Monday, April 28, 2014

"X" is for X-Rated: A-Z Challenge

X is for X-Rated

X is for X-Rated.  Don’t get your hopes up.  Ain’t gonna be no naked chicks   here today.  Or any other day for that matter.  Sorry, folks.

Instead, I’d like to briefly talk about the causes of sex addiction.   It has nothing to do with sex. It’s all about emotions, or rather the inability to connect emotionally.   

Dr. Patrick Carnes is the man when it comes to sex addiction.  He literally wrote the book, the first book (five total) about sex addiction, coined the term sex addict, and is the executive director of the Gentle Path program at Pine Grove Behavioral Institute.  What did he say when asked if the addiction was about sex?

“No, but that's the mistake people often make. It's really about pain … or escaping or anxiety reduction. It's a solution.”

Sure, sex addiction has lots of X-Rated components surrounding it.  There’s triple x movies, porn sites, masturbation, and many  other X-Rated aspects, but those are not the root of the addiction.  They are the symptoms.  And, just like with any other addiction they can start out harmless, and if not treated, grow out of control.

Why sex? Why not drugs, alcohol, or overeating?  Not surprising, many SA do drink, take drugs and eat to excess, in addition to turning to sex to fulfill the empty void inside them. Many of them come from broken homes.  A large percentage of SA are sexually, physically and/or verbally abused when they are young.  Even more, like my husband, come from homes where being emotionally neglected rather than nurtured are the norm.

It is my personal belief that all of these addicts share one common theme - the need to feel accepted and loved.  The reason I turned to drugs when I was a teen was because I felt rejected by my mom.  Through no fault of her own, my mom wasn’t able to nurture me properly.  In turn, I wasn’t able to nurture myself, so I choose drugs to numb my pain.

I think sex addicts are emotionally more damaged than I ever was.  I could be completely off base.  I’m not a doctor.  I just speculate like one on Blogger.

