I’m a pretty open and forthcoming person about all my former addiction-laden life, both in my writing and with any public speaking opportunity. While I’ve found it to be quite freeing being that way, I’ve noticed there is one of my past addictions that still seems to make everyone uncomfortable anytime I talk about it. That being a sex and love addiction.
Like alcohol addiction, drug addiction, gambling addiction, overeating addiction, and plenty of other addictions, each were once often misunderstood by the general population. Take alcohol addiction for example. The general assumption long ago was that an alcoholic was someone who was homeless and always had a paper bag-enclosed bottle of some type of alcohol in hand. It was also thought more than not back then that a little more self-control was needed to curb the behavior of someone who drank too much. Nevertheless, it was something not talked about much early on and tended to make people uncomfortable when brought up. The same has been true of any other addiction that emerged into the populace over ensuing years. Yet, as more people have come forward and talked about their own battles with varying addictions, the more each addiction has become understood in society and led to greater acceptance.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case as of yet with sex and love addiction. Currently, the picture still being painted of a sex and love addict in most places in this world is of someone who is either a pedophile or a pervert in general that likes to do things such as exposing themselves in public, especially to children. Sadly, both are quite far from the real picture of the majority of sex and love addicts.
In my case, my former sex addiction consistently related to viewing pornography and engaging in cyber/phone sex acts, all of which were always connected to people my age or older, and usually far older than I at that. As for my former love addiction, which was far worse, I had the tendency to chase after various unobtainable individuals who I’d become infatuated with, always claiming they were my soul mate and then sacrificing my entire life to being around them. And no matter how much I ever tried to self-control either of my sex or love addiction behaviors, I could never seem to escape them.
Thankfully, there were those who came before me that had enough wherewithal to start to talk about this addiction and create programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). If it wasn’t for them, I’d probably have accepted much of the harsh labels and judgements still being placed on those who suffer from this addiction.
So, here are a few facts with sex and love addiction. Like all other addictions, sex and love addicts can’t miraculously find enough self-control to curb it. Sex addicts are not just pedophiles, perverts, or people who haven’t exerted enough self-control to deal with their sexual appetites. And love addicts are not just codependent individuals who have no sense of self-esteem. Rather, there are deeply-ingrained issues within each person who suffers from this addiction that have led to the addiction in the first place.
My sex addiction began as a way to deal with my feeling inadequate in this world, something that started way back in my childhood. My love addiction began in a similar way, because I never grew any sense of identity growing up and instead my life was always about pleasing my parents and then everyone else in turn.
The bottom line here is that sex and love addiction doesn’t need to make anyone uncomfortable. Most of the other prominent addictions don’t make people uncomfortable anymore because so many have come forward and talked about them publicly making each more understood. The same can be true for sex and love addiction. It’s just going to take more people coming forward and braving the masses to tell their story like I continue to do…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson