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.

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.

Cultivating a Profound Relationship With Your Sexuality

Let’s talk about sex!

But let’s talk about it in a different way. We’re not going to talk about the oh-that-feels-so-good, get-me-off kind of sex, but the kind of sex that is all-encompassing where you feel you are making love to life.

This is a journey of remembering the profound nature of your sexuality and the wild ride which may await you.

Your relationship with your sexuality is like a dance, and you can reap great benefits when you learn to trust this part of yourself. Are you ready to embrace letting go of everything in order to feel the infinite places this kind of relationship with your sexuality may take you?

Sex is magic. It is an unspoken language that deserves reverence, understanding, deep listening. It is voice, it is expression and your personal presence. When you truly open yourself that way, a force arises in you that has a presence like a black-belt black-belt or a Samurai warrior: one graceful step takes you out of harm’s way, your decisions are decisive and they align with your own body, mind, sex, and spirit.

With the right intention, you can truly unleash your spirit in your sex life.

This is where you bring your potent, rooted, turned-on self, to share with another who matches you in their own rooted, emotionally clear, turned-on self. And it does not depend on physical penetration. It is a shamanic journey in itself, so hold onto something or just be willing to lose everything.

Because each moment life will either penetrate you, will come towards you because you attract it – or it will be repulsed by you and remain at arm’s length; you will be untouchable, un-penetrable.

Now imagine cultivating such a relationship with your sexuality which was far beyond the mere act of sex with another person. How different it is from that boring old story: meeting someone in a bar, feeling physically turned on, taking them home, having wild, explosive, sex, and it being over and fizzling out. You know, the sex where it’s all about thrusting? It only touches the physical, superficial layers of your being.

And then there is sex that is abusive. where there is no awareness at all. All that shows up is disconnect. One is so consumed with their emotional burdens and pains that, rather than receiving what they need to transform and be loved, they lose touch with life. They may walk around not feeling their body and all they feel and know is anger, rage, sadness, discord.

Let’s not judge these situations as right or wrong. Let’s look closely and use them to finally bring some much needed awareness and compassion to the topic. Let us discover what it is that all beings need to receive to finally remember and enjoy the richness of this connection with their own sexuality.

Sex is far bigger than many of us realize. We aren’t taught as children about the potential and bigness of our sexuality and life force. Sex, we are taught, is this superficial thing we give away, share with another for great pleasure or feel obligated to give away to another. And yet it is so powerful that it can stir up so much emotional chaos.

As I sit here and write, after a one-hour vipassana meditation on my week-long solo retreat, I feel my body so open, so available to life. I close my eyes and feel the pumping of my blood through my veins, the temperature changes within my body, the softness and tensions of various parts of my musculature. I feel as if life is entering my heart and caressing my sex!

I am in tune with the subtle movements of the trees, the soft caress of the wind. My ears are so sensitive to the sweet sounds of the song birds, the buzzing of the bees, and the echoes of the crows in the distance. Vitality, connection, information and wisdom. I am in my eyes, being penetrated by nature. I have said yes to joining, in divine partnership, with what life offers.

But it was not always so.

The Exploration of my personal sexual evolution:

Exploring my personal sexual evolution takes me back to when I was ten years old, to when my menstrual cycle began, to the heavy blood flow and extreme physical and emotional pain that came with it.

This was the beginning of learning about who I was as a sensitive sexual being. So often this stage of life for a young woman or young man is overlooked. What was the environment like for you during this rite of passage called “puberty?”

My parents were newly separated at the time. I remember being with my father out for breakfast at a small town restaurant in Connecticut. It was morning, most likely on a Sunday because I spent the weekends with Dad.

I remember suddenly being hit with so much physical pain and cramping, the start of a very heavy cycle. This was the beginning of some big changes in my body, and no one ever sat me down to talk to me about the emotions, the physical discomfort and the feelings that would only grow from this day forward.

So often children are left to figure things out for themselves. These days there are many places where the way children are raised in holistic mindful ways is increasing, which is an extraordinary gift. When I was ten years old things were not so open yet.

