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What is Sexual Addiction?

Sex addiction, also known as sexual compulsion and sexual dependancy describes any sexual activity that feels "out of control". A sex addict feels compelled to seek out and engage in sexual behaviour, in spite of the problems it may cause to his/her personal, social and work lives. It may encompass any single or multiple types of sexual behaviour.

For example:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Compulsive use of pornography
  • Having multiple, ongoing affairs
  • Exhibitionism
  • Fetishes
  • Dangerous sexual practices
  • Prostitution
  • Anonymous sex
  • Voyeurism
  • Telephone sex
  • Chat room/online sex
  • Partner sex
  • Illegal sexual practices
The type of behaviour does not define addiction. The essential difference between the addict and the non-addict is that these behaviours feel out of control. An addict may spend an inordinate amount of time planning, engaging in and recovering from their chosen sexual activity. And in spite of the physical, emotional, relational, financial and even judicial cost of these activities, they feel unable to stop their behaviour. Or at least, unable to stay stopped.
Another key factor is that the chosen sexual behaviours are used to anaesthetise psychological pain. In the same way an alcoholic may get lost in a bottle or a compulsive gambler fixates on the next win to avoid the pain of life, the sex addict chooses sex as their way to cope with the world.

If you're unsure if the above description fits you or someone you know, who you think may be a sex addict, look also at:
Am I a sex addict?

What are the issues for partners?
Finding out that your partner is a sex or pornography addict is devastating for most partners. Not only do partners experience the betrayal and deceit that often accompanies an affair, but they may also have to face a future with a partner living in recovery from addiction. Most partners have absolutely no idea that their partner is an addict until it is either disclosed or discovered, so shock is the first and most intense emotion. Along with that are feelings of anger, shame, self-doubt, loss and fear.  

How do you know if your partner is a sex addict?
It’s impossible to know if someone is a sex addict without a thorough assessment with a sex therapist, but warning signs include increasing secrecy, isolation, moodiness and avoidance of couple, family and social responsibilities. There may be increased irritability, tiredness, depression and anxiety and some couples notice an impact on their sex life such as erectile difficulties or avoiding sex. But do remember there are many explanations for all of these behaviours so it’s important not to jump to conclusions. However, if you know your partner has struggled with addictions in the past and you also know that they use pornography – it may be worth asking if their pornography use has increased or become problem for them.

What should you do if you think you or your partner has a problem?
First and foremost you need to talk to each other. Many people with addiction go through a period of denial before they feel able to accept that the problem really is an addiction that has gotten out of control. If your partner accepts that they have a problem then you need to find help for both of you.
Your first port of call could be a
RHM Recovery Group Meeting where they will do an assessment to decide if your partner would benefit from specialist sex addiction help (most do). You can also ask about getting help and support for yourself either through individual counselling or a group support programme.

If your partner doesn’t accept, or believe, that they have a problem then you can still reach out for help and support for yourself. The problem may not be addiction, but if it’s something that’s affecting your happiness then you can still benefit from
talking to a counsellor about how you can move forward.  

How we can help
If you're worried about your sex life, there are various ways we can help.
  • 1-2-1 Counselling Session
  • Group Therapy
  • Talk to us about your concerns or questions on 07817035430

Collaboration with Your Physician
The information in this website is meant to support your doctor-patient relationship and not to replace it. The information is NOT complete. You should ALWAYS consult your physician when making decisions about your health.

Sexual Addiction Group in Hull opening 2018.

This workbook takes us thoughtfully through our own personal recovery from Sexual Addiction. These steps allows us to work at our own pace or with others from the support group.
RHM is seeking a suitable building that will facilitate such a group, once we have acquired such a building then we will begin to facilitate the groups. This will be a confidential and anonymous group offering 1-2-1 counselling sessions due to the subject matter.

If you would like more information regarding attending such a class then please
contact us. Your details will be kept confidential.
What does it mean to be addicted?
People with sex addiction use sex just as those addicted to drugs or alcohol use substances: as an anesthetiser that allows them to escape painful realities and as a way to regulate their moods whenever they feel stress or anxiety. As dependence on the behaviour progresses, they typically experience emotional states that duplicate those of people addicted to substances.

Sexual 12-Step Workbook

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Clients Story of Recovery
I would like to take a little time to give some feedback on my experience with RHM Recovery. My husband and I recently went through a difficult time as a result of addiction on his part. We have spent the last year working to recover from this with the help of Paul Linley. I truly believe that God brought him and RHM into our lives at the point of our greatest despair. I am certain that the reason for his counselling being so successful is that God is the centre and Paul has always made Him the focus from Day 1. It was important to me that my husband receive the help he needed but that we, as a couple also receive counselling. With Paul and his wife, Jane's help we were able to achieve this. I have re-ignited my relationship with God and learned how to truly trust Him for everything. Through counselling I have been able to confront and deal with my own personal shortcomings so that I can become the woman that God always intended me to be. My husband and I have truly placed God at the centre of everything and we have a commitment to our marriage and a love for each other that I would never have thought possible. We cannot thank Paul, Jane and RHM enough.
This workbook takes us thoughtfully through our own personal recovery from Sexual Addiction. These steps allows us to work at our own pace or with others from the support group.
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