Sex Addiction – The Problem, The Routines and Vicious Cycle
How Sex Addiction Starts – Jimmy was introduced to pornography when he was seven years old. One day his older brother took him to a friend’s house whose father sold pornographic movies. As Jimmy watched the movies with much fascination, the other two disappeared into a bedroom for what he later realized was a homosexual encounter. Jimmy would never be the same. This initial exposure ushered him into a lifetime of slavery to porn which transformed him into a full-fledge sex addict, (Jimmy’s brother, also a sex addict, would be convicted of raping and murdering two women and a young girl years later.)
Richard was introduced to sex for the first time as a young teenager when he was invited over to a friend’s house to participate in a wild orgy. For years he lived a life obsessed with sex. Shortly after he got married, with much manipulation and relentless “guilt trips”, he managed to convince his wife to incorporate the “swinging life-style” into their marriage. For twelve years Rebecca, his wife lived in constant degradation and shame, until she met Jesus Christ and her whole life changed. It would be several years later before Richard made the same discovery
One day, as a young teenager, Glen was walking down a country road on his way home from school. As he nonchalantly tramped along, a car pulled over about a half of a mile in front of him. Glen became very curious when he saw a box being thrown from the car. When he reached the box, he opened it up and found an assortment of several hundred pornographic magazines. His life would never be the same. Even after becoming a Christian while in college, years of sexual addiction followed. Glen became the general manager of a Christian radio station, in spite of his ongoing struggle with pornography. The truth about his secret life eventually came out when he let his godly wife and ran off with the wife of a pastor.
Bob was introduced to pornography for the first time when he discovered explicit magazines under his father’s bed. Years of bondage followed. When pornography no longer thrilled him, he started sneaking around houses to peek into windows. He would spend hours at a window hoping to catch a glimpse of flesh. After ruining one marriage and almost another, Bob finally sought help
All of these individuals shared one thing in common: they became addicted to compulsive sexual behavior. An addiction is a constellation of habits of thinking and acting that have become a lifestyle of sexual gratification and become addicted to the “high” associated with sexual activity just as others become addicted to the euphoria of alcohol or drugs. When people over-emphasize the importance of sex in their lives, it begins to dictate a lifestyle to them, and they become obsessed with sex. the become enslaved to sexual compulsive behaviour. What begins as “just having a little fun” or “satisfying normal urges” gradually lures them deeper and deeper into the mire of bondage. If continued without repentance, God will give them over to a reprobate mind.
Sex Addiction – The Special Routines of Sex Addicts
As addiction tightens its grip on the victim, he enters into special routines or rituals to which he becomes accustomed. The man in the habit of watching pornographic movies might begin by browsing the magazine racks in an adult bookstore. From there he might go from booth to booth, searching for the perfect movie (his ultimate fantasy) until he finally satisfies his lust. I can personally identify with this particular ritual. I, too, would go into an adult bookstore and “size up” by walking around the video booths, looking at the movie advertisements for each one. Then I would methodically go from booth to booth, saving the one that most appealed to me for last.
A step-father who is a practicing child molester would have a different (or may not) start off by looking at pornography. Eventually, though he will sneak into a child’s bedroom where he will act out his lust.
Lew began molesting his oldest daughter from the time she was ten. Each time he would spend several moments coaxing and comforting her to convince her that it was his way of showing his “special way” for her and wit would be their little secret. She reluctantly went along with it until he tried to molest her younger sister. Having lived with the horror of molestation, she could not bear to see her sister go through what she had endured. Out of desperation, she told her teacher, who immediately alerted the authorities.
An exhibitionist usually acts out his own routine in the confines of a car. He might be driving to a store when the idea of exposing himself to a girl enters his mind. He immediately becomes preoccupied with the thought until finally he acts out his fantasy in front of some unsuspecting victim.
Sam was a young teenager who began sensing a desire to expose himself. Every morning, when a group of teenage girls would walk through his backyard on their way to school, how would masturbate which watching them through his window. Although he never dared to make himself visible, the thought of the girls seeing him masturbate would arouse him. As he grew older this nagging thought continued to plague him. He would repeatedly dismiss it, yet it would not disappear. One day, he pulled his car over and masturbated while a woman walked by. He did a good job of hiding himself, but the thought of her seeing him was what was exciting him. He repeated this same routine occasionally over the next several months until his lust finally overcame him, and he gave into the temptation. He allowed a woman to see him as he climaxed. Even though it frightened him terribly, he found himself repeating the act over and over again. Masturbation alone was no longer enough to fulfil him.
The indecent phone caller’s routine closely resembles that of the exhibitionist’s. Except that his ritual is done over the phone. As he dials telephone numbers, the caller will become aroused as the thought of reaching some woman who is naive enough to listen to what he says. This is when his lust will be fulfilled.