How about you?  Do you speculate like a doctor on your blog?  Did I make sense with this post?  I crammed a ton into this tiny post.  I may have to visit this topic outside of the A-Z Challenge.

 ~~~@

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?






42 comments:

  1. Makes sense. An addiction of any kind can be used to fill a void in one's life.
    And great Scot, Jim - I'm a Ninja, not a doctor!

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    1. Don't tell anyone, but I'm a bit of a Trekkie. Not a die hard like most Trekkies but, yeah, I'm kinda one. Went to a convention and everything. *gasp*

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  2. I think I've mentioned my own porn addictions before. Being a virgin I could never really class myself as a sex addict, but I certainly was a porn addict. I was sexually abused, which is something I've never admitted on my own blog because of the people who read it. I also felt a little neglected by my mother, but frankly I don't really know what caused it. If I had to pin it down on just one thing I would say the sexual abuse.

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    1. I'm sorry you've been through that abuse, Mark. My heart breaks for you. You didn't deserve any of it. There used to be a misconception that all SAs were sexually abused at one point or another. They used to insist that the SA may have suppressed it so deep they didn't remember it. Now, they recognize that isn't the case at all. Emotional neglect can cause the addiction to take root. The addiction itself can take many forms, viewing porn can be one, entering into a world of fantasy is another - i.e. false relationships through email, (making them out to be more than they are - that can lead to SLAA) webcam, chatrooms, voyeurism, etc. It all branches off into three levels of addiction. Thankfully, Devin's addiction never left level one.

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    2. I can relate to that Mark. I was sexually abused as well and I believe that forced me into a sex driven world that I otherwise wasn't quite ready for. I am rather lustful...my wife can't keep me off of her. I view porn occasionally, especially when my wife hasn't been filling my needs. But here lately, I haven't had the need to watch any porn. Yes, I keep Mrs WD quite satisfied!

      I often wonder if I suffer from sex addiction. But then I convince myself that I'm just naturally a horny guy. After all, I have no desire to sleep with other women. I don't watch porn to check out other women. In fact I usually picture my wife when I do watch it. But still, it makes me wonder if my behavior is natural and healthy or if there are some deeper issues...as a result of some sick man putting his hands on me. Either way, I'm sorry we both have had bad experiences like that.

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    3. You didn't deserve that treatment either, Dan. I'm sorry you went through it.

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  3. I agree that the motivation behind almost any form of addiction is a need to feel acceptance aqnd love. I don't think anyone "choosing" to be addicted to something, and unfortunately that's the perception of a lot of people.

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    1. I have to agree with you, Keith. I sure didn't choose cocaine, it chose me. I was totally caught off guard. One day I was getting high with my SIL, the next I was climbing up the walls looking for my next fix. Ugly world I entered. Then again, I could have chosen not to sniff the stuff up nose….

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  4. I don't think any one type of addict is more emotionally damaged than another. That just sets up a false "hierarchy of damage" that unnecessarily shames / blames someone depending on which substance / process they're addicted to in trying to numb their pain. I believe that, at the root of things, all addictive behaviour is the same.

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    1. You're exactly right, Debra. That's the addict in me coming out when I wrote the post, trying to minimize the pain I felt growing up and shifting it away from me. Good call!

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  5. I'm sorry, you lost me at "Ain't gonna be no naked chicks". Moving on.

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    1. And that's why I adore you, Dan. You're so honest!

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    2. I do often claim to be the world's most honest man. lol

      But in relation to this post, I can see how many people can mistake sex addiction for something that is more related to sex or things in sexual nature, rather than a deep emotional need to fill some void. Myself for instance, I am lustful. My need for sex stems from that and the need to fill someone else's void, if you know what I mean. lol

      I have other vices to fill my own void.

      Now I wonder if I'm a sex addict???
      Thanks for the complex, Elsie!

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    3. Well, let me throw this monkey wrench into the works (if you are still reading this old post): Devin is actually not just a sex addict. He's a sex and love addict. He identifies more with SLAA than with SA. So, if you're interested in that, google it (or Bing it). It's more of a lust/attention thing than anything else.

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  6. Pfffft I'd never speculate like a doctor, because I'd have to kill brains cells to do that and just repeat "that is normal for your age" 50,000 times. They can bite me! End rant lol

    I think the main reason people don't take it seriously is the word "sex" anyone not a sex addict can't really fathom all that well how sex is bad, they don't look further into it, as it is like any other addiction. At least what I gather from your rants, whines, ummm telling lol I could be wrong.

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    1. You end a rant? Puhleeze. You don't know how, cat.

      I agree. Sex sells in our world. Half naked women are used to sell everything from cars to hamburgers. So, if you tell someone you're addicted to looking at naked women, a normal response would be, "yeah, me too!"

      Trust me, once this A-Z Challenge is over, it'll be a long while before I write about sex addiction again. Yeah right!!!!

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    2. haha want to take a bet on that? I give you to the end of May, tops!

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    3. hahaha - nope! I'd have to take myself off Blogger and I can't do that!! Oh, unless I talk about migraines all month!!

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  7. Makes sense to me. Addictions are never - at their core - about the THING you are addicted, but instead are a means of avoidance. So, it makes a ton of sense that Sex Addicts are also addicted to other things. And will trade those addictions around when they recognize them as an "addiction." Basically, the desire is to AVOID facing the damage that started this ball rolling in the first place.

