1. WHAT IS SEX ADDICTION?
Sex addiction is a way some people medicate their feelings and/or cope with their stresses to the degree that their sexual behavior becomes their major coping mechanism for stresses in their life. The individual often cannot stop this sexual behavior for any great length of time by themselves. The sex addict spends a lot of time in the pursuit of his or her sexual behavior/fantasy or they may have a binge of sexual behaviors.
2. WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME SEXUALLY ADDICTED?
This is different for every sex addict but generally speaking there are biological, psychological, and spiritual reasons. The following is a short explanation of each reason why someone can become a sex addict. The biological addict is someone who has conditioned their body to receive endorphins and enkephlines (brain chemicals) primarily through reinforcing a fantasy state with the ejaculation that provides these chemicals to their brain. Psychologically, the need to medicate or escape physical, emotional or sexual abuse can demand a substance, the early addict finds the sex medicine usually before alcohol or drugs. Spiritually, a person is filling up the spirit hole in them with their sexual addiction. The addiction is their spirituality, it comforts them, celebrates them and is always available and present. Then there is the sex addict who can be two or even three of the above reasons. This is why a specialist in sex addiction is the best route for recovery with sex addiction.
3. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEX ADDICTION AND A HIGH SEX DRIVE?
We have heard this question many, many times over the years. A person with a high sex drive is satisfied with sex. It's not about a fix for something; when their partner says "NO" it doesn't make them go off the handle thinking their partner is totally rejecting them and have to leave the house or act out in some other way. If you can relate to this the chances are there may be an addiction issue.
4. CAN YOU BE ADDICTED TO MASTURBATION?
Yes, this is by far the most common sex addiction that we have treated in working with sex addiction. This usually is the first sexual behavior many of us will have on a repeated basis. This is usually where the sexual compulsion starts with sex addicts and this behavior, regardless of other acquired behaviors, usually stays active. This behavior usually starts early in adolescence while the brain is still developing.
5. WHAT ROLE DOES PORNOGRAPHY PLAY IN SEX ADDICTION?
Pornography for many sex addicts combined with regular masturbation is the cornerstone for most sex addicts. Many sex addicts have great difficulty getting sober from this combination of behavior. The pornography with fantasy creates an unreal world that the sex addict visits throughout their adolescence and other developmental stages and creates an object relationship that conditions their emotional and sexual self to depend upon these objects and fantasies to meet their emotional and sexual needs hundreds of times before having sex with a real person.
6. CAN SOMEONE BE A SEX ADDICT AND NOT BE SEXUAL (OR INTIMATE) WITH THEIR SPOUSE OR COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP?
YES! We call this later stage of sex addiction, sexual anorexia. In this stage of sex addiction, the addict prefers the fantasy world and fantasy sex with themselves or others instead of relational sex with their spouse or partner. The addict/anorexic avoids relational sex and hence this couple has sex infrequently and often at the partners request not the addict/anorexics.
7. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LIVE WITH A SEX ADDICT FROM A PARTNER'S OR WIFE'S PERSPECTIVE?
The partners/wives of sex addicts report many similar feelings about living with the sex addict. The feeling of aloneness is a common experience with partners of sex addicts, the sense that he can't open up and tell you about his "real" self. The confusion of even after you do certain behaviors that this still is not enough and the hopelessness that there isn't enough. Anger for many different unmet needs as a person and as a woman are often common. There are many of these issues addressed in books and videos by Dr Douglas Weiss available through Art of Redirection Counseling.
8. CAN PARTNERS GET HELP EVEN IF THE SEX ADDICT DOESN'T?
Yes, even if the addict stays in denial of their addiction the partner can receive help and support for herself. The feelings of anger, loss, loneliness and many other feelings encountered over the years of living with this addiction will effect a person. These feelings need to be dealt with therapeutically whether they stay married to the addict or not. If you would like a counseling appointment call (208) 267-9228 to get setup. The addiction was in no way your doing as a partner or wife, the addicts addiction started many years before you even met your addict. This addiction would have grown and damaged anyone they would have related to in any relationship.
9. IS THERE RECOVERY FOR SEX ADDICTION?
Yes, there is recovery for sex addiction. This recovery takes time and hard work especially in the first year but with guided help the sex addict can experience restoration in their emotional, relational, sexual, financial and even spiritual lives. I have seen marriages made better than they ever were and addicts live much happier lives than they ever thought possible. We have been in successful recovery over 10 years and we know it's available for those who choose to work for and maintain recovery. If you would like a counseling appointment call (208) 267- 9228 to get setup.
10. IS THERE RESEARCH ON SEX ADDICTION AVAILABLE?
There is research being done in the field of sexual addiction. Art of Redirection Counseling Center and Heart to Heart Counseling centers provide research information as well as 101 Practical Exercises for sexual addiction recovery and Twelve Step discussions.
