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Old 11-15-2003, 03:45 PM   #1
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Question can someone explain sex addiction?

My friend was involved with a man for a year who claimed to have a sex addiction. He said he struggled with it all his life, ever since being exposed to pornography at a young age. First of all, is this possible? Could an addiction start this way? He was attending SA meetings and seeing a counsellor when my friend met him, and he had told her that he'd had cyber sex online a few times. After things got serious, she found out that he'd cheated on her by cybering again, and then she found out that he'd actually paid for sex in massage parlors. He said that even as fulfilled and happy as he was with her, something "comes over him" and he has to have his need fulfilled. He explained the addiction, for one example, like this...if he saw a picture of a sexy woman, the image would stay in his head, and he'd think about it until he "acted out" to relieve the obsessive thoughts. "Acting out" meaning masturbating. As a result, he had limited cable on his tv so he couldn't watch adult programs, and limited internet access so he couldn't get to the porn websites. Does this sound possible? My friend is so broken-hearted over the loss of the relationship and everything she suffered as a result of it.

 
Old 11-15-2003, 04:30 PM   #2
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“Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior.* Family breakups, financial disaster, loss of jobs, and risk to life are the painful themes of their stories.

* Most were abused as children -- sexually, physically, and/or emotionally.* The majority grew up in families in which addiction already flourished, including alcoholism, compulsive eating, and compulsive gambling.* Most grapple with other addictions as well, but they find sex addiction the most difficult to stop.

Much hope nevertheless exists for these addicts and their families.* Sex addicts have shown an ability to transform a life of self-destruction into a life of self-care, a life in chaos and despair into one of confidence and peace."

Sexual Dependency: What it is.

Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's work environment.

Sexual addicts make sex a priority more important than family, friends, and work.* Sex becomes the organizing principle of addicts' lives.* They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior.

No single behavior pattern defines sexual addiction.* These behaviors, when they have taken control of addicts' lives and become unmanageable, include: compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, child molesting, incest, rape, and violence.* Even the healthiest forms of human sexual expression can turn into self-defeating behaviors.

In sexual addiction, a parallel situation exists.* Sex -- like food or drugs in other addictions -- provides the "high" and addicts become dependent on this sexual high to feel normal.* They substitute unhealthy relationships for healthy ones.* They opt for temporary pleasure rather than the deeper qualities of "normal" intimate relationships.

Sexual addiction follows the same progressive nature of other addictions.* Sexual addicts struggle to control their behaviors, and experience despair over their constant failure to do so.* Their loss of self-esteem grows, fueling the need to escape even further into their addictive behaviors.* A sense of powerlessness pervades the lives of addicts.

Sexual addicts who have reported experiencing:

* Emotional abuse 97%
* Sexual abuse 83%
* Physical abuse 71%

Why sexual addicts don't "just stop" their destructive behavior

Sexual addicts feel tremendous guilt and shame about their out-of-control behavior, and they live in constant fear of discovery.* Yet addicts will often act out sexually in an attempt to block out the very pain of their addiction.* This is part of what drives the addictive cycle.* We say that they are addicts because they are out of control and unable to stop their behaviors despite their self-destructive nature and potentially devastating consequences.* Years of treating chemically dependent individuals have shown that successful intervention with an addict's extensive denial and repression system often requires professional help.

Despite the frequency and range of their acting-out experiences, sexual addicts are often poorly informed about sexuality in general- An important part of their recovery process is learning about healthy sexual practices: behaviors which are connecting and affirming rather than shaming and guilt inducing.* In addition, sexual addicts often need to be taught about safe sexual practices, basic self-care, and health concerns.

Treating sexual addiction

Treatment programs for sexual addiction include patient, outpatient, and aftercare support, and self-help groups.* Treatment programs also offer family counseling programs, support groups, and educational workshops for addicts and their families to help them understand the facets of belief and family life that are part of the addiction-

Unlike recovering alcoholics who must abstain from drinking for life, sexual addicts are led back into a normal, healthy sex life much in the way those suffering from eating disorders must relearn healthy eating patterns.

