As women, sexual addiction is unique. Our behavior ranged from sex with self, phone sex, cyber sex, and pornography. We engaged in promiscuity, illicit relationships, and multiple-adultery. For some of us it was exotic dancing, escort services and prostitution. We used our bodies, intentionally dressed provocatively, and performed for others, creating an illusion that gave us a false sense of self-worth. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, and the forbidden. We jeopardized our relationships, jobs, morals and values; we even neglected our children. All the while, we rationalized our sexual behaviors. We asked ourselves, “What will a little fantasy hurt,” or “What they don’t know, won’t hurt them.” As we lived a double-life, we became disconnected from reality making true intimacy with another impossible. We carried this behavior from relationship to relationship and even into our marriages.Why? We were running; running from love; running from pain; pain from shame, self-hate, and multiple forms of abuse. We lacked self-worth and feared intimacy. We tried to connect; we tried to escape. We felt abandoned. We had a need to be in control and have power over others. Spiritually, we were bankrupt.
We have learned to numb our feelings and to cope with our inadequacies by reaching out for a cure that would ultimately destroy us. This unhealthy belief system was not in line with the plan God had for our sexuality.
Sexual addiction is progressive. It can begin as a little flirtation or a “curiosity.” When we cross a line, it sets us in motion to cross the next line more easily. Ask the adulterer, ask the prostitute, ask the slave to the Internet, “When, how they started, and how it ended.” We’ve asked ourselves, “How did we get here?” Sometimes, we don’t even remember why we started acting out in the first place. We tell ourselves that the next sexual act will be better and more lasting, but it never is.
Eventually, our behaviors resulted in losing relationships, our marriages, jobs, and material possessions and in some cases, our children. For many, the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are now a reality. And finally, we hit a bottom. There is a void that we haven’t been able to fill with fantasy, sex or lust.
Sexual Addiction—Breaking It Down
Female sexual addition is an addiction to using our sexuality for the wrong reasons with the wrong people.
ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS: Multiple adultery, illicit relationships, sex with self (masturbation), sexual thoughts/fantasy, pornography, promiscuity, internet chat rooms, internet cyber sex, phone sex, internet affairs, exhibitionism, exotic dancing, serving as an escort/prostitute, couple swapping, non-committal in relationship, dressing provocatively, sexual encounters/sexual relationships with other women (homosexuality), relationships with both men and women (bi-sexuality), secret double life, high-risk behaviors/situations.
CHARACTERISTICS THAT FUEL SEXUAL ADDICTION: Lust and the desire to be lusted after, control and power, anger and rage, rebelliousness, selfishness, extreme justification, lack of accountability (blame game), resentments, revenge, self-centeredness, self-destruction, pride, jealousy, competitiveness, isolation, running from love.
CORE ISSUES: Running from love, fear of true intimacy, false intimacy, fear of commitment, false self-image, self-hate, lack of self-worth, low self- image, need to control, lack of nurturing, escape, loneliness, guilt, shame, spiritual void.
CORE: Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, abandonment abuse (physically/emotionally).
• Commit to Jesus Christ and the 8 Recovery Principals.
• Form an Accountability Team: Sponsor, Accountability Partners.
• Attend Women’s sexual addiction (SA) Open Share and Step Study Group.
• Commit to a daily quiet time in The Life Recovery Bible.
• Read SA materials. Learn about your addiction!
• Identify triggers.
• Avoid cross over addictions—food / eating disorders, alcohol / drugs.
• Avoid people, places, and things that tempt your addiction.
• Understand the root of each core issue you identify with and become willing to experience grief, forgiveness, and acceptance.
• Accept God’s standards for sexuality.
• Allow God total access to our minds (thought life) and through the program and change your belief system towards your sexuality.