/ By Brandon McDonald

For those who suffer from sex addiction, the reality of their problem is excruciatingly painful, damaging and ever-present. The fact that some people question the validity of this condition only adds to the addict’s suffering. Here at Desert Solace, our skilled and compassionate therapists know how to treat a sex addiction so you can get your life back.

What Makes a Male Sex Addict?

Many psychologists agree that there are some common factors that are often present in any type of addict — sex addicts included. One of these factors is some difficulty or trauma suffered in childhood. While most people can remember problematic or even traumatic times in their childhoods, how they cope with these issues can vary. One common coping mechanism is falling into addiction.

Some children will eat to soothe their pain and will eventually suffer from weight-related illnesses. Others may try alcohol or drugs to relieve their suffering. And still others will choose pornography and sex to escape and self-medicate.

In a way, it’s easy to understand. Eating salty, fatty, sugary foods feels good — at first. The same with drugs and alcohol — they take away the pain, but only temporarily. Sex is also often enjoyable, but as soon as it’s over, the self-loathing returns.

When Does Sex Addiction Start?

While there is no magic age for the onset of sex addiction, many sex addiction therapists are seeing clients who developed their sex addiction earlier due to exposure to pornography. Years ago, it was difficult for children to access pornography. Most of it was limited to magazines and videotapes, which minors were not allowed to buy. Today, any child with a smartphone can access a never-ending supply of the most horrific kinds of pornography. These children may begin compulsively watching it and masturbating to it as early as elementary school.

While masturbation in itself can be a healthy activity, if it is done to the exclusion of other activities such as doing homework, playing with friends or engaging in sports, it is considered harmful. Moreover, a prepubescent child who is exposed to pornography on a regular basis is at risk for emotional harm.

Sex Addiction Therapy: Impulse Control

Poor impulse control is at the root of most addictions, as well as generally undesirable behaviors. Children are not born with impulse control and must develop it with the help of a caregiver. This is why small children may cry and hit others when met with frustration, but as they grow, they become more able to regulate their emotions and tolerate disappointment.

Impulse control at its very worst leads some people to commit crimes. In the realm of sex addiction, this would include rape. As a sex addict, if your impulse control is so poor that when your partner says no or stop and you do not, you are risking harming that person for life, committing a felony and going to prison.

Another danger of sex addiction and poor impulse control comes in the form of not taking proper precautions. A sex addict with poor impulse control who is about to have a consensual sexual experience may not stop when they realize they have no protection. Whether that is due to the fact neither partner has a condom or the condom has broken or otherwise become unusable, the fact is that they may engage in unprotected sex.

Unprotected sex can lead to contracting a sexually transmitted disease or an unintended pregnancy. The recent Supreme Court decision that allows states to prevent women from getting abortions turns this event from an accident into a tragedy. A child you may never have wanted can be born — one you will be required to pay to raise for 18 years and deserves a father who is present in their life.

Another risk of sex addiction is the loss of your relationships. If you are married or in a committed relationship and it comes to light that you have been unfaithful to your partner by engaging in sexual relations with others, your partner may end your relationship. Imagine how much worse the situation would be if you also gave your partner an STD or had to tell them another woman was having your baby. The thought is terrifying — but not enough to stop.

Sex Addiction Counseling in Utah

Despite the difficulty involved with treating any addiction, our therapists can assure you that sex addiction recovery is possible. We know because we have treated many male sex addicts at our sex addicts anonymous program, and these men have gone on to conquer their addiction and lead happy lives.

Too many people believe sex addiction is not real because sex is often thought of as a pleasurable activity from which no harm can result, but as you can see from the examples above, nothing could be further from the truth.

Even if you are in a marriage or committed relationship and you are faithful to your partner, sex addiction can be enormously destructive. Sex addicts know how their partners become exhausted from their constant demands and beg them to get help. The addict may run into trouble at work because they are too distracted by sex or thoughts of sex to perform their jobs adequately. You may curtail social activities to spend more time having sex, watching pornography or masturbating. You may engage in disrespectful or even illegal behavior by engaging in sex acts in the car, in a public restroom or at the homes of friends.

Once you commit to our sex addict program and begin attending sex addiction meetings, you will have taken an important step toward sex addiction recovery. Our sex addict support groups offer our clients a space where they can talk about their suffering without feeling like they are being judged. At Desert Solace, there is no shaming or judgment, only compassion and help.

To learn more about how to beat a sex addiction, contact our facility today and speak to one of our licensed sex addiction therapists. You deserve to be happy again.