The Sex Addiction Cycle



There are lots of people, myself being one of them at one time, that say that addiction and/or depression is not a real thing.  Hell, I used to believe that psychology was pseudoscience and that the psych industry had everyone psyched out… (punny, I know)  I was convinced that this thing we refer to as psychology was only the observance of something that could not really be understood.  People do random things – good and bad – and that we can’t really grasp or predict.

So, I used to think that sexual addiction was just a fancy name for (and nothing more than) being a pervert.  After all, perverts are all over the place, and the “second sexual revolution” (as I like to call it) has them crawling out of the woodwork in droves.  Just like any other mental state, putting a name on it doesn’t change anything.  So, we now call “Perverts” – “sexual addicts” now… so what???

Casual Casualties

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Because of my nonchalant treatment of sexual addiction and then, denial of my own plight, I was deep into a sexual addiction spiral before I could admit that I, like all those perverts out there, was sexually addicted.  It turns out there are some pretty physiological things that happen when you have an orgasm.  Also, some powerful drugs are released into your system that, if not handled in the proper context, can become habit-forming in destructive ways.  So, that’s what happened to me.  I didn’t manage my sexual impulses into positive frameworks and my life began to inwardly crumble.

I stayed up late, let my wife go to bed and then masturbated to whatever porn I could find online, and believe me, there is anything out there you could ever want to find (and lots of it) and all for free.  No need to pay for it.  There are no real stoppages on it either.  On most sites and when there is a block of some kind, it is either monetary in the form of CC payments (which we can all get at Walmart now for nothing extra) or there is only a form asking you when your birthday occurs.  Ha, like that couldn’t be fudged!  There is an answer to all this dangerous material out there, and I am pretty sure SO.ME has it right.  But that is another Article.

To continue the story… After all of the propaganda and scare tactics of sensational shows like the SVU series’ and America’s Most Wanted, not to mention the popular media and advent of the information age making these crimes even more high profile and visible, there has been a significant amount of research done around sexual addiction and the sexual offender.  The sex addiction cycle is well documented by now, but we have a pretty good rule of thumb for most people to follow if you are not a hypochondriac or just flat overly paranoid:  If you are asking yourself if you might be a sex offender – then you probably are.  Go get help to climb out of it.  If the psychiatrist says you are not addicted, then you don’t need to go back.  It’s better to be safe than hurt someone.

So there I was.  I had a good job with a high ceiling, I was going to school, I was earning a degree that would raise my ceiling even more and I was 3rd in line for my current location and first for another.  I went to church, was involved in my kid’s lives, and I had just had a baby with my wife who is still with me today.  I was a leader of an organization for outdoor activities.  At my job, I directly influenced the buying decisions of the organization, I set policy, revised current policy and was given almost free reign to do my job and do it effectively.  In fact, I had been called into the corporate office on one occasion to set policy for the department I was working in, and on another occasion, I was called upon to help author the training materials for that same department.  Everything looked as if it were in great shape for the future.

I owned my own house, I voted, I went to church, I was friends with my pastor, and I had all of my children at home with me.  I even won custody of my son from my ex-wife.  That’s something anyway.  We would go out regularly to shoot skeet, go fishing, go camping, and see sports events.  My kids were involved in sports and orchestra and choir, and we went to those events too.  I was involved in volunteering for work at my church, going to other events to benefit the community and work, and I even volunteered to help move people from point a to point b.  I was a swell guy.

But… late at night, after I did my course work for my degree, I would masturbate.  I would lust after and stare at the women around me.  I would be, in my mind, undressing the women around me.  My pornography use got to the point where I would download and keep full-length movies on my computer at home while I was at work.  So, if my computer wasn’t doing course work, it was looking at porn in my free time, or it was downloading porn while I was away from it.

On a few occasions, I would hang out in front of my house in hopes to see the neighbor across the street.  She was attractive, so it was a little exciting if it actually happened that she was out there.  I went to pick up my high school-aged daughter and would look around and the young girls dressed to show off their new sexual identity, and that would delight and titillate me.

All this behavior is a thought pattern.  It is the internalized fantasy world of a sexually addicted person who naively believes that they are in a sexualized world that centers around them.  This is the real danger of pornography… not the objectification of women, then young women, and ultimately children.  Although that is very not-good, the real danger is creating a breed and generation of men who believe the tripe on those films is real life.  It is programming, lubricated by our own hormones, endorphins, and internal echo chamber.

Why do sexual addicts believe the lies?  Well, society’s obsession with sex and image plays a big part in validating these beliefs.  Hell, the entire visible life of stars and popular culture practically drips with sex as the norm, and while the rational mind knows it is only a tool to sell, the mind hopped up on endorphins believes otherwise.  Pair that with the constant bombardment of sexual imagery of women that are willing to do anything at any moment (just search for what you want) and after many brain-engraving orgasms later, you will begin to believe all of it.  A man or woman will lose their ability to act socially and dis-understand (new word folks) the value of personality and individuality.

The reprogrammed persona will begin to act as if everyone around them is a click on a web page and their purpose is predesigned by the imagination of the viewer.  The innocent friendliness of a woman will suddenly become a woman’s overt or covert (whichever is more exciting at that moment) sexual signal.  Their involvement in their peer groups becomes a dating/hookup pool.  Gone are the days of casual and deep friendships for this reprogrammed person.  Are they dangerous?  Probably not if you plainly and assertively rebuff their advances.  Is that your fault?  No.  But this is the world we allowed to surround us.  This is where we let “rights” be twisted for the use of profiteering internet pimps who shill out their prostitutes to the masses.  Now I’m all in favor of women’s empowerment and their right to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, but what do we do about how these self-empowered women can hurt others through their decisions to work in an industry that exploits them and others?  What do we do about the destructive nature it has on society?

But I digress.

So, what happened to me?  I ended up getting younger and younger with my fantasies in the pursuit of the dragon.  The excitement that I had before… that orgasm that beat the last one.  It wasn’t that I was interested in those people in particular, but I was interested in exploring the taboo.  That chasing the dragon into the taboo to get my next fix is what kickstarted the reprogramming into a man who could somehow believe that it would be ok to touch his 16yo daughter.

So, while I reprogrammed myself silently, I spiraled deeper and deeper into the abyss that swallowed me and grinned.  I did not seek the help I knew I probably needed because to do so would be to bring public shame on me, and my loved ones would know that I was human.  Oh, the humanity!  I joke about my stupidity now because I truly was an idiot, but… I truly was an idiot, and I hurt many many people.  Not the least of which is my own daughter.

So, in the next article, let me spell out the sexual addiction cycle and let’s examine how one enters it quietly at first and then usually exits loudly.

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