65 thoughts on “Why Sex Addicts Seem Sociopathic

  • August 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Seventy percent or more of alcoholics get better without treatment or even 12-step intervention, according to a government statistics (sample size — 40,000) compiled by the NIAAA.

    Does anyone know what percentage of sex addicts get better without treatment or 12-step intervention?

    • March 18, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Does anyone know how many SAs get better WITH treatment? Few to none I bet. The happiest women in both my support groups are the women who finally divorced their sociopathic partners. I cursed out my husbands CSAT yesterday for denying my SOB is a sociopath. I then congratulated her for finding a business in which she could rip off the conscience free bastards on a long term basis. Take their money if you can, lady! Scam the scammers!
      He will never change – sociopaths can’t.Their brains are wired differently. I think there are fMRI results showing that emotion-laden words create no different brain activity than non-emotion related words. Normal brains show different brain areas lighting up for the two different categories of words.
      Once a liar, always a liar. Of course when we got home there were the usual crocodile tears of poor me, I’ve ruined my own life. Boohoohoo. On it goes.

    • April 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      This is wonderful news! There is no need to treat sex addicts or alcoholics because 70% will get better all on their own!

    • May 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      The percentages do not matter. Even though I have known life-long alcoholics recover by their own – and quickly – I question that poll. For the information is just voluntary and denial is fundamental to addiction or any behavior anyone may want to conceal to be able to continue the behavior. The poll also makes me question who in the world did they interview??!! From what pool of people or organization?? But I do believe that it is all in a person’s Will to decide to change. Until that belief is accomplished – nothing can help you – be it health, addiction, family, institutions, or being influenced or helped.

      I think our institutions have made a mistake in decreeing that alcoholism is a disease, which implies in our medical paradigm that it is an intrinsic issue in our bodies. What I see is that any addiction stems from its repeated practice, and its repeated practice is dependent upon the reasons we reach for that behavior (of course some substances because of their chemical actions create a dependency – but the initial action was not). And the reasons are what need to be explored. Unfortunately, many of the reasons stem from just lovelessness or hopelessness…and we have nothing in our medical paradigm or society to deal with that. In part because of financial aspects of our constructs and in part because of the medical paradigm of resolving matters only with synthetics. We have a social and humanity issue expanding out of control…. with no humane or spiritual (not religious) support.

      But ANY change only comes with the Willingness and wanting to do so. Whether it be to feel better… or being fed up of how you live… or to believe in something or having a purpose. Whatever the reason – that reason has to be created by the depths of that person. NO one can decide that for them. They must GRAB ON TO A BELIEF -THEY- CREATE. But it is hard to do so – without those supports once you have fallen into the behavior – but not impossible with your Will and decision.

      You may be an inspiration or an influence, but it will only happen IF and WHEN they are ready. Sometimes it is a lifetime. The helper must ask themselves – How much of me am I willing to sacrifice for someone who does not want change? Changing oneself starts with the EFFORT of changing our minds… of LOOKING for answers…. of thinking – and often forcefully – differently than what we have. It requires delving into our depths to find: what do we believe in? And if we find no beliefs, then we have to create some. And sometimes our circumstances are just too much for us, if they cant be also changed.

      We are each responsible for ourselves ultimately. While we can help, the decision is theirs. Any addiction. But the help must be there also one that decision is made.

  • August 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Narcissistic entitlement seems awfully close to a description of a sociopathic mode of interaction. Actually, what’s the difference? – it’s about using others for one’s own satisfaction, without regard for their feelings or needs.

    I could see that some “sex addicts” may be more the types who are too fearful to have a real relationship – if they are relying on a secret life of sorts, as described in the “going it alone” section. Pedophiles may fit in this area: immature, needy, unable to sustain an intimate relationship with an adult, yet aware that their proclivities are not approved of by most.

    These groups seem quite different than what is suggested by a sex “addiction” related to a mood disorder.

  • August 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Just about any kind of an addict would display most of the same characteristics, and put their own addiction above all else, so perhaps they are “Functional Sociopaths.” Usually, but not always, when people recover these behaviors cease.

    I’d like to find those statistics quoted for 70% recovery without treatment for alcoholism. I searched the NIAAA website briefly. I did find reference to a 20 year old self reporting survey that quoted this figure. Half of those were designated as “Nonproblematic.” It also reports that most who seek treatment have a more severe problem.

    Also, as far as ‘Narcissistic Over-Entitlement,” it could also include “No one has it as hard as I do. I deserve this!” And “If you had been through what I have been through, you would understand.”

    • August 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Here’s the NIAAA information; I saw it posted elsewhere here at PsychCentral:

      According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism –

      The NESARC (2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) surveyed more than 43,000 individuals representative of the U.S. adult population using questions based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Published in 1994, DSM-IV recognizes alcohol dependence by preoccupation with drinking, impaired control over drinking, compulsive drinking, drinking despite physical or psychological problems caused or made worse by drinking, and tolerance and/or withdrawal symptoms.

      Meanwhile, findings continue to accumulate to challenge past perceptions of the nature, course, and outcome of alcoholism. Among those findings:

      * Many heavy drinkers do not have alcohol dependence. For example, even in people who have 5 or more drinks a day (the equivalent of a bottle of wine) the rate of developing dependence is less than 7 percent per year.