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    1. Exactly! It's all about avoidance. Anything to avoid actually facing whatever it is that's actually causing the hurt inside. Some people spend entire lifetimes not facing that pain leaving trails of destruction behind them.

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  8. I never knew emotional neglect can trigger a sex addiction! But that explains so many things about people that I know now. I feel terrible about your drug situation, but thankful that you chose to share it with us all. Thanks Elsie and yes, you need to write a more detailed post on this after A~Z.

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    1. I have learned so much about sex addiction over the last few years, I feel like I could teach a class. Then again, I suppose anyone directly affected by the disease feels the same way. Thanks for stopping by again, Shailaja!

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  9. Sex and food addictions both seem to be difficult to explain as they are not illegal substances. Also having sex and eating food is something all humans feel a natural need to do so lots of people dismiss them as "legitimate" addictions that have the same underlying causes as the chemical addictions. I think you did a good job of explaining it here and it's not too much information.

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    1. Thanks, Anne. I deleted a ton of information I originally included for the sake of brevity, than deleted some because I was mixing too much of my snarkiness with seriousness so the result was this bizarre post. But, it was getting late and I needed to get something finished.

      The fact that most aspects of sex aren't illegal makes it difficult to understand. Plus, if you speak about the illegal part, they think "ew, gross, predators." But, that's not always the case with SA. It depends on what level of addiction they reach.

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    2. After reading your last couple of posts I wondered if they had a prescribed treatment for SA that included the use of medication. For example, if they determine that a persons SA is rooted in anxiety, do they treat with anti-depressants?

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    3. Yep. Kinda like with me, I have I think four medications on the market now specifically for migraines (I could be wrong it may be higher now) but there are so many that are used because the side effects are beneficial to migraineurs. So, antidepressants can be used to treat SA. Devin is on ADD medication because he showed signs. A majority of SA are also ADD - that comorbidity comes in to play.

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  10. Interesting post and so different than what I expected from the title LOL. I think you make great points. It seems to me that all addictions are ways to fill a void or emptiness. It's really a very sad cycle regardless of the addiction. Thought-provoking post, Elsie.

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    1. I have the feeling the title is scaring some people away - haha - or they are seeing it and sad there aren't a bunch of naked people on here! =P

      Addiction is such a sad state all the way around. The good thing, once the addict decides they are ready to change, there is always a way out.

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  11. I do believe that all, or almost ALL, of our psychological problems derive from early childhood. That is why I'd love a system in which you need a license in order to be a parent....

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    1. Wouldn't that be wonderful, Dezzy? All people would be required to take a test before they were allowed to be parents. If they failed, the kids would go to someone else until they took classes and passed.

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  12. It makes sense to me, addiction being symptom for early emotional damage kinda feels like common sense to me, filling voids. Then again I might just think that way because my mother studied psychology and made sure all my voids were filled with fluffy rainbows, physical activity, and writing.

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    1. I love the rainbow part, D. I had sunshine and rainbows until I was a teen. Then something switched. Not sure for who, me or my mom. But, whatever it was, it went to hell in a hand basket pretty fast. I found writing in high school though, I loved it!! I also found gymnastics but, um, kinda turned to drugs once I got to high school. My bad.

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  13. I don't think this is a cheat at all, actually! It's a real word, and definitely on topic for what you blogged about today. What you said makes perfect sense: addictions are so often about self-medication, about filling a void inside of yourself. They take different forms depending on the person, and that person's history.

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    1. Is it a real word, even with the hyphen? Cool. I'll take it! Addiction is a freakin' nightmare no matter how we slice it. It's hard to dive into our past, and when that past is a mess, diving in can be almost impossible.

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  14. Well this was an eye opener for me ~ I never thought it is about pain but I can understand the need to be loved and accepted ~ And the root for me starts with family as a child deprived of love and understanding grows to be a conflicted adult ~ Thanks for the informative post Elsie ~ Take care ~

    Grace

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    1. Thank you, Heaven. I love your wise words. I don't think parents realize how much damage they can do by their words or even lack thereof. I think people feel like if they aren't hitting their kids then they aren't causing damage. They couldn't be more wrong.

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  15. What you said sounds about right to me. It makes perfect sense.

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  16. it is much like any addiciton...and def to fill the void...i flirted with many addicitions earlier in life trying to fill that void i felt in my late teens and early twenties...not a fun time of life for me....

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    1. I sensed that about you, Brian. I often felt like it's why you are where you are today and I'm grateful you landed where you did. Good for you and those you help. We need more like you in this world.

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  17. This does make a lot of sense and gives me a lot to think about. I have my own childhood thing to deal with that I can't talk about on my own blog and I think this would be a great future post. :)

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    1. I'm going to email this comment to you too.

      If you ever want to guest post here, just to get it out, feel free. You can talk about anything here!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.