Admissions for treatment of compulsive sexual behaviour or addiction is almost as much as for other addictions like alcoholism, addictive gambling and overeating. Like other addictions, sexual compulsivity is a progressive type of impulse control behavior disorder. By ignoring it, sexual addiction often leads to serious negative consequences.
- Understanding Your Addiction
- Dealing With Triggers
- Change Of Beliefs
- Dealing With Urges
- Set And Stick To Limits
- Stay Motivated
- Stay Committed
Anyone can overcome any addiction. We have free will, the very thing that can get us in and out of trouble. All living things have 2 basic instincts. Survival and replication. Sexual addiction is construed as the misuse of a natural drive, pretty much like overeating, and overworking. It is different from artificial drives created by substances such as alcoholism, smoking, and caffeine addiction. Unlike substance influenced addiction, attempting to completely eliminate a natural drive based addiction such as compulsive sex pits you against nature.
The universal law of cause and effect states that for every effect there is a definite cause, whilst at the same time it is accurate that for every cause, there is a definite effect. Imagine a row of 10 light bulbs. Each bulb that lights up is a warning sign that will eventually lead to the other until the 10th bulb (which represents addictive sex). You may think that the urge to indulge in addictive sex may suddenly come out of the blue but in actual fact, there is a long chain of events that lead you there. Each bulb is a group of thoughts, feelings, behaviours, urges and fantasies that represent the process of lighting up all 10 bulbs. When your personal behavioral chain is pulling and you don’t try to break it until it’s too late, then you’ve gone and gotten yourself just in the place you’ve been trying to avoid.
You need to have coping mechanisms for each bulb so that you can get out of the chain the moment you realize you are caught in it. Alternatives are something you do instead of the usual response to the situation. Alternatives make it possible for you to think and behave differently. Call a trusted person, you’re off the chain. Listen to Queen’s Greatest Hits, you’re off the chain. Do some yoga, you’re off the chain. Your options should have no side effects and not sexual in nature. List them on a card and carry it with you.
We construct our beliefs consciously and unconsciously that we use to understand our world to give it meaning. To the addicted, a sexual problem is seen not as a sign of disease but is seen in terms of a problem that is constructed logically by their belief system. The problem of sexual addiction has been generated entirely by perception and emotion consisting of the present construction of reality. The solution is to delve into the root of the issue and focus on the truth of each belief discovered. Only with acceptance can there be progress.
For example, Bob is addicted to sex. He uses sex as a response to work stress. After digging deeper, he discovered that he took on too much responsibility at work and never talked to anyone about the burdens because he believed that (his belief = the root cause) no one wanted to hear his complaints, no good can come from voicing it out, and that mindless sex is the best way to deal with the stress (it works although temporarily). Accepting the truth required Bob to write down what he truly felt he would’ve said. And so he did. As he imagined his superiors seated in front of him, he wrote, “I know you don’t want to hear how I feel about taking on so much work, so I won’t express my feelings to you. I’ll keep them to myself and find another way to deal with it.” When Bob felt the truth of his belief, he was able to see it clearly, not hidden like it previously was, unconsciously deep in his mind. He opened up to the potential of solving his workload issue by entertaining the idea of discussing it with his superiors instead of falling back on his beliefs. Bob learned to differentiate truths from unjustified beliefs. Bob made progress. Bob opened up himself to change.
If all the sex in the world could make you feel better and create a better life for you, you would be in nirvana by now. Despite sex’s allure and false promises offered, it cannot make you into a better person nor is it lasting. Sex won’t fix your problems nor will it nourish you. So the question is, what do you do when sexual feelings start happening? Answer = do nothing. Feelings, if you don’t feed them, come and go just like that. When you try to control your feelings, you stop it from reaching the end of its life cycle. Instead, your feelings grow. What you need to understand is that feelings will not destroy you nor kill you. Feelings are not dangerous. Feelings of arousal come and and go just like that. Happily married couples may come across other attractive people but they don’t have affairs. Monks are humans and feel arousal from time to time but they honor their oath. They are all still alive despite not doing anything when there is an urge.
When you were young, your parents were supposed to give you good, healthy limits throughout your childhood so that it stuck in you. If you didn’t get them from your parents, now it’s your job to give them to yourself. For example, you’ve set a limit with yourself where it is not okay to dial a phone sex service because you always feel remorseful after that. This is the limit and you have set up a consequence that if you slip, you’ll keep your phone off after work for a week including weekends. When you face the consequence for misusing the phone, you are actually sending yourself a direct and powerful message to follow limits.
Think about all the good things you have in your life right now. The people you love, the activities that you enjoy, the work you do and the possessions you prize. None happened to you overnight. You built those strong relationships through time and effort, worked hard to achieve the skills to your hobby, immersed yourself whenever it was time to work to have a meritable career, and put in energy and time to buy your most important possessions. These experiences teach you that the best things in life are earned through sheer hard work. Overcoming any addiction does not happen overnight either. It is only achieved through hard work.
Colonel Sanders was rejected by thousands of restaurant. Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor because they said he lacked imagination and good ideas. Dr Seuss’ first book was rejected 27 times. All these outstanding people share one common trait. Persistence. They didn’t expect it to be easy nor did they expect people to do it for them. They knew it was hard work and they learned from their failures.
A bold reporter once asked Thomas Edison before he succeeded, if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.” And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb.
Learn from every failure. Keep your mind on your goal. Don’t expect it to be easy. Remember how hard you worked for everything else in your life. Apply that same effort to overcoming sexual addiction. Through honesty, persistence and advice that works, your chances of success are assured.
Read more about the other 13 addictions’ tightening grip on societies today.