Fred had a very stressful day at work. Now he's home feeling tired, tense and edgy. He wants to relax. He tries watching TV; he gets bored. He goes out for a walk; he feels lonely. He listens to music; he can't concentrate. Nothing seems to be able to relieve his stress except his old standby he's been relying on just about forever: sex. It might be masturbation with or without pornography. It might be sex with his partner or a stranger.
He does it. He feels relaxed. But he knows the relief is only temporary. The next time the stress builds, he relies on the old standby again, and again, and again. He's hooked.
Millions upon millions of people are trapped in sex addiction. They're trapped for three reasons. 1) They believe that they are dependent on sex to relieve stress. 2) The approach they've been using to stop was based on the 12-step program or conventional licensed therapy. Both approaches fail when applied to sex addiction. 3) After repeated failures, they accepted the belief that they can't overcome sex addiction.
As Fred becomes more and more dependent on sex to relieve stress, he begins to realize that his addictive use of sex causes more stress than it relieves. So, he makes an attempt to stop. It fails. He tries again and fails again, and again, and again. Now Fred is close to making the biggest mistake he has ever made about sex ever since he started using it to escape stress. He's about to conclude that he can't overcome his addiction.
Hopelessness is a mighty prison. It will keep you locked up in despair even if the path to freedom is open to you. As the old saying goes, "None are so blind as those who refuse to see." In the world of sex addiction it goes, "None are so wrong as those who believe there is no answer."
Fred can overcome his sexual addiction once he gets the answers he needs. He can learn how to stop using sex as a crutch to relieve stress. He can break free of his addiction without developing a new addiction to replace the old. If he's using porn, he'll want to know about the relationship between pornography and addictive masturbation. He can stop his sexually addictive behavior without becoming angry or depressed, once he's shown how. He'll need to learn which motivations work and which ones don't. He might want a good explanation of why his past attempts failed.
If he's in a relationship, he'll need answers about the effects of sex addiction on a relationship and what he can do about them. If he's alone, he needs answers about the connection between unfulfilled intimacy and sexual addiction. He might have problems with promiscuity, infidelity, fetishes, whatever. He might be overwhelmed by self-hate. He'll probably feel like he's living a hidden life. He might have hundreds of questions.
His answers are there. He is not doomed. Anyone can overcome sex addiction once they realize it can be overcome.
Joe Zychik overcame his own sex addiction in 1982.