Sexual addiction has as one of its antecedents, a failure of normal early attachment due to some disruption in the relationship to a primary caregiver.  Sex addicts are often sexually abused as children but they are more often emotionally neglected and tend to come from families that are rigid, authoritarian or sexually repressed.  This failure leads to an inability to trust and to bond normally with another.  Some attachment problems also arise through accidents of fate such as the illness or absence of a caregiver.  (There is also thought to be both a genetic and environmental predisposition to addictions in general, which may be passed on as a predisposition to addiction in the case of sexual addiction as well.)

Being so-called “intimacy-abled” means being able to form a healthy attachment with a partner in adulthood.  That implies the ability to trust your partner, to trust your own ability to set boundaries, to communicate your feelings in the moment, to be able to commit, and to relate to a partner with all aspects of yourself – mental, emotional, physical and sexual.  The untreated baggage of a disordered attachment history leads to mistrust, fear, distancing, sexual conflicts, feeling unlovable, and lack of experience with healthy communication.  For more see What is Healthy Sex…


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