Thursday, April 21, 2016

Self Assessment for Sexual Addiction

It can often be difficult to distinguish between a healthy sexual appetite, and sexual addiction. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you think you are struggling with sexual addiction

  1. Do you keep secrets about your sexual behaviors from the people around you?
  2. Do you require a greater variety, increased frequency, or more extreme sexual activities in order to achieve the same level of excitement?
  3. Do you view pornography for extensive amounts of time and/or does your pornography use interfere with relationships or employment?
  4. Do you feel remorse, shame, or guilt after having sex with someone?
  5. Do your sexual activities involve coercion, violence, or the threat of disease?
  6. Has your sexual behavior ever left you feeling hopeless, shameful, or alienated from others?
  7. Do you have trouble stopping your sexual behavior when you know it is inappropriate and/or dangerous?
  8. Have you made promises to yourself or someone else to change some form of your sexual activity only to break them later?
  9. Have your sexual activities interfered with some aspect of your professional or personal life (problems at work, loss of relationship, etc.)?
  10. Did your parents have ongoing sexual or romantic problems?

If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, it may be time to seek help. Fortunately, L.I.F.E. Recovery International offers resources such as support groups, and our seven principles of L.I.F.E. to help you on your journey to recovery!


Monday, April 18, 2016

4 Health Benefits of Sex

This blog mostly focuses on the negative aspects of sexual addiction. However, sex is an important aspect of our lives, and actually has many positive health benefits!

  1. Improved Heart Health: Research has shown that sex is good for the heart. It is essentially an exercise, that raises your heart rate and stimulates blood flow. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that engaging in sex at least twice a week reduced the risk of heart attack by half!

  1. Better Night's Sleep: Many people report getting a deeper, more restful sleep after having sex. This could be due to the hormone prolactin, which is released during orgasm. Prolactin levels are higher when we are asleep, so the release of the hormone right before bed could lull us into a restful state.

  1. Minimized Pain: Sex can also be a mild pain reliever. The hormones and endorphins that are released during orgasm closely resemble morphine, and they can effectively relieve pain. Several studies have also found that women can get some relief from menstrual cramps after having an orgasm.

  1. Glowing Skin: Having sex regularly promotes the release of testosterone and estrogen for men and women respectively, along with other hormones that can keep skin looking young and vital. Estrogen also promotes softer skin, and shiner hair. In a study conducted at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, participants who were engaging in regular sexual intercourse were perceived to be seven to twelve years younger than their actual age!

This is only a small list of the numerous benefits sex can have on your health. This is why positive, healthy sexual behaviors are encouraged by L.I.F.E. Recovery International. It is important to remember, however, that too much of a good thing can turn bad. Remember to engage in healthy sexual activities, and if your sexual habits are starting to become addictive, seek help!

Reference: "The Hidden Health Benefits of Sex" by Cari Wira Dineen

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Confronting a Spouse with Sex Addiction

You have noticed that your partner has been engaging in unhealthy sexual behaviors, and suspect they are a sex addict. You think they should get help, or at least admit their issue so it can be addressed - ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Here are some things to keep in mind if and when you choose to confront your spouse about their addiction.

Confronting the sexual addict should be done in a deliberate, mindful, and careful way. Do not approach them with anger or accusations, as it can elicit a defensive response instead of a productive one. In order to make your partner feel less attacked or cornered, try to use "I" statements, instead of "you" statements. This emphasizes your own feelings and needs, and shows the impact that their addiction has had on you as their partner.

Try to remember that even though their addiction has hurt you, they are still a person who you love and have a deep relationship with. You have the right to feel angry and hurt, but try to express these feelings with compassion. Let them know that you love them and only want the best for them. Offer help, and encourage them to seek counseling or group therapy so they can better themselves and help your relationship.


"Constructively Confronting a Sex Addict" by Kay Jones

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

3 Ways Sexual Addiction Can Negatively Impact Your Work Performance

Sexual addiction is a real problem that affects millions of people nationwide. It can destroy relationships, cause emotional trauma, have physical implications, and even effect your work performance.

  1. Sexual addiction can sometimes lead to divorce, which affects productivity at work. Research has shown that relationship problems and divorce impact overall work performance more frequently than a death in the family, serious illness, substance abuse, and depression. In fact, in the year following a divorce, employees loose an average of over 170 hours of work time. This is the equivalent of being absent for four weeks in one calendar year.

  1. Addictive behavior of a sexual nature can cross over into the workplace, distract workers, and lead to inappropriate computer use. Compulsive viewing of pornography often comes with sexual addiction. This can lead to an addict viewing porn during work hours, and even on computers in their place of employment. Unhealthy use of pornography and sexual behaviors outside of the workplace can also impact performance, as addicts can stay up late viewing porn or participating in sexual activities. This in turn can lead to sleep deprivation and even guilt that negatively impacts their performance the next day.

  1. Legal issues from inappropriate computer use. Research has shown that many companies find it necessary to fire employees because of their inappropriate computer use in the workplace. Companies do not want to encourage misuse of time, loss of productivity, and the hostile work environment that sexually explicit content can create. In short, if you are caught viewing pornography at work, you could be fired.

If you are struggling with sexual addiction, seek help! L.I.F.E. Recovery International believes that everyone deserves to live their life with sexual freedom and integrity. You can beat this, and we will support you every step of the way!


