Dating a sex addict

The process of recovery for sex addicts involves identifying those behaviors—such as obsessive masturbation, pornography use, anonymous sex, exhibitionism, etc.—that take you out of yourself and away from those around you, acknowledging the behaviors as a problem and finding sobriety by eliminating those behaviors before they show up. Recovery is also very much about recognizing that much of who we’ve presented ourselves to be to others, and many of the ways we’ve chosen to do it, have been based on dishonesty.

It is in learning how to have real closeness with others—authentic intimacy—that we begin to heal.

These may take the form of neglect, abuse, abandonment or the absence of an appropriately nurturing caregiver.” Addictive behaviors show up, sometimes early in life, according to Hatch, as a coping strategy in the form of self-medication to emotional pain.

Sex addiction, in particular, creates a sense of excitement and pleasure, while simultaneously ensuring emotional distance and avoidance of true connection—the kind of intimacy that can leave one open to being hurt.

Michael First, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, disagrees, citing a lack of quantifiable research.

“Addiction is a biological phenomenon,” First says. “The last reliable study was done in the ‘80s,” says Weiss.

Weiss adds that it’s like any addiction, and the addict increasingly “needs to have this intensity-based experience." However, the idea that sex is clinically addictive remains controversial.

As we've reported in the the Fix, sex addiction is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnosable disorder.

They develop the ability to share their truths, including feelings of pain, sadness or ambiguity.

“People don’t escalate outside their arousal templates,” says Weiss.

It’s about spending more and more time to get your fix and disregarding the negative consequences.

He doesn’t care how many partners you’ve had; it’s all in the past. To find out the answer, fall back to the fundamentals: identifying the addict is the first step. One-night stands, extra-marital affairs, GPS hook-ups, obsessive online dating.

And when it comes to sex addiction, that first step is a doozy. The list is long and gets darker the further down you go: compulsive masturbation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitutes.

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