Sexual Addiction hasn’t come out of the closet yet. It’s embarrassing to those living with the addiction and denial is high for many sufferers. Aside from a few celebrities, you don’t really hear of marriages breaking up because someone was a sex addict. The fallout from sex addiction can be high. No one wants to admit that they were a part of the drama and the unraveling, of falling for a partner who could cause so much pain. Sex addiction is very real, two to four percent of the population are addicted to sex, or unable to commit or stay faithful, once in a committed relationship. The percentage puts the numbers at a few million. For sex addicts, the drug is sex with a constant stream of new people, kinkier sex and sex in more than a few inappropriate locations. Luckily, help is available. Relationships are very hard to get back when betrayal is at the root. If you are lucky enough to have someone stand by your side, whom you have hurt, don’t blow it. Getting clean means that you have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to feel uncomfortable. Over time, you will develop skills and coping mechanisms to deal with triggers and self-sabotage.
10) Support Groups
Support groups take place online and face-to-face. Support groups for sex addictions are the fastest growing groups around the world. The shame and stigma that comes from being out of control can be better understood by hearing stories of others. By taking part in online groups, anonymity is guaranteed. Attending a group at a physical location can also be just about presence and taking advantage of the information that is shared. The key is to learn what the triggers are, how to recognize them and how to replace them with something positive. There are groups for women, men and those that are co-ed.
9) Dating Yourself
Taking yourself out and doing something once a week that was enjoyed as a kid can be very beneficial. Planing to spend a few hours dating yourself and letting go of some extra energy. Exercising can also help burn energy and obviously be beneficial for health. Joining a gym, walking, jogging and considering taking up a hobby where new skills can be acquired are all accessible options. The point is to make better use of time, and to engage the world from a different perspective.
8) Be Kind To Yourself
Remind yourself often that you are a good person who (like everyone) has made some poor choices. This is listed as number eight but insert it throughout the healing process. The work to change isn’t easy but it can be done. Remembering to treat yourself with love is important.
A wealth of information surrounding addiction and recovery is found in books. Read up, you are not alone. People make choices everyday to do and become better. There are memoirs and self-help books, all outlined with steps and programs to help you move forward in recovery. Library books are still free to borrow and the results can be very positive.
6) Limiting Social Media
Social media has a pull, and with a choice of sites to visit, it is easy to get sucked into cruising for potential sex partners while checking the latest news. Joining groups that help with recovery are also available online. Going for the latter is what can be helpful. Changing takes self-control. If you are pro-change then step up.
5) Reducing Social Circles
By making your circle smaller, you cut off part of what aids you in making poor decisions. There are those in your corner who want to see you healthy and well. People who want the best for you make great sounding boards, and will call you on your stuff when game playing habits surface. You might not always like what you hear, but the truth is better than a lie.
4) Spending Time Alone
Get to know yourself, the only way this works is by spending time alone. It may be uncomfortable at first, since the game of sex and conquer is not part of the plan. Who were you before addiction took over? Might you want to redeem some of your good qualities? If the answer is yes, then be willing to take the first step, which is admitting that there is a problem. Denial can keep you rooted in behavior that can lead to sexually transmitted disease, loss of income (party spots/hookers/strip clubs) and loss of meaningful relationships. Getting to know oneself outside of a sexual context requires honesty and patience. Saving yourself means you have knowledge and some understanding of the toll addiction is taking on your life. You deserve better and so do people who care about your well-being.
3) Paying Attention To Triggers
Pornography accompanies sex addiction like vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. It will keep you focused on sex and the next high. The visual stimulation will be a trigger and halt any progress you have made. Unless you want to keep starting over with step one, paying attention to triggers is crucial.
2) Stop Objectifying
Learn how to see people as people, and not as body parts put here solely for physical pleasure. When you talk to a person, look them in the eye and watch wandering thoughts that make them a possible bed partner, when they are simply trying to hold a conversation with you. Respect begets respect, give some away and see how good you feel when it comes back.
1) Getting Into Therapy
Your ego is over-inflated. No sweetie, everyone you engage does not want to sleep with you. They may see that under all that false swag and wanna-be-diva-attitude that you are someone worth getting to know. News flash: There is more to intimacy than just sex. Therapy will help you to work with the underlying issues that accompany the sex addiction. There is a reason behind the addiction and getting to the bottom of the cause is hard work. You can do it.