Are You Struggling With What Some Call A Sex Addiction?
Are you wondering if you are suffering from a sex addiction? Are you watching excessive amounts of pornography? Maybe you’re seeking out detrimental activities, such as visiting strip clubs or engaging in sex with prostitutes. Or, perhaps your out of control sexual choices are affecting your relationships, productivity at work and other important aspects of your life. Do you fear your relationship will end if your partner finds out about your compulsive sexual behavior? Are you spending a large amount of money and time on sexual activities? Do you wish you could just have a healthy, satisfying sex life?
Struggling with out of control sexual behavior can be a frustrating, confusing and oftentimes helpless experience. You may be watching excessive amounts of pornography, paying for strippers and prostitutes and spending vast amounts of money on other, various sexual activities. Virtual and paid sexual activities may have created an unrealistic expectation of what sex should be, which can be damaging to your well-being and partnership. And, out of control sexual behavior may be damaging other parts of your life, such as your career, relationships and family life. Although you may strongly desire a healthy and satisfying sex life, you may not know how to reframe your sexual behavior or even what healthy sexuality is for you.
Understanding Sex Addiction Therapy
Sex addiction has been a popular term for years, but I can assure you that what you are experiencing is not an addiction. You cannot be addicted to yourself. Sex is part of you. It is not external to you, like alcohol or a drug.
The media has perpetuated the need for sex addiction therapy, while in reality the idea of having a sex addiction has been used as an excuse for many to justify their behaviors. Sex addiction is also a term aggravated by many moralistic therapists and the media, and is something I do not believe in.
Sex addiction is not a diagnosable disorder (the DSM has never included sex addiction or hyper-sexuality as legitimate diagnoses by therapists), but it is easy to fall into habits such as excessive pornography consumption or frequently paying for sexual favors. When carried to extremes, these types of sexual pleasures can cause great damage to your sexual health and intimate partnership and create unrealistic sexual expectations. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) has soundly rejected sex addiction because there is insufficient research to support the existence of such a behavior.
The Internet has also dramatically altered the way and how much many of us view sex. Many people believe that what they see on the screen is the ultimate form of sex. Because of unrealistic expectations, people viewing heavy amounts of porn are rarely sexually satisfied, and they may have a difficult time separating fantasy from real life sex. Because pornography is mostly free and always available, it can pose a threat to how viewers engage in sexual activity. They often have a totally unrealistic view of what sex should be. Most porn is unimaginative, and much of it is totally unhealthy, with incest, exploitation and dishonest sex as the norm.
Someday there will be more erotic explicit sex with a script, and both sexes will profit from viewing this emerging genre of erotica. The Better Sex videos are an example of explicit adult sex education, which can help couples with their sex life. I was the original co-host and script writer for this series back in 1985, which is now the premier series in Playboy and The New York Times.
The good news is that help and hope are available. With guidance and support from an experienced sex therapist, you can reframe your sexual habits and develop a healthy sex life.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Can Help You Develop A Healthy Relationship With Sex
Through cognitive behavior therapy, I can help you identify, explore and address your out of control sexual behaviors. In sessions, I focus on a reality orientation. Together, we can examine the unrealistic ideas and feelings you may experience about pornography and paid sexual activities, and ground them back into reality. By separating fantasy from real life, you can begin to define what healthy sexuality looks and feels like for you, and your sexual life can be greatly improved from your newfound balance.
Certified sex therapists who are also couples counselors are the only therapists who may take a realistic approach to those who are out of balance with their sexuality. Some therapists believe that sex addiction therapy is best executed with an unfounded 12-step program. Many of those programs shame sexual activity instead of teaching healthy sexuality. These sex addiction counselors usually lack the background and values to improve your sexual relationship.
My approach is free of judgment and can help you identify and achieve what you believe to be healthy sexual activity. By addressing and reframing your sexual thoughts, you can begin to make changes to the way you view and engage in sex. Rather than shame your activity, I can help you get to the root cause of your out of control sexual behavior and make positive and productive changes to your thoughts and behaviors.
Every client is unique, which is why I will create a therapy plan that best addresses your specific issues, needs, lifestyle, personality and therapy goals. If unhealthy sexual behaviors have given you an unattainable view of sex, we can discuss your expectations and reset your thoughts and behavior. We can also explore and address how your behavior is impacting your relationship and other important aspects of your life. By reviewing how you see sex and using a therapy model specifically designed for you, you can develop realistic expectations for sexual activity and experience profound relief.
Sexual issues can be difficult to discuss and modify. Creating a nonjudgmental environment for you to discuss sexuality is something I pride myself on. I emphasize humor in my practice, which can put you at ease. With 40 years of experience, coupled with humor and an individualized therapy plan geared to best address your specific needs and therapy goals, it is possible to feel healthy and empowered in your sexuality.
You still may have concerns or questions about sex addiction therapy, such as…
I’m worried that my partner or you will judge me in sessions.
I create a completely nonjudgmental environment where you can feel comfortable discussing any and all issues with me. My number one priority is to help you. And, if you are in a relationship, I encourage you to bring your partner in so he or she can understand the situation more clearly and contribute to a positive solution. Most counselors who do sex addiction therapy focus on the supposed addict and do not address the impact on the relationship. This approach is not complete. I am not here to judge you, and I can help your partner understand the nuances of compulsive sexual behavior and offer ways for him or her to support you in making healthy, empowered changes.
I worried that I will not be able to solve my issues and stop engaging in out of control sexual behavior.
I have been working with these issues for a very long time. I can help you as long as you commit to doing the work with me. If you put in the work beyond just going to sessions, we will be able to conquer these problems together.
I do not want to be seen as a sex addict.
As a credentialed therapist, it is my duty to maintain confidentiality. No one will know that you are attending sessions with me unless you chose to share that information. I have been doing this work for a long time, and my main goal is to help you relax and discuss your problems, not to judge you. One of the many reasons I emphasize humor in my practice is to reduce the stigma of the issues we are talking about.
You Can Have A Healthy Sex Life
Please feel free to give me a call at 206-244-8788 to schedule an appointment. I’m happy to answer any questions you have regarding sex addiction therapy, my experience and my practice.