      * Most persons who develop alcohol dependence have mild to moderate disorder, in which they primarily experience impaired control. For example, they set limits and go over them or find it difficult to quit or cut down. In general, these people do not have severe alcohol-related relationship, health, vocational or legal problems.

      * About 70 percent of affected persons have a single episode of less than 4 years. The remainder experience an average of five episodes. Thus, it appears that there are two forms of alcohol dependence: time-limited, and recurrent or chronic.

      * Although 22 is the average age when alcohol dependence begins, the onset varies from the mid-teens to middle age.

      * Twenty years after onset of alcohol dependence, about three-fourths of individuals are in full recovery; more than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without symptoms of alcohol dependence.

      * About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA.

      * Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment.


      • September 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

        I have been surrounded by alcoholics all my life. Parent, spouse, coworkers, friends, child, so forth and so on. I find these statistics hard to believe. As with most addictions there is a great cloud of denial surrounding the addicted. I remember being in counseling with my husband to save our marriage some twenty years ago. The counselor made the assertion that if he could go thirty days without drinking that he wasn’t an alcoholic. Guess what? He went the thirty days, but on day thirty-one he got plastered. I suppose he proved his point, in his own head, but continued to spiral downward at a more frantic pace due to our counselor giving him a position to stand on. We divorced a couple years later…and NOW he is an admitted alcoholic living a pathetic life. The addicted can go on and on living in denial until at some point it catches up with them. I feel that the large sum of the above (suppose) statistics are truly alcoholics living in denial, wearing the mask. It takes admission of the monkey on the shoulder, facing the facts, doing the work it requires for recovery -for anyone in addicted mode to acquire a life worth living. AND it’s stats like the ones above that give the addicted free rein to continue living the lie: “I’m not an addict.”

  • August 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Having witnessed these behaviors in someone close to me, at least I can say antecdotally that their feelIings of “uniqueness” and entitlement ate absolutely at the core…
    Much like I see in the alcoholic… “I had a rough day, I deserve an extra margarita”

  • August 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Interesting that at no point do you counsel introspection on the part of the partner to self-examine to see what part(s) of the partnership system or him/herself might be leading to, feeding, triggering, supporting, or even tacitly inviting the addictive outcome.

    When there’s a couple involved, sexually compulsive behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is part of an overall system that needs to be examined, no?

    • March 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Oh please, let’s not blame the victim. The fact is, that qualifies someone as a “coaddict” is enabling and many many partners do not enable, but fight for the addict to change and then leave if they don’t. When I married my husband, and he proceeded to reject me for sex for the whole first seven months of our marriage because he was addicted to porn, I had nothing to do with his issue. His compulsive masterbating started probably about 15 years ago…so nope.

      • March 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm

        Sex addicts choose to pleasure themselves while being fully aware they are hurting someone else. In no other addiction is the choice to use an act directed AGAINST someone else. Real addicts are pathetic liars too but ruin others lives as a side effect. Sex addicts knowingly hurt their partners from the moment they made that promise, that lie of monogamy to their unwitting, suckered new wives.

      • May 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        Thank you for posting.

      • October 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm

        I have to agree with this. I was looking forward to a healthy sexual life with my husband when I married him. Within the first year that we were married, it quickly became apparent that there was another partner in our sex life – his extensive pornography habit. I told him I didn’t care, that it didn’t matter, yadda, yadda. Honestly, I didn’t care until he started completely replacing me with his porn habit. He hid it, lied about it, developed problems at work about it, snuck around to use it when not home, and on and on it goes. By the time we had our first child almost 10 years later, our sex life had dwindled to once per year, pretty much on his terms only and anything that I liked was completely dismissed.

        I believe that within us all there is a constant stream of mental chatter. Non-addicted people choose to not listen to internal dialogue that tells them to do things that are against their best interest. Addicted spouses, for some reason, are lulled naively into believing the addictive chatter (you won’t get caught; nobody will ever know; she’ll never find out so it’s OK; you aren’t hurting anyone; we haven’t had sex in many months but that’s normal for married people (huh?!); etc.. At some point my husband started to realize that he had a serious problem but he still ignored it. Probably somewhere between almost getting caught by the police masturbating in public and stealing a co-worker’s private digital photos.

        I just know that whatever his secret, private behaviors and problems were, they had nothing to do with me because WE didn’t have a regular sexual life for years. He became sexually avoidant in regards to me while acting out 20 hours a week on his own. Should I really take the blame for what a GROWN man decides to do when by himself? Ha! I think not.

        People are individually responsible for all of their own behaviors and choices. Displacing the blame won’t help them.

      • June 19, 2018 at 9:16 am

        Mwininge did you stay in your marriage? Has he been successful at recovery??? I just discovered my hubbys addiction to escorts and porn 6 months ago. He has overcome the escorts but cannot beat the porn. We have been married 30 years. I thought he was having ED problems when he rejected me. I thought i was being the patient, caring wife. I am so lost in a world of untruths. The problem we have is no resources in our area and we work 2 different shifts so he hides his addiction easily. Its all heart breaking and i am having a difficult time keeping my head above water.

      • July 12, 2018 at 11:56 am

        I apologize for my bluntness, but when you are barely keeping yourself ‘above water’, as you put it, I need to be clear. Get away. Close out the bank accounts, change the locks, block his number, and file for divorce. He deserves nothing from you; no compassion, no conversation, nothing. Tell your children everything; adapting content to fit their ages. Children/teens understand MUCH MORE than adults give them credit. Children deserve to know the facts and the truth of why you are divorcing, they deserve to see a parent standing up for herself/himself, and they deserve to know the consequences of cheating and porn. To do otherwise makes you a liar to your children. Divorce him. And after all his escorts, make an appointment with you ob/gyn.

    • May 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Whatever happened to choice? CHOICE to lie and deceive and hurt others?? Whatever happened to knowing consequences? A deliberate CONSCIOUS choice while knowing the consequences of that choice, and ACTING upon it.

      When someone says no – it means NO.

      If you for example are FILMING me or us in sex, in secret when I told you NOT TO DO IT because IT HURTS ME… because it is MY PRIVACY… because it would hurt me and cause me much damage if someone finds the film… or it ends up on the internet……….. and he does anyway – there is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE being made on HIS part TO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUUUUUU. PERIOD. That is not enabling.

      ALso…. trying to SAVE your relationship, because no one is perfect, is NOT enabling.

      Finding yourself in a repeated situation with your sex addicted partner, because you have NO IDEA what sex addiction is because it is FOREIGN to YOUR brain, and you think things CAN CHANGE because they say they want to…. is also NOT enabling. (But also they know how to twist truths – EVERY DECEIVER does.)

      If one can not become aware of the truth FAST enough, it may very well be that it is because DECEIVING IS FOREIGN to you, and DECEPTION JUST CAN”T FIT IN YOUR HEAD AS POSSIBLE, especially from one who declares loving you. Especially the way the DECEIVER does it.

      If you are SHARING
      Making decisions because you are sharing your life, decisions you would NOT make OTHERWISE.
      Decisions with someone BECAUSE you are with them and INCLUDING them WITH your LIFE…
      these decisions CHANGE THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE…
      where your life would have been SOMETHING ELSE without them…
      where you have made other choices for your life, explored other options for your life…
      THESE are the things your addicted partner CHOOSES TO IGNORE – THAT is NOT enabling them.

      RULE OF THUMB – DO NOT give second chances PERIOD when you discover a deceit.

      People deceive for only one reason – they WANT to CONCEAL the TRUTH.
      It is CONSCIOUS. For WHATEVER reasons. The reasons don’t matter in this case.
      They ARE what they ARE in this PRESENT.

      For change to come:
      They need to be READY and wanting…
      They need to be aware of what they do to others
      They need to WANT to change and stop
      They need to want to find out how to stop
      They need to act on that themselves – NOT YOU.

      They are addicted to THEIR IMPULSIVENESS, WHICH IS their WANTS and ONLY their WANTS.

      There are some people whom you can have absolutely no influence on – they do not include your thinking in anything that they do, and yet, you can still believe otherwise BECAUSE of how Masterfully they deceive and confuse you.
      My narcissist told me that the ingredient that is the glue to all deception is – confusion. Inject confusion into everything you do and say – and the reality of things will be beyond your reach. THAT revelation FREED me! That explained everything I was feeling.

      Your brain is in constant watch for what is real. You are constantly looking for making sense of things. When you are bombarded with things that don’t make sense, you become cognitively impaired AND EXHAUSTED mentally and then physically. Your brain just wants to rush for something it can understand to return to functionality and relieve itself of the stress. THIS is the process that makes a person stagnate in place. That is simply subliminal brainwashing. Deceivers are masters at this.

      They can deceive any psychotherapist, because a psychotherapist is also trained in making sense of things. AND the therapist has ONLY the person’s word in front of them. There is no evidence, there is no depositions, there is no court case to review…. nothing but his word. ESPECIALLY when they deal with one person versus a couple. With one person, the therapist has no other data than the one coming out of the client’s mouth. The therapist has no other choice than to trust that what he is hearing is some semblance of truth. The therapist also has only the extent of their own experience – the experiences that happen to walk through their particular door. If they never encountered a master deceiver before – who spilled the beans, that is – the therapist would never know the difference. If they have had a master deceiver walk through their door – well they would never know, would they, because they are masters.

      A therapist feels pretty good with one person versus a couple. You have no other choice than to trust what you hear and you can rely on that the person who came for help would be just digging themselves by denial. That’s their problem if they hold on to denial. But in a couple situation, there is one more dissatisfied than the other. There is one more guilty than the other. WHICH ONE???

      But when one is a deceiver who came in because the other insisted or threatened to leave, that one is just interested in showing the partner wrong. He is not interested in solving his personal issues. These are the ONLY types the therapists will ever see, because for the MASTER DECEIVER it does not matter whether he knows there is something wrong with him or not. He has long accepted that. He may not even be interested in asking himself. What he wants is simply what he wants – nothing else phases them – not conscience, not trauma, not shame, not guilt – nothng. They CHOOSE it that way. They WANT it that way. They have a mix of either enjoying it or simply no feeling about it. Same way you have no feeling about brushing your teeth or showering. You just do it – no judgment in absolute.

      So in conclusion. I did not start out this way but now I do believe that there are humans who are just plain “evil” or selfish – whether they have been traumatized that way or just born that way or evolved that way. They just actually prefer it. So these will NEVER seek help with a therapist. There may be more of these out here than we think we know!!

      The statistics in psychotherapy for me are baloney. ALL information is voluntary. You can’t download or hack any hidden brain files with any amount of questions. People answer them as they see fit. Because…. you can only know a person…. as far as they ALLOW YOU TO KNOW THEM. The reasons for that don’t matter to them.

      • May 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm

        Well said Phoenix. It’s been 2 yrs and 4 months. Over $40K on therapy, 12 step meetings, SA group therapy. He claims and makes the appearance of working on things, works from home. Today I heard him in a highly animated, non-work sounding coversation at the end of which I recognized the sing song melody of, “Love you too.” Assumed it was his brother with positive health news. No, he was being so positively giddy with a new young lady he supervises and has only seen a head shot of (as far as I know). He admits he has on a crush on her. So the new headfuck is to have an emotional online and phone affair. Endless misery and variety from this master of turning away from me and our relationship. He immediately got rid of working on project which requires phone contact, at my request. Is that good? Did I drive it underground? I need to check his personal computer now I guess. My job us to suffer emotional abuse and collect money for it.

      • May 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        “My job is to suffer emotional abuse and collect money for it”. Bingo. That sentence resonated deeply with me. Sounds like we are in similar places right now.

      • May 20, 2016 at 4:10 am

        To divorce I need employable skills, of which I have none. The continuing emotional upset of repeated attacks on the relationship by thie “recovering” sex addict prevents me from reading anything longer than about 4 pages. I cannot concentrate enough to take a course.
        My volunteer work in adult education twice a week is the only thing keeping me above water right now. Sometimes I’m too distraught to make both nights in a week. I feel useless and wrung out.

      • May 20, 2016 at 11:43 am

        I’m sure you already know you’re experiencing trauma. I’m trying to work through mine right now. I know what it’s like to be that distracted. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend reading, “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse”, by Barbara Steffans and Marcia Means. Even if you can only get through a couple of pages at a time. I wish I had read that one first. I also know what it’s like to not have access to the resources you need right now. I just set up an email address for you


        If you want to contact me, please do. I’m a good listener/reader and I can share with you the things that are helping me work through the trauma.

      • May 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        You really said some things that cleared up my head! Thank you for the insight!

      • October 16, 2016 at 1:27 am

        I like everything you said! And I couldn’t agree more! I would like to share my story and ask others on this blog what they think my ex-boyfriend is.

      • October 16, 2016 at 2:48 am

        I was with my ex-boyfriend for 2 years. He constantly told me these things below:
        That he loved me and that I was the most incredible woman in the world. That he couldn’t believe I chose him because I could have any man I wanted.

        He said he would never cheat on me and he constantly proposed. We were planning to get married by the end of the year. We went to premarital counseling and passed with flying colors. He told me about 50 times a day how beautiful I was and that he loved me. That I was his soulmate and best friend. We had a great sex life, We had sex almost every night. He never said he wanted more sex. He told me I was the best lover he’s ever had and was beyond happy with our sex life. I felt the same way about him. I loved him more than I have ever loved anyone.

        We spent hours talking every night and couldn’t get enough of each other. We wanted to be together all the time and missed each other when we weren’t. He was loving and considerate and a gentlemen. Everyone that met him absolutely loved him. We made lots of friends together and they loved hanging out with us because we were such a great couple. He posted about me all the time on FB, professing his love for me. Everyone was routing for us He fooled me, his family, my children and all of our friends. Just like Phoenix said, I would discover something and he would confuse me so much that I gave up and chose to believe him. He was always sorry right away for what he did and took responsibility and put actions into place to rectify it. He never admitted to cheating. He swore on his children’s lives that he would never do that to me and I was the only woman that he ever wanted to be with. 99% of the time his actions backed up what he was saying. It was the best relationship I had ever been in and was so happy. Things would happen every once in awhile that didn’t make sense, so I always worried that he was cheat on me. I had a feeling and searched his FB messages and found that over the last two year he was messaging other women and saying the exact same things to them! One I found out he slept with and I’m sure there were many more. I was floored! I thought he was the kindest man I had ever met . I searched some more and found he had sent a middle school girl a message in June. I did a search of pics he liked on FB and he had liked lots of young girls and even children. He didn’t know any of them. I found that he had 3 mocospace accounts and had propositioned prostitutes on that website. I searched his computer and found Child pornography and a file named drugged, and lots of anal sex porn. The file labeled drugged had picture after picture of young girls/women that were drugged and being raped. I then looked at an old phone of his and discovered an email a very long email string between him and another man. The man was telling him where to by drugs to drug me. They talked about another women that the man had drugged her a little for my ex and he was upset that he was only able to make out with her and he couldn’t wait to take his frustrations out on her when he got to F her. They went back and forth about what a 3rd man that was drugging and rapping her. My ex was so excited about it and wanted more more pictures of it. He told the man that he drugged me and F’ed me in the ass several times and it was going great. That I didnt remember a thing and he was going to send him pictures of me. He said he would love to share me with him once he got me completely knocked out. He was saying how hot I am..he was selling me to this other man. I never met the man (my ex boyfriend) that did all those things. I comforted him and called the police on him. He fled before they arrived. That was on August 1st and I haven’t seen him since. I went into outpatient treatment for PTSD caused by the discovery of all of this. It was for women that had been raped. I resently returned to work and am seeing a sexual assault therapist once a week. I’m not the same person anymore and am afraid I will never overcome this. Do you all thing he is a sex addict and sociopath? I know I’m not suppose to focus on him but it drives me crazy because I don’t understand.