"Pornography, Sex Addiction, and the Work Place"

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sexual Addiction in Teens

Being a teenager is not easy. Teens experience changes in their body, they have to attend school and other activities, and prepare for college. Researchers have found that teenagers in the U.S. are experiencing sexual experimentation earlier than ever before. This can in part be attributed to internet sex sites, and a heightened exposure to sexual material online and in music and TV. Unfortunately for some teens, this can lead to obsessive or addictive thoughts and behaviors when it comes to sex.

If you think your teen is developing sexual addiction, pay attention to their behavior. They may spend more time alone in their room, or attempt to keep their internet activity a secret. Some teens also begin a sexual addiction through "sexting," or sending sexually explicit pictures through text message. Sexual addiction can lead to a loss of control for a teenager. They can be unable to control sexual thoughts and feelings, or spend hours viewing sexual material on the internet. This can lead to a loss of social connections, and a decline in their academic progress.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help teens who suffer from sexual addiction. There are treatment centers that focus on helping teens learn new ways to cope with triggers, and new techniques for handling stress. Be upfront with your teenager. Have a conversation with them about sexual addiction, and encourage them to engage in safe, healthy sexual behaviors. Professional therapists and counselors can help parents and teens approach the subject, and learn ways to keep open communication when it comes to sex and sexual addiction.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sex Addicts can Experience Withdrawal

Have you recently begun abstaining from sex in order to begin your recovery from sexual addiction? Have you experienced irritability, anxiety, or agitation during this time? If so, you could be experiencing withdrawal.

Similar to drug addiction, sex addicts are addicted to the release of neurochemicals in the brain's pleasure center. These chemicals are activated by stimulating activities that the addict engages in, such as sexual activities, pornography, and masturbation. When an addict stops engaging in such activities, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. Some experts believe that letting go of sexual addiction can be more painful than withdrawing from drugs.

Sexual addicts usually experience the worst withdrawal symptoms during the first two weeks of abstinence. Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to depression, vomiting, sweating, tremors and shaking, inability to think straight, hypersensitivity, despair, numbness, insecurity, and grief. Symptoms can often change, or go from one extreme to another. The reason for the symptoms is because the addict's mind, emotions, and spirit are being rebalanced while healthy coping skills are learned.

It is important that an addict braves the withdrawal symptoms, and does not give in to the addiction. Recovering addicts can generate help from support groups, therapists, and friends and family members. These symptoms will go away after time, and every day that you do not give in to your addiction, you are one step closer to recovery.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sex Addiction can Negatively Impact Children

Children are sponges; they actively soak up information in order to learn about the world around them. This is a good thing in positive learning environments and family situations, but it can have a negative impact when the child has a parent with unresolved sexual addiction.

 Whether or not a child shows signs of distress, growing up around sex addiction can have a significant negative impact on their future. Having a parent with sex addiction does not mean a child will grow up to be an addict, but it does increase the possibility that they will experience abuse or trauma. Children can be given harmful information about sex instead of appropriate, accurate, or useful information. They can also experience shame or confusion about their own body, gender, and sexuality when they see their parent participating in unhealthy sexual behaviors. Furthermore, children can mirror their parent's disrespectful behaviors or remarks about gender and sexuality.

Researchers have found that even when a child is not fully aware of their parent's abnormal behaviors, they may eventually replicate the behaviors themselves. Young children have nothing to compare their parents' behavior to, and will grow up thinking these behaviors are normal. If you are a sex addict with one or more children, be aware of the huge impact that your behaviors have on your children. Seek therapy, improve your behaviors, and communicate with your child. Hopefully, with the help of your family and others around you, you can learn to live with sexual freedom and integrity and encourage and model healthy sexual behaviors in your children.


"Growing up Around Sex Addiction: Impact on Children Part 2" by Linda Hatch

Friday, April 1, 2016

Not Even Celebrities are Immune to Sexual Addiction

Nobody is immune to addiction. Millions of people struggle with sexual addiction around the world. Hypersexuality is far-reaching, and does not discriminate - it affects men, women, young people, old people, and even celebrities! This post will discuss several celebrities that you may or may not know have struggled with sexual addiction.

One of the first celebrities to open up about their battle with sexual addiction is Michael Douglas, a famous actor and director. Douglass admitted himself to an addiction treatment center in 1990, bringing the concept of sexual addiction into the public eye.

Motorcycle mechanic and TV host, Jesse James, acknowledged that he was a sex addict after cheating on his wife, famous movie actor Sandra Bullock. In an interview with ABC news, James stated that his sexual addiction stemmed from childhood physical and emotional abuse, inflicted on him by his father.

Among some of the more well-known celebrity sex addicts are Tiger Woods, and Charlie Sheen. Both the famous golfer and the TV actor faced significant attention from the media regarding their addictions. Woods's addiction had a significant impact on his marriage - he was faced with divorce after multiple women came forward clean about their sexual relations with the golfer. Woods has since stated that his sexually addictive behavior escalated over time, as he developed a "tolerance" and needed more sexual encounters to fuel his addictive desires. Sheen, on the other hand, perpetuated his sexual addiction through the use of prostitutes, spending over $50,000 on their services. While Sheen has never admitted to having a sex addiction, signs of hypersexuality include repeated use of prostitutes, frequent visits to strip clubs, and sex with multiple anonymous partners.

Hopefully, this post will give you insight into the fact that sexual addiction can impact anyone, at any time. You are not alone. Collaboration with others in the form of group therapy and support groups have proven to be instrumentally effective in treating sexual addiction. Lean on the support of others, and never give up!


"When Sex is a Problem for the Rich and Famous" by Dennis Thompson Jr.