Pornography & Sexual Addiction

Sexual Chaos

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We live in a sexually chaotic culture that is full of mixed messages regarding sex and sexuality. Businesses have incorporated sex and sexual innuendo into successful marketing campaigns—it works, sex sells. The sports world has tapped into the power of sexuality as scantily clad cheer squads gyrate in sexually provocative moves. Movies and TV programming bare all as sexual content is delivered directly into our home, head, and heart in HD quality. The internet has provided the most powerful vehicle for sexual chaos to date by offering a smorgasbord of sexual options that are available 24/7, affordable and often free, and anonymous. The consequences of this sexual chaos in our culture cannot be overstated and has contributed directly to the explosion of sexually addicted men, women, and children and has led people down a personally and relationally destructive path.

The statistics about sexual addiction in our culture are alarming. A huge percentage of the population is trapped in various sexually addictive behaviors that include pornography, masturbation, affairs, and other forms of sexual acting out. If you or someone you love is sexually addicted you understand the incredible pain you and your loved ones feel emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally, and physically. You and your family are suffering, and often you feel alone in the struggle. There is hope, and there is help. It is hard work, but the rewards can pay back dividends—you can be relationally and sexually healthy and free from the addiction cycle. Call today (614) 949-6227 to get started on the path towards freedom.  We are conveniently located in Dublin, OH, off of Frantz. Rd, near I-270 & 161.

Sexual Success

Sexual success is a real possibility. It is possible to move from sexual addiction to a satisfying and intimate relationship.  One of the greatest universal human desires is to be deeply loved and to love deeply—to be intimately known by another and to deeply know that person. Our sexually chaotic culture does not need to have the final word regarding your sexuality. You do not have to live a sexually chaotic or addicted life. As Dr. Douglas Weiss said, you have the potential of having “a phenomenal three-dimensional sex life that will reach a plane of sexual success and satisfaction you never thought possible.”  This three dimensional sex life involves relational intimacy on 3 levels: body, soul, & spirit.  Sexual addiction short-circuits the ability to meet our core desires but addiction does not have to have the last word.

Sexual Addiction—Do I have it?

There is no clinical diagnostic code for sex addiction. However, it is clear that people do become addicted to pornography, masturbation, affairs, and other forms of sexual acting out. If sexual acting out is negatively impacting your marriage, career, financial security, and other relationships and you cannot seem to stop, please take the online screening test for a more detailed analysis. If you would like to enlist the help of a professional counselor please call today to make an appointment to get started on the path to sexual success and freedom.

Take a free Sex Addiction Screening Test. Please note that this link will take you to an independent website not affiliated with Tim Stauffer Professional Counseling LLC.

Sex Addiction Screening Test

 

 

 

The Sex Addiction Cycle

All of us have grown up in a family system that has profoundly impacted the course of our lives. It is helpful to think of sexually addictive behavior being part of a comprehensive system around which life is ordered. The Addictive System, articulated by Dr. Patrick Carnes in his seminal work, “Out of the Shadows” helps to shine light on the mystery of how sex addictions leverages its power against the person. It starts with a faulty belief system that is packed with assumptions, values, ideas, and experiences that encourage and support impaired thinking. The distortion of thought becomes the fertile ground that nurtures the addiction and keeps the addiction process from the truth of reality. Ultimately, the addiction cycle renders the person’s other support systems such as family, work, church, etc… unmanageable and then the unmanageability reinforces the faulty belief system that got the whole process started in the first place.

More specifically, the addiction cycle begins with a preoccupation with sexual experience. The addict locks onto this preoccupation with sexual experience and begins the ritualization process to numb him or herself to the point where they engage in the sexually compulsive behavior. The acting out inevitably leads to guilt, shame, and despair and so to relieve the pain of despair the preoccupation begins all over again. Effective treatment will interrupt this cycle at several different points.

 The Addictive System

–Dr. Patrick Carnes

Six Types of Sex Addicts

Dr. Douglas Weiss proposes that there are six types of sex addicts. In order to provide competent treatment, it is essential to understand what type, or mix of types, of sex addiction are present.