      • March 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

        Wow, this is so horrible, I am so sorry you have to endure this. 🙁
        The sociopath I knew also always told me those “nice” things you’ve wrote about.
        They use their mask to distract, create confusion (i.e. cognitive dissonance)and to hide their antisocial ways and sex addiction.
        The truth does not lie in their words but in their deeds.
        Please, hon, you’ve endured awful violence under the hands of a sadist- you will need a lot of time to heal.
        I have enough experience and knowledge to tell you that there is no sex addiction without some kind of sociopathy (or other Cluster-B Spectrum Disorder)- it goes hand in hand.
        Sex addicts do not “seem” sociopatic they are sociopathic.
        They use their deceptive mask and acting skills so well that they fly under the radar, so therapists believe a sex addiction actually exists isolated from a antisocial personality disorder.
        Hope you are feeling a bit better by now.
        I am sending you love and hugs!

      • April 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm

        Amen sister!!!
        Perfectly stated.
        I’ve been to SA -anon meetings (for partners/VICTIMS) and every woman there believed their SA partner was a sociopath. Coincidence? Hell to the no.
        Also, not one of the men ever got better over time.
        Depressing? Absolutely.
        But freeing, as well.
        Really understanding that my SA was never going to get better was the moment I stopped sacrificing myself for a lost cause and gained my own life back.
        Love and prayers to all—

      • July 24, 2018 at 10:58 am

        I have been reading this article and posts to help me tear down this wall inside of me that makes me numb and overwhelmed with anxiety. I was exposed to porn before the age of 10. My parents had a mirror over their bed always and a cabinet of porn. I would break into that cabinet regularly as a young child. At the age of 12 or so she gave me condoms and told me to be careful. My parents were over permissive as a teenager and allowed me to bring girls home to have sex in my room and even make breakfast for us. I was not very popular and my sexual escapades gave me a sense of self worth at a very young age. I progressed in my addition to the point where I couldn’t masterbate any longer. Only sex with a woman would do. I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school but what they missed was my generalized anxiety. Ever since I’ve been on Prozac I have been experiencing a calm I never knew. I always meant it when I told my wife she was the most attractive woman to me. The problem was that she couldn’t satisfy my addiction. I have been in recovery for 9 months and believe I finally found my way out of this horrible inner hell. I feel tremendous empathy for all the women who have been traumatized by spouses who are sick with this illness. I often wish I was an alcoholic instead. It would be easier to deal with on so many levels. Those who have not experienced sexual addition can’t understand the pain we experience as jailed in the hell of our own sick minds. I am not looking for empathy. I just wanted to pass on some of my experience and pray someone benefits from it.

  • August 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Surely sex addiction isn’t quite the same as alcohol addiction? Some sex addicts are involved in relatively safe, legal activities but spend too much time and money on them (porn, say), some are acting in a way that may them in danger, but doesn’t harm anyone else (frequent sex with strangers? maybe, under some circumstances?).

    Others are acting in ways that are dangerous and harmful in a more general sense, and involving people who have not consented to be a part of their sexual behaviour (for example voyeurism, flashing). In these cases I’d say that they don’t give their victims full status as people – they are merely objects to be used. I think that trying to excuse this as part of an addictive illness is worrying.

    When I found out about my ex’s addiction (voyeurism), he was very concerned that he had hurt me, and full of apologies because he saw me as a victim of his behaviour. The thing that shocked me the most in our subsequent discussion was that he had never at any point considered that the women he’d been looking at may also be victims of his behaviour, and that they could be upset and traumatised by what had happened.

    In retrospect I can see that he had simply decided to deny that these women have feelings and thoughts, and instead see them simply as objects. Sadly much of the media etc supports him in this view of women, and I don’t believe that he is capable of changing in this fundamental respect. He will always see women who are not part of his immediate circle as less than fully human, and less deserving of respect.

    I’m hoping that this is an unhelpful comment because my ex is a one off … otherwise the world is a scary place!

    • August 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      If one accepts that sex addiction exists, one must also accept the latest findings of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. They are quite clear that the psychological addiction pathways are the SAME for all addictions. There are no exceptions.


      There is NO difference in the neurobiology of alcohol addiction from that of sex addiction, if you accept that sex addiction exists. Zero.

  • August 30, 2012 at 6:04 am

    The report you reference states ‘similar’, not ‘the same’. I’d argue that any number of behaviours can become addictive, but whilst the addiction part can be treated similarly the behaviour itself cannot.

