If you or someone you love has been struggling with any addiction, you know that repairing relationships is typically a necessary part of ongoing treatment. However, when you struggle with sex addiction, you may find that personal relationships can be especially difficult to repair. Cheating in romantic relationships or imposition of unwanted feelings, or crossing personal boundaries can seriously damage your personal relationships. Your professional relationships can also be affected by compulsive behaviors if they cross into the professional space. If compulsive sexual behavior affects your daily life or relationships, consider seeking sex addiction treatment with Insight Into Action Therapy.
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction is an addiction much like any other chemical dependency. Individuals struggling with sex addiction experience a compulsive need to partake in sexual acts, which satisfies the desires of their brain and body chemistry in the same way that a prescription drug user may seek out opiates or an alcoholic drink a beer. Individuals with sex addiction will be triggered by certain environments, like bars or dating apps, or may use sexual behavior to cope with stressful situations. This means that a treatment environment must help with both bodily reactions and coping mechanisms. Some of the behaviors an individual with sexual addiction might engage in include:
- Anonymous sex
- Seeking out multiple sex partners
- Chronic, obsessive fantasies
- Compulsive masturbation
- Compulsive viewing of pornography
- Altering daily life or routines to seek out sexual encounters
- Lying about uncontrollable sexual behaviors
- Guilt or remorse after sexual encounters
Because these behaviors may cause substantial personal and professional risk, likely, their addiction will negatively impact an individual’s quality of life, physical health and mental health, and personal relationships.
Characteristics of a Healthful Sexual Relationship
When a relationship is a healthful one that nourishes your body and mind, all individuals within the relationship will work together to maintain reciprocal well-being. Some of the recognizable characteristics of a successful relationship include:
We often hear that communication is key to our relationships. But what this means is that both parties share the necessary openness and vulnerability to express their needs and recognize the needs of one another. In this way, compromises can be reached to support both individuals.
Respect and Consent
Respect takes communication one step further with the definition of boundaries. Like a fence in a field, boundaries are clear lines that express a level of consent. Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in an activity. Enthusiastic verbal consent is also part of the legal definition of consent. Active communication means checking in with your partner before sex and renewing that care throughout the duration of your encounter. Checking in during sex can be as simple as asking, “Is this okay?” A “Yes” is retractable, and you must respect another’s boundaries as a way to express your care.
Emotional and Physical Satisfaction
Emotional and physical satisfaction means that the experience of sex is pleasurable and meaningful for all parties involved. Healthful sex, like most physical activity, can activate endorphins, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. When you have healthful, safe sex with a meaningfully engaged partner in the process, you get the positive benefit of a workout and the emotional validation of being cared for.
If these characteristics are missing in your sexual experiences, or if you feel that you are placing yourself or others into dangerous situations, likely, you are not engaging with sex under healthful terms. Insight Into Action Therapy can help you gain insight into your relationship with sex so that you can heal and grow loving, reciprocal relationships.
Seek Addiction Treatment Today with Insight Into Action Therapy
If sex addiction is affecting you or a loved one’s life, consider Insight Into Action Therapy. It is important to find the right professional for you or your loved one’s needs, and our experienced consultants can guide you through this healable condition. Contact us today at 703.935.8544 or complete our secure online form 703.935.8544 if you feel you or someone you know needs professional support. With Insight Into Action Therapy, comprehensive treatment is available to help you break free from the cycles of sex addiction.