Disclosure of extra-marital sexual activity to spouses

The topic that generates the most discussion – and anxiety – in our workshops is that of disclosure. Sex addicts who are in relationships need to come clean with their partners, but they are afraid that doing so will cost them the relationship. Knowing this, many addicts disclose the truth of their activities to their partners in stages. We call this “the installment plan” of disclosure, and it’s an exceedingly bad idea. Many wives I talk to are frustrated and confused because their husbands had used the “installment plan,” and they worry that they still don’t have the full story. “I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop,” they say. “I always wonder if there’s something more that he’s been holding back from me.”

Continue reading Disclosure of extra-marital sexual activity to spouses

Isn’t it ironic: more porn equals less sex

MAPA LogoYears ago – before porn had become so common – its opponents warned that if we didn’t limit pornography, men would start objectifying all women like they do porn stars, and treat them accordingly. Rape and all kinds of “sexual mayhem” would result. Naomi Wolf has a great article on the Mothers Against Pornography website where she reflects on this. It’s certainly true that pornography has become ubiquitous, and is changing how people experience sex. But Wolf makes the point that it is actually lowering libido – in relation to real people – rather than raising it. Listen to her own words, which I quote at length from the article:

“But the effect (of pornography) is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as “porn-worthy.” Continue reading Isn’t it ironic: more porn equals less sex

Worldwide pornography industry approaches $100 billion

Talk about major coinage! According to statistics from Dr. Irv Wolf, director of the National Coalition for Purity, the worldwide revenue from pornography grew dramatically in the past year. Here are Dr. Wolf’s own words:

In 2005, $57 billion was spent worldwide on porn with $12 billion of that spent in the United States. In 2006, that figure skyrocketed to $97 billion with $13 billion spent in the USA! Although the USA is not the leading consumer of porn (in terms of revenues), the USA is the leading provider of porn worldwide.

Addendum … here is a link to an extended report from Internet Filter Review, which verifies these statistics, and includes many more, including the fact that every second, over $3,000 is being spent on pornography, and nearly 30,000 people are looking at pornography on the Internet alone.

Informal study shows pornography is more addictive than people think

One of the challenges of trying to accurately define the numbers of people addicted to sex is that the primary form of sex addiction (pornography) often goes unreported, since people don’t view it as a problematic or unhealthy behavior. And so we have people growing dependent on a certain sexual behavior but not realizing it because they don’t see it as a problem. It’s much like the situation were college students become binge drinkers and don’t realize they are becoming addicted to alcohol. They don’t sense their growing dependence on alcohol because it’s so common among their peers and doesn’t feel problematic. But when challenged to cut down, they realize the power that alcohol has over them. What about pornography? What happens when people who think it’s okay to view pornography are challenged to stop using it?

In her excellent book “Pornified” Pamela Paul writes about Continue reading Informal study shows pornography is more addictive than people think

Recovery Coaching is an important approach in addiction treatment

I love the role of recovery coach. Recovery coaching works over the phone, so it’s available for people literally all over the world. It works in conjunction with – not in competition with – therapy, recovery groups, workshops, and in-patient treatment. In fact, I beleive it should be required as part of the aftercare for workshop attendees and in-patient treatment centers. The experience of “re-entry” from the intensive, supportive, and relatively artificial environments of workshops and treatment centers is jarring and unsettling. Rates of relapse can be drastically reduced if people have access to expert coaching to help them navigate the transitions and shifts required for successful recovery.   Continue reading Recovery Coaching is an important approach in addiction treatment

Recent study shows telephone counseling can be effective

Given the fact that much of the work I do with recovering addicts and leaders is done over the phone, I was encouraged by the results of a study reported in the Journal of Counseling Psychology. This study gave a favorable review to counseling done over the phone.

“The researchers … found that telephone counseling was beneficial and satisfactory, marked by specific improvement on the issue that lead to counseling and global improvement in emotional state. 68 percent [of those surveyed] reported feeling very or completely satisfied with the telephone counseling and 53 percent said they felt somewhat better as a result of counseling.”

Just to be clear … what I offer people is coaching over the phone, not counseling or therapy. Continue reading Recent study shows telephone counseling can be effective

finding intimacy and freedom from pornography and sex addiction