    Please note that I’m simply sharing my thoughts in the hope that my hellish experiences may be of some help to others, I’m not trying to deny that your point of veiw is valid.

    • August 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      The A.S.A.M. definition makes NO distinction for the type of addiction:


      Alleyne, nothing I write here is meant to diminish in any way the pain of your own personal experience. It sounds horrendous. My only point is that the latest science is clear: all addictions work the same way. No exceptions, and no difference based on the thing to which the addict is addicted.

      What’s so troubling is that the same person can’t stop their own addiction at point A or in circumstance B, but is wholly successful later, at point C (when they should theoretically be “more” addicted). And that’s with no intervention or treatment! That doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe Dr. Hatch can address.

      • August 31, 2012 at 1:33 am

        I am aware that a lot of people “mature out” of addictive behaviors at some point. I don’t know much about this but I have read that physicians see it a lot with chemical dependency. It’s hard to know about phenomena that don’t get studied. I did a sort of basic blog on my own web site about “hitting bottom.” http://www.sexaddictionscounseling.com/when-sex-addicts-hit-bottom-the-similarities-with-drug-and-alcohol-addiction/

      • August 31, 2012 at 11:25 am

        But so many addicts seem to get better without “hitting bottom.”

        I’m glad you agree that a lot of people can get better without treatment, psychotherapy, or 12-steps. I am sure that will give hope to many.

      • March 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

        There is speculation in the field that sex addiction may be more closely related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder than other addictions and research indicates that dopamine may not be the neurotransmitter involved as with alcoholism. Process addictions are not the same as other substance addictions and cannot be treated the same. Spouses of sex addicts may actually be harmed by traditional coadduction models of treatment. It is nice to quote websites but just because it is on the internet does not make it gospel and you are well armed but misinformed.

      • March 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        I think sex addicts get their chemical rush from the power and control they experience every time they get away with another lie to their unknowing adult attachment figure. Yes they are broken if they feel that much need to control and manipulate a devoted life partner who trusts them with her emotional and physical safety. They are getting high on secretly hurting someone who trusts them. The deepest, most personal form of sadism is their drug of choice.

      • May 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

        I completely agree with this. I do not see this as with alcoholism. The three people I know who are sex addicts; two men, one woman all received a rush and talked about their feelings of needing to control or punish others.

  • August 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This brings up the perennial interesting question: What is “hitting bottom?” As a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser for 27 years, as well as participating in Al-Anon for 12 years, I have seen an incredible variety of addiction experience. “Hitting bottom” doesn’t mean loss of family and home and living on the streets. “Hitting Bottom” means something different to each individual. I’ve never seen anyone recover who hasn’t hit their own personal bottom, whatever that is. For me, it was looking in the eyes of my 3 year old daughter one day and realizing I couldn’t do it anymore.

    That doesn’t mean recovery without hitting bottom doesn’t happen, it’s just been outside of my own experience with thousands of addicts over 27 years, and may depend on how we define our terms.

    Even with a bottom hit in one addiction, and perhaps success in recovery, another addiction can pop up – eating, sex, spending, gambling, prescription drugs, etc ….

  • September 6, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Sex addiction is incredibly damaging to the partner of the addict more so than any other addiction I can possibly imagine. The pain, shock and devastation not to mention the intense betrayal is all too much to take. It is more than enough to kill in my book. I have been unable to trust anyone as much as I want to. I would rather die than live this way. I will never trust again, I am constantly lonely and in agony every day, suicidal, the pain is unbearable, the betrayal unforgettable, the damage irreversible. I don’t even want to live in this f***ed up place. I just want to die. It’s been 2 years and all I do is stay away from people, I am alone and I want to die.

    • September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      HS2012 – Thank you for sharing your pain. I have a child who lived with a sex addict for years. Please seek help for yourself as soon as possible. Counseling of some kind seems like a necessity for you. Can you ask someone to help you find a support solution? You absolutely can get past this and feel empowered in your life again.

    • September 7, 2012 at 6:11 am

      HS2012 – I’ve been where you are, and things are slowly getting better for me; it’s been 3 1/2 years. Master Cylinder is right, you can get past this.
      Please look after yourself in whatever way you can. Everyone is different, but I found that music really helps to take me outside of myself for a while. It’s ok to feel bad, and to take time to grieve, but please know that one day you’ll just be enjoying yourself when suddenly you realise that you are happy, and have been smiling for hours. For now, just do whatever you need to do to get yourself safely through the day, and try to look after yourself physically.
      Thanks for sharing, sending you a big hug.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Yes, I know exactly what you mean, I have been there myself, married 30 years, diagnosed with cancer and found out my husband had a secret life. He is a master if illusion. I saw myself as humpy dumpty, I will never be the same person. I was easy to lie to, too trusting and naive. People lie, people cheat, I am awake now and although I still likely get duped because my heart is big, I imagine not as often. I am glad I am awake. Through reading, sharing, self examination humpy dumty’s pieces have started to come back together. I refused to accept the idea of codependency and found good information on relational PTSD, sounds like this is where you are.find help, it isn’t easy.most therapists stink at this. You are not alone, don’t give them the satisfaction of being their victim. You are more than that,

    • March 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      I suggest that we all watch as many Forensic Files shows as we can, pool our knowledge and establish a network for killing off each others’ reality-skewing emotional abusers. Then we nuke the porn capital, San Fernando Valley.

