Dos and Don'ts in Overcoming Sex Addiction


This is the most successful way of advertising campaign is Nike's "Just do it." It works for selling sneakers. It doesn't work for overcoming sex addiction.

Anything reading, eating, exercising, working, talking - can be used addictively. About 20 years ago I helped a woman who went to sleep whenever she felt stressed out. She'd spend days in bed, then wake up suffering a sleep addiction hangover. She couldn't overcome her addiction by "just doing it."

This is the most successful way of advertising campaign is Nike's "Just do it." It works for selling sneakers.

In the world of addiction, "Just do it" can be an excuse to act addictively. The most common form of sex addiction is masturbation with pornography. When the sexually addicted person is bored, lonely, angry, frustrated, depressed, whatever he uses masturbation with porn to quickly make him feel good and forget. He "just does it."

Most sexually addicted people eventually realize that using sex as a quick fix doesn't work. As the addiction takes its toll year after year, they become desperate to stop, but can't. They're trapped because their attempts to stop are based on mistaken ideas. One reason they don't overcome sex addiction is they believe, or are told, "If you want to stop, just do it."

To overcome sex addiction, reality needs to be perceived as something to face, not escape from. It takes time for someone addicted to sex to build a strong desire to face reality. There is no quick fix. You can't "Just do it." But you can work it carefully and realistically. The reward is the profound, long lasting pleasure of building a good life in the real world.

A competent counselor does not advise, "Just do it." The experienced, knowledgeable counselor is a good mirror. By mirroring you back to yourself and mirroring reality to you, he enables you to understand what changes you need to make. Then, the counselor advises you on how to make the changes. He does not rush or push. "Just do it" is pushy and unprofessional.

Partners of sexually addicted people will ask me, "What is so appealing about sex addiction?" It's a good question because the partner realizes that overcoming sex addiction takes more than just a quick fix.

Sex addiction is appealing because it is fantasy based. For the sexually addicted person who has not overcome his addiction, fantasy seems safer and more rewarding than reality. The safety of fantasy and the sexual pleasure it offers are the intoxicants of sex addiction. A quick fix like "Just do it" doesn't correct the underlying fantasy issues of sex addiction.

Ironically, "Just do it" wastes time. Addicted people lose years trying to "Just do it" until they realize there is no quick fix. Had they approached their addiction correctly, they could have overcome it in less time than they wasted on trying to "Just do it."

The sexually addicted person is not stuck in a hopeless world of fantasy-based, shallow highs and deep crashes. When sex addiction is approached carefully and realistically, dealing with reality becomes far more rewarding than escaping into fantasy. Anyone acting sexually addictive today can overcome their addiction once they approach it correctly.

Joe overcame his own sex addiction in 1982. Since 1983 he has been helping people overcome sexual addiction problems such as pornography addiction, masturbation addiction, infidelity, fetishes, etc.

Joe Zychik is the author of "The Most Personal Addiction: How I overcame sexual addiction completely and how anyone can."

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