Interview with a Sexual Addiction Recovery Specialist

January 24th, 2011

Sex addiction is an increasingly prevalent addiction in our society, an addiction just as capable at ruining lives as serious drug addiction.  To learn more, we contacted Chad over at Kick Sex Addiction for an interview.  Chad runs a support group in Chicago, and along with a community of other support groups, helps run the site.  The website is designed for people from any area suffering from sexual addiction.  Here they have resources including introductory videos, emails, phone numbers, and even a weekly over the phone support group.

AllTreatment: What experience do you have with sexual addiction?  How does this addiction affect the lives of the addict and the people in the addicts life?

Chad: I personally have been a sex addict for most of my life.  I’ve been in recovery for five years, I’m three and a half years sober.  Normally this addiction destroys all your relationships if you let it have it’s way.  It destroys families, and marriages.   No matter what it is, whether it is pornography, or heavier stuff like prostitutes or affairs, and stuff like that, it pretty much destroys the addict.  Eventually, the goal of the addiction is ultimately to destroy the person and kill them, from STD’s or other complications of the sexual addiction, and things like that.  People get locked up because their behavior escalates until it become illegal behavior, and then people end up getting thrown in prison.  We have experience with people in our groups who have been involved with the police, who’ve been in jail from their sex addiction, and it can easily get that way.

AT: How can one find out if he/she is a sexual addict?  What is the best way to begin dealing with this addiction?

Chad: I recommend you go to my website, watch the introductory videos, and then I have a screening test you can take.  But I pretty much define a sexual addict as someone who has lost control of the use of sex in their life.  There is a healthy  sexual relationship you can have, but once you have lost control and its more powerful than you are, that’s when you’ve become an addict.  That means its a compulsive thing you can’t control, be it when you have sex or engage in a sexual activity.

The best way to begin dealing with sexual addiction would be to get involved with a group.  I have three steps, get involved in a healing support therapy group, get involved in a twelve step group, and get a theripist.  Those are the three things I suggest everyone do, and be faithful in those things for at least a year.  Really, it’s not something you can do by yourself.

AT: It seems that we are seeing more celebrity sex addicts than ever.  Why do you think this is, and do you think it is an accurate representation of the public in general?

Chad: I think there are more celebrity sex addicts because sexual addiction is something people are starting to talk about.  I think it probably is an accurate representation of the public.  Celebrity sex addicts have more access to money and more access to people who want to have sex with them.  But in general I think with the rise of pornography and the Internet there are more people that are compulsively engaging in sex than ever before.

AT: On your site you talk about the sexual addiction cycle (which include the phases of Pain, Fantasy, Ritual, Sex, Shame and Guilt, and then back to pain).  Could you briefly explain this cycle and each of the steps?

Chad: This cycle is the basic cycle more addicts in general go through, but sex addicts specifically have the fantasy part, then they begin to ritualize, which is not actually acting out the behaviour, just thinking about it.  Then they act it out, feel the shame from that, then the pain from it and it repeats itself.  [For a more in depth analysis, visit the website and watch the videos explaining the sexual addiction cycle.]

If you want to learn more about sex addiction, be sure to check out Kick Sex Addiction.
S. Cody Barrus
Managing Editor

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