When managed in a healthy way, an active sex life can be one of life’s greatest gifts. Having been raised in an oppressive society about our homosexuality, sex can take on different meanings for gay men. Whether or not you believe the stereotype of gay men being promiscuous and “sex-starved”, the real truth is that when sex is taken to the extreme and it begins to interfere with your life and the accomplishment of your goals, damaging consequences can result that can destroy your future.
This article comes off the heels of my attendance at a recent professional workshop on treating compulsive *** behaviors. It was an excellent investigation into the world of *** addiction and was presented by Arizona-based therapist Paul Simpson, Ed. D. A lot of his presentation is mirrored by the work of Dr. Patrick Carnes, PhD, the pioneer of *** addiction research and reputable author of a series of classic self-help books on *** addiction treatment. Here is some useful information on *** compulsivity and resources for recovery.
Am I Addicted To Sex?
When sex begins to interfere with your daily life, becomes a preoccupation to where you’re distracted from life tasks, or if sex controls your behavior instead of you “being in the driver’s seat”, these are all indicators that there may be a addiction at play. Additional factors cited by Simpson include loss of boundaries and having sex with less discrimination and discernment, *** activities becoming increasingly risky, continued acting-out despite physical/financial/emotional costs, *** obsession, loss of time and energy, and neglect of self-care and important responsibilities. Increasing powerlessness and unmanageability are the hallmarks of a developing *** addiction.
Have you ever wondered if your *** behavior is problematic? Just like with any addiction, denial can minimize the seriousness of your situation and “conveniently” block from awareness the reality of what’s truly going on. It can be easy to get swept up in the myth that to be gay means to have lots of casual sex and that there’s no limits to what’s acceptable, especially with the gay culture being sexualized by the media and the community itself at times. This is not to pathologize *** freedom or to condemn those who are liberal with their *** behavior; it merely points to the importance of establishing a definition of what constitutes healthy sexuality and responsibility to avoid negative repercussions for it’s potential mishandling. The Gay Men *** Addiction Screening Test is an assessment tool to help you evaluate your *** activity. Go to the following site and complete the survey and see how you score: www.sexhelp.com/gsast. cfm. Use the results from this information to gauge any possible “red flags” in your current *** behavior.
Why We Get Addicted
All behavior is purposeful. Everything we do has meaning and is intended to meet some kind of need, goal, or result. The origins of *** addiction are unique to each individual and span biological and psychological motivations. The following are some underlying causes that may drive a person to act-out sexually, according to Simpson.
If you have issues with *** compulsivity, what unmet needs drive your *** acting-out? It’s important to pinpoint your motives so that these needs can be addressed and met in more healthy ways. What hurts? What’s missing in your life? How does your sexuality manifest itself?
Getting A Handle On Your Impulses
Sexual addiction is not something that you can typically overcome by reading a book or through sheer willpower. This problem is powerful and causes significant distress and pain to the person struggling with it, as well as his loved ones and those affiliated with him. Working with a trained licensed therapist who specializes in *** addiction is critical, as well as some form of group therapy or attendance in a Sex Addicts Anonymous support group. For some individuals, medication is needed and primary or secondary mental health issues and other addictions may need treatment as well. If you are struggling with *** compulsivity, get help NOW before you become too trapped in the downward spiral. Treatment can be a long and challenging road and you will need lots of support and encouragement.
The following are some treatment-oriented suggestions from Simpson’s lecture that can help in overcoming *** addiction. These are not intended as a substitute for therapy and it is highly recommended that you work with a therapist as you implement these strategies for maximum effectiveness and monitoring.
There are a multitude of other strategies and techniques that are best addressed with the assistance of a therapist. To locate a *** addiction-therapist, visit The Society for The Advancement of *** Health’s website for possible linkage/referrals in your area at at www.ncsac.org/members/resources_main.aspx .
Resources & Conclusion
With effective treatment, motivation for change, and a solid support system, freedom from *** addiction can be yours! Make healthy sexuality your primary goal and really define what that means to you. The following is a list of recommended resources and readings on this very complex topic!
Disclaimer: The Gay Love Coach does not represent or endorse the quality of any products, referral services, information, or materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of its mention in this article. It’s common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing a product.
©2006 Brian L. Rzepczynski
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Brian Rzepczynski holds a master's degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and is also a Certified Personal Life Coach through The Coach Training Alliance. He launched his private coaching practice, The Gay Love Coach: Man 4 Man Coaching Services (http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com ), in 2003 and works with gay men, both singles and couples, on developing skills for improving their dating lives and relationships. He publishes a free monthly ezine called “The Man 4 Man Plan" that has helpful articles, tips, resources, and an advice column relating to gay relationships and dating. He is also the co-author of the 2005 self-help book “A Guide to Getting It: Purpose & Passion. "