Sex Addiction FAQ

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 can not 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 God 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? I have heard this question on almost every national talk show or radio show I have been on 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 I 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.

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 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.

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. 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. I have been in successful recovery over eleven years and I know it’s available for those who choose to work for and maintain recovery.

10. Is there research on sex addiction available? There is research being done in the field of sexual addiction. The monitored mail list of Heart to Heart Counseling centers provides weekly research information as well as excerpts from 101 Practical Exercises for sexual addiction recovery as well as 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 telephone counseling appointment to start your journey of recovery, call 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 affects 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.

What Is Sex Therapy In Terms Of Sex Addiction Recovery?

What is sex therapy? It is a form of psychotherapy. In therapy, people can work with a therapist either on their own or with their spouse or partner. The issues can range from childhood trauma, abuse, neglect or intimacy to sexual concerns such as feelings or function. It is a helpful way for adults, regardless of sexual orientation, age or gender to work through their problems. In particular, sex therapy is an important part of the recovery process for many people who have struggled with sex addiction.

In general, sex therapy is conducted by licensed professionals including psychologists, physicians and therapists. CSAT’s, certified sex addiction therapists are best suited to handle the problems of sexually addicted individuals. Other professionals have a specialized expertise in the field of sexual/relationship therapy. A reputable sex therapist will have a graduate degree and credentials through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

People who are struggling with sex addiction will not always be at a point where they are ready for sex therapy. In most cases, sex therapy is meant to be a short-term treatment option. However, the treatment plan for sex therapy is based on the individual. Once a sex addict is ready for sex therapy as an individual or with his or her partner or spouse, he or she may work with the therapist to address specific treatment goals.

There is one big misconception that needs to be cleared up when it comes to sex therapy. At no time during any therapy session by certified sex therapists should there be sexual contact with the patients either in the office or off-site. If you or someone you know is going to a “therapist” who engages in contact with them, this behavior should raise a red flag. Sex therapy, like other forms of therapy involves verbal communication between the therapist and the patient.

So what exactly does sex therapy involve? Why should anyone, let alone sex addicts see a sex therapist? The answer is quite simple: Sex therapy is an effective way to help people resolve their concerns about sexual desire or arousal, sexual interests or orientation, compulsive sexual behavior, erectile dysfunction, ejaculating too quickly (premature ejaculation), trouble reaching orgasm, painful intercourse and intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition just to name a few. All of these concerns can be worked through with the guidance of a licensed therapist.

Let’s face it, discussing sex and intimacy issues can be a very sensitive subject. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that sex therapists are professionals. Your therapist will help you begin to feel comfortable discussing your concerns. A therapist’s office is a safe setting where you can feel comfortable expressing yourself without judgment or condemnation. It is a place where you and your partner or spouse can learn and grow together. For sex addicts, learning how to move beyond sexually compulsive behaviors and developing healthy sexual behaviors, relationships and intimacy is of utmost importance.

It is natural to feel reluctant to take the first step and commit yourself to sex therapy. You might feel you need to somehow prepare for it. In reality, all you need to do is search for a certified therapist whom you and your spouse or partner (if you are attending as a couple) feel comfortable with and trust. A good place to start is by talking to your primary care doctor. He or she can give you a referral to either a therapist or to a sex therapy clinic. Some health insurance programs or employee programs offer recommended listings for licensed professionals such as sex therapists. Another good option is to find certified members of the AASECT in your area. Finally, if you are enrolled in a sex addiction treatment program, they might recommend a number of ideal options for you.

There are many considerations you will want to keep in mind before you decide on a therapist. It is important to research the therapist’s credentials including education, training, accreditation and licensing. For sex addicts, you may also want to know the therapist’s level of experience in dealing with issues specific to sex addiction. Other considerations might include the office location and hours, session length, treatment length, frequency of sessions, cost, insurance coverage and payment options.

Communication is essential to successful results from sex therapy. You must ensure you and your spouse or partner are comfortable with the therapist you decide on. Take some time after your consultation to evaluate how you feel about the therapist and if you feel you can develop a strong line of communication with this individual. There is no shame in asking for a referral if it isn’t a good match.

