Out of control sexual behavior is sexual activity that results in harmful consequences that you can't seem to stop. Many people experience significant difficulties regulating their sexual thoughts, behavior, or urges despite repeated harmful consequences. These consequences include issues with relationships, work, money, health, and drug and alcohol abuse.
There is no standard agreed upon terminology in the mental health field about out of control sexual behavior. You may also think of it as sexually compulsive behavior, sex addiction, porn addiction, or hypersexuality. Many interrelated factors contribute to our sexual behavior which requires a holistic approach to maintain sexual health. I can work with you to discover the deeper feelings and unconscious motivations causing your disturbing sexual behavior.
Sexual Addiction & Sexual Compulsivity
Sexual Compulsivity is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes stress on family, friends, loved ones, and/or one's work environment. Sexual addiction is not defined by a single behavior pattern.
Many different types of sexual behavior can cause problems in our lives and make them unmanageable. Some examples of sexually compulsive behaviors are:
preoccupation with or compulsively seeking sexual activity or relationships that interfere with your life activities
compulsive masturbation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, or other sexual acts
preoccupation with or compulsively viewing pornography or viewing disturbing images
sexual thoughts and fantasies that are disturbing you
experiencing repeated harmful, embarrassing or humiliating incidents from your sexual behavior
keeping secrets or maintaining a double life that your spouse, partner, family or employer do not know about
In working with clients on sexual compulsivity, I work with you to learn new ways to relate to yourself and your loved ones. Recovery from sex addiction is really a retraining program for learning healthy, non-compulsive ways of expressing our inherent sexuality.
I help clients repair their ability to form meaningful attachments to others by learning to create multiple attachments with a variety of individuals and groups rather than one all-consuming attachment to sexual activity.
What should I do if I am concerned about my sexual behavior?
If you are concerned about their sexual health, I recommend scheduling an initial consultation where we can discuss your concerns. In our society sexual health is rarely discussed and you can take advantage of our session to discuss your sexual behavior concerns in a safe, caring, respectful and confidential.
The key to therapeutic success and my initial goal is to define an individually tailored program for you, including assessment of your issues, defining your goals, and setting meeting times. Because I believe in an interactive partnership with my clients, you will be encouraged to provide me with feedback throughout our work together. Our initial sessions will be focused on four elements:
1) Discussing the sexual issues that you are facing,
2) Determining the goals that you want to achieve,
3) Beginning to develop trust, respect, and a personal connection between us so that you feel safe and understood, and
4) Providing background information so that I can fully understand the influences on your life.
During an initial evaluation, I will ask you questions about your life including what brings you in and what your relationships are like including friendships, colleagues, family and romantic relationships. I will ask you about what it was like for you when you were growing up. I will inquire about any emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse you may have had. There will be questions about your sexual functioning, your mood, and your appetite and sleep patterns along with other symptoms you may be experiencing.
Following the initial evaluation, we will discuss your diagnosis (if any), treatment recommendations for addressing specific problems, and any medical referral or consultation with experienced health professionals that might be required. I'll recommend a course of treatment for you if there are significant issues but you will have no commitment to schedule additional appointments.
What is treatment like and how do I get sexually healthier?
Coming in for an appointment is the next right thing you can do. Change is most likely to occur when it comes from your desire to live a better life. Your vision of your sexual health is what will guide our work together.
I make recommendations to address your sexual health issues and help you identify your emotional and behavior signals that warn of sexual health problems so you can begin to take action before the cycle of harm continues. Understanding your individual factors leading to out of control sexual behavior helps us develop an individualized and targeted treatment to address your concerns.
We will work on the following:
Finding ways to regulate your emotional distress and sexual compulsions
Developing greater capacity for emotional connection
Changing disruptive relationship patterns
Strategies integrate your natural erotic nature into your intimate relationships