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

Loving Self and Others – By Kyczy Hawk

What does Valentine’s Day have to do with yoga and recovery? Love, admiration, and relationships that are discovered within ourselves and with one another at meetings and other sharing. But occasionally we draw in advertising, movies, and other social media and experience sadness, loneliness, and, maybe, self pity. Sometimes we crave and contemplate what we are sure others have when we see the ads and the promotions for gifts and greeting cards. It can be painful. This celebration of chocolate and all things sweet can be a challenge when you are dealing with food issues. The illusion that “everyone else is in love” can bring up relationship issues. You may find yourself having to navigate the field of wants within yourself. How can you observe your life in a healthy way and enjoy the friendships you have? And you do have friends. We, in recovery, can find friendship. Partnership, a… Continue reading

What Sexual Addiction is NOT – By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information floating around about sex addiction. Because of this, some people will use the label “sex addiction” to define any type of sexual behavior (in others or in themselves) that does not meet their personal, cultural, or religious view of what sex should look like. He goes to a very conservative church that thinks porn is a sin, but he looks at porn on a regular basis. He must be a sex addict. I’m married to a woman that I love but I’ve been having sex with men. I must be a sex addict. She’s cheating on her husband. Only a sex addict would do that, right? Even worse, sometimes people who are caught red-handed engaging in inappropriate, illegal, or just plain problematic sex will suggest that they are sex addicts, attempting to use sex addiction as a catch-all excuse for their behavior,… Continue reading

Dating: A Cautionary Tale – From A Sober Mom’s Guide To Recovery – by Rosemary O’Connor

© 2015 by Rosemary O’Connor Hazelden Publishing Published with permission of Rosemary O’Connor. “All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.”— MAE WEST For the alcoholic single mother, the dos and don’ts of dating are convoluted and complex. Dating for anyone today is like a minefield, but for recovering women, especially recovering moms who already have a history of disastrous relationships, the dangers are even greater. My friend Diane told me, “I’ve dated every dysfunctional man in Arizona, so I had to move to California.” You may feel like your Prize Picker is totally broken after so many failed attempts, or maybe you had no relation- ships and just slept around, looking for love in all the wrong places. You may be the woman who never dated and had given up on ever finding love. It was suggested I refrain from dating for the first… Continue reading

When Is Sex An Addiction? – By Robert Weiss MSW

From a therapist’s point of view, sex addiction is a dysfunctional preoccupation with sex that continues for a period of at least six months despite negative consequences and attempts to either quit or curtail the problem-causing behaviors. In other words, sex addiction is an ongoing, out-of-control pattern of sexual fantasies and activities that causes problems in a person’s life – much as alcoholism is an ongoing, out-of-control pattern of alcohol abuse that causes problems in a person’s life. Generally speaking, sex addiction, like other addictions, is diagnosed based on three primary criteria: Preoccupation to the point of obsession. Sex addicts spend hours, sometimes even days, fantasizing about, planning for, pursuing, and eventually engaging in sexual acts (with self or others). They often “lose time” when floating in their sexual obsession. Loss of control. Most sex addicts try, usually repeatedly, to either quit or cut back on their sexual fantasies and… Continue reading