Joe, you say there is an addictive sexual desire and a natural one. Explain please.
Sure. Let's take eating for an example. Overeaters create an addictive hunger for themselves. When they experience it they feel like they are starving, even though they may have just finished a big meal. Through Positive Realism counseling they learn how to distinguish between their addictive hunger and their natural one.
People create addictive sexual desires also. In the counseling you will learn to distinguish between your addictive sexual desire and your natural one. Then you will be able to choose which one to act on.
The Most Personal Addiction offers a step-by-step overview of how the choice is made.
What am I supposed to do with my sex drive if I don't act on it?
Psychotherapy - which I do not practice - will recommend a so-called constructive behavior like "go out for a run", "take up a hobby", etc. But the fact is no hobby will satisfy an addictive desire, especially a sexually addictive one.
What distinguishes Positive Realism from any other approach is that you can learn to accept the addictive desire without frustration. Remember, addictive desires are not natural. With sex addiction, the additive desire is derived from the misuse of a natural sex drive. Your mind is eager to be free of the addictive desire. The way you break free of it is letting yourself experience the desire fully and completely and choose whether or not to act on it. This is discussed in greater detail in The Most Personal Addiction.
Are you going to preach to me?
Not at all. I will not tell you what to do. I will not try to take anything away from you. I will not interfere with your life. I will simply show you how to make the choices you think are best for you.
What about celibacy?
Celibacy is not a goal or a requirement of this counseling. The goal of Positive Realism counseling is a happier and loving sex life. Also see the The Advisory Articles for a further discussion about the problems with celibacy.
Is masturbation an addiction?
I've tried psychotherapy, 12 step, religion, books, and sex therapists. Why is Positive Realism successful?
Every approach you've tried depends on repressing desires. Positive Realism is the only approach that teaches people how to take control by experiencing a desire instead of repressing it. This concept is explained in the article Why Positive Realism Succeeds and in The Most Personal Addiction
You say that I can accept my addictive desire and actually enjoy not acting on it. That's hard to believe.
You certainly can enjoy not acting on your addictive desire because:
1)Addictive behavior leads to frustration, anxiety, depression, guilt and despair.
2)The sense of freedom from overcoming an addiction is much more rewarding than being a slave to the addiction.
3)Your natural sex drive becomes more enjoyable. You enjoy a closeness and richness in natural sex that is being undermined because of your sexually addictive behavior.
4)When you overcome an addiction correctly, not acting on the addictive desire is not frustrating. It's empowering.
The Most Personal Addiction explains how sexual addiction is correctly overcome with the best chance of long-term success.
Where do I start?
If you've decided you are sexually addicted then you need to decide if you want to overcome it, if you want to overcome it on your own, or if you want help. The Most Personal Addiction can help you with those issues. Also, check The Advisories and The Home Page Topics for more insights about sex addiction and overcoming it.
You say that addictive sex is a relationship problem. Why?
Because sex is an emotional issue. One thing I teach all my clients, especially when it comes to marriage counseling: "emotional intercourse precedes sexual intercourse." To put it another way, the kind of sex you seek indicates the kind of intimate relationships you want. Take a look at the Sex Addiction Interview and The Advisories, The Home Page Topics and, of course, The Most Personal Addiction for more insights into this issue.
I was sexually abused in my childhood. How will that impact the counseling?
It won't. This counseling is based on keeping you focused in the present and making your life work today. Take a look at Chapter 6 inThe Most Personal Addiction, "Stop Sex Addiction Here and Now Naturally."
Do you provide marriage counseling?
Of course. In order to do good sex addiction counseling it's essential to be able to help couples heal their marriage.
My partner doesn't want to have sex. Can you help us?
This is where the marriage counseling comes in. First we look to see if there is something you are doing to alienate your partner. If it's not you, then I can help her. I've been talking to women about the emotional side of sex for decades. When there's a problem where one or both parties are turned off, it's an emotional issue, because sex is an emotion. The Most Personal Addiction goes into more discussion about this. Download the first 48 chapters. There is a special section in the later chapters addressed to both partners on how to heal the relationship and the emotional aspect of a loving, active sex life.
Do you have a fixed agenda of what I'm supposed to do and when I'm supposed to do it?
No. You are a human being with different needs at different times. The counseling does not try to make you go faster than you are ready to. Nor does it impose any demands on you.
You make the decisions regarding where you want to go and when you want to get there. The counseling helps you carry out your decisions.
Lousy counselors have an agenda and a timetable. They don't understand human nature. You are a unique individual with unique needs and problems. Sometimes counseling goes relatively quickly. It can also go longer than either of us expected. Anyone who tells you differently isn't being honest with you or they're dumber than dirt.
Do I have to go to meetings for the rest of my life?
I also suffer from depression.
It's not surprising. A lot of your depression comes from your addictive behavior. After we take care of the addictive behavior we'll see how much depression is left and address it then. It wouldn't surprise me if most and maybe all your depression is a result of your sex addiction. I've been doing addiction counseling since 1975. Depression is one of the major symptoms of addiction. For decades, I've witnessed people who seemed hopelessly depressed turn their lives around once they overcame their addiction.
I also experience bouts of impotency, is that unusual?
Many sexually addicted people have problems with sexual performance. Remember, sex addiction is not natural and it competes with your natural sex drive. The Most Personal Addiction addresses performance problems. Download the first 48 chapters for more info on this subject. The best sex occurs when sex addiction is overcome correctly.
Can you help me with other addictions?
Definitely. In helping people with sex addictions, I've also found it necessary to help them with alcohol, drugs, pot, overeating, gambling, workaholism, smoking, etc. Each addiction needs to be addressed separately. But they certainly can be overcome.
I can't believe sex will get better if I use your approach to overcome my sex addiction.
Sex addiction is meaningless sex. It competes with the genuine, loving, natural sex drive. Overcome sex addiction correctly, and you'll experience the joy for yourself.
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