The following are notes on a talk by Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT, Founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute, Los Angeles, on Sex Addiction. – Dec 10, 2010, Dallas.
These notes are have been very helpful to me in talking with people about ‘process’ addictions.
Process addictions – gambling, internet gaming, workaholism, binge eating, sex, exercise, religion, spending, high risk behaviors.
Addiction indicates ‘drivenness’ behind the behavior.
Repetitive patterns of behavior that is destroying their live, eg. porn online, exchange of sex for drugs.
There are ‘patterns’, ‘rituals’, ‘triggers’.
The addiction is about the ‘anticipation’. Leave yourself in high arousal, high intensity experiences. Being caught in a bind that is emotionally arousing [jvs: anxiety and sexual arousal get paired at an early age]. You get lost in anticipation and fantasy.
The idea of or possibility of getting sdomething emotinally better. “Rush of intensity in a panic state.”
There is an “Inability to tolerate loneliness” – sexual shame. [jvs: Shame, sexual or otherwise that drives behavior and the feeling of shame gets repeated.]
Sex or love addiction: “Goal is to get the other to desire or want me.”
There is a Narcissistic Wound
Covertly incested by caretaking parent
Emotional needfulness – needing validation
Lack of empathy
using other people
“The ’empty’ self trying to fill that (emptiness) rather than “I am that (emptiness) because I exist.” R. Weiss
The refinement of intense pleasure.
Sex addiction is objectified non-relational sex
“Women see themselves in pursuit of a connection (relationship) but it may be sexual acting out.”
The trauma of the spouse when she (or he) finds out the other is a sexually addicted person.
Women tend to be more relational when it comes to sexual behavior.
Codependent – This label is unfair when laid on the spouse who have found out their partner has been acting out sexually – they have been severely traumatized b/c of their partner’s behavior, of course, they would be angry.
Most partners do not leave the relationship.
Education (for the partner) is important
“It is not your fault.”
“You’re not alone.”
“You can be as angry as you need to be for as long as you ned to be.”
Joy through exploration of the self.