Rediscovering Intimacy after Sex Addiction

Category : Getting Help

Rediscovering Intimacy after Sex AddictionSex addicts avoid emotional intimacy as a way to protect themselves, so it is challenging for them to find real intimacy. It is common for sex addicts and their partners to struggle with being truly intimate, but recovery is possible if addicts seek professional treatment.

Sex Addiction and Intimacy

The beginning of sex addiction recovery is often the most difficult part, as addicts learn new ways to communicate. For sex addicts with partners, communication is a key issue, because both people in the relationship must learn new ways to relate to each other. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH) notes there are several steps for finding intimacy. An individual or couple learning about intimacy should expect a variety of issues to come up, including the following problems:

  • Communication styles
  • Intimacy levels
  • Sexuality
  • Spirituality
  • Parenting
  • Past trauma
  • Finances

Instead of looking for intense sexual encounters, a former sex addict must find ways to be intimate during sex. A couple trying to bring intimacy to their relationship may start with abstinence and then gradually work up to different types of sexual contact by focusing on the quality of the encounter. A sex addict should also address the reasons behind the addiction, such as past trauma, sexual abuse or feelings of abandonment. Learning about healthy sexuality through counseling and support groups will also increase feelings of intimacy.

What is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a group of sexual behaviors that interfere with a healthy lifestyle. While some behaviors associated with sex addiction are normal, such as masturbation, excessive sexual behaviors create problems when they affect social and professional interactions. In some cases of sex addiction, behaviors can lead to illegal acts, such as rape. According to SASH, a person with a sex addiction engages in sexual behaviors even when it creates harm to self or others. Symptoms of sex addiction include the following behaviors in excess:

  • Masturbation
  • Viewing pornography
  • Seeking out multiple, anonymous partners
  • Objectifying or over-sexualizing partners
  • Experiencing sexual aversion
  • Engaging in simultaneous or repeated affairs
  • Engaging in cyber sex or phone sex
  • Practicing unsafe sexual activity
  • Visiting strip clubs and adult bookstores
  • Engaging in prostitution

These issues may indicate sex addiction, but treatment is available to get these patients clean.

Help Finding Sex Addiction Treatment

Sex addiction is a serious disorder that benefits from treatment and counseling. Call our toll-free helpline today to find treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to give family members, friends and sex addicts the necessary information to get well. Take action today and get the help you need to be healthy.