Once you have selected a therapist who you feel comfortable with, you may still be a bit apprehensive. Understanding what to expect might help ease your concerns. Initially, you should expect to discuss your sexual concerns. As a sex addict, you will need to discuss the nature of your sexual addiction and the steps you have taken for recovery. Essentially, you need to give the therapist a broad overview of your situation. Ultimately, the therapist will use this information to help you build communication and improve your intimacy problems.

If you are attending sex therapy as a couple with your spouse or partner, you should expect to be asked to do a number of homework exercises. These may include reading about sexual techniques, slowing down and concentrating on your senses during sexual encounters and changing the way you relate to your spouse or partner during sex. As a sex addict, it may also include learning to develop healthy sexual behaviors with your spouse or partner.

The length of your therapy will vary based on your particular needs. It can be as short as a handful of sessions or last for several months. Your experiences outside of therapy will play a large role in determining the direction of your therapy sessions. It is also important to remember sex therapy should not include physical contact between you and the therapist. This is not an accepted part of mainstream sex therapy treatment.

Finally, you need to remember sex therapy will often be just small part of your treatment, especially when recovering from sex addiction. Other considerations such as stress, anxiety, depression and medical issues will also require treatment. Sex therapy will help you develop healthy sexual behaviors and restore your sexual relationship with your spouse or partner.

Experiences That Are Sweeter Than Sex and Pornography

Gaining freedom after days, weeks, months or years of incarceration: If you think freedom is cheap and unimportant please rethink. Some prisoners can pay anything to come out of detention centers. When you are locked-up, your top priority is freedom and the taste for sex dies naturally. Maybe, the prisoner’s jail term is seven years and he gains freedom within one year, which type of sex will give him the type of joy he will feel. Prisoners that have sex drives are those that are comfortable with the prison condition or those that are used to confinement. Be as it may, no sex can taste better than the prison warden opening the prison gate and tell to go home. The sweetest word in prison is freedom and not sex. The thrill of freedom cannot be compared to the skeletal pleasure of sex. The agony of being held hostage by kidnappers is immeasurable. Therefore, the joy of gaining freedom after staying with persons that could kill their hostage anytime can never be measured with the pleasure of sex.

Being vindicated from a crime you did not commit after several attempts to prove your innocence: It is only those that have tasted the pains of being wrongfully accused of committing a crime that knows the sweetness of being vindicated. I have seen guys that have been wrongly accused of raping under aged girls. The burden of the false accusation will automatically kill the drive for sex. Let’s say a happily married father of children is wrongfully accused of raping a ten year old girl. Possibly, he might be well respected in his religious and career circle. The result might be threat of divorce from his wife, disrespect from his children, and sack from work as well as excommunication in place of worship. This man’s exoneration is far more pleasurable than sexual intercourse. I have weigh elation of persons vindicated from crimes they were incorrectly accused of and discovered that it beats sex fun.

Easing yourself after being pressed for a long time: I have once been in a bus travelling from Imo State to Rivers State in Nigeria. The journey will take about two hours. Immediately the bus took off, I became very pressed, it was clear that I must visit the toilet to poo immediately. I thought I could endure it until we get to Port Harcourt since it was already 9pm and no driver will stop at the road side to enable me defecate for the fear of armed robbers. From that moment I lost my peace. I was uncomfortable about everything. I felt like sitting down, standing up, moving left and right all at the same time. The night was cold but I was sweating confusedly. At a point the waste was almost coming out of my anus, I almost cried. At this point, not even the most beautiful girl in the world, together with her counterparts in all the continent of the world would arouse my sexual urge. All I wanted was to be free and avoid the embarrassment of soiling myself. We got to the motor part and I immediately rushed to the toilet leaving all my belongings in the bus. The way I felt as I was defecating, no sexual intercourse can be delightful than that.

Meeting an old close friend after several years of losing contact: You cannot measure the amount of joy you feel when you meet an old time or a childhood friend. The careless shout, the scream, the hug and kiss are proofs of the pleasure of meeting an old friend. Maybe you are now forty years old and your very close pal when you are five just surfaced after about thirty five years of loss of contact, the pleasure cannot be compared with sex. You will sit with the friend, call yourselves old nicknames, tell life’s stories and before you comprehend you will spend hours with him unconsciously.