Biological

Sex has profound and powerful impact on a person’s brain. Sexual stimuli and visual images of nudity create powerful and addictive chemical releases in the brain that are on par with the addictive qualities of morphine or heroine. When person masturbates to pornography they are creating the neurological conditions necessary for addiction. Just like alcohol or other drugs, the use of pornography and masturbation can lead a person into the addiction cycle and deepen the person’s dependence on the chemical release provided by sexual stimuli and behaviors. In addition to dependence, biological sex addicts develop tolerance, and need to increase the intensity and quantity of the sexual experience to achieve the same effect. This often leads a person deeper into the addiction and to more risky and damaging behaviors that threaten key relationships, jeopardizes one’s career, and undercuts financial security.

Trauma

Trauma often plays a key role in the development of sex addiction. Research by Dr. Doug Weiss found that over 90% of female sex addicts stated that their first sexual encounter had a direct impact on their sexually addictive behaviors with over 60% reporting that their first sexual encounter was abuse or rape. The trauma of sexual abuse, for both men and women often plays a huge role in the addiction. Trauma studies clearly demonstrate that many trauma victims reenact, or expose themselves, to situations that are very similar to the original trauma. For sex addicts who have been victims of sexual trauma it is essential that treatment include trauma recovery work.

Psychological

Psychological sex addicts approach sex as a way of meeting core inner needs that, when unmet, produce psychological pain. And sex is a great way to temporarily eliminate pain. Sexual orgasm provides a brief, but powerful experience of mental and emotional painlessness. According Dr. Mark Laaser, a leader in the sexual addiction treatment field, there are 7 core desires of every human heart—to be heard, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen, and included. When engaged sexually with others many of these core desires are temporarily met. However, for the addict, once the sexual encounter is over, the pain returns in increased measure, along with guilt and shame, which leads directly back into the addiction cycle. The core psychological needs of the human heart cannot be met through the sex addiction.

Spiritual

Some addicts use sex as a mechanism to satisfy the spiritual hunger of their hearts. Sex is very spiritual experience where the person is trying to connect with someone or something bigger than themselves but ultimately, the sexual encounters leave the person empty—sex was not designed to fill the spiritual needs of the human heart. For the spiritual based sex addict it is essential that the person develop a spiritual life that is build on surrender to God and within a community of other people such as a church or support group. Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. and pioneer in the sexual addiction treatment field, wrote that people don’t need addiction to deal with anxiety and pain, but that to be “dependent on God and others is an acceptable and preferable way to live.”

Mood Disorder

Sex and sexual stimulation can serve as a profound mood stabilizer. Some sexually addicted folks have chemical imbalances and use sex to help them regulate their mood. Over 25% of male sex addicts suffer from a mood disorder. The chemical power of sexual experience to regulate mood can support the sexual addiction process. In addition to sexual addiction treatment the mood disorder will also need to be treated and consultation with a prescribing physician will also be necessary.

Sexual Anorexia

Sexual anorexia is on the opposite side of the sexual addictions continuum but follows the same pattern or cycle of addiction except the anorexia promotes the withdrawing from intimacy and sexual involvement. The person struggling against sexual anorexia maintains a belief that sex is one of their most terrifying needs. So the person spends a great deal of energy avoiding closeness and healthy sexual connection but then binges on unhealthy sexual compulsions such as pornography, paying for sex, or other types of acting out that insulates them from emotional and relational connection within a mutually loving relationship.

Breaking Free

Are you are caught in the addictive cycle of sexual chaos? Would you like to break free? If you answered yes, it is likely that you have tried over and over again but find yourself stuck in the destructive and vicious cycle of addiction. There is hope for you. Many people, thousands of people like you, have found freedom from addiction and are achieving sexual satisfaction and success—you can be one of them. Change is possible. Recovery can be your reality. Will it be easy?—NO. Will it take hard work?—YES. Is it worth the investment of time and money to get help?—Without a doubt. Please take some time to consider the benefits and costs of your addiction. The cost of sexual addiction can be astronomical in relationships, time, money, and a damaged sense of self. Achieve the potential for which you were created. Invest in the process of change. You Can Do It, but not alone. You will need supportive relationships every step of the way. Give me a call to schedule your departure from addiction to sustained recovery–get started on the road to freedom today.

Go For it–

Break Free & Live Well