Despite what tabloid newspapers would have you believe, sex addiction isn’t all a jolly tumbling from bed to bed. Some lead sexless lives but binge on pornography instead. Many sex addicts are unfaithful to their partners, have casual sex, and use pornography and masturbation. We can use sex as a type of drug to cope with our issues; a way of covering up our hurts. Unfortunately, by repeating the addiction cycle, we only create more shame, guilt, and despair for ourselves.
Men will often objectify women or their partners. Many women have a hard time understanding this, as they are usually relationally driven. Men don’t need a relationship in order to have a sexual experience. For some, it’s merely the gratification of conquering the quest that is addictive. In doing so, they view their partner as an object to use for their own gratification instead of a relationship to be a part of. It’s the adrenaline rush that covers hurts, scars, and wounds from the past.
How did I become a sex addict?
I believe being exposed to nudity from a babysitter multiple times at a young age and a habit of masturbation which later turned into an addiction contributed. Add to that, being sexual with women at a very young age perpetuated the issue. Some say that I was exploring my sexuality. I beg to differ. As young and active as I was in sexual matters, I was an addict by age 16, and I wanted more.
Although I had been clean with alcohol for five years, I was still active in pornography. My wife’s previous marriage ended because of her ex-husband’s involvement with it. I told myself I would not get caught. That didn’t last long. She caught me. Not much was said. I’m sure she was in shock and distraught. She swept it under the rug and said little. Under a year into our marriage, I picked up drinking again. It started with us going out and me having one at dinner. It picked up to having two or three every time we went out to eat. I cared little about how she felt about it. I wanted what I wanted, and I would stop at nothing to get it. She confronted me about it and put the drinking to a stop for a brief period.
After some time, pornography and masturbation weren’t enough to bury my pain. I needed something more powerful, something I could control, to shut off mentally the wreckage in my mind. That’s when I started cruising adult dating sites and Craig’s List. There I would solicit myself to anyone for a sexual encounter, something more powerful than pornography. Sex addiction is just like any other addiction. You will need more of it, whether it is a different form of pornography, to soliciting for sexual encounters. You eventually require more to reach the same high. Meeting up with a complete stranger gave me the same adrenaline rush that I encountered while in combat. It also numbed my feelings for a short period and let me be in a false sense of control of whom I would meet up with. I would plan my encounters around the times my wife would be out of town and while she worked. This way, I wouldn’t get caught. This type of acting endangered the lives of my children. I didn’t know who the person was or their intentions. I assumed every time that it was for a sexual encounter. Selfishness and blatant disregard for my family were what my addiction was costing me. God had His hand on my family and protected them when I wasn’t.
It doesn’t take long for the addict to become overwhelmed with guilt, shame, depression, loneliness, and resentments. In order to cope, the addict turns back toward his drug(s) of choice to bury these feelings. The cycle of addiction continues until they are ready to heal those emotional, physical, and spiritual wounds from the past.