He's open about the fact that's he's actually a sex addict. Referring to this problem in a recent interview he said, "The problem is me being addictive. Not the actual stuff."
In this he resembles so many other comics. They do seem to be unusually prone to this affliction. Whether it's booze, drugs or sex -- or even all three -- they seem to be chasing a temporary endorphin rush that erases the bleakness they feel on a daily basis.
That intense pleasure assuages the dull, pervasive pain. But as numerous thinkers have opined, pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. All that will happen if you continue to "self-medicate" is that you'll postpone the inevitable low, and probably make it worse when it does hit.
There's a theory that standup comedy is a kind of confessional. It's a way to confess your sins and also work through your issues. So it's healthy for the performer as well as the audience. This may be true in some cases. But I think in others it compounds the problem because it becomes just another addiction.
I think one reason Norton is addicted to sex, and pretty out there approaches to it at that! -- is that it supplies him with lots of shockingly funny comedy material. The laughter this creates is intensely pleasurable, too. And being famous as a result of it makes it easier for him to indulge his sexual obsession. So ultimately each behavior is reinforcing the other. It will be interesting to see if he can extricate himself from this cycle as he says he is attempting to do ...