Drunken Sluts R Us – by Marc J Dunn

  The 75-year-old woman at the speaker’s table was introduced to the group as having 30+ years of addiction recovery and as a “tells it like it is” kind of storyteller. Her opening was, “I knew I was a drunken slut, but I had no idea I was an alcoholic. That was so much worse.” The group listening burst into laughter shooting each other knowing glances as only others in recovery could. It wasn’t shameful what our friend had said, it was something we could all relate to or identify with. We have a bond of commonality in recovery, although we have different specific circumstances, we share recklessness and selfishness, and stealing the serenity of others we claim to love. A quick search of my memory brought forward dozens if not hundreds of episodes that could be classified as “slut like” behavior. Let me draw a line here, because I… Continue reading

What Causes Sexual Addiction? – By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

One of the first questions I hear from almost every sex addict new to recovery is “How did this happen?” And many of the men and women who ask this question are unable (or unwilling) to move forward with treatment and the process of recovery until they have an answer. So even though knowledge about why they are sexually addicted won’t help them establish or maintain sexual sobriety, I answer the question, letting them know that sexual addiction, like other addictions, is not caused by any one thing. Instead, it is typically the result of numerous influences, both genetic and environmental. Nature (Genetics) Dozens of studies have shown both direct and indirect links between genetics and addiction. For instance, researchers have identified a specific genetic variation that causes the pleasurable effects of addictive substances and behaviors to be magnified. This, of course, directly increases the risk for all types of… Continue reading

Denial and Sexual Addiction Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Brad, a 30-year-old investment banker, was recently fired from his high-paying job for repeatedly using his bank-owned digital devices to look at porn and to find “dates” on hookup apps. He had been verbally warned about this behavior by his boss on two occasions, and then he’d received a written reprimand from the HR department, clearly stating that if he did not abide by bank policy regarding digital devices, he would lose his position. Still, he found ways to rationalize and justify his behavior (in his mind, but not the bank’s). Currently unemployed and deeply depressed, Brad has sought help from a local therapist, hoping for an antidepressant medication to help him through this difficult time. In his first session, he admitted to his therapist that he was fired because of his sexual behaviors, but he was unwilling to consider the idea that those behaviors might be the cause of… Continue reading

Drinking: A Love Story – SEX – By Jackie S.

In this week’s chapter of Drinking: A Love Story, Catherine Knapp tackles the subject that everyone deals with and few want to discuss –  the connection between alcohol and sex.  Specifically, she discusses how drinking allows people the ability to let down their shields, to be more approaching and approachable. She talks about anonymous sexual encounters, friends with benefits, affairs and long term relationships and how alcohol affects them all. Not only affects them, but allows the participant to dance around their issues rather than facing them, like the purple elephant in the middle of the room – seen by all, but acknowledged by no one. This is just the kind of topic that is difficult to discuss, even now at six plus years sober. It is hard to admit spending a lifetime looking for affection in all the wrong ways and not ever learning how to create real sober… Continue reading

Sex vs. Sexual Addiction – By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Sex addiction is not the easiest thing to recognize, especially if you’re neck deep in it. Even outside observers (friends, family, therapists, etc.) sometimes struggle to identify the problem, primarily because sex addicts tend to be highly secretive about what they are doing. If you are worried about your (or someone else’s) sexual behaviors, and whether those behaviors may have escalated to the level of addiction, it may help if you understand the basic differences between casual, at-risk, and addictive sexuality. Casual Users of Sexual Activity are men and women who find non-intimate sexuality (porn, virtual sex, digital flirting, casual/anonymous hookups, affairs, strip clubs, prostitution, and the like) to be fascinating and fun. They involve themselves with these pleasurable distractions occasionally, though not obsessively. Much of the time, their behavior is driven by curiosity, novelty, or life-stage events. For instance, they may engage in non-intimate sexual activities (online or real-world)… Continue reading