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April 2, 2022

Dear Sex Addicts: It might not be Sex we’re Addicted To.

 

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I’ve always been fascinated by sex.

Before I even knew what sex was, I was craving it. I’d create fantasies in my head of falling in love with boys and wrapping up my body in theirs. I wanted to be touched so badly.

I was way too young when I first had sex. But I didn’t regret a second of it—and I still don’t. Neither of us had a clue what we were doing and it was pretty freakin’ weird but, afterward, I was beaming. I finally had a taste of what I thought I was after for so long and, damn, it was delicious.

But then, I wanted more. And more. And even more. But the craving was never fully satiated. It was always just a taste—a momentary taste of euphoric pleasure that eventually left me emptier.

Most of the people I had sex with growing up, I wasn’t in love with. Some, I didn’t even know their names. Some, I would knowingly let use me. And some, I didn’t even remember afterward. To be honest, I’m not proud of some of the choices I made, but I don’t blame myself.

I don’t blame myself for craving validation from men—that’s what I was taught to do.

I don’t blame myself for willingly giving away my body to men—that’s what I was taught to do.

I don’t blame myself for believing I wasn’t worthy of love without having to “prove it”—that’s what I was taught to do.

And I don’t blame myself for searching for love in men when there always seemed to be an empty space in my heart that needed that.

I used to believe that I was addicted to sex—like there wasn’t any deeper reason for why I’d voluntarily let people use me. I thought I liked it, even though, sometimes, I felt horrified after.

But, is it really sex we’re addicted to?

Sex is amazing and beautiful and pleasurable and addicting, yes. But for me, that’s never what I was after. What I was after was love. It’s always love.

But the problem was that I actively believed that love existed externally and, worse, in the gaze of a man. Male validation was my drug. It wasn’t sex.

I never believed that my desire for sex was a problem—I still don’t. The problem is that I failed to recognize that if I went out searching for love without the understanding that I am love, I would never truly receive it. And instead, I chose false love through meaningless sex.

I now see that sex was just a tool for a deeper craving I desired. And isn’t that what most addictions are really about? Often, it’s because we’re trying to escape or we’re searching for love or looking for freedom or hoping to feel alive. That’s what we’re addicted to.

But once we can finally put down the tools and actually sit in our pain, the message of what we really need becomes clear. If only it were that easy, right? (I realize nothing in life is that easy—especially overcoming an addiction.)

But if you’re reading this and you’re struggling with something (anything), maybe this is your calling to really start to question what you’re actually hoping to receive from the things you continuously return to (that never actually end up helping).

Once we can get to the root of why we behave the way we do, that’s when real change can happen. And that’s when we can really start to receive what we’re looking for.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll realize that we had it all along.

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