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Overcoming Sexual Addictions

The Cycle Of Thoughts And Behaviours - addictions - sex - porn - masturbation

To address sexual addiction try a mindfulness app created for people struggling with these types of out-of-control sexual behaviors:

Migiri App:

Addiction and the Body

You might be thinking: “why this person just does not want to stop this destructive behaviour?”. If you do not have addictive tendencies it might be difficult for you to understand why it’s so hard to let go of addictive behaviours. If you are in a relationship with a sex, porn, or masturbation addict this is an article for you and for all the struggling addicts out there.

Addictions lead to many unwanted changes in the body. We naturally produce dopamine through physical exercises, during changes in temperature (warm to cold), when we are fasting, achieve something or there is some excitement in our life at the time. However, things like alcohol, sex, porn, social media, drugs, and gambling are causing in some people very strong dopamine spikes that are so quick, enticing and mesmerising that they want to repeat behaviours that caused those spikes again and again. Later the brain stops the production of dopamine because of constant spikes caused by the addictive behaviours. Now the person is in a neverending loop. If they want to stop the behaviour they might experience strong sensations of lack of purpose, motivation, sadness, anxiety, depression, and in some cases even physical pain. Seemingly the only way out is another hit of the drug of their choice.

To truly understand I’ll dare you to try something new. A lot of people are addicted to sugar, from an early age we are taught that sweets are no good but everyone has access to them.

“You do not want to give your kid a candy bar every now and then? You must be a tyrant!”

It is changing with increased awareness of how bad sugar can be in the long run. Going back to the dare! Try to cut out sugar completely from your life and see how your body reacts. A lot of people report increased emotionality, tremors, pain and other unpleasant reactions.

Pornography addicts report similar changes in body and mind. Withdrawal symptoms can be horrible if the addiction has been ruling their life for a long time. People try many different addictive things but not everyone will develop an addiction to them. As much as addicts are not responsible for having the disease (many can disagree that it is the right term) but they are responsible for their actions.

By opening this dopamine-induced excessive wanting and wanting more of it the pathway to liking and enjoying is closed. That’s why when addictive behaviour stops addicts feel no motivation or excitability. Things that used to be enjoyable are nothing in comparison with the hit that addictive behaviour provides.

Porn Addiction

Porn addiction is so powerful because of the intensity of visual stimuli that pornography provides. You know the expression “food porn”? Food presented on Instagram and advertisements, it looks so good you can’t stop looking at it. Social media is quite similar to porn in this regard. The amazing short videos are no match for the real world. Eventually, all you do is scroll and want more and better videos.

If you find that you want more edgy things to watch and the frequency is increasing your addiction is progressing. It is important for the partners of addicts to understand that sexual addictions are not about sex or their love for you. They are about the urge to see and do more and wanting the variety that no real life relationship can provide. Often it is not because the sex is not good or that they don’t love you or that you are not good enough. Excessive “wanting more” seems to be the biggest problem. People who watch porn excessively report that dating and sex don’t do it for them anymore, they are not interested in real people. They now have such high and unrealistic standards nothing will be as good as the images. Also, life itself is not as interesting for them.

After people quit for a long time they may experience: a higher desire for connection with others, more social interactions, a better quality of life, less anxiety, being attracted to other people, a higher sex drive directed at a real life partner, increase in motivation and productivity.

Every person has a different trajectory when it comes to recovery. One may take a few weeks another few months. In between you may experience no libido at all, it can be a very concerning period for recovering addicts and their partners but a lot of people report that libido comes back in a different form. Men get better erections and are experiencing much better partner sex. Addiction is one of the worst forms of disconnection so to overcome it you need to connect again to people and the world even though it might seem very hard at first. Your motivation might not be there so you will need to rely on discipline and knowing what is best for you.

Sex, Love and Masturbation Addiction

I have explained Love Addiction in depth in my article about Attachment Styles. Please, access it through the Bolg Section for more information.

Partnered sex has many aspects and can be used in different ways depending on what a person wants and who they want it from. Some sex addicts will want sexual gratification and no emotional connection whatsoever. Sexual release is absolutely enough to satisfy their addiction, in this aspect, sex addiction is quite similar to masturbation addiction. The release of tension in the body through orgasm is one of the soothing mechanisms that people use. The problem begins when an individual can’t calm down without it so the behaviour becomes compulsive and very frequent. In men, excessive masturbation can sometimes cause health problems like pain in the genitals. Men are the majority among sexual addicts but there are also many women with these issues. During therapy, I would be exploring with clients what are other options for self-soothing and how can they be a substitute for unhealthy behaviours.

Another type of sex addict is a person who also suffers from love addiction and is in need of constant validation. They want the release that sex gives but they also want the momentary connection and the closeness that the act provides. Even though they would be performing the act with strangers they might imagine that the connection is there because the bodies are close together. With these clients, I explore what are the unmet needs and how can they be fulfilled in a healthy way.

Do You have a Sexual Addiction?

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Does your sexual life have a bad impact on other areas of your life?
  2. Does your sexual behaviour limit your potential to achieve your goals and is not in line with your values?
  3. Did you try to stop your sexual behaviours and failed?
  4. Are you more prone to have sexual urges and perform sexual behaviours while you are experiencing difficult emotions?
  5. Are you secretive about your sexual behaviours and fearful about being discovered?
  6. Do you fail to feel fulfilled with things other than your “go to” sexual urges and behaviours?
  7. Did you notice that you need more stimuli and risk to achieve the same level of arousal and excitement?
  8. Do you find yourself not interested in other areas of your life because of thoughts about your sexual behaviour?
  9. Do you think that there is so much more you could do with your life if you were not so wrapped up in sexual thoughts and behaviours?
  10. Do you feel as if your sexual behaviour is out of your control?
  11. Do you or have you in the past struggled with other addictions, compulsive behavious or eating disorders?
  12. Has anyone in your family struggled with addictions, compulsive behavious or eating disorders?


If you answered YES to 5 or more of the questions you might be at risk of having a sexual addiction.

I recommend booking a Sex Therapy appointment and joining a support group.

There are many types:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
  • Porn Addicts Anonymous
  • No Fap Community (online support group for porn and masturbation addicts)

You can join online and not show your face and perhaps ease into the idea.

For Partners of Sexual Addicts

Many partners of sex addicts would join the sessions to rebuild the relationship. People find pornography and masturbation not as destructive for relationships as sex addiction. Excessive infidelity can be a result of sex addiction. Many addicts are very good people who are excellent parents and life partners in every other aspect. Addicts will be somewhat in a trance or a different frame of mind that allows them to forget about the commitments and needs of others. But they would experience guilt and shame after the behvaiour is done. It is by no means an excuse for them.


Please answer the following questions:

Is your partner good and caring in all other areas of their life?

Is it hard for you to believe that they would perform such behaviurs because it’s out of their character?


If the answer is YES then your partner might have a sexual addiction. If you have answered NO you might be in an abusive and/or codependent relationship.


During relationship therapy for couples facing a lack of trust and other issues caused by the addiction, I suggest coming up with lists of triggering situations, people, places, events, and things to avoid during the first phase of the treatment. Couples like this will also need to come up with contracts and agreements which will be the protection for the fragile connection.


For the partners: Addiction is not your fault! Focus on Your needs and make the right decision for You. (also for the children if you have them, often staying in a resentful and toxic relationship will be more detrimental for them rather than separation, however, kids also give more motivation during rebuilding)

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