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Does Treating My Sex Addiction Mean I'll Never Get Laid Again?

Does Treating My Sex Addiction Mean I'll Never Get Laid Again?

Often when people hear the term “addiction” connected to sex they think the only way out is to quit cold turkey. As a counselor for sexual addiction, one of the first questions I’m asked is about the future of sexual relationships. “Will I ever get laid again?” My answer is always the same — “I hope you don't get laid again, I hope you get to experience making love.”

In reality, the ideal outcome for anyone struggling with sex and porn addiction is to transition into having healthy, respectful, fulfilling and intimate sex. What’s required is breaking free from the mindset that women are objects rather than human beings.

Many of us learned early on how to objectify and sexualize girls and women. We heard it from our friends, saw it happening in our parents' broken marriages, and constantly had those concepts reinforced through the media and through advertisers. As boys, no one talked to us about “making love” or intimacy. The goal of any relationship was sex, not connection. As we grew into men, we did so without knowing how to connect intimately or understand the needs of another.

Porn presents a tantalizing experience to a sex addict. It's available anytime. The women in the videos require nothing from the viewer. There’s no awkward social interaction to get though before getting to the sex. The only considerations to make center around what you want. Taking that attitude into the bedroom with an intimate partner creates a huge problem.

When men come to me and say, “I'm afraid I'll never be with a woman again if I get help,” I have to stop them and ask them to consider whether they've really ever been with a woman in the first place.  If they come to me as a serial-dater, or a perpetual one-night stand kinda guy, I'm betting they haven't. Being with her is an experience involving two people – two bodies coming together for mutual intimacy.  It's not just about “getting sex” from her.

Because some men can have such a difficult time separating the ideas of “woman as person” and “woman as object,” sometimes they do elect a time of abstinence during their recovery. That decision is theirs to make. There’s no requirement. Each individual is different. The goal is better self-esteem. More respect. More understanding. Learning to see porn for the fiction that it is. In 99% of porn there’s no love or connection depicted. It’s all spectacle.

In recovery, we learn that women on the street are not there to stare at, to be used as a fantasy image to masturbate to later. We begin to learn that we are worth improving, even though that’s something our addiction would never let us believe.

The real prize in store for those who strive for recovery is true connection and intimacy with a partner.  So once again, to answer that question about recovery from sex addiction and getting laid — No, ideally you will never get laid again.  What you'll do instead is make love, find fulfillment, and start living a fuller, healthier life.

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