11. CAN WOMEN BE SEX ADDICTED?
Yes! The number of women desiring treatment is growing significantly. The behaviors are the same as their male counterparts including: masturbation, pornography, internet activity, anonymous encounters and affairs. Over twenty recovering female sex addicts contributed in writing She Has a Secret: Understanding Female Sexual Addiction. This book plus the Secret Solutions Workbook, with over 115 helpful techniques for recovery is just for her. If you would like to set up a counseling appointment to start your journey of recovery, call (208) 267-9228 today. There is hope for female sex addicts to recovery.
12. IS THERE ANY WAY TO HELP OUR CHILDREN NOT BECOME SEXUALLY ADDICTED?
Yes! Even though many of our adult male clients report that their fathers were sex addicts (porn, affairs, prostitutes etc.) they also report getting little to no proper sexual information to balance their sexual perspective. Good Enough to Wait is the first video of this kind to help your children understand sex and the brain, the long-term effects of pornography, long term sexual satisfaction and a whole lot more. This is the best combination of sex research and spiritual principles to date for youth to watch to give them a proper and currently informed sex talk.
13. ARE ADULT DATING WEBSITES PART OF SEXUAL ADDICTION?
Many sex addicts desire anonymous encounters. Sex addiction has flourished with the Internet and the anonymity it offers. The altered state of grooming an anonymous person can be very addictive to a sexual addict so yes, these websites are used in some people's sexual addiction.
Why is Addressing Sex Addiction, Sexual Anorexia, and Emotional / Intimacy Anorexia simultaneously such an important component of treatment?
A common pattern we see in the recovering community is a recognition of acting out behaviors with little or no recognition of acting in behaviors. For the addict this results in two harmful effects: 1) relapse and 2) a glass ceiling on the depth of his or her recovery.
Just as a severely restrictive food diet sets the dieter up for a sense of deprivation that ultimately fuels a binge, unaddressed sexual and intimacy anorexia sets the addict up for a sense of deprivation that ultimately fuels a relapse. Moreover, accepting a lack of intimacy as the norm, regardless of which sphere of intimacy, is a form of self-abandonment. It's a way tolerating less than what you deserve in a relationship and in life; it's a way of de-valuing yourself and in doing so ensuring that the promises of recovery will not be fulfilled for you.
Ignoring the anorexia has consequences for your relationship as well. It punishes your mate. It dooms your partner to a life of loneliness, it strips away at self-esteem, deprives him or her of being fully loved and of the freedom to fully love in return. The long-term consequences predispose to bitterness and resentment. You both deserve better.
If you are a partner of an intimacy anorexic you may not have had the label but you are probably very aware of the impact of the anorexia on your relationship, on you. You may have survived the trauma of D-Day, the day you discovered or had your addict's acting out disclosed to you. You may have survived the early emotional roller coaster days of recovery. You may have even been heartened by seeing your addict gain traction in recovery and achieve success in stopping the acting out. But if the anorexia has not been addressed, that is when the full reality your situation hits you — that as painful as the acting out was, the intimacy anorexia is actually much more destructive.
Your addict may be expecting praise for how hard s/he has worked on stopping the acting out and have no understanding of why you may still be angry, or disappointed, or expecting more. But for you, that's when you really get it — that despite his or her progress on the addiction your needs are still not being met.
Art of Redirection Counseling has multiple counselors trained specifically for sexual addiction counseling. Call (208) 267-9228 to set up a counseling appointment.
Art of Redirection Counseling also offers weekly accountability groups for men & women recovering from sexual addiction and / or arrested development and / or emotional anorexia and / or anger management, live or by telephone.
Art of Redirection Counseling also offers weekly accountability groups for PARTNERS of men recovering from sexual addiction and / or emotional anorexia live or by telephone.
Please call (208) 267-9228 for more information.
Do you and your spouse feel more like roommates
Does your spouse spend more time doing anything
but spend time with you?
Do you find yourself drawn to pornography &
don't know how to stop?
Does your partner actively, almost compulsively, sabotage emotional, mental, physical and at times sexual intimacy with you?
You are not alone!
Most people struggling with emotional / intimacy anorexia & sexual addiction ask themselves "Why can't I stop?" over and over despite everything they do. Too often people are told "You should just view the porn with him" or "you are just not trying or praying hard enough" or their wives are told "you need to do more in the bedroom to satisfy him"
These comments are NOT TRUE!
Sexual addiction is so difficult to break because it is threefold. Psychological, Biological and Chemical. Specialized therapy is needed to address this addiction which must deal with all three areas for a person to truly be successful in recovery.
Rob & Kathy provide a unique experience through counseling clients together in Intensives and certain couples sessions providing the unique ability for couples counseling with the two counselors together with the couple in session / Intensives, to work through certain issues that may not be as profitable with just one counselor.
Change is hard! You do not have to do it alone!
Let us come along side you, identify how you got to where you are at, teach you effective tools to move forward and learn and grow together.