“If mental health can be defined, as M. Scott Peck says, as a commitment to reality no matter what the cost, addiction can be defined as its most direct opposite: evading reality no matter the cost. The norm is to deceive others and to pretend that what is true is not true. Self-delusion is then hard to break, and secrets become more potent than reality…as the truth comes out people are stunned by their capacity for self-delusion.” – Patrick Carnes, PhD
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addicts are men and women who are sexually compulsive; their sexual behavior interferes with and often dramatically disrupts their lives and the lives of loved ones. Sexually compulsive behavior is characterized by a loss of control and is steeped in shame and secrecy. The sex addict is caught between hating the behavior and finding it a source of transient, yet familiar comfort. Examples of sexually addictive behavior includes:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Intrusive sexual and/or romantic fantasy
- Rely on sex to release stress and stabilize mood
- Crave sex, like a smoker needs a cigarette, and become irritable if denied
- Emotional disconnection during sex with a committed partner
- Need increasing amounts and more provocative sex/porn/masturbation
- Keeping secrets or leading a double life
- Obsessive/compulsive personality traits
- Infidelities that include physical and emotional affairs
- Use of prostitutes/massage parlors
- Use of strip clubs/sexual arcades
- Sexual chat rooms
- Web cam imagine
- Casual encounters
- Anonymous Sex
- The cycle of sexual addiction can be illustrated by the numbers on a clock. Find out more about this.
- Sex addicts often have multiple addictions and are looking to have needs met in a variety of ways
The good news is that sex addiction is treatable. Addicts can and do recover with specialized treatment. Coming out of the shadows of addiction and into the harsh reality of the light of truth can be very difficult to navigate. It is important to have a skilled helper guide you through the dangers of disclosure and recovery. Learn more about our credentials and why it is important to find a skilled therapist. At Alpha Omega Delta we are pleased to offer a comprehensive plan for individuals and couples starting the steps to recovery from sexual addiction and desiring to achieve sexual health and wholeness. We offer a plan that includes an initial crisis recovery plan for the sex addict and the partner of the sex addict. Following the crisis recovery we offer a Growth and Repair phase that includes individual, couple, and group work.