The Stages of Sex Addiction Recovery

Category : Treatment

The Stages of Sex Addiction RecoveryLiving as a recovering sex addict can be challenging, but the process of recovery can bring newfound trust and security to your relationships.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a group of sexual behaviors that interfere with a person’s healthy lifestyle. Certain behaviors associated with sex addiction are normal, such as masturbation, but some sexual acts can be problematic if someone spends inordinate amounts of time on them. Additionally, sex addiction also can create intense desires for illegal acts, such as rape, incest or visiting prostitutes. According to the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, people who are sex addicts engage in sexual behaviors even when they harm themselves or others.

Symptoms of sex addiction include engaging obsessively in any of the following behaviors:

  • Masturbating
  • Viewing pornography
  • Seeking out multiple anonymous partners
  • Objectifying or over sexualizing partners
  • Experiencing sexual aversion
  • Engaging in simultaneous or repeated sequential affairs
  • Engaging in cyber or phone sex
  • Practicing unsafe sexual activity, like unprotected sex or sex with people who have STDs
  • Visiting strip clubs and adult bookstores
  • Engaging in prostitution

If you engage in any of these behaviors, you may be addicted to sex.

How Sex Addiction Recovery Works

Before recovery even begins, many sex addicts who are in relationships may notice changes. As an addict’s needs change, this may initiate the first stage of recovery. According to Dr. Elaine Brady, a psychologist and sex addiction counselor, sex addicts go through many stages during recovery, which are as follows:

  • Discovery or disclosure—A person’s sex addiction is either discovered or revealed. Sex addicts with a partner may find their partners want to end the relationships or cannot handle the information.
  • Additional disclosure—This means people begin overcoming the shame of past actions while they discuss the sexual behaviors they engaged in
  • Dealing with the problem—A process of seeking help or individual counseling. The counseling process should include expertise from a therapist who offers coping strategies on the origin of the addiction. Additionally, this professional should offer strategies for engaging in healthy sex.
  • Time out—A period such as one to two months being abstinent from all sexual activity. During this time, addicts should consider how sex affects day-to-day living
  • Support group—Time spent with fellow sex addicts to support and maintain recovery

You can progress through these stages if you have the right help.

Help Finding Treatment for Sex Addiction

There are many effective treatment methods for sex addiction. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out today and get started on a healthier life. Our counselors are trained to find you the best options, and they are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline. Call us right now for instant help.