Spoiler: Sexual addiction isn’t really about sex. (No, really, I promise!!) Sex addiction is an intimacy disorder. Whether the preferred method of acting out is masturbation, soliciting prostitutes, pornography, voyeurism (“peeping tom”), cruising for anonymous partners, or a host of other ways the addiction manifests it’s really about short cutting the intimacy process.
In pornography, an individual may subconsciously be telling themselves,” I don’t have to take the time to be relational with a real woman, deal with her mood swings, her emotions, and really get to know her or make any effort to disclose myself and make myself vulnerable to rejection. These women always accept me, are never moody, and are always ready to give me their all”.
During an interaction with a prostitute the subconscious conversation may go like this, “She is willing to please me and do whatever I want. That makes me feel valuable without having to put in the effort of being relational”.
During masturbation the underlying logic may look something like this, “In this fantasy I can be who I want to be and experience whatever I want without putting in any energy and I also get the physical pay off of orgasm”.
The problem with all of this of course, is that this is a lonely heart wrenching way to live. The fulfillment found in this type of lifestyle lasts as long as the orgasm at best. True freedom comes for the sexually addicted not when they learn how to stop acting out, but when they learn to be relational. All addicts, but ESPECIALLY the sex addict is looking for intimacy.
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