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Sex Addiction

sex-addiction-help-portlandSex causing complications in your relationship?

Have you been involved in sexual activities that could have consequences for your work life or reputation?

Is another person in your life telling you there’s something unhealthy or harmful about the type of sex you enjoy, or the people you choose for sexual contact?

Perhaps you’re having trouble stopping or controlling your sexual activities.

If any of these behaviors have caused a difficult situation for you, you may face consequences of some kind; legal problems, an ultimatum from your partner, or trouble at work:

  • use of porn
  • masturbation
  • visiting strip clubs
  • extramarital affair
  • contact with a prostitute

Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re worried or scared for someone else that you care about. Seeking information on such a sensitive problem means that you’re probably under a great deal of stress, and there is certainly a lot of very upsetting news about this subject these days.

Sex Addict Help

The idea of sexual behavior being an “addiction” or “disorder” has been hugely popularized by addiction specialists and their clients in the media. Yet sexologists, the research-trained scientists who study human sexuality, have not reached any agreement about the concept of sexual addiction.

When your sexuality is causing problems in your life, splitting hairs about terminology may seem like a matter for academic debate, but we find that our point of view gives us a fundamentally different approach from that of many other counselors and therapists.

Sex Addict Counseling

Some counselors believe a literal physical addiction develops, directly analogous to alcohol and drug addiction. Others maintain that a 12 Step recovery program like that used in AA is the only effective method for managing problems with sexual behavior. According to the sexual addiction point of view, monogamous, committed relationships are the only appropriate place to express oneself sexually, and the purpose of sex is intimacy. Relying on sex to comfort, distract or feel better about yourself is viewed as wrong.

We disagree with these points of view, and regard self-identified problematic sexual behaviors as a potential form of sexual compulsivity or some other condition, but not an addictive process.

In other words, if you wish you could stop a sexual behavior and you can’t, you are the person who is entitled to define it as a problem. As we would with any other dilemma a client brings to us, we apply thoughtfulness and objectivity to help you figure out what you can do about it.

If the problem is affecting your relationship, we use sensitivity and sensible thinking with the individual or the couple to make agreements on how to handle it together.

Sex Addiction Treatment

Because our definition of what constitutes healthy sexual behavior is broader than that of most people in our profession, we work with you from a pragmatic, objective perspective. You will never find shaming or dogma in our approach. Moralistic ideas and rigid standards are just unhelpful and restrictive to useful discussions about the nuances of human sexuality. We are likely to take a history of your sexual life to develop a context for our work togehter but we do not dwell in the past; the purpose of treatment for sex addicts, if that term fits for you, is to construct your own ideas and beliefs about what a healthy sex life will look like for you.

If thinking about sex all the time is getting in the way of you working and doing the things you need to do, yes, that’s very likely a problem; but that doesn’t mean you have an addiction.

If you’re curious about how our thinking on this might apply to your situation, please contact us and we’ll be glad to discuss our approach to this difficult issue with you.


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