Sex addiction or porn addiction is not an official diagnostic term, but we refer to sex addiction when a person can't stop thinking about sex/porn, when his/her work or social life is negatively impacted by these obsessive thoughts and when he/she has difficulties to control their impulses to respond to these obsessive thoughts. An example could be a person watching porn so often that this behaviour is causing procrastination or disturbances in the relationship. Alternatively, a person who is seeking sexual contacts while jeopardizing his/her work situation, social contacts or intimate relationship. Usually the most disturbing part of the behaviour is the perceived lack of control, and the feelings of guilt and shame. It is not uncommon to feel isolated, lonely or depressed. This can eventually cause a vicious cycle which can be very hard to break on your own.
In our practice we don't refer to sex addiction when the man wants sex twice a week and the woman once a month; we would call this a difference in libido which is described in detail on the page 'Couples'.
Treatment for sex/porn addiction consist of different stages dependent on the person's circumstances and behaviours. The start of therapy focuses on understanding the symptoms, the feelings and behaviours involved as well as the consequences and effects of the behaviour. Once we have analysed which components are determinants in your situation, Selma can provide you with strategies to improve those areas. For example, some men experience a lack of satisfaction in their sexual relationship which could then contribute to an increased urge to watch porn. In this case it would be important to address the sexual needs and whether there are any options to improve the satisfaction within the sexual relationship. Some men use porn as a strategy to switch off from daily stress and responsibilities, creating a time out for themselves. In that case Selma would help to improve stress coping strategies in other ways than using porn for stress relief. A very powerful strategy is to replace the undesired behaviour with more positive, strengthening strategies such as sports, relaxation or spending time with family. this way you benefit it two ways: it protects you from the undesired behaviour and it strengthens your self-esteem by being involved in a positive activity. As mentioned above, Selma will tailor her approach and strategies to your needs and goals to make sure you gain the most out of the therapeutic process.
Are you or your partner struggling with porn addiction or sex addiction? Would you like to discover how Selma can help you to develop a more positive connection with sex? Give us a call or book an appointment with Selma here.