Thoughts To Live By…

Addictive To Sex

Posted on: February 12, 2009

“Oh Come On”

“Sex is something I really don’t understand too hot… I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away.”


— J.D. Salinger (b.1919) U.S. novelist
The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

IN this supposedly macho culture, sex addiction is seen as some psychiatrist’s invention. Surely, there’s no such thing! An XXL libido maybe, but sex addiction? What’s that?

Definition. The experts’ definition is “any sexually related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.” The key word there is “compulsive.” This means that the person is out of control – sexually. Now deviant sexual behavior might not be a problem if you were a Roman emperor but nowadays there will be a few snags here and there.

Take the sex addiction test. (If you get an erection reading this, no need to score).

1. Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?

2. Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?

3. Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?

4. Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?

5. Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?

6. Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality, such that you avoid touching your body or engaging in sexual relationships? Do you fear that you have no sexual feelings, that you are asexual?

7. Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?

8. Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?

9. Have you ever been arrested or are you in danger of being arrested because of your practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, prostitution, sex with minors, indecent phone calls, etc.?

10. Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?

11. Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?

12. Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless, alienated from others, or suicidal?”

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you may have a problem with sex addiction. This questionnaire was taken from Sex Addicts Anonymous and it is a guide if help is needed.

What now? If you are in school, you may want to meet with your guidance counselor (usually a psychologist). A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with professional training on handling deviant sexual behavior. Remember that the nature of sexual addiction is related to what experts call the 3Pspain (trauma or abuse early in life), panic (the result of unsuccessful attempts to rid oneself of emotional pain) and panacea, or a cure-all (using sex as a cure-all for everything that is wrong in one’s life). Since it’s an addiction, the “high” or euphoria from dysfunctional sex is not only short-lived but ultimately destructive.

Recovery. 2Ds are part of the journey to recovery: De-traumatizing and de-toxifying. At the bottom of sexual addiction is a failure of intimacy with one’s self and later on, with others. So in de-traumatizing, past events that caused depression and anxiety are identified not to exact more pain but to find closure so that one can move on. Moving on is about skills and the resolve to learn genuine intimacy. This is very different from the intimacy of rubbing skin. Detoxification for a sex addict is about getting away from toxic behavior. The person is re-introduced to the absence of a “high” – that is, living with the occasional boredom and blues, just like “normal” people.

There is nothing exciting and enviable about sexual addicts. They live in antithesis of love and pleasure. Like all addicts, they are unhappy, helpless and in pain.

The long road to recovery begins by accepting that sexual addiction exists and that victims are among us.

Fact/Factoid. The educated and the enlightened in the 14th century knew that there were four cardinal virtues: Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.

Dr. Pujalte is an orthopedic surgeon. e-mail jsp@pldtdsl.net Webpage: http://www.webspawner.com/users/jspujalte/index.html
Author:
Dr. Jose S. Pujalte, Jr.
Source:
http://www.mb.com.ph/archive_pages.php?url=http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2009/02/08/OPED20090208147614.html
Picture: http://www.pyzam.com/funnypictures/details/7697?cat=sex

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