Category Archives: Healthy sexuality

Pornography Addiction

6 Ways People Stay Addicted to Pornography

Pornography addiction is “…cunning, baffling, and powerful.”

Pornography Addiction
Relapse, while not required, is often a part of recovery.

All too often, I hear the story of chronic relapse. Again and again, despite one’s best efforts to stop, the “dark wolf” of pornography addiction rears its ugly head.

Does this sound familiar?

“I don’t know what happened.”

“I was doing the things I was supposed to do and just ‘found’ myself looking at porn.”

“I seem to just have a cycle of about [name a number] of days sexually sober and then I relapse again.”

“Maybe I just can’t do this…”

Stop. Start. Stop. Start.

Below is the list of 6 ways people stay addicted to porn and keep the battle going.

Here is the list in no particular order:

1. Keep Secrets – If you don’t take the risk of being honest and vulnerable you won’t stay sober. Pornography addiction thrives in the dark. Keeping your secrets will keep you in your porn addiction.

pornography-addiction-hole2. Only go to 12-step meetings when you have the time – We understanding being busy. Most people have bust schedules.  It can be tough to juggle family, work, and recovery. But if you keep meetings a low priority you will keep acting out.

3. Find a counselor that won’t hold you accountable – A good counselor will hold you accountable. That can be uncomfortable and awkward. Sticking with a counselor who knows less than you do about porn addiction will only be hurting you and push you further into your addiction.

4. Masturbation – Tell yourself that it’s okay to masturbate as long as you don’t use pornography or as long as you don’t “finish.” You have sexual needs don’t you? Masturbate in early sobriety and you will be back to your pornography quicker.

5. Take your time getting a 12-step sponsor – Asking someone to be your sponsor feels pretty weird, calling him is awkward, and having coffee and sharing things with him is stranger still. You say to yourself, Sponsorship is a good idea that you can get to when the time is right or eventually you will find the right sponsor… we hope you heed this warning: delay in this area is very dangerous. A sponsor is a vital part of recovery and acting out is right around the corner without the utilization of a sponsor.

6. Neglect self-care – Now is the time to work as many hours as you can to get caught up. Stay up late working or watching TV and eat whenever you think about food. Exercise is optional. Burn the candle and watch your sobriety melt away.

That’s the list. The six ways people stay addicted to pornography. It’s your choice.

You can be free and stay free from your addiction: First, if your in this hole, stop digging and make a decision to get help. Follow directions. Be accountable. Find a path to a spiritual experience and live your life with healthy sexuality, intimacy, and integrity. Make a decision to do whatever it takes, no matter what it takes, for as long as it takes to stay sexually sober.

You are worth it!

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Sexual Recovery Just For Today

Door to new wayBelow are some thoughts to help keep you “in the moment” as you journey toward healthy sexuality and physical and emotional fitness. If you find yourself in a difficult situation or frame of mind, choose the thought that addresses your stumbling block. By keeping a “just for today” mindset, you will be better equipped to focus on what is right in front of you rather than dwelling on what happened in the past, even if that was last week. Feel free to add your own “just for today’s” to this list:        

  • I will focus an hour at a time if that’s what it takes to control my compulsions.
  • I will view my new plan for physical and emotional fitness as something that I am doing for myself rather than as something that is being done to me.
  • I will check in with my sponsor and share my feelings about today.
  • I will think about moving my body off the couch and doing something physical. Even if I dislike “exercise,” I can take a walk or work in the garden, play ball with my kids.
  • I will call a friend or find a way to help others instead of feeling sorry for myself.
  • I will count blessings rather than past sins.
  • I will make a list of the things that are right with the world as opposed to the global “reasons” I have to be unhappy or fearful.
  • I will treat my journal as an understanding, compassionate and guiding friend and not a “bartender” who is supposed to absorb my tale of woe.
  • I’ll give myself a break if I “slip” and go right back on my sexual recovery plan. A slip does not have to mean failure. If I give in to the “I slipped so I might as well go back to old habits” mindset, it is a recipe for failure, and I’m stronger than that.
  • I’ll have gratitude for the support of friends and family. They are about my wellbeing, and I’m thankful for that.

Share your Just for Today Moments with us.

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Sexual addiction recovery one day at a time

Sexual Addiction Recovery One Day At a Time

Sexual addiction recovery one day at a timeYou’ve been working hard on your sexual addiction recovery and you’re making real progress. People are starting to notice “the new you,” and comment on the positive changes they see, and congratulate you on your new outlook. This terrifies you. What if all this work is for nothing? What if you go right back to where you were before? What if? What if? What if?

Has this ever happened to you? Dwelling on questions about an uncertain future? Who we are today is the sum total of our past experiences, but that does not mean that we cannot change. So many of us are victims of our own bad habits, but we can become survivors of those habits. We do not have to settle for the person we were. Although we cannot rewrite history, we can move forward and write a new story for our lives.

You may have heard the saying, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.” Worrying takes a great deal of mental energy and robs us of that gift. If we stop dwelling on the past and the “what ifs” of the future, and channel that energy into who we are today, then life would seem, and be, different. Instead of questioning, we will be doing. And by putting all that energy toward every today we live, we will stop questioning tomorrow because we are succeeding, every day. The past is the past. We can learn from it or we can repeat it. It is what we do with today that counts. Focus on the here and now rather than looking over your shoulder. There’s a reason that the motto of many fellowships is “One day at a time.” Because it works. Live your sexual addiction recovery one day at a time.

