Sex addicts rationalize. One common rationalization is the "Illusion of Normality" rationalization or the “All Guys Do It” defense. Men call on this argument when they have been discovered using pornography, secretly masturbating, going to those venues we euphemistically call “adult entertainment”, flirting inappropriately, or objectifying women. They say to their partners, “All guys do this, it's no big deal, it doesn't mean anything, it has nothing to do with how I feel about you.” They mean, 'Please don't make me give this up, I need it too much.”
Let's take the “All Guys Do It” defense at face value for a moment. In a certain sense, it is true at its core. It is true in the same way that it is true that all guys have penises. Men (and women) have sexual feelings and they notice other people who they find sexually attractive. All guys do that. Most people have sexual thoughts about people they encounter even when acting on those thoughts would, for one reason or another, be unwise. All guys do that too. The majority of sexually mature males (in our culture at least) masturbate. Most guys do that. Masturbation is an important part of how young people learn about their sexual selves. It is, normal, useful, and appropriate. Most people masturbate from time to time across the life span. Most guys do that too.
So where does the “All Guys Do It" defense unravel? Here are some examples. All guys do not make excuses to their partners to stay up long into the night in order to be alone with pornography. All guys do not slip into the men's room before an important meeting for a quick wack-off - just to steady their nerves. All guys do not go out of the way to do business with someone they have sexual fantasies about when to do so is otherwise inconvenient or time consuming. All guys don't keep their sex thoughts and actions secret from their partners. All guys don't… but sex addicts do.
Think of it this way. When the average guy walks past someone who is sexually attractive to him, he notices and thinks, “What an attractive person. It was a pleasure to see that person.” But a few seconds later, that person is no longer in that man's mind. When the same events occur to a sex addict, the person lingers in his mind. He may look over his shoulder, contrive a reason to turn around, take the same route the next day in hopes of seeing the same person, create opportunities to flirt with that person, or privately masturbate while fantasizing about that person. You see the difference between “All Guys” and Sex Addicts in the intensity, frequency, and duration of those responses.
It's not the attraction - it's the action. Among sex addicts the attraction becomes action without regard to wisdom, boundaries, or consequences. All guys don't do that. Sex addicts do.