      • March 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        Crap. I already hear sirens. Sigh. Its a man’s world. I was kind and trusting and generous before I found out that the past 16 years were really nothing like my perception of them. Now I want to kill myself or him. Worthy of killing indeed. It’s like someone dropped LSD into your coffee everyday without your kniwledge or permission. Prisoners and lab animals have more protection from emotional abuse than the wives of SAs.

      • July 6, 2018 at 2:32 am

        My sentiments exactly. SAs cause their victims so much pain and are never accountable. We deserve justice.

  • October 13, 2012 at 4:02 am

    HS2012,I just wanted to respond to you, I have been with a sex addict for 3 years and I can related to how you feel….I survived the worst of it, shock, devastation….trauma….And you are right, it made me suicidal “feeling”..But I realized I just wanted to kill the situation..Not myself…I did develop PTSD and I understand every word you said..But I promise you it does get better…I went to Alanon, I got a counselor, I tried to realize the person I was with was sick ..I didn’t accept all the behavior…just rationalized that so I could see no HEALTHY person would be doing that..SOmething was WRONG with his brain…:) If you want to email me or anyone reading this does regarding trying to recover from this type of abuse, just email me @ elizabethm527@yahoo.com…..Please respect my email and realize it is to try and save the person above and anyone in similar situation if I can be of help. hugs all, peace, e.

  • November 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    1. Give up on changing the person with the addiction. They will choose to get help or not. You must look at what is being triggered in you so that you can shift this. For example, if you are feeling helpless or frightened, you have the opportunity to take care of yourself tenderly and practically.
    2. Do not blame yourself or the addicted person. You did not cause this problem and neither did she or he. The problem began in a confusing upbringing in which the person who is addicted was not taught to be present with the deepest feelings of existence. Most likely you are struggling with the same issue (fear of some aspects of existence on primary feeling levels) so your focus goes to the person with the addiction instead of yourself. You need your full focus for yourself.

    3. Set clear boundaries. You must determine the extent to which you can participate in your friend, colleague or family member’s life regardless of how much you love that person.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

      I strongly disagree with “don’t blame them” I understand why therapist’s say this but in this case they are to blame, they (the sex addict) made these choices to lie, to hide who they are and to make us their victims. There is a paradigm shift needed here, it would be more beneficial to blame them, work through that blame and accept that we are their victims and work on never being a victim again for these sociopathic people. It is like saying ” don’t blame the rapist, he didn’t mean it, he is just sick, so disrespectful and damaging. Too often in these cases therapist’s reinjure and do more damage than good. Step out if the box you learned in Schiller this is a different ball game.

    • May 20, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      That is a lie. Sex addicts do CHOOSE to be that way.

    • March 16, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      Everyone who has been the victim of the extremely destructive CHOICES of a sex addict needs to avoid “doctors” like this!!

  • February 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    HS2012, I totally identify. I spent years (and tens of thousands of dollars) in therapy trying to recover from the same kind of betrayal. Therapists either trivialized it or just said “get over it and move on” which really wasn’t helpful and didn’t seem very expert either. As near as I can tell, the damage can be permanent and you have to live with it.

  • April 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I am really grateful to find this kind of information and my heart goes out to all partners of sex addicts and the particular kind of pain that comes with it. It is such intense pain and betrayal and feels like rape on a soul level. I went to several al-anon meetings and felt envious that the others there were “only” dealing with alcohol or other substances. It has been 21/2 years since I learned the truth, and recovering has been slow and difficult, but I think I am making progress. I do recommend S-anon or COSA or similar groups to find that empathy that is lacking in the sex addict, because it helps to feel like somebody understands this private hell we’ve lived through. I still struggle with trying to understand how human beings can do such monstrous things to others unless they are truly monsters themselves. It can be very confusing.

    • May 21, 2016 at 6:24 am

      ……They think of nothing but their physical pleasure (dicks) and have no need of the relationship they sucker their victims into. They usually enter the marriage fully aware that they have disgusting sexual habits they must keep secret. It is immoral and sadistic to purposely betray someone from the very beginning of a relationship. The safety to risk loving someone for us normals is that we assume the growing relationship is being built on mutual respect and trust…….

  • April 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I, too, understand the devastation of finding out someone you thought was a basically good, honest person, is the most two faced, lying, back stabbing, abusive, hateful person I have ever been in a relationship with. After two and a half years I finally was able to get out of the relationship. Even with multiple therapists, women’s groups, self help, removal from the relationship, and I still feel sick and poisoned and horrified and suicidal and think all of humanity must be totally worthless. I have days when I have to go in the bathroom at work and silently scream from the pain. I don’t think I will ever trust again. See, these aren’t ‘bad boys’. We know what will happen if we marry ‘bad boys’. These are the most amazing frauds, so laid back and seemingly kind because they are so drugged up they don’t care. They’ll get back at us with some prostitute when our backs are turned. Everything about them is a huge lie, and somehow they convinced us they loved us. But we were just another piece of their addiction, and what we wanted, what mattered to us, was completely ignored. My best friend didn’t think he was in love with someone else and have an affair, no, he was never in love with me at all, and didn’t care how much he hurt me, ever. That is terrifying.

