Friday, January 29, 2016

Many faces of sexual addiction

Sexual addiction is a very complex disorder. While most people think sexual addiction is an out of control drive to have sex whenever possible, this is not always the case. In fact, there are many different aspects and kinds of sexual addiction, and it is not always "traditional."

Fantasy sex occurs when an individual is obsessed with fantasies that are sexual in nature. These fantasies allow the individual to remain detached from intimacy, or provide an escape from reality.

Anonymous sex addiction occurs when the addict is gratified by having sex with complete strangers. This can include one-night stands, prostitutes, or having sex with a variety of partners whose identities remain anonymous. With this type of addiction, once the anonymity is broken, the addict looses interest.

Exhibitionistic sex addiction involves an individual who is addicted to having sex or exposing themselves in public. The addict is aroused by the attention they receive, and enjoys the shocked reactions of those who they expose themselves to.

Voyeurism is a more common type of sex addiction, which involves spying on unknowing individuals. Part of the arousal for voyeurs is the secretive and exploitative nature of their activity.

Intrusive sex is a type of addiction that involves touching people in a sexual manner without consent. This may also include Frotteurism, which involves rubbing up against someone in public, often in crowded areas where the addict can go unnoticed or easily escape.

This list describes some, but not all of the many different types of "non-traditional" sexual addiction. If you believe you are suffering from one or more of these types of sex addiction, seek help! "There's hope for healing from sex addiction," check out for a comprehensive list of resources, and start the journey to your recovery today!


"Understanding the Different Types of Hypersexual Disorders"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Recovery and Sobriety

Sobriety is a term that can mean many different things for different people. Sobriety for an alcoholic means refraining from alcohol - sobriety for a drug addict means not using drugs. Sobriety for a sex addict, however, does not mean refraining from all sexual activity. This is especially true for sex addicts who are married or in a healthy relationship. 

Sex can be a good thing, especially when it is between two consenting adult partners. It can initiate intimacy and strengthen the bond between two people, bringing them together and making them feel close. Keeping this in mind, sobriety for someone who deals with sexual addiction means that they refrain from compulsive sexual activity that has a negative impact on their life. While it can be beneficial to refrain from all sexual activity in the begging of an addicts recovery period, recovery does not mean never having sex again. In fact, it is beneficial for an addict to essentially "redefine" sex; to make sex about love, passion, trust, and respect, instead of  a compulsive need that they must have in order to get by. In order to do this addicts must be completely honest with themselves and those around them. They must be able to realize when they are strong enough to engage in healthy sexual activities again, and when they should refrain from unhealthy behaviors.

Always remember that there is hope. L.I.F.E Recovery provides access to support groups and literature that can help you recover, and change your sexual habits into positive, instead of compulsive.


"What Does Recovery From Sex Addiction Look Like?" by Stephen Jay Schwartz

Monday, January 25, 2016

The science of sex addiction

Is sex addiction real? Does sex addiction affect the brain? Is sex addiction just an excuse? These are some of the questions that many skeptics ask when it comes to hypersexuality. In short, the answer is yes, sexual addiction is a real disorder, that affects the brain in a very real way. 

In a study conducted by the University of Cambridge found that pornography triggered brain activity in people with sexual addiction that mirrored the brain activity of drug addicts. Researchers found that compared to healthy individuals, sex addicts had more brain activity in three regions of their brain when exposed to pornography. The parts of the brain that showed more activity were the ventral striatum  (involved in processing reward and motivation), the dorsal anterior cingulate (responsible for anticipating rewards and craving), and the amygdala (processes significance of events and emotions). These parts of the brain represent the negative aspects of sexual addiction: reward, motivation and craving, showing that this is indeed an illness, not just an excuse. The study also showed scientists why people engage in behaviors that they know are bad for them. Sexual addicts engage in unhealthy behaviors not because they want to, but because they need to.

These studies are telling scientists that sexual addiction is in fact real. It has a real impact on the brain and a definite impact on the lives of those who deal with it every day. Fortunately research has also been done on how to recover from this disorder, and help is out there.


"Brain Activity in Sex Addiction Mirrors That of Drug Addiction" by the University of Cambridge

Friday, January 22, 2016

Double Standards in Sex Addiction

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rise of Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is on the rise - more than 12 million sex addicts live in the United States alone. Unfortunately the new generation of technology perpetuates sex addiction. Sexual material is available everywhere; people have access to sex on the internet, movies, magazines, and television. Because of this, sex addicts can constantly engage in behaviors that worsen their condition, such as compulsive masturbation, cyber sex, and even using online sites to seek out brief sexual encounters.

If you believe you are suffering from sex addiction, ask yourself a couple questions: Have I lost control over my sexual behaviors? Have my sexual behaviors resulted in negative consequences (such as loss of production at work, spending less time with family, or loosing relationships)? Have I tried to stop these sexual behaviors but eventually returned back to them?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from sexual addiction. Fortunately, a diagnosis is the first step to recovery. If you believe you are a sex addict, know that you are not alone. As stated before, more than 12 million people suffer from this illness in the U.S. alone. Identifying the problem is the first step in your journey to recovery.


"Sexual Addiction" by C. Everett Baily, PhD and Brian Case, PhD

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sexual Addiction in the News

Recent headlines show reality star Khloe Kardashian opening up about her ex husband Lamar Odom's battle with sex addiction. Khloe stated that Lamar cheated on her for the "majority of their marriage," but he also "was so great at making [her] feel like she was the only one." She also added that she was not sure if she believed in sex addiction. Given Lamar's history with drug abuse and addiction, and the fact that he cheated on Khloe despite being completely in love and dedicated to her, I do think this man struggled with sex addiction. This addiction is not something that should be treated with shame, but rather the addict should know that they have the love and support of their spouse.

With that being said, sex addiction definitely takes a toll on the life and well-being of the spouse, as well as the addict. It is very easy to blame the addict and angry toward them, and these feelings of anger and betrayal are not unwarranted. It can hurt to know that someone you love has slept with or had intimate relationships with one or multiple other people. The spouse must keep in mind, however, that their love one has a problem - a disease that is out of their control to a certain extent.

One thing that is important to remember is this illness is beatable. If both partners work diligently together, recovery is a very real outcome. A mantra that we all believe at LIFE Recovery International is "There's hope for healing from sex addiction," and this could not be more true.


"Khloe Kardashian Thinks Lamar Odom Might Be a Sex Addict, Claims He Cheated During 'Majority' of Their Marriage" by Jackie Willis