The Complexities of Sexual Addiction
- Written by 2008-11-03 01:13:51
Sex addiction is the most personal addiction. It's also the most complex.
Successfully overcoming any problem begins with knowing what you're dealing with. Certain addictions don't need to be categorized. For instance, some alcoholics prefer wine, others prefer beer, others will drink anything. These activities don't need to be categorized for the alcoholic because there is no addictive difference between beer, wine, hard liquor, or any other form of alcohol.
Sex addiction, unlike alcohol, is diverse. Conventional, licensed therapy and the 12-step program don't distinguish between the different forms of sexual addiction. They use an "every addiction is the same" approach. Someone struggling with a shoe fetish will be given the same 12 steps as someone addicted to pornography. The husband cheating on his wife will be advised to use the same behavior modification techniques as the sexually addicted person who's never had a long-term relationship.
Are you aware that there are virgin sex addicts? A virgin sex addict is an adult who never had sex with another person. His or her entire sexual experience has been only with themselves through masturbation and/or porn addiction. It's ridiculous to give a virgin sex addict the same treatment as the person who's been promiscuous all their lives.
An obsession with a fetish is not the same problem as a porn addiction. A promiscuous person does not have the same addiction as the virgin sex addict. The husband cheating on his wife is not in the same boat as the voyeur. From these simple examples, we can see that an "every addiction is the same" approach does not apply to sexual addiction.
To begin successfully overcoming sex addiction, apply this easily observable fact:
All sexually addictive behavior falls into two categories:
Addictive sex alone
Addictive sex with someone else
The most common forms of addictive sex alone are masturbation addiction and/or pornography addiction.
Promiscuity and infidelity fall into the category of addictive sex with someone else.
The other sexual addictions can be categorized as either addictive sex alone or with someone else.
Many sexually addicted people have sexual addictions in both categories. Besides identifying which category the addiction resides in, you also need to take into account if the addicted person is in a relationship. A couple trying to hold their relationship together while struggling with a sexual addiction requires a very different approach than the sexually addicted person who is not in a relationship.
Understanding if you are engaging in addictive sex alone, or with someone else, or both will help you control your sexual addiction because it will help you understand it better. But identifying a problem does not end it. So here are some resources to help you further:
- general sexual addiction interview
- sex addiction interview for the man in a relationship
- the person who has never had a successful relationship
- to tell if your partner is sexually addicted.
For more in-depth discussions of
How and why men get addicted to porn
Promiscuity and infidelity
Other sexual addictions
Articles in this categoryMotivation and Method To Overcome Sex Addiction Part 1 | Motivation and Method To Overcome Sex Addiction Part 2 | The First Obstacle To Overcoming Sex Addiction | The Best Sex And Overcoming Sex Addiction | The Joy Of Overcoming Sex Addiction | An Overview of Sex Addiction | The Complexities of Sexual Addiction | Types of sex addiction | Sexual Addiction and Self Deception | Sexual Addiction and Financial Issues | A Definition of Sex Addiction | Why Positive Realism Succeeds | Ethical Standards Of Counseling | Errors In The 12-Step Approach | Celibacy Is A Mistake |