If you’re reading this post and feel that you may have a sex addiction, here’s the good news: you’ve already taken the first crucial step toward recovery.
Sex addiction affects millions of people around the world every day – and there are excellent books out there that can help.
Before we get to the books, let’s find out what exactly a sex addiction is (and what it isn’t), the effects it can have in your life and what you can do to overcome it.
Sex is natural – can it really be an addiction?
Our 21st century culture reinforces the idea that sex is natural, pleasurable and definitely not something to be ashamed about.
We’ve also seen great progress when it comes to sexual identities and rights, especially for women and members of the LGBT community – and that’s something for everyone to be proud of.
Unfortunately, our open minded approach to sex has its downsides too. The media provides a constant stream of sexualised images, videos, magazine articles and blog posts that deliver one clear message: sex is good, and more sex is even better.
What’s more, in the age of Tinder, Grindr and other apps, it’s never been easier to find a willing partner.
So, when does sex stop being a good thing?
4 Signs you may be hooked on sex
How do you you draw the line between a healthy sexual appetite and a sex addiction? Here are some signs to look out for:
- You tend to judge your partner’s worth by how exciting they are in bed, forgetting about the love and support they provide you.
- You never quite feel sexually satisfied, always wanting more – even right after sex.
- You choose to work with colleagues of the sex you’re attracted to based on how attractive you find them.
- You’re know to be a compulsive flirt – and you’ve been asked to tone it down at work or at social occasions.
- You use sex as a way to reward yourself, soothe yourself or to calm feelings of stress, anxiety or loneliness.
These are mild signs of sex addiction, and many of them are real close to everyday sexual behaviour. In fact, a lot of people out there may think they are totally normal. The problem is, they can create a pattern of behaviour that could lead to serious problems.
If you are unable to control your impulse to have sex – especially in risky situations, and if you feel like your life may be unmanageable without sex – then pick up one of the books listed below, and consider whether you need help.
A moment of pleasure – or a lifetime of pain?
If you’ve ever found yourself using Tinder while your partner is in the next room (or even right next to you), you may be on the path to relationship collapse – and you’re not alone.
Sexting and virtual affairs have been in the headlines a lot lately, and the number of couples around the world who are affected by this behaviour could probably counted by the million.
With so many digital temptations at our fingertips, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of secret communication.
Unfortunately, what seems like harmless flirting to one partner may seem like the ultimate betrayal to the other – especially if the messages lead to a meeting or sexual encounter.
Books will boost the effectiveness of therapy
If you’ve taken the decision to see a therapist and overcome your addiction, you’ve earned our respect already – and there are a lot of great books out there that will help you on your journey.
In The Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior by Patrick Carnes.
This well-known book will give you insight into how sex addiction begins, and how to end it. Several case studies show how the author’s strategies have been effective in the past.
Lust, Anger, Love: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Road to Healthy Intimacy by Maureen Canning.
Childhood abuse and neglectful parenting can produce a lot of anger in adulthood – and this may be channeled into sexual aggression.
By understanding the link between the past and your present feelings, you’ll be able to build a stable, happy future.
Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame by George Collins and Anthony Adelman.
We live in a world full of sexual imagery, easy access to porn, and adult social networks – and being exposed to these can trigger sexual addiction.
This book highlights the sexual dangers in today’s world and offers powerful, practical advice for breaking free of them.
Out of the Shadows – Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes.
This book offers insight into what sex addiction looks like, how it progresses and what the recovery process is made up of. It offers a non-judgemental look at the patterns and behaviours to look out for, as the person suffering as well as partners and family members.
Reach out to us as soon as you’re ready to start your recovery journey
Sex addiction affects millions of people in countries around the world – and recovery is definitely possible. If you think you’re suffering from sex addiction, we can help.