Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction
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Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  266 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In this powerful memoir, a woman learns to value herself—as a whole person rather than as a sexual object. Sue William Silverman tells of her roller-coaster life of sex and self-destructive behavior. Finally, addicted to danger itself, she seeks the help of a trusted therapist to discover what love really means.
ebook, 272 pages
Published February 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2001)
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Lynn Tolson
What is sexual addiction? How does one recover from this addiction? Sue William Silverman answers these questions in her heartbreaking and heartwarming autobiography. Even if a reader does not experience an addiction of any kind, no time is wasted while reading the book because the prose is so expertly crafted.

As with any addiction, sexual addiction is a narrow one-dimensional drive serving only to feed itself. Sue was starved for real love as a child, so she uses unhealthy behaviors to search f...more
Jeannie
This was a hard book to read and I'm torn on whether I liked it that much or not. I liked it in that it was well-written and I came to care about her struggles but didn't like it in that it made me think and see myself. I know that sounds crazy and I'm not sure if I'm explaining how this book made me feel. It honestly scared me because I think I learned some truths about myself while reading it and that's hard for me to handle. This is an in-depth look at overcoming an addiction that really hit...more
Jennifer
Awful. Just awful.

I love reading memoirs; they are a guilty pleasure. I've read many, many types of memoiro; drug addiction, alcoholism, food addiction, sex addiction...you get the idea. Of all of the addictions, it seems that sex addicts as a whole lack the ability to have any level of introspection or accountability for their actions. There are plenty of explanations, ranging from parental neglect to childhood sexual abuse. And while of course these things are terrible and difficult to overcom...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥


The author is highly talented, honest and her writing style is such charmingly engaging. She is one of the best when it comes to recommended works for those of us who are on journey of writing. I began reading her in the first place so as to be mentored in writing skills. On the should of giants we stand. This account of sexual abuse relates how one can be love sick, seeking love and trying to meet it in ways that are counter-productive.
"I don't do this for pleasure. I do this for love." It was...more
Patrick Ross
Bias alert: Sue was my third-semester advisor in my MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and was the primary reason I chose that program. This is an even more masterful memoir than her first. I particularly like the way she frames the story in her treatment program, a narrative line moving through that day by day while we get a portrait of her life, her poor choices, and the reasons for those choices. You don't have to have read her first book to appreciate this one; in fact I read th...more
Lacy Lovelace
I found out about this book through watching the movie on Lifetime. I knew I had to read it because I struggle with the same issue myself and wanted to learn more information. I could relate on so many levels and felt she accurately portrayed the emotions and thoughts that go on during the "addict self." I enjoyed learning about her personal journey through counseling and building herself from the ground up at a rehabilitation center for Sex/ Love Addicts. She narrated her story in a journaling...more
Melani
The author somehow found a way to make her interesting experiences boring. I felt like I was sitting in on the therapy session of someone who hasn't much insight. My guess is that Silverman still hasn't dealt with her eating disorder and it is blocking her from experiencing her life with more depth and clarity.
Erin
Heard about this on Oprah, so I'm guessing it's not as salacious as it sounds.....

Self-indulgent and not all that compelling. I'm wondering if she used all her good stories in her first book (which actually sounds quite interesting).
Allison
I liked this book. SWS does a good job of giving us enough to hold onto as readers without falling into an emotional mess. I was reading this book at night before bed, and I had very strange abstract dreams filled with color.
Nancy Owen Nelson
Powerful journey through sexual addiction therapy after her childhood molestation by her father. See also "When I Think of Terror, Father. . ."
José
.

Sue William Silverman explora su creencia distorsionada de que el sexo es el amor...

"Todos los jueves a mediodía tengo relaciones sexuales con Rick en la habitación # 213 del Motel Rainbow. Hoy en día, a pesar de que le prometí a mi terapeuta no me vienen aquí de nuevo..."

¿Cómo puede el amor ser dos cuerpos envueltos en una hoja que está quemada por cigarrillos por descuido, aquí, en una habitación con cortinas de plástico, ceniceros de estaño, metal común, alfombras manchadas, alquimia mal, e...more
Sondra Santos
Feb 17, 2008 Sondra Santos rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: parents, teachers
In Love Sick, Sue William Silverman discloses details about her abusive past, her addiction with men and how she formed her views and beliefs of sex and what it means to love and be loved.

During Sue's therapy and in-patient treatment, she discovers that all addicts are similar in many ways.

In Sue's words:
"Sex addiction isn't about sex. It's about power and control. It's about numbing feelings. Just like alcoholism isn't about alcohol and eating disorders aren't about food."

"We hear the message...more
Indra
I saw Sue William Silverman interviewed on a TV documentary and picked up this book and also her first memoir...am so glad I did on both counts. Since "Love Sick" is framed by Silverman's stint in rehab, it is very different from the first book, both in structure and feel--"Because I Remember Terror..." has a much more removed tone looking back at childhood horrors with a keen observational eye; "Love Sick" also possesses the keen eye but feels much more immediate as the author processes her reh...more
Puneri
Love Sick is a powerful book. The author writes about her time in a rehab facility. It is the book about those 28 days she spent in a rehab as a sex-addict. I actually saw the movie on LMN and then read the book which is generally the other way for me. The book shows her struggle to get out of her habit, portrays great picture of all other women in rehab and their struggle with their respective addictions. Author goes between her past and her present and provides an emotional yet very strong pic...more
Alison
A hard book. A good book. Not for the faint of heart. The author is on the faculty of VCFA, and I've crossed paths with her for three years now at the summer post grad writing conference. But it took my all that time to gather the courage to read her powerful memoir. AS one review put it, it would be best if these kinds of books did not have to be written, but they must, the stories must be told. Rule of thumb for the uninitiated: folks don't usually go around being hypersexual and promiscuous i...more
Darcy
I found this book oddly compelling. Usually with non-fiction books I can only read so much a day as it is a little dry and slightly boring, not so with this one. I would read a small chunk then pick up another book and having a hard time getting into it because I wanted to keep reading this one. Finally half way through I gave in and just kept reading this one.