Being as sensitive as I was, I can imagine how much easier puberty would have been if I’d had the support, the community, even a mentor as a younger child to help me understand my body, my emotions and my sexuality on a bigger scale.

I traveled many places on my sexual journey, and many of the places I traveled are considered not-so-conservative by some. Her (my sex) and I have explored many places together and today we have created an enriching relationship. I have always been an explorer of life and human nature. And in all my explorations of life I have always had a deep reverence for (her) my sexuality.

I explored fun places, riding that dangerous edge with my sexual energy and discovering the vast world of pleasure through my teens – even though I did not share the fullness of my virginity until I was eighteen. I waited for no other reason than I always felt that when someone was going to penetrate me in such a way and enter my body, they needed to have a certain amount of presence and care.

In my 20′s things took a turn for me. After three years in a relationship, I found myself curious about life again, open to adventure and the changes happening within me. My partner at the time was not as sexual as I was. We would joke that, at 20, he was like he was 60. He understood this and we laughed about it, and at times, even processed about it.

My sexual life force and connection pulsed through me and I yearned to be met in this way. I yearned to have a partner to share this wordless communication with. We loved each other but we had different needs at the time. Back then I did not yet have the tools to communicate my sexual needs. I was in an environment where I didn’t understand whole parts of my emotional body.

Then it happened: the kiss. A single kiss I shared with a man I was attracted to who was not my boyfriend – that triggered an avalanche of guilt, shame and self-punishment. I judged myself so harshly, and, without the support to help me understand my feelings, I instantly ended my relationship. It is not what my boyfriend wanted, but I ended it. I felt confused, very confused.

Today I am grateful to be aware of just how many ways there are to relate. That awareness took two decades of self-transformation and cultivating rich relationships to develop. Twenty five years ago, I was still stuck in a shell of old concepts, conditioned stories and other people’s truths.

This is when I entered the wild, free-spirit nymph phase of my sex life.What began as a free-spirited nymph who was open and light-hearted shifted into a place to run and hide my heart.

These were an intense few years where shame and self-punishment lead the way. I dishonored my body and spirit with sex, and I dismissed my voice because I thought I was undeserving. This is when I forgot that sex is magic.

For me, sex became less about feeling, and more and more about emptiness. I allowed men to touch me the way they wanted – in whatever way they wanted. It became all about getting the guy in bed, and it hurt, physically and emotionally.

The years started to numb me out. I grew more and more numb until finally I had no choice. Everything in my life came to a full stop. It was a wake-up call. After nearly six years of intense competitive bodybuilding, dysfunctional relationships, and disconnection from my sex and my emotions, I collapsed. It felt like my life was over, yet it was the start to actually living!

It was time to allow all that experience to be my teacher, to be the wisdom and the fuel for serving others. It was time to cultivate a new relationship – body, mind and spirit – with myself through nearly seven years of celibacy. I knew it was time, and that I had the power within me – that, indeed, I was the only one who had the power – to change my life and my relationship with my body and my sex.

Looking back is so interesting. Today I feel alive in my sexual journey, giving voice to my sex and giving my desires permission to be lived. I put my personal story here so that you know you are not alone. We are in this together!

Today, this article is here to supply you with information and support to do something different. Together, we will revolutionize your relationship to intimacy, to sex, to connection, to life itself! I want you to know that you don’t have to wait until something big knocks you on the head or drops you to your knees to start your revolution.

I have worked with clients who were stuck in a phase of repulsing life. I had one client say “I think my guardedness and armor is very much needed and beneficial in life.” I’m not trying to say that putting up armor is right or wrong. Rather, I want you to think about how deeply you desire to feel, to be touched, to feel alive, tuned in, creative, aroused; how deeply do you want to experience the fullness of life?

My sexuality is potent and in flow, even when physical penetration is non-existent. She (sex, sexual energy) is flowing, is creative. She is alive when I allow myself to listen to her, to embrace her, to touch her through my presence.

My sexuality is a language and the act of sex is a form of communication. It is a place where, when my partner matches my presence and connection, words no longer matter.

