content top

It’s OK to Have Bad Sex: The Sex Addict’s Difficult Adjustment

It’s OK to Have Bad Sex: The Sex Addict’s Difficult Adjustment

Sex addicts tend to be perfectionists.  And this is especially true in their attitude toward sex.  They are known for their all-or-nothing thinking, the tendency to view the world in terms of extremes.  In their sex life with a partner, sex addicts in recovery tend to carry with them an extreme and basically intolerant set of expectations. Just as an aside, there have been a slew of blogs and research survey findings that suggest that we...

Read More

6 Ways Recovering Alcoholics Deny Sex and Intimacy Issues

6 Ways Recovering Alcoholics Deny Sex and Intimacy Issues

Many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts have problems with sex and intimacy.  Even though they have been in 12-step recovery, they may still have intimacy issues. They may have great difficulty following through with relationships and instead go for repeated seductions in which they use the feeling of falling in love as a substitute high.  Other recovering chemical dependency people become sexually compulsive with online hook-ups or...

Read More

Sex Addicts are Codependents Too

Sex Addicts are Codependents Too

If you are a clinician working with sex addicts you may be struck by how often the addict is desperate to save their marriage or relationship.  Sometimes to the point of being so obsessed with holding onto their relationship that it interferes with their focusing on treatment. It may not be immediately obvious why this is so.  Addicts appear to be focused mainly on themselves. Typically they: -are sexually compulsive outside of the...

Read More

Not Sure if You’re a Sex Addict?

Not Sure if You’re a Sex Addict?

It is normal to feel uncertain about this question.  Addictions are partly self-defined; especially “process” addictions like gambling, food and sex addiction.  Doctors and therapists don’t go out of their way to look for sex addicts.  If someone comes to me for sex addiction help it is because they suspect that they are having a problem with some sexual behavior that is out of control or is causing serious problems.  A sex addiction...

Read More

Chronic Sex Addiction Relapse: Letting Go Once and For All

Chronic Sex Addiction Relapse:  Letting Go Once and For All

Sometimes I feel as bewildered and frustrated as my sex addiction clients when they periodically slip up and engage in their addictive behavior, even as they seem to be making progress in their recovery.  (See also the excellent article by Dr. Patrick Carnes entitled “The Perfect Storm: Assessing for Sex Addiction”) What is it that makes some recovering sex addicts continue to relapse frequently?  Why are some sex addicts seemingly unable...

Read More

Subtle Signs of Self Hate: Recovering Sex Addicts Find New Outlets

Subtle Signs of Self Hate: Recovering Sex Addicts Find New Outlets

There is a common saying among sex addiction therapists that “sex addiction is not about sex, it’s about pain.”    Sex addicts use one or more sexually addictive behaviors such as internet pornography, frequent visits to prostitutes or sexual massage parlors, compulsive sexual hook-ups or serial affairs and so on as a drug of choice to escape stressful or unpleasant feelings. Sex addicts, like most other kinds of addicts have long-standing...

Read More

Is Healthy Masturbation Part of Sex Addiction Counseling?

Is Healthy Masturbation Part of Sex Addiction Counseling?

I am returning to this topic because it is one that comes up repeatedly in sex addiction counseling.  Masturbation to pornographic images or fantasies is not necessarily an unhealthy thing on its own. But for sex addicts the uncontrollable acting out of particular sexual fantasies and the act of masturbating while having specific sexual fantasies are very similar processes. If the addict’s preferred acting out behavior is visiting...

Read More
content top