Sue's struggle with her sex addiction was fascinating. You know why she started, how she acted, and her struggle in treatment. Did her tr...more
Emma
An engrossing, chilling read, starkly honest, with a compelling voice. It raises a lot of questions and issues for the reader to think about. Hard to put down.
Cinemagirl
The book was recomended to me by a friend when I was having some personal and relationship issues. It was helpful in that in provided me with an objective view on a situation that was similar to my own. I was able to take some things away from it and it helped to push me along in seeking the help I needed to cope with my own issues. For the average reader, unless they've been through something similar I don't think they would find this stimulating at all, but to someone like me who found a lot t...more
Gina
I expected more. I expected to be riveted and bruised, to feel a sense of desperation, to think about the subject matter long after I read it. I wasn't and didn't. It's titillating on one level. A bit horrifying on another. And immature on yet another. It was a quick read but satisfying like the ice cream in an ice cream sandwich. It's ice cream so it's good but it's also an eerily sanitary version of vanilla and I like the heavy cream, the vanilla bean.

I want to read it again to make sure I did...more
Rachel Cohan
A rare look into sex addiction and some of the issues that come from sexual assault and rape. Silverman has the ability to take the harsh subject matter and make it digestible, while not blunting its harshness. Highly recommend the book!!
Crystal
There's a stigma that comes with sexual addiction - it's in other various reviews on this website - that people need to take responsibility and not be whores, but Silverman demonstrates that it's not that simple.

Did I enjoy the book? No. It's not exactly a book you enjoy. I imagine it's a book that I will reflect on when I least expect it, but I was not overly captivated by her story. I found the conclusion lacking. Am I to believe that she is recovered because the book is published? Or has she...more
Cristy
Contrary to what one might think, this memoir is not a self-indulgent examination of the author's sexual proclivities. It focuses on her inpatient treatment for sexual addiction while utilizing a few (literally) examples of these issues played out in her life. Many women, I suspect, will recognize some of these themes in themselves in much less severe, but still thought-provoking way. Like life, she leaves her ultimate fate unknown, but crafts an intruiging enough work that the reader is tempted...more
Sandra
Mar 30, 2009 Sandra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anastasia
"Keeping up appearances", and trying to think that your father always taught you how to love instead of being raped by him, and even pretend that it never happened, is incredible!

Is kind of sick to know that her father "taught her how to love" and because of that, she has a necessity of having sex with any man, specially with the one she thinks that "perhaps" loves her...

I don't remember when the last time a book I read moved me and impacted me so much (probably was "push") was. I felt like livi...more
Jamie Grove
Messed up memoirs tend to be a guilty pleasure...when done in the vein of Augusten Burroughs, James Frey, or Dave Eggers...but for some reason Silverman's just wore me out. There was nothing likable about her, and while her story is certainly sad, it just didn't gain any inkling of sympathy from me. Love sick is hailed as "lyrical" novel, but there was nothing special about her writing-and to think she has her MFA. It was a boring, blah book that had the potential to be a lot better.
Kat
Once I was done with this book, I was left feeling depressed and like humanity was one steaming sack of caca. But I am tempted to read it again, because I really feel for the author, and I want to understand her better. I think everyone needs to read this, because it is a really, really detailed example for why people act "illogically". Though my life and tenancies are completely different from hers, I have learned a lot about myself, my friends, and humanity from this book.
Sarah
A book about a sex addict. Should be at least a peculiar read, one would think. Well, this book is not - it's just plain boring. Less attractive people and those with low self-esteem are usually more available for sex and different kinds of abuse and are low maintenance. Such a news, wow. You didn't have to write a book about it, it's obvious for anyone with a tiny hint of common sense.
Dale Stonehouse
I wanted to like this book more than I eventually did, probably due to my distaste for the subject. But, it was very good at showing how the disease works (it is different from substance abuse)and how difficult it can be to change thinking patterns. If you have family or friends so afflicted, this book can help to understand their behavior if not their reasoning.
Carla Rose
I normally don't say this, but I though the book was quite boring. It was difficult to get through to the middle and eventually the end/conclusion. It wasn't the subject matter, but I think the accounts of what happened in the author's life was a bit drawn out. Its her life and her story so I can't judge, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

Hollie
Told in 28 days of rehab, this is the story of Silverman's wins and losses against recovery from sexual addiction after growing up with a molesting father. The story doesn't focus on blaming her father. Instead, it's about freeing herself through understanding. She turns battling addiction into sad yet hopeful poetry.
Katie Shreve
This book was an interesting look into 'sex rehab' and definitely a relatable story (lets just say it caused me to question whether I may have had issues with sexual addiction). I was not impressed by the writing, though. I think the same story could have been told in a more descriptive way and gotten a higher rating from me.
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Sue William Silverman's new memoir is The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. Her other two memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction (W.W. Norton), which aired as a Lifetime Television original movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You (University of Georgia Press), which won the AWP award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book is F...more
More about Sue William Silverman...
Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew Hieroglyphics in Neon Love Sick

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“I am not your victim because you are not a predator any more than a bottle of scotch stalks an alcoholic.” 42 likes
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