Sex and Love Addiction

sex-love-addictionHouston Addiction Therapy address sex addiction, love addiction, and partners of sex addicts by offering individual counseling, couples counseling, group counseling, and intensive workshops. We believe that recovery is possible and that a person suffering from sexual compulsivity or love addiction can learn to heal and have healthy boundaries.

In addressing the compulsivity of sexual addiction we look at issues such as: cybersex addiction, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and compulsive masturbation. Renee Lederman, our clinical director is a certified sex addiction therapist, and has experience dealing with sex addicts and partners of sex addicts. Many times a sex addict will act out by having an affair, using prostitutes, or developing online relationships involving sexual content. We believe sex addiction is not about sex at all. It is an intimacy disorder, where a person uses sexual activity in a search for connection, attention, or love. Many times sex addiction is a way to medicate painful memories and experiences.

Like sex addiction, love addiction is a way to cover emotions. Love addiction usually involves a relationship that starts off very intense, and ends quickly. Love addiction is one of the more difficult addictions to identify and recover from. Many times, a love addict will vacillate from extreme romantic delusions that can lead to behavior such as stalking, or can coincide with self loathing, suicidal ideation, and even self mutilation, due to the extreme pain experienced from typical emotions during love relationships.

The partner of the sex addict will also need to participate in therapy. Many times, a partner of a sex addicts will feel crazy and wonder if they are the problem. Recognizing or confronting a sex addict is very hard. Many times, a partner of a sex addicts feels frustrated because the sex addict denies the problem. Feelings of depression, insecurity, suspicion, anxiety, and confusion, just to name a few, are what partners of sex addicts will feel.

Love and Sex Addicts often mistake intensity for connection. For sex addicts, this might mean seeking sexual connections anywhere they can find them, which ultimately leads to difficulty beginning or maintaining monogamous relationships. It can also put the sex addict as well as their partners at high risk of contracting STD’s of all kinds. Love addicts become very dependent on the rush of hormones that often accompanies the beginning of a new relationship–the ‘honeymoon phase’. However, they seek to maintain this unsustainable moment and become distraught when the dynamic of a relationship shifts in any way, leading them to feel rejected or unloved unless their impossible to meet demands for love are met. In the end, love addicts end up chasing away the very people they seek being close to, smothering them with affection and then reacting intensely when that affection is not met in kind. It is important for love and sex addicts to be able to see their behaviors clearly and gain tools to grow past these harmful behaviors. In Love and Sex Addiction Therapy, the person in treatment will get all the help they need to live a life that is full of love and connection with others.