Are sexual addicts ever cured?

Like other types of addicts, some sexual addicts may never be "cured." Sexual addicts achieve a state of recovery, but maintaining that recovery can be a lifelong, day-by-day process.* The Twelve Step treatment approach teaches addicts to take their recovery "one day at a time" - concentrating on the present, not the future.

Partners of sexual addicts, like partners of alcoholics, can also benefit from counseling and support groups.* Normally these partners are codependents, and they, too, suffer from the extreme adverse effects of the addiction.* Inpatient and outpatient programs, counseling, and support groups are all available to help them regain control of their lives and support the recovery of their partner.
*

 
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:58 AM   #3
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lastyls HB User
I know Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgirl
My friend was involved with a man for a year who claimed to have a sex addiction. He said he struggled with it all his life, ever since being exposed to pornography at a young age. First of all, is this possible? Could an addiction start this way? He was attending SA meetings and seeing a counsellor when my friend met him, and he had told her that he'd had cyber sex online a few times. After things got serious, she found out that he'd cheated on her by cybering again, and then she found out that he'd actually paid for sex in massage parlors. He said that even as fulfilled and happy as he was with her, something "comes over him" and he has to have his need fulfilled. He explained the addiction, for one example, like this...if he saw a picture of a sexy woman, the image would stay in his head, and he'd think about it until he "acted out" to relieve the obsessive thoughts. "Acting out" meaning masturbating. As a result, he had limited cable on his tv so he couldn't watch adult programs, and limited internet access so he couldn't get to the porn websites. Does this sound possible? My friend is so broken-hearted over the loss of the relationship and everything she suffered as a result of it.
Hi My ex and father of my child was a porn/sex addict the entire 3 yrs. of our relationship. I only found out after I got 'pregnant' 3 months into relationship. I'm not a young woman, at that time I was 37 and it devastated my world! To try to live with him and being pregnant by him and watching him, catching him, was devastation. I even went w/him to clinic to try to get help for him, as all this was causing me great pain and he didn't understand it, because his 'sex' wasn't w/anyone just porn etc. Well he started meds then immediately quit because of what? Pills made him sexually suffer. And the excuse of 'I don't want to be maintained by pill's'. Well things got worse then violent w/him beating me because of my anger towards him. I finally broke from him a year ago, as I couldn't help or compete with him. It still today hurts, and he is very manipulative and sneaky and draws you to him. Very charismatic, sexually intense, and you think it's all for you but after you soon learn,it's not all about you and his 'love' for you. With him, it's different though, he doesn't want help maybe other's do. And the irony of this story, his very recent girlfriend has major in psychology!!!! So who knows? Maybe she will BE ABLE to help him. But it's a tough battle he doesn't seem to think is wrong! Or a problem! Ok enough from me....next.....

 
Old 11-17-2003, 06:14 AM   #4
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openseason HB User
Sure it is possible to be addicted to any behaviour. As long as it provides a high

to the person. Its all due to low serotonin levels in the brain. The other post

describes the addiction process very well. A girlfriend psychologist cant help

him, he has got to want to help himself. The girlfriend is most likely attacted

to his addiction for some reason, she may be an adreneline addict herself.

I would say this man probably has addiction in his family history, and he has to

want to break the cycle.

 
Old 11-17-2003, 09:07 AM   #5
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Interesting

The reply you made is very interesting to me. Are you in the psychology field? I know for a fact it's a chemical thing and yes he was sexually abused then outcast by his family on top of the 'unknown abuse'. I know what you mean about the 'psychiatry major',,,,,,,, I too, took alot of psychiatry during school,,,,,,,I too, was going to to 'help' him I thought maybe his new actual 'major in psychology girlfriend' may be able to help him more. What is your thought? Thank you........lastyls
Quote:
Originally Posted by openseason
Sure it is possible to be addicted to any behaviour. As long as it provides a high

to the person. Its all due to low serotonin levels in the brain. The other post

describes the addiction process very well. A girlfriend psychologist cant help

him, he has got to want to help himself. The girlfriend is most likely attacted

to his addiction for some reason, she may be an adreneline addict herself.

