Many people have difficulty in controlling sexual urges and behaviors and this can grow into a sex addiction. Sex addiction is also recognized as a hypersexual disorder, where it's characterized by persistent and escalating sexual thoughts and acts that have an adversarial impact on a person's life. Sex addicts grapple to control or suspend sexual feelings and actions like an alcoholic may battle to put down a drink. The symptoms may be becoming more involved in inappropriate, unhealthy or risky practices. Some people may have the inability to stop thinking or behaving in a sexual fashion even when it is harmful to them or to others. Celebrities like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Eliot Spitzer and others made claims in recent years that having a clinical addiction to sex is an explanation for the problem. No matter what you believe, any addiction can be a monster to slain whether it's clinical or not. Here are 6 tips to combat sex addiction.
Acknowledge the problem.Dr. Michael Bader provocatively said "By viewing someone’s sexual desires as addictions, 12-step approaches can subtly reinforce someone’s own pathological view of themselves. People struggling with sexual compulsions are already afraid of their sexuality, viewing it as an alien internal beast." Bader has a point, but the fact is you need to acknowledge your weakness of sex addiction first. You can't resolve a problem of any dimension unless you shine a light on it. Look into cognitive behavioral therapy as this may offer you ways to change your behavior. Talk therapy can also get to the root cause of your addiction and help guide you on the journey.
Go to God.Sex is a huge part of marriage. Not only is it a gift from the Lord and a physical act that develops oneness but as we see in I Corinthians 7, it is also a form of protection from sexual immorality and sexual addiction. With any craving, you need to be healed spiritually as well because everything is connected. If there is some sexual sin in your life, the first step toward improvement is to understand and admit what you have done. If you have given yourself to pornography or sexual fantasies involving people other than your spouse, you have been committing infidelity. Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28: "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Sex is not just about physical activity and pleasure and now is the time to get real and come clean with God. The best way to combat addiction is to put it under the authority of Christ.
Don't suffer in silence.If you believe you have a problem Sex Addicts Anonymous could be a tool to help you. They believe that the path to recovery begins with meetings. You may attend as many meetings as you like and they are free of charge. “We found in each other what we could find nowhere else: people who knew the depth of our pain. Together we found hope and the care of a loving Higher Power. Our commitment is to help others recover from sexual addiction, just as we have been helped," Sex Addicts Anonymous shared.
Breaking a subjugation starts in mind.Being enslaved to anything hurts our ability to make healthy decisions. Any addiction goes from one mistake and then it grows into a bigger problem. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 explained to us. Most of our problems start in the mind and when we act on those thoughts, they become a part of our lives. It's like being on a diet and telling yourself that you will start it again on the following week after eating too much cake. Addiction is like this as well. It starts as a thought and it quickly becomes a pattern.
Start praying.Continual prayer is very important to your recovery. Do you doubt God will answer your prayers? If this is the case, you are limiting Him to move in your life. Also, this is not a fun way to live! Regardless, of the reasoning for you to not expect good things to happen, you really confine God to elevate you to new heights. Plus, this not only limits God, it can make you complacent in your faith. Enlist people to pray with you as well. Jesus said there is power when people pray together. "Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in Heaven. For where 2 or 3 gather together in My name, there am I with them." Here is a prayer to get you started: "Father, please do forgive me. Please cleanse me. Drive out my sin. And help me to walk in the light, to experience the blessing of my sexuality under the safeguard of your heavenly standard. Give me encouragement and accountability. Set me free from my chains. I receive Your Holy Spirit’s power to control my base impulses and to become the human being you have made me be, ruling over myself and this world with you."
Study the Word.In addition to prayer, start memorizing Scripture because it's needed and should be in every Christian's arsenal. Memorize James 1:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 and quote them when you are tempted to have sex. Make this part of your daily ritual and watch how God will move and encourage you throughout the day.
Any addiction can be a beast and could dramatically impact your life. Sex addiction can become an excuse when you refuse to deal with the issue. Reach out to a professional or to a trusted loved one for guidance. Unless you get to the root of any matter, you won't find healing and you will proceed to use sex to escape from pain and from your reality.