    • March 16, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      This comment is he best. So perfectly described. Absolutely.

    • March 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you. They are monsters. They are worse than anti-social abusers of strangers; they are sadists purposefully destroying the universal, most important human social need of their victim – the primary emotional attachment relationship. It entertains them to gain our full trust and then see how much they can get away with, how much pain they can cause. We are like ants they enjoy watching suffer as they fry us with the sun under their magnifying lenses.

  • June 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Look up lovefraud.com ya all! You were with a sociopath, NOT a sex addict. They look and act like us normal folk (cuz they study and copycat human behavior), but kept their mask on. Still, that mask slipped at times, if you are honest with yourself. There was something ‘off’ that was explained away? There was probably other fraud on financial/emotional/legal levels as well? Not just sex? Sociopaths have sex with men/women/prostitutes…. or worse…they are deviant and the pleasure centers of their brain go off when doing evil. Typically, the evil escalates. Therapists will explain this away stating “they don’t feel associations or connections to other people or their children” The real story and truth is actually much worse- they feel joy when doing harm. Not sure why courts, therapists, MDs, psychiatrists haven’t made this mainstream yet?? They are leaving many people wide open to harm and deception. You will recover slowly and feel better once you see story after story after story like yours in the blogs.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:43 am


    • March 18, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      “They feel joy while doing harm.” Exactly. And they have zeroed in on the most important aspect of life, the adult attachment relationship, so they can cause the deepest and most longlasting harm.
      I do respect them for having the intelligence to recognize where they can do the most hurt and then for picking their “marks” with such precision. Any fool can beat a helpless animal, but these men are evil geniuses. They are superb observers and imitators of real humans and they successfully accomplish their sadistic life goals by playing chess with real humans souls.
      Thanks for the link.

  • August 7, 2013 at 5:38 am


    Thanks for a great site.

    Is it possible that a sex addict is not aware that he (or she) is denying that they are a sex addict?

    My ex-boyfriend denied in many ways that he had this problem, but it was almost as if he believed in his lies himself. He came up wih so many odd excuses instead of seeing the obvious. But why? It’s hard to understand he wouldn’t admit and get some help.

  • August 7, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Ps. He also had adhd

  • August 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    While there are many similarities between sex addiction and other addictions, it is the partners of sex addicts that are most often the collateral damage in this addiction.

    True, it’s not easy being married to an alcoholic, but one doesn’t necessarily take the drinker’s actions so personally. Their overconsumption and subsequent poor choices won’t necessarily cause a partner to question their own worth or desirability.

    And this next point is critical: One can’t get a potentially life-threatening disease from a gambler, alcoholic or overspender! In sex addiction, often STD’s in the partner go undiagnosed (after all, most partners don’t KNOW about their significant other’s secret life) and can morph into very health-compromising conditions.

    Also, while in alcoholism, eventually the drinker may wake up “sick and tired of feeling sick and tired” one day and decide to get treatment, in sex addiction, the addict can much more easily deny the existence of his compulsivity since there’s no real hangover.

    And with porn addiction, there’s so much free porn online the addict doesn’t factor the cost as a consequence of his addiction, as with the other addictions. Also, many sex addicts don’t necessarily even feel the shame so often referred to as a de facto “side effect” in books on sex addiction. Most of them dismiss the wife or girlfriend’s pain by denying or blame-shifting, amongst other strategies, once they do get found out.

    The sex addict can (and so often does) demoralize his partner with his secret life so insidiously that she can fear she’s lost her mind. The cognitive dissonance between who he portrays himself to be, and who you learn he actually IS, isn’t for the weak of heart.
    Watch the old classic film with Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight, to see a brilliant and timeless example of this kind of behavior perpetrated against a spouse one purportedly loves, all for personal gain, which is what the sex addict does to keep his addiction alive.

    There IS hope for partners, though, whether you stay or leave the relationship.

    If you need more free information/help as a partner of a sex addict, go to:
    http://posarc.com/ (Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center.com)

  • July 17, 2014 at 11:02 am


  • September 19, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Listen i dont know what it w@s going on in my mind i was a teenager say 13 or 14 i have add/adhd i didnt know much about sex missed sex ed class and i started drinking when my parents was out at night and i was curious about sex i guess and also felt small so i well experimented in a way noone should have starting with inanimant objects yes i know gross but later as i became addicted i became antisocial careless never dated or had a girlfriend until 3 years out of high school and i literally dont want to go out in public you can see it in my face its sad but true sex should be taken seriously just one bad thing can change your life forever. I atempted suicide when i was young even 2 other kids told me i needed to kill myself listen you cant fix it. Not what i done sex should be between a a man and a woman not 2 men or 2 women or with a vacuum cleaner or sex toys. Or penis pump yes i use one to the extreme. Alwalys practice safe sex if you ever have wrong sex it can literally ruin your life and you’ll end up looking like some meth addict or anti social paranoid freak. Thats all i gotta say about that.


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