of people are struggling with it, and another in which it is barely studied and not even clinically recognized.Research has yet to confirm that extreme sexual behavior really is addictive in the same neuroscientific sense that, for instance, habitual heroin use appears to be.If you didn’t know better, you might say he looks like a typical bewildered groom.But what the picture really seems to capture, and perhaps this is why he won’t look directly into the lens, is Jacob at war with himself, trying to erase one terrible thought from his brain: that if his wife knew who he really was—if she knew about the pornography, the explicit online chats, the anonymous sex with other women, with random men—she would get as far away from him as she could.The particular means of communication associated with each website is shown in the table.