Willingness not HORNY-NESS

For long-term sex addicts, having sex with an intimate connected partner has to come from a place of “willingness” not HORNY-NESS[1]. Sexual addicts expecting to have the same rush of excitement at having sex with his/her spouse as was the case of hooking up on an app with a stranger or masturbating to pornography (just two examples) and waiting for that same level of neurobiological stimulation (horny-ness) prior to engaging in partner sex, is for many sexual addicts just not going to happen[2]! In fact, though not healthier, it’s easier to just retreat from sex altogether thus contributing to various levels and types of couple sexual starvation. Too often recovering couples can end up developing various non-sexual qualities over the long term because no long-term intimate relationship will ever bring that same rush as does acting out.

However, sexual addicts in recovery that are willing to learn how to embrace sexual intimacy without the need to have that old “turned-on feeling” even if it is accompanied by residual trauma feelings will find that via massage, kissing, holding, sharing, touching and all the other sensually connecting experiences that promote masculine and feminine feelings will most likely get aroused and actually have powerful sex with their committed partner/spouse[3].

This is not sex based on an objectified focus but on intentions to demonstrate love and being sensually close. This kind of sexual arousal is much more likely to produce more pleasurable and meaningful sex within couples than the anonymous, objectified images and/or people created.

However, asking a sexual addict who has addictively used objectified hyper-stimulation as a primary sexual portal to simply shut off those intense sexually familiar feelings and be sexual with their committed partner will most likely fail, repeatedly[4].

Sexual addicts (and ideally with their partners) need to be taught how to not have sex based on objectification and taught to grieve the loss of their destructive sexual feelings. Thus, sex can wonderfully happen with one’s intimate committed partner but only from an intellectual willingness to learn how to enter into healthy intimacy and sensuality and a process that teaches them how.

Coeur d’Alene Counseling, Inc. often recommends particular tasks devoted to teaching sexual addicts in recovery healthy sexuality and providing the needed skills, support, and experience to grieve what’s necessary to help sexual addicts move into a life of healthy sexuality. As part of the process, the work of Alexandra Katehakis’ book, “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex” is often invaluable.

[1] Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid