what if you have a *sexual* addiction?

Submitted by Errant Knight on
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The book is great but it doesn't directly address the problem of when a partner (in this case, me) has a sexual addiction?

I used to look at porn once or twice a week. I don't any more and it's been a struggle to stay abstinent, but I am committed to doing it.

So they say you have to "just quit" your addiction cold turkey to start the exchanges. I had decided to quit many many months ago, and have been trying to "stay sober". I don't go for porn any more but it seems sometimes, every few weeks, i seem to just go unconscious and end up having an orgasm. making it undeniable that this is in fact an addiction. not like i black out, but like i think "i can just raise my kundilini just a little, then calm back down" But the truth is i KNOW i don't yet have that level of control, it's just that my awareness that I don't just goes out the window, even tho I KNOW it 100% of the rest of the time... okay so anyway...

so it says to start the exchanges you agree that you haven't had an orgasm in 2 weