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  #11  
Old 05-13-2011, 01:29 PM
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In fairness, sex addiction can be said to exsist in that the addiction to endorphins and other brain chemicals is seen In others behavior so why not in sex?

But I think the sex therapist is a great idea. She should be able t help you sort out some of the issues.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:33 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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I think we might have to agree to disagree on that one!

Yes, we do get messages from the reward chemicals in the brain. We get those when we have new relationships, or when we exercise, or when we have orgasms. I don't think we necessarily are "addicted" to that feeling, we just like it. I think that people often use the term "addiction" to refer to things we really really really love and want to do because they feel good. As in "I'm addicted to exercise." But it can get overused in a therapeutic sense.

Of course, feel free to disagree. This is currently an issue among Sex Therapists, the community isn't in agreement, although the majority seem to be eschewing the diagnosis of sex addiction. I think many therapists are just getting way too many people using the term "addiction" because then it becomes a medical problem that needs to be fixed, instead of a relational problem that needs to be delved into, discussed, and worked on between BOTH partners.

I do think that people USE sex, and food, and alcohol and all kinds of things in order to feel "good" and cover up other issues that are too hard to face, that they are unsure of, that they aren't ready yet to deal with. Personally speaking, I suffer from anxiety, and my mind can race out of control to the point where I literally cannot stop the thoughts from happening. I would often drink because after a glass or two of wine my brain finally stopped. I was not addicted to alcohol, I was using it to self-soothe my anxiety. Going to AA and ditching alcohol isn't going to solve my problem, I have to delve into and work on the underlying problem, the anxiety.


I also don't think using the word "addiction" to apply to things that are necessary for a healthy life. When people overdo something like food, sex, exercise (parts of a healthy life) to cover up other issues, it's not the food sex or exercise that's the problem. It's the issue underneath they're trying to cover up. That's why I really prefer the term "out of control behavior" as opposed to addiction. If I am exercising 6 hours a day because I have body dysmorphia, then I'm not addicted to exercise, but I am out of control with my behavior.

Anyway, that's my 1-1/2 cents worth... :-)
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erosa View Post
In fairness, sex addiction can be said to exsist in that the addiction to endorphins and other brain chemicals is seen In others behavior so why not in sex?

But I think the sex therapist is a great idea. She should be able t help you sort out some of the issues.
When I first seperated from my ex, partly due to an affair I had, I immediately jumped to the conclussion that I was hyper sexed. My therapist quickly pointed out I was hiding behind the idea of sexual addiction. He then gave me examples of sexual addiction behavior. They were similar to any other addiction examples like gambling or narcotics. When you are willing to do anything to get a fix and devalue everything else around except for that one pursuit, you are essentially addicted and self destructive.


The following is from http://stark-raving-sober.blogspot.c...addiction.html
"Soon it will be official that sex addiction is actually 'sexual interest and arousal disorder,' according to the DSM-5, the authoritative manual for diagnosing mental illness. This is a small detail in a bigger story, however. The DSM currently acknowledges only a hand full of behavioral addictions: pathological gambling; excessive shopping; and binge eating disorder; and these are classified as impulse control disorders rather than addictions.

This may be remedied by the NIMH Research Domain Criteria project which is working to define disorders in terms of, "genetic findings and neural circuit maps." This should place behavioral addictions and substance addictions in the same category because they represent disruptions to the same biological pathways. For example, when problem gamblers gamble, their brains light up like addicts' and alcoholics' brains. (Not coincidentally, roughly half of gambling addicts are also addicted to alcohol) Similarly, "when a compulsive overeater is shown images of palatable foods, the brain’s pleasure centres are activated in a way that differs from 'normal,' non-addicted eaters, but is similar to drug addicts."
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:29 PM
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Interesting!

I wonder though... since anything we do on a regular basis, changes our neural pathways and develops new pathways that become stronger-- is it a matter of addiction being caused by having different pathways, or is it because of repeating a certain behavior over many years that we have trained new pathways to create addictions?

I know that because I've always been anxious, my brain has developed stellar neural pathways for anxiety which makes it much easier for me to become anxious and stay anxious-- as opposed to someone who never had anxiety as a child.

Maybe this weekend when I have time (and am not supposed to be working) I'll dig up some of my research on that.

There is controversy in the field about the addition in the DSM-V. And I'm not completely sure it's set yet, there are still a lot of back and forth going on about it. I do respect the differences in opinions on this, but as of yet I'm still in the camp that figuring out the underlying issues for the person and in the relationship, is more important than giving someone a diagnosis, sending them to a 12-step program and vindicating the other partner that the issue had nothing to do with them and the relationship. I know that's not what's meant here, but that's what most people are wanting when they "diagnose" their partner with sex addiction (from what I hear from other therapists in the field).

Hell, homosexuality was listed as a diagnosable disorder in the DSM up until 1979. It definitely moves with the social climate, and right now addiction is the next big thing.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:40 PM
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Erin, I think seeing a sex therapist could be a great way to get to know yourself. I am wondering why the notion of sex addiction has been brought up, though. You said in your other thread that you and your husband have sex once a month, and only if you initiate it. Is he guilting you or trying to convince you that you're a "sex addict" simply because you want sex more often, and brought up the idea of polyamory a few months ago?

I would hope that for you, a sex therapist could help you learn ways to satisfy yourself and perhaps relate to your husband in a way that heals whatever's going on with him, if there is some issue. He might just be someone who has a naturally low libido. Or maybe it is a medical problem. So, I would also think that sex therapy would benefit him, too - would he consider going as well? And maybe there is a chance that he would be open to poly at some point, if you both start talking in therapy about how this is affecting the relationship.
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solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #16  
Old 05-14-2011, 01:39 AM
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In case anybody's interested, an article by Marty Klein about the sex addiction phenomenon: http://www.sexed.org/archive/article08.html

I had the pleasure of hearing Marty speak on porn at the AASECT conference a few weeks ago. He's a really intelligent guy, and entertaining to boot.
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2011, 05:07 AM
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I'm sorry I've been away this week - work keeps me busy -

@ Grounded Spirit
You brought up a good point about how one person’s kink is another person’s vanilla. Based on our upbringings and sexual histories, my guy isn’t as openly expressive as I am – which has led to the noticeable divide now. Last fall, he wasn’t interested in adding a partner to the bed or finding new partners aside from each other. In April, I brought up the subject again (that I’m bored). Since then, he’s been very attentive to making this work. The sex has improved so far, and we are getting closer. In fact, tonight he joked that we should include the cute waitress to our bed. I know that’ll never happen, but it was nice to know he was opening up more. But... I’ve seen this pattern before... and this will gradually disappear in a month’s time.

@Minxxa
That’s cool you are studying to be a therapist. You also brought up excellent points – thank you!! The reason why I originally thought I may have a sex addiction is because it comes in waves like a predictable cycle. When it’s here – it’s HERE – but when it’s gone – I’m so depressed that it’s not HERE! I can’t shake certain things from my head or get anything done until it has been satisfied. Yes, those reward brain chemicals are addicting – but is that normal or an addiction? I wonder if I’m simply enjoying myself because I’m in my 30s and bored at home. I was polyamorous for many years before committing to just him, so yes, now I’m extremely bored. It doesn’t help when other men show interest in me, either. All I want to do is play all the time! Does that make me a bad person? And yes, alcohol and lying definitely comes into play when I’m really active (active 3 weeks out of the month). And when I say 'active', I don't mean sleeping with other people. I just mean it's on my mind 24/7! I think it adds to the excitement of things. So maybe that’s just me being normal wanting a little excitement in my life.

@ NYCIndie
My guy admits he has issues with his low libido but is not actively seeking a therapist for himself, and he doesn’t think I need one either. I decided this for myself. I’m going to see her this upcoming week and will let everyone know how it goes. She specializes in the 'alternative' sexualities, so I'm hoping she's into natural remedies. If I think she’s prematurely labeling me or pushing meds, then I’m OUT! But if I like her, then I will ask to have him attend sessions, too. I’m convinced that if poly doesn’t ever get included, then I will stray whether I can prevent it or not, and then divorce is inevitable because he couldn't handle my interest in other people. We'll see!

I’ve only got one life to live, and lots of love to give

~Erin

Also – thank you to everyone who posted but I did not distinctly reply to!

Last edited by Erin; 05-15-2011 at 12:05 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-15-2011, 08:35 AM
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Erin,
Just so you know, I think about sex just about every day. That's probably been the way I am all my adult life. I had sex for the first time at 14 and have always been what is called highly sexual, with a high capacity for multi-orgasms. I've never once thought I was addicted, abnormal, or in need of any remedy - other than having sex. That doesn't mean I didn't have long periods without sex, nor that I went off and fucked anything that moved, but having sex on the brain is just natural to me. Oy, the double entendres I used to let rip all the time! My raunchy sense of humor and predilection for risqué jokes, I admit, I've had to curb.

I think you are being hard on yourself for simply wanting more of the physical aspect of your relationship. I still think sex therapy could be very illuminating, but I seriously doubt that anything's wrong with you. I do think it would be difficult for two people with widely different libidos to work something out if not poly, but maybe the therapist can help with suggestions in that regard.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2011, 12:17 PM
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@NYCIndie:
The more I think of it (and by reading these posts), I think I'm completely normal, too. Its nice to have like-minded people around on this forum and not feel so hush-hush to talk about it (unlike my guy is and wants me to be). But in my real life, I've discovered that two of my friends are as open as me about having conversations about sex. One is male and one is female but they don't know each other. All three of us are married but unhappy with how the married sex life turned out. I think people just get frustrated because unless they've crossed that verbal "it's okay" boundary with another person, they can't really talk about the things that matter most.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:43 PM
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Heh-heh. Yeah, one of the things Dreamy was incredibly relieved about when we started seeing each other, was that we can talk about sex, and I don't mind him talking about sex with other people. His wife (they are separated) didn't really like sex much at all, and actually hated kissing. I can't figure that one out - he's an incredible kisser. Anyway, sex is his favorite subject, and is probably one of mine, too! I have always enjoyed being able to discuss sex and sexuality with my friends and lovers. It is healthy to be able to, I think.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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