The desire to come together physically with another exists, more or less, in all human beings.
Unfortunately, for many of us, sexuality presents opportunities for suffering and pain, rather than connection and intimacy.
The challenges can take many forms and have many causes.
Addiction vs. Anorexia
Sex Addiction / Sexual Compulsivity – Happens when sex becomes the most important thing in a person’s life, and also takes on an obsessive-compulsive quality. For a sex addict, sex is the greatest need.
The type of compulsivity can vary tremendously from person to person – pornography, affairs, sexting, anonymous hookup apps, fetishes, BDSM, strip clubs, prostitutes, bath houses…
The exact issue doesn’t matter that much.
What matters is that for the addict, they can’t stop.
No matter how bad it gets.
No matter what they lose.
Sexual Anorexia – Although it’s a bit less common than sex addiction (at least in terms of what I’ve seen clinically) sexual anorexia happens when avoidance of sex becomes a central focus of a person’s life.
Most of these folks have a deep phobia of emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy, or both.
Some avoid relationships entirely.
If the opportunity for a relationship comes up they’ll simply disappear.
Sometimes they’ll wear clothing that allows them to “hide” from the eyes of those who might otherwise be attractive to them.
Other times they’ll choose (consciously or unconsciously) to adopt a body shape that will help keep potential mates at a distance.
Others will enter into a relationship, but when the opportunity for physical intimacy presents itself they’ll find a way to avoid it.
Sometimes that means starting a fight.
Other times they’ll find other things to do, and get too busy, tired, hungry, angry, preoccupied, worried… etc.
A friend of mine who has been in the field for a number of years summed up treatment of sex addiction and sexual anorexia pretty well: “It doesn’t usually happen by accident.”
What he meant by that is that people who treat sex addiction generally need to know what they’re doing and be very deliberate about how they’re doing it.
Or it won’t work.
If you’re looking to get treatment, my advice is to find a professional with experience in the field. I’m happy to provide the services. Feel free to drop me a line in the “contact” section of the website.