Hopelessness. Denial. Despair. Shame. These are certainly terms that anyone who has dealt with addiction for any length of time has experienced. The entrapment that you feel when caught in the throes of a substance or behavior that utterly controls you feels overwhelming — like you are powerless to ever hope of overcoming it. That is how I felt when I, well-respected holistic practitioner with a thriving practice, realized that I myself was entangled by the cords of addiction.
When we speak of addictions, most people consider drug or alcohol addictions. Others expand the term to think about addictions to food or gambling. These addictions are certainly legitimate, but there are many other forms of addiction that aren’t always discussed, nor are they always as obvious. One such case is the addiction to sex and love.
People with addictions to sex or love often have a hard time maintaining long-term, intimate relationships. They often have multiple, simultaneous sexual or romantic partners, and may have issues with their emotional health.
In this article, we’re going to explain the basics of sex and love addictions so you can understand how these issues might be affecting you. We’ll also talk about some steps you can take to help overcome these sexual addictions with the help of a holistic addiction recovery coach.
What Is a Sex or Love Addiction?
Sex and love addictions are both process addictions. This means that the individual afflicted with the addiction is not addicted to a substance per se, but rather an action, behavior, or process. Biologically, the addiction is caused by the release of chemicals in the brain that occur when a person experiences this process.
Love addiction occurs when a person becomes addicted to the sensation of being loved. There are a number of things that can make a person feel loved:
Validation. One of the simplest forms of love addiction – and in fact, something that most of us struggle with to some degree – is a need for validation. It feels nice to have someone else approve of what we’re doing, what we say, and who we are.
In serious cases, people may attempt to be something other than what they are in order to feel validated. Instead of speaking their mind, they may say what they believe other people want them to say so that they feel validated. Instead of expressing their beliefs, they may adopt the beliefs of others to feel accepted.
In the case of love addictions, people strive for romantic or intimate validation. This means that they often go to great lengths to secure close, personal relationships with people – sexual or otherwise – that make them feel validated.
Grooming. It feels nice when somebody else grooms us, and it may also provide a feeling of physical validation. Some people may experience an incessant desire to be groomed by others to fulfill the needs of their addiction.
Intimacy. While intimacy can be sexual, in most cases it is not. Intimacy is a term used to describe a close, personal encounter, and it can be emotional, physical, or mental.
- Many people with love addictions crave intense intimacy. They often go far out of their way to be in intimate situations with people – cuddling, kissing, holding each other or having intimate relationships. This makes them feel secure in their own being and provides them with the self-confidence to move on.
Sex addictions often occur simultaneously with a love addiction. Sex is arguably the most intimate experience that a person can have, and many people are addicted to both sex and intimacy. Sex addicts often have unaddressed issues with personal intimacy or emotional health that arose during childhood.
Sex addicts have a need to frequently or constantly engage in sexual activity to feel satisfied with themselves. Unfortunately, the more they engage in these activities, the more dependent they become on them to be happy.
This vicious cycle leads to an increasingly intense desire for sexual activity. Sex addicts often have multiple partners and have a hard time maintaining a monogamous relationship.
- Intrigue. Some people are intrigued and ‘fired up’ simply by the idea of sex. This can lead to issues in their interactions with the people around them, especially those they find sexually intriguing. It can also lead to excessive masturbation and the use of pornography.
- Sex and masturbation. Most sex addicts engage in more sex and masturbation than the average person. They can often begin to feel depressed or agitated if they don’t have sex or masturbate for an extended period.
- Fantasy. One thing that many sex addicts engage in is fantasy. Fantasy can take many forms, and the exploration of these fantasies leads sexual addicts to get a deeper gratification from their sexual acts. Things like dressing up and BDSM can be considered fantasy.
Managing a Sex Addiction with Holistic Coaching
One of the best things you can do to help manage a sex addiction is to talk to a sex addiction recovery coach. Holistic coaches can help you manage your sexual addiction in a number of ways that can be more beneficial and comprehensive than traditional therapy.
Holistic coaching takes into account the whole person, rather than looking at the addiction as the sole focus. It aims to tackle not only the issues that traditional therapy addresses, but also other aspects of the mind-body relationship. These are some of the ways a holistic coach can help you:
- Somato Emotional Repatterning. This is a type of coaching that helps to identify abnormalities in an individual’s energy flow. It’s been known for some time that imbalances in an individual’s energy or emotion can result in physical and psychological changes. For example, stress is known to raise the heart rate and cause sweating, and in the long-term, it can cause disease.
A sex addiction coach using Somato Emotional Repatterning will help you identify a whole scope of patterns in your mental and physical state. They will be able to draw conclusions and address the root of your sexual addiction so you can heal the problem from its core.
- Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a process in which your coach will use specialized equipment to determine your body’s responses to certain stimuli. They will help you reprogram the responses that you have to sexual stimuli and cravings so you can develop healthier patterns for living.
- Supplementation and nutrition. While malnutrition won’t cause sexual addiction on its own, it can certainly contribute to anxiety, depression, and other issues that may make a person feel the need to reach out sexually to feel heard and accepted. A coach may help you review your current nutritional intake or provide herbs, supplements or vitamins to help balance your sexuality.
Benefits of Holistic Coaching
Holistic coaching is much more comprehensive than traditional counseling because it addresses both the mind and the body, whereas traditional therapy deals mostly with the mind.
This means that the holistic coach will be able to take much more into account. They will have a better understanding of your physiology, your mental health, and your life as a whole, and they will be able to develop a more clear picture of what’s actually going on in your situation.
Holistic coaching can help you eliminate the issue in a way that ensures it won’t come back again. So get in touch with a holistic coach who can help you identify the root of your sex or love addiction and put you on the road to balance and recovery!
What do I do next?
If you or someone you love struggles with a sex or love addiction, there is hope! Contact me at (805) 256-0372 or via email at Michael@BreakthroughAddictionRecovery.net.
Also, please get your free copy of my latest book, Sex and Love Addiction Recovery. It is available for immediate download on this website, https://BreakthroughAddictionRecovery.net.