I would say this man probably has addiction in his family history, and he has to

want to break the cycle.

 
Old 11-17-2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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openseason HB User
The new girlfriend may be able to help if if she can get him to admit he has the addiction. But she was attracted to him precisely because he had a problem. Most people who grow up with an addicted parent end up marrying an addict. This all happens without the person realizing why they are attacted to other addicts. The man you describe is using drugs to escape the anxiety he feels. To have any chance of recovery he has to face his abusive past. Instead he just wants to numb himself with an addiction.

Only when the addiction is removed can the actual mental problem surface.

I was wondering if you grew up with an addicted parent? Because you may be repeating your childhood. My family is filled

with alcoholics, and my conclusion has been that the underlying problem has been depression, which is caused by hypoglycemia which upsets the brain chemistry.

When you see a mean drunk in a rage that is the extreme swing in blood sugar levels. The body when sensing a drop in blood sugar trys to correct it by releasing adreneline. The drunk then begins to rage and fight everyone because
his body cannot cope with that much adreneline.

 
Old 11-17-2003, 11:26 AM   #7
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lastyls HB User
the new g'f is very new.......

Hi,,,,,,\
,, sorry deleted some of your comments by mistake/... yes i come from addictive mother...family, uncles cousins aunts grandmother etc.......on both sides and I am trully a functioning addict. But my ex is a sex addict, only, no drugs, smoking, just the obsessive sex. He wants a woman to take care of him such as lay out of work for 3 or 4 months while he literally just jerks around, lazy, no ambition even his 'health habits' were non existent to the extent of no shower in 2 weeks! And I am motivated bought my own home, worked had a baby sat.nite came back on tues. morn like always,...........i'm off sun/mon just so i could keep and 'buy' that house. Then i thought about doing investments such as,, buying other homes etc....and he said invest 'in me' wanting me to sign 10,000.00 loan for computer course that was very obsolete! Another 'venture' of his,,,,dream whatever. Of course I didn't, then things all along were becoming violent w/him and me my resentment blah blah....but ya know it feels good to see someone 'answer me' if you have any info would be nice,,,,,trying to 'close' this part of my life although we have a child and only unfortunate part is I'm constantly having to see him or think this would be easier. Thank you, in advance, lastyls

Last edited by lastyls; 11-17-2003 at 11:39 AM.

 
Old 11-17-2003, 12:55 PM   #8
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Lastyls: You are welcome. Have you read the self help books such as Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beatty. That would be a good start. You have recognized that your ex has very poor judgment due to his addiction. Throwing money at his problem just enables him to keep going nowhere. Money does not help stop an addiction.

What I have learned is that when we grow up in an addictive family all the survival skills we learn as children then work against us as an adult. My sister for instance married a pot addict, which ended in divorce. I have problems relating to anyone in general, but find myself attracted to addicted people, and the rest of my family has followed the same patterns. So it takes some self examination and honesty to avoid relationships with addicted people.

A lot of it is due to learned patterns, which are familiar to us but also negative.

Sounds like you have accomplished much already. As you know many women stay in an abusive relationship until it kills them.

Anyway one counselor states that these negative relationships are based on
the codependent being addicted to the adreneline released when the addict causes a crisis such as a financial problems or legal problems. Then they make up and the cycle leading up to the adreneline rush starts all over again. Its also described as the addicts downward spiral dragging down the rest of the family with him.

If you dont realize what you are doing your next boyfriend is most likely to be an addict also. My sister was dating a man after her divorce. He turned out to be a gambling addict, at least she did not marry him.