My sexuality is a kind of meditation; and meditation is a sexual act. In meditation, you becomes so still: you observe, you fill up, you open, and allow life and spirit to fully enter you. I want life to penetrate me. All of nature, the sounds of nature, the wind, the warmth of the sun, the water’s caress. I love feeling so alive, for, are we not meant to experience life to the fullest?

Through cultivating this partnership with nature and life itself, you are able to explore, get to know yourself in rich new ways. Why? Because you will be more open, more aware, sensitive and present.

To engage so deeply in sex, we must approach it from a holistic viewpoint. Sex is not a mere physical act where our genitals are touched to the point of orgasm. It is not even about reaching orgasm. I am so tired of hearing about the power of orgasm.

I believe it has become a distraction from cultivating a rich, deep relationship with sexuality and the penetrative reality of nature and life itself. Stop seeking the quick pleasure, the shallow bliss! Stop getting drunk on orgasms! They are a distraction. You can go deeper!

I am not saying to stop orgasming as orgasms are a part of our sexual nature. However, I am inviting you to uncover more, to broaden your perspective. Yes, orgasm is a part of our sexual experience, but it is such a small part of our potential experience. Think about the sensations that lead up to orgasm, that energy.

You know, where you lips start to quiver, your body heat rises, sweat dripping from your thighs, your heart and pussy become one. What if this aroused energy was there beyond the sexual encounter that may have stimulated it, yet you were not dependent on having an orgasm or outward response to maintain it?

When you show up with reverence and devotion to yourself, your sex is a part of that self, it mirrors how you relate to others. With reverence for yourself, you naturally begin to feel and see life differently. From this place of self-love, you can allow life to make love to you in every moment.

You move with a sense of grace, a sense of ease, of connection, of awareness, presence, compassion and even fierce vulnerability. There is power in this. Yet this power, which lives in your center, is not one of force or of manipulation, it is one of understanding.

Imagine your life, relationships and interactions are touched by such qualities. Your actions would become quite different. Like a martial arts or Qi Gong master, your movements change because life, breath, feeling is moving you. Your choices are different. People respond differently to you.

You melt a room like butter when you walk through it. You know where your own boundaries and the boundaries of others lie. Communication and conversation provide means for intimacy rather than argument. You become more productive and creative, which leads you to feel fulfilled on all levels.

Sex shifts from hard, physical, forceful penetration to ravishment, to whole-bodied, spiritual penetration that touches your soul.

A sexual union where even the slightest of touches puts you into greater connection with “pure existence”. Thought disappears, replaced by awareness of the most intricate of movements. You and your partner dance as if you are one. In each breath you can feel life pouring more life into you.

You feel liberated and safe within your own self, where you may give voice to all your desires and fantasies. In all of this you never lose yourself for an instant. Rather, you find yourself, you unleash your spirit as you allow yourself to disappear into formlessness.

What has your journey with sex been like? What mantles of shame, embarrassment, and unworthiness have you taken-on regarding your own potent beautiful sex?
I believe that when we open through sex we have the ability to feel the universe. Sex is as mysterious as the universe, and at times that may feel scary, intense, beautiful, and magically sweet all weaved together.

I invite you to give thanks for all ways your sexuality moves through you, and for all the ways your sexual experiences have taught you. There is wisdom in everything!

I invite you, as I have done, to apologize to your body, heart, spirit and sex for the times you may not have honored this part of yourself; to apologize for the times you have tuned out your own voice or thought yourself unworthy.

Remember the resilience of your spirit!

Take time today to reflect on your sexual journey, talk to your close friends about your sex and how your relationship with sex has evolved over the years. Write it in your journal and do an honoring ceremony for you and your sexual evolution. Mourn, laugh and feel.
There is wisdom in your sexual evolution.

Your sex has a voice and she wants to be acknowledged, heard and seen. Your sex is far bigger than you may imagine, so today, take another step, lean in, and embrace the power of your sexuality!

Acknowledge your own brilliance, your worth, and your beauty!