 Related posts

> Whats the difference between healthy sex and sexual addiction
> Early Sexual Addiction Recovery, The Wave

Think you may have a problem? Take out online sex addiction test with instant results.

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What does Sexual Addiction Look like?

What Does Sexual Addiction Look Like?

The answer may surprise you. It looks like you, or me, or your neighbor down the street. Sex addicts don’t “stand out” from the crowd. We have families, go to work or school, might be community leaders or even spiritual leaders. We’re college presidents and college students. CEOs and mail clerks. Beauticians and physicians. We are regular people, just like the person in the mirror.

What does Sexual Addiction Look like?
There is no “face of sexual addiction.”

You won’t identify an addict the way you might a meth addict, who wears his addiction on his face, or an alcoholic, who manages to get drunk at every opportunity, or the food addict, who can’t seem to stop eating. People addicted to sex are normal people who have an abnormal need to act out. We Addicts use sexual activity to seek pleasure, avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors, such as work difficulties or interpersonal problems. This is not unlike how an alcoholic uses alcohol. In both instances, any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change. need to satisfy a craving deep within that often has very little to do with sexual satisfaction.

A sex addict might use his addiction for power, or to relieve stress, or to avoid problems in his daily life. It’s an escape mechanism, much the way alcohol is for an alcoholic. There are dozens of theories about how sex addiction has to do with biochemical changes in the brain, but I don’t want to dwell on the brain right now; this book isn’t about “how did this happen?” but more about “what do I do now?” It’s about recognizing the face of sex addiction and figuring out how to help yourself to escape the trap in which you find yourself.

Consider the case of Sam G:

How did he get to be a sex addict?

Sam was your average 35-year old with an MBA and a great job that had the makings of a brilliant career. He had a wife, 2.5 kids, and a pretty house with two cars in the garage. The future looked bright for Sam and his family. But with that great job came a lot of stress, and he started to use the Internet on his lunch hour to wind down and relax.

Sam’s “extracurricular activity” had started innocently enough. He’d been trolling websites on the Internet one day, when he happened upon a racy looking site with scantily-clad girls in provocative poses. The girls were gorgeous, and what healthy man, married or not, didn’t like to look? With a lot of quiet time at work, there was just so much opportunity to view more and more of the sites. Sam noticed that the girls seemed to be getting younger and sexier looking but he shoved any misgivings to the back of his mind – he was enjoying himself too much.

Until the day he was called into the boss’s office. They knew what he was looking at in all those hours he was supposed to be working. They would not press charges, to report him to the police, but he was fired and told to leave immediately.

Now he had no job, but that wasn’t the worst part of this mess. How in the world was he going to tell his wife what happened?

Does sexual addiction sound familiar? Does this ring a bell about someone you know or someone you heard about, or even someone in your family? What started out as a seemingly innocent pastime turned into a criminal act capable of ruining a lot of lives.

 Related posts

Whats the difference between healthy sex and sexual addiction
 More descriptions of sex addiction problems

Think you may have a problem? Take out online sex addiction test with instant results.

If you know you need help and are ready to get started go to or contact page and reach out for more information.

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What Every Sex Addict Needs to Know About the 12-Steps

Work the Steps!

You’ve made a decision to do whatever it takes to get and stay sexually sober. You have a therapist who understands sex addiction. You’re accountable for your behavior and you take responsibility for your fantasy. Your computers and phones have filtering software and you’ve removed any and all of the pornography from your home and office. You participate in a sex addiction therapy group and you go to regular “S” Anonymous meetings (SAA, SA, SLAA). You even have a sponsor.

So why haven’t you worked all the 12-Steps?

Failing to make the steps a priority leaves out the “cornerstone” of your sexual addiction recovery. Here are a few things you need to know about the 12-Steps.

  • You need to know that “working the 12-Steps” is among the top five things that sex addicts in long term recovery report are “most important” to their sexual sobriety.
  • You need to know that the number one “most important” item on that same list is a relationship with a “Higher Power.” That means God. Sex can’t be your higher power – it doesn’t work anymore. By the way, no one will preach to you.
  • You need to know that “surrender” is not “submission.” Surrender is not weakness. Surrender is strength and takes courage. You don’t submit or grovel to anyone. Take the third step and make a decision to surrender. Find out the difference.
  • You need to know that the 12-Steps shouldn’t take months or even weeks to work through. Spend an afternoon with your sponsor and complete the first three steps. Work the fourth and fifth steps the next day and steps six through eight that evening. Make your amends (step nine) and move into the steps of daily living (10, 11, and 12) in the following days.
  • You need to know that being “…fearless and thorough” doesn’t mean perfect. You get to do this work again and again and you get to live life according to these principles with intimacy and integrity.
  • You need to know that your experience will help others only when you have an experience. Do this work for yourself and your recovery and then carry the message in your group. Your group needs your recovery.

These are just a few of the things that you need to know about the 12-Steps in sex addiction recovery.

Have a great meeting!


Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sonoran Healing Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

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