Take Stan for example. His problems began with “dial-a-porn”. He will get himself worked up with pornography and then call a special number where a girl would talk sexually with him. But that was too easy. Rather than allow himself to end it with her, he would start breezing through the local telephone book calling numbers until he found a woman who would listen to his lewd suggestions and the graphic description of his subsequent climax.
The voyeur, “peeping Tom” will cruise streets for hours in hopes of finding a window that might provide some excitement. After he waits, for perhaps hours at a time, finally a glimpse of flesh will enter his visual field. This eyeful brings about the culmination of his lust.
Bob would be sitting in his house at night watching television when the thought of all of those potential windows would start to entice him. After everyone went to bed, he would sneak out of the house and down the street searching for a window with open curtains. After finding one, he night stay for a long period of time until he could get a glimpse of anything exciting.
The woman addicted to sex might act out her routine in bars, going from man to man, night after night. She might attempt to see how many men she can flirt with or tease in a given night until she chooses one to sleep with. Then she will finish the night’s buildup.
Betty, a woman of average attractiveness at best, was a night club singer who loved to seduce me. She enjoyed the attention she received from the audience while singing. During her performance, she will pick one man out to “come on to”. Ending up in bed with that man would make her feel incredibly desirable and sexy as a woman. If the man at the bar did not pay attention to her, perhaps because he was married, she would take that as a challenge to seduce him. All such conquests gave her tremendous satisfaction. Eventually, Betty married, but soon came to miss the attention of men and started having secret affairs. No matter how many men she managed to seduce, she could not reach the point where she was really content with herself as a person.
A “John” may act out his routine by cruising the “red-light” district, a haven for prostitutes. Captivated by the whole scene, he slowly cruises by each girl, carefully examining her. He begins to fantasize and lust builds up in his heart. Finally, one will catch his interest for whatever reason and he will seek out her services for the evening.
Jody would spend hours driving down streets teeming with prostitutes. This was half of the excitement for him. Occasionally, he will pull over and talk with one for a while, but usually he was not ready for his routine to end yet; so he would drive on and continue his cruising. Finally, after his desire for sex has approached its peak, he would select one of the girls to take back to his hotel room. This is where his routine would find its climax.
The compulsive homosexual might out his routine in one of several ways. Usually he will go to the local “gay” bar where he will flirt around until he finds the “right” person. Or he might choose to go to the adult movie arcade where there will be “straight” or bisexual men who will welcome his services. There he will go from man to man throughout the night until he finally finds some way to achieve enjoyment for himself.
Rick did both. Some nights he would go to the gay bars or gay bathhouses, seeking out another homosexual who attracted him. The two of them might have several drinks together as the get to know each other, and would then end up in bed for the night. Other nights, he would go to the adult bookstores. He would offer to “take care” of straight men who were watching pornographic movies in small booths. In any given night, he might have sex with a dozen or more men in that booth. Although he is driven to do this, it was confusing to him how little satisfaction he received.
All of these different people share on thing in common: they have allowed their sexual thoughts to dominate their lives to the point that they have become addicted to their behavior. Their actual routines/actions may differ but they all have a distinct or observable pattern which eventually leads to their “acting out” sexually.
The Vicious Cycle of Sex Addiction
Once an individual becomes addicted to sex, he enters into a vicious cycle of self-destruction and degradation. It appears that the more compulsive and perverted his sexual behavior is, the harder the society is in labelling and judging him. Consequently, his whole life is consumed with guilt and shame. This is especially true of those persons who come from a Christian background or who are actively involved in their local church. As time progresses, many things begin to happen in the sex addict’s life. His sense of confidence and self-worth continually diminish, and the emptiness inside him is magnified. As a result, he begins an intense and desperate search to fill this void in his life. Since sex has been his personal elixir to which he has turned during his previous times of despair, just as a drunk turns to his liquor bottle, the sex addict will pursue the object(s) of his desire. Unfortunately, after fleeing to sex to find comfort or simply a “quick fix”, he only manages to heap more shame and despair upon himself – the pit becomes deeper, the darkness even blacker.
He starts building walls around himself. As the need to protect himself grows, he further alienates himself from his loved ones; thus, they begin to feel helpless in reaching him. They cannot understand what is happening to him or why they are unable to communicate with him. This is one of the differences between an alcoholic and a sexual addict. It is a rare thing for an alcoholic’s drinking to be a secret. It generally does not take long for people to discover an alcoholic’s drinking problem. They can even understand why the drunk alienates himself; with the sexual addict, people often have no idea of what is going on and cannot understand his behavior.
Hal describes what happened in his family: The alienation of my family began long before I ever realized it. It was only in retrospect that I could see the situation for what it really was. Initially, this involved only my immediate family. My self-centered obsession with sex resulted in my wife not getting the love and attention which she truly deserved. Her understandable frustration with this void in our relationship resulted in countless arguments – many of them severe.
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