Its seems that if we grow up in with an addict parent we have to really work hard to stop the cycle from repeating in our own marriage.

As long as your ex is sick, he will constantly try to drag you down with him to
make himself feel better. This is what all addicts do to their spouses. I am giving you a big hug and telling you that you can stay strong and healthy.

 
Old 11-17-2003, 01:03 PM   #9
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That is a great book, Im planning to read it again.
It describes me so well, but my mom, who doesn't feel the need to be around anymore, is 100% co-dependent. She doesn't want to deal with herself, now that it's down to her.
I wished when growing up that she would of just stopped making us the most important and started doing something for her, I would of loved that.
Not to mention, I suffer a Lot with mental problems because of her sheltering me so much.
Now, Im just like her. I plan to change this awful cycle now.
Thanks for mentioning the book

 
Old 11-17-2003, 01:10 PM   #10
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lastyls HB User
Thank YOU ...You're the BEST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by openseason
Lastyls: You are welcome. Have you read the self help books such as Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beatty. That would be a good start. You have recognized that your ex has very poor judgment due to his addiction. Throwing money at his problem just enables him to keep going nowhere. Money does not help stop an addiction.

What I have learned is that when we grow up in an addictive family all the survival skills we learn as children then work against us as an adult. My sister for instance married a pot addict, which ended in divorce. I have problems relating to anyone in general, but find myself attracted to addicted people, and the rest of my family has followed the same patterns. So it takes some self examination and honesty to avoid relationships with addicted people.

A lot of it is due to learned patterns, which are familiar to us but also negative.

Sounds like you have accomplished much already. As you know many women stay in an abusive relationship until it kills them.

Anyway one counselor states that these negative relationships are based on
the codependent being addicted to the adreneline released when the addict causes a crisis such as a financial problems or legal problems. Then they make up and the cycle leading up to the adreneline rush starts all over again. Its also described as the addicts downward spiral dragging down the rest of the family with him.

If you dont realize what you are doing your next boyfriend is most likely to be an addict also. My sister was dating a man after her divorce. He turned out to be a gambling addict, at least she did not marry him.

Its seems that if we grow up in with an addict parent we have to really work hard to stop the cycle from repeating in our own marriage.

As long as your ex is sick, he will constantly try to drag you down with him to
make himself feel better. This is what all addicts do to their spouses. I am giving you a big hug and telling you that you can stay strong and healthy.
I have recognized my relationships all have involved some form of addicted men. I have stepped back and not got into a relationship for past year because of this. I've dated, but have noticed similarities in the men of choice and just leave them alone. I'm sorting thru myself now, trying to understand myself and them as well. But for now, I'm working on ME! Thank you for your advice on the book too! Appreciate everything....lastyls

 
Old 11-17-2003, 01:22 PM   #11
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Thank you Pootsie, my mom was the same way! Thank you lastyls, good luck to both of you great people.

 
Old 11-26-2003, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: can someone explain sex addiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgirl
My friend was involved with a man for a year who claimed to have a sex addiction. He said he struggled with it all his life, ever since being exposed to pornography at a young age. First of all, is this possible? Could an addiction start this way? He was attending SA meetings and seeing a counsellor when my friend met him, and he had told her that he'd had cyber sex online a few times. After things got serious, she found out that he'd cheated on her by cybering again, and then she found out that he'd actually paid for sex in massage parlors. He said that even as fulfilled and happy as he was with her, something "comes over him" and he has to have his need fulfilled. He explained the addiction, for one example, like this...if he saw a picture of a sexy woman, the image would stay in his head, and he'd think about it until he "acted out" to relieve the obsessive thoughts. "Acting out" meaning masturbating. As a result, he had limited cable on his tv so he couldn't watch adult programs, and limited internet access so he couldn't get to the porn websites. Does this sound possible? My friend is so broken-hearted over the loss of the relationship and everything she suffered as a result of it.
I too can relate to exactly how she feels, I felt that there had to be something wrong with me I wasn't attractive I couldn't turn him on, I wasn't enough, he would go to the computer rather than coming to me for that and says that it had nothing to do with me, I battled struggled and fought several times, this was the reason that we had the outburst that caused me to move out along with his crack addiction, I frequently walk away from him now telling him, I don't feel comfortable with the situation I'm removing myself from it you do what you have too but I want to be no part of it, it's devastating to find out you've been living your life with someone who's so manipulative that they can turn your thinking around into making it about your insecurities and doubts and completely having nothing to do with them when in fact it is about them. I've heard so many of these things and seen them as well, also know that he had an alcoholic mother, and was abused sexually as a child so that holds true as well it seems...

 
Old 11-27-2003, 08:57 AM   #13
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Re: can someone explain sex addiction? PS.....HI OKIE

Quote:
Originally Posted by okie
I too can relate to exactly how she feels, I felt that there had to be something wrong with me I wasn't attractive I couldn't turn him on, I wasn't enough, he would go to the computer rather than coming to me for that and says that it had nothing to do with me, I battled struggled and fought several times, this was the reason that we had the outburst that caused me to move out along with his crack addiction, I frequently walk away from him now telling him, I don't feel comfortable with the situation I'm removing myself from it you do what you have too but I want to be no part of it, it's devastating to find out you've been living your life with someone who's so manipulative that they can turn your thinking around into making it about your insecurities and doubts and completely having nothing to do with them when in fact it is about them. I've heard so many of these things and seen them as well, also know that he had an alcoholic mother, and was abused sexually as a child so that holds true as well it seems...
HI OKIE>>>>>>>>>>> Listen, I read your 'reply' to this subject and quite honestly, I thought I was reading one of my own replies! You were saying word for word, my life w/him, albeit, sex addictions, and my ex did not 'do drugs' nor smoke no 'habits'..........But he had his sexual rituals that I could not fathom as our sex life was incredible......And then I learn of his 'porn/sex/any masturbation' addictions,,,and yes they are addictions. He let me know I drink and smoke cigarettes and that I'm no different then him. I have to say,,,,,,,I could not compete w/his own addictions, it drove me crazy. Thank You!

Last edited by AddictionMod; 11-27-2003 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Please do not attempt to make personal contact on the board.

 
Old 11-27-2003, 05:33 PM   #14
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Re: can someone explain sex addiction?

When some people at porn, chemicals are released in the brain like a compulsive gambler placing a bet. So a person can get addicted to the lift from looking at the porn thats all. Hes right that a drinking or smoking addiction is similar in how the brain reacts to the high. For most people a few drinks is a depressant. For an alcoholic a few drinks is a high euphoric feeling and they are ready to rock. These type drinkers get addicted. Most women find porn vile. Some men cant get through the day without viewing it. Thats addiction.

 
Old 11-30-2003, 07:18 PM   #15
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Re: can someone explain sex addiction?

I too was married to a sex addict for 7 years and had two children with him. It took him a long time to finally admit he had a problem... We were in counseling for about a year and it only made things worse because I felt like he would never change. He would not get help on his own, would not take an antidepressant, etc. We finally divorced and I swear it was the best thing I've ever done. Of course, I ended up becoming addicted to pain pills... probably because he made me feel so bad about myself and the pills made me feel like I could take on the world. I went through years of abuse this way... he would actually chose to masturbate to the computer than have sex with me and I must say, I'm a pretty attractive girl. It was hell... really messed up my self esteem. Both his mother and father were alcoholics... The best thing to do is get out of the relationship because it will only end up worse. Just remember, it's not you..... That's the most important thing. I would get counseling as soon as possible because you need to gain some self esteem and self worth back. I know... I've been there. But, I've found a wonderful, loving man who wants me for me and nothing else. It's wonderful... Like I said, best thing that ever happened to me was to GET OUT!

 
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