Is Venus Williams Really a Sex Addict?

September 6, 2012  |  

Credit: Ivan Nikolov/

You may have heard the latest news. Venus Williams is a sex addict. That’s what the internets are claiming today. But let me explain. Venus recently spoke to, a foreign magazine Affari Italiani, about her new Italian boo. She didn’t say too much; I’m assuming for the sake of privacy, but she mentioned that she can’t keep her hands off of him. The full quote was broken up but the magazine, and now other online publications are reporting that Venus said, she’s “like an octopus” when it comes to him. She then described her new beau: “He’s a 29-year-old businessman and he comes from Rome – but I’m not going to say more.” You can read the full article here. The whole things is only about five sentences long.

If you had a chance to read it, you may have noticed that  no where in that blurb do we see that Venus referred to herself as a sex addict. It would appear that the “sex addict” phrase came from another publication, the Austrian Times, in an attempt to sensationalize the story.  It would be one thing if this were the only publication that stretched the truth this way; but unfortunately, other outlets are running with this title.

Now, I don’t know Venus personally, but doesn’t this sex addict statement seem like a bit much coming from her? I mean this is the same Venus Williams who claimed, right along with her sister, that she was committed to her faith as a Jehovah’s Witness and was abstaining from sex. The same Venus, who is the same interview with Affari Italiani, wouldn’t mention homeboy’s full name. I’ve followed Venus and Serena’s career. It’s not like her to share the intimate details of her relationships.  But now she’s a sex addict. Hmm… ok.

I wasn’t there for the interview but the whole thing seems like a phenomenon we know all too well. The hypersexualization of black women. From the oogling of Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman (aka Hottentot Venus) to the recent image of Michelle Obama’s face photoshopped onto a breast-baring body, it seems as if the media, and particularly the European media, is still on a mission to assign “Jezebel-like” characteristics to black women and now black women of prominence. No one is safe. Now even Venus can’t seem to control her impulses. The Austrian Times may or may not realize this; but sex addiction is a very real disease, one that is not to be taken lightly, or even falsely attributed to public figures, particularly black women. We, black women…most of us anyway, are normal people, with normal sexual desires and appetites. The Jezebel stereotypes are completely unfair and certainly played out at this point.

Why do you think the media is so hell bent on assigning hypersexualized characteristics to black women?

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  • Sex addiction is NOT a real disease. Just like nymphomania, sex addiction is just a label that is used to stigmatize the sexuality of people that are thought to be too sexual. In The Myth of Sex Addiction, I discuss the ways in which this pseudodisorder is used to stigmatize women, black men and the LGBT community. I’m glad folks like you are standing up to challenge the media’s use of this concept, as racist, sexist and sensationalizing.

  • Pingback: Outlets claim Venus Williams has sex addiction to new Italian boyfriend | theGrio()

  • Bubbles

    Sex Addict no but did you see that man he’s hot I would all over him too no question!

  • gracie

    Guys exaggeration is an often used marketing strategy, that’s how they get us to read their articles!

  • get real

    Wow not one negative comment about her and her white boy. If this was a black actor or sportsmen you guys would be actin a fool. Ever notice that its always dark brown to dark skinned women that are always chasing white boys?

    • Likklebit

      That’s because the pickings are slim for us black women, so we now have to ‘man up’ and start dating outside our race.

      • get real

        Pickings aren’t slim for black women, good black men are everywhere. Blk women just don’t want them, you want the “hotboy” “trapper” with his pants sagging. And when that bum treats you like crap you go get u another “hotboy”. When that loser treats u bad now you are standing there saying “there’s no good blk men out here” which is total bs. And stop repeating that tired played out “us strong independent college educated blk women can’t find good blk men” garbage.

        • Steven Michaels

          It is a fact that the number of college educated black women far outnumber college educated black men.

    • Chanda

      You must be referring to Seal and Heidi. some of us never tripped about that but too bad things didn’t work out for them. guess it depends on the black woman because we’re not all on the same page when it come to IR. Why don’t people get this?

  • ariesdollface

    after reading the comments i was tempted to re-read the article.

    the author’s point was that Venus did not dub herself a sex addict but has been so described by the media, and that the media has resorted to an age old, much-abused, extremely racist hypersexualized trope of black female sexuality to twist what Venus ACTUALLY said.

    i felt this was a commentary on poor (and likely racist) media practices. nowhere did i see the author take Venus to task for being sexually attracted to her man.

  • moonrose4me

    She’s just infatuated with her new man..Damn
    its not that deep.

  • Candacey Doris

    Since she likes touching him she’s addicted to sex? I’ve seen him, she’s not alone in the wish to touch! Why o they always try to make something positive negative? Can’t we just be people instead of shove into this or that box?

  • Chanda

    Well, maybe she is a “sex addict” or at least towards her beau. If I were her I wouldn’t worry about it and just enjoy life (and sex). She deserves it.

  • It’s her life. Let her enjoy it!

  • I’m not mad! Good for her!!!

  • About “Why do you think the media
    is so hell bent on assigning hyper sexualized characteristics to black
    women?” Racism in any form does not just go away with time it must be
    honestly faced and dealt with honestly. American has only dealt with racism on
    a legal and prima fascia social level but never a honest clinical spiritual and
    historical level.

  • monique

    If you are hammer all you will see are nails…that is the phrase that came to mind when I read this article. The honeymoon phase of a relationship is filled with nothing less than pure infatuation, unadulterated lust and few fleeting moments of reason. This guy obviously moves Venus to a point where she is unbashful about stating it. I say to her be safe and enjoy the wonderful newness that romantic love brings.