Conservatively, at least 3-6% of the adult U.S. population struggles with sexual addiction.
And millions more are at risk: one in three regular Internet users visits a sexually oriented site each month. If you or someone you love deals with secret sexual behavior, you’re not alone! Even for Christians, sexual addiction has become the addiction of choice.
Sexual addiction is an umbrella term that describes a variety of compulsive behaviors. The type of acting out (viewing pornography, using prostitutes, having affairs, whatever) isn’t as important as the pattern and reasons driving it. According to Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., an addiction is a pattern of unmanageable behavior that continues despite someone’s efforts to stop.
“Sexual addiction” is actually not about sex at all. It’s an intimacy disorder – using sexual activity or a relationship in a desperate search for connection, affirmation or love. Sex addiction is a coping mechanism – a way to medicate painful feelings, experiences and memories. While “sex addiction” is a misnomer, unfortunately, it’s one that will probably stick.
Bethesda Workshops provides Christian treatment for sexual addiction recovery. We have an intensive workshop program for male and female sex addicts (or those heading that direction), partners of addicts (or ex-partners of addicts), and addict/partner couples. Our Resources section contains suggested books, 12 Step groups, organizations and links, and our section for Professionals has a wealth of clinical information. There is help and hope!