Five Common Roots of Sexual Addiction

Five Common Roots of Sexual Addiction

Part 2 - Psychological Deficits

by Jayson Graves

The second most common type of addiction—psychological—is created when sex is used to “medicate” against painful memories or relational experiences from childhood in adulthood. In other words, we all have emotional/relational needs that must be met developmentally: affirmation, attachment/bonding, affiliation, trust, responsibility, honesty, and others.

When these needs are not met or when we develop scarring as a result of abuse or neglect, the result is pain. You could call this “soul pain” and ‘a soul in pain will seek medication’ as the saying goes. So, the addict has chosen sex as his “poison” to cover up the effects of this psychological pain instead of facing the pain and growing through it.

For me, the main sources of pain were my relationships with parents and peers. My parents loved me and I knew that, however, they were limited in what they could give me and sometimes what they gave me was harmful. My perception of my dad was that he was a bit relationally stunted and passive: he was very fun and likable but unable to connect on a heart-to-heart level with me or show me how that was done as a male. My mother, also fun-loving and caring, had an anger issue and would sometimes get controlling and violent. My peers were merciless from 6th grade through 10th when I was bullied and called names that were terribly emasculating and confusing.

The net effect was that I had a love-hate relationship with men, looking for them to rescue me, while waning in my ability to respect them. When it came to women, I was subconsciously not interested in anything other than friendships because that felt like healing and not something that would consume or violate me. And as far as peers were concerned, I’ve had to work through trust issues and take risks to be “fully-known and fully accepted” (the definition of healthy intimacy).

Furthermore, the confusing attractions towards men came from my need to be affirmed in my own masculinity and have a sense of mastery over life—something that good looks, big muscles, a sense of freedom and adventure and all the other things I was attracted to in males was trying to give me in a false or counterfeit way.

Part of this root came also by way of comparison/contrast in my relationship with peers and being a “late-bloomer.” Puberty came later than normal for me and this, coupled with having to shower after gym class every day in 7th and 8th grade, created a sense of inferiority, jealousy and strife around things sexual and anatomical. The mix of this psychological deficit and the regular practice of masturbation with the images of the other, more developed boys, made for a very powerful longing for that which I didn’t seem to have and an attachment to what they appeared to possess.

Part 1—Neurological Conditioning—"Ring the bell, feed the dog"

Part 3 - The Trauma Factor
Posted: Nov 9, 2015,
Categories: Men, Women,
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