Succeeding in an examination after several attempts: Consider the pains of paying a fresh tuition and examination fee, the agony of failing after several day and night readings, and the shame of being mocked and the disappointment of seeing your classmates move to higher class while you repeat. All these and more will make anyone celebrate success in a particular examination after several attempts to pass. You might not understand what I am saying until you have failed a particular examination for six times and finally overcomes it at the seventh time.

Your team winning a match that you thought it was impossible to win: It was in the 1996 Olympic Games and no African country has ever won gold in football. In one of the semi-final matches Nigeria was playing against Brazil and the score was 3:1 in favour of Brazil. Everyone including me felt the match was over until Nwankwo Kanu scored both the equalizer and the winning goals respectively. That night I saw Nigerian run out of their houses into the street starkly naked. I saw very responsible men carrying their wives cooking pots, washing bowls, mortar, etc. on their heads and running in the street. Some laid down on the highway regardless of series of cars on the road driven by joy inflicted mad drivers. Which kind of sex can make a man feel this way?

Getting a job after several years of unemployment: Receiving an email informing you to resume work the next day after several years of job hunting is pleasurable than sex.

Another test conducted on you shows that you do not have the incurable disease that the former medical test showed you have: Confirming that the formal results of a medical test that shows that you have an terminal sickness is incorrect is more desirable than sex. The lab scientist just discovered that he used a Leukemia patient’s blood sample to run your own test and he is kneeling before you, apologizing for his error. No kind of sex or pornography can make you feel the way you do after this confirmation.

Becoming millionaire after years of living in poverty: Poverty can be frustrating and suicidal. When an underprivileged unexpectedly turn out to be wealthy, sex pleasure cannot be compared to such happiness. Maybe, a Hundred Dollars per month salary earner just won a jackpot of Two Million Dollars; no pornography can be compared with his joy.

Peace after a long time of political, tribal or religious war in your country: Go and ask the people of Libya, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, etc, what is their greatest prayer; the common answer will be peace. It is only the living that can have sex, what people in this country want is peace, therefore when they get it, it is sweeter than sex.

Knowing that your little assistance helped to save someone’s life, job or destiny: Recognizing that the Ten Dollars you gave to your neighbor paid for the drugs that saved his son’s life, identifying that the little training you offered to a man help him in getting a better job or the few advice to gave to that teenager helped him quit drugs can give a great measure of satisfaction than sex or pornography.

Being alive after you thought you will die from a sickness, accident or an attack: You are driving in a fast lane face-to-face with a truck whose break just failed. You just close your eyes, expecting the loud bang because there is no where to hide. Few seconds later you opened your eyes hoping to see heaven’s gate but discovered that you are still driving your car. The truck had crossed to the other lane and crushed more than seven cars. Which sex or pornography will make you feel the way you feel when someone points a gun at you head and you hear a gunshot sound only discovered that the police just shot your attacker from behind?

Getting commendation and recommendation from your employer after everyone around thought you were incompetent: Praise from an employer that has never seen anything good about you can be far better than sex. Perhaps, you have been tagged the black sheep of the organization and there are even plans of sacking you. But, your employer comes up one day and gives you an award as the best staff of the month and a promotion letter.

Accomplishing a task you thought was too big for you to do: Completing a mission that you and most people feel is impossible generates greater pleasure than sex. Most inventors have little or no regard for sex because their discoveries satisfy them. The happiness in doing great things overshadows the urge or pleasure of sex and pornography.

Being delivered of a baby after months of pregnancy. The discomfort, pain and sleepless nights of pregnancy are indescribable. The fear of complications or death during pregnancy is also scary. The anxiousness to see your offspring is tempting. The sought after prestige and honor of fatherhood is enticing. Therefore, no sexual pleasure can beat the first cry of a new born baby. That single cry is worth more than the goldmines of South Africa, No orgasm can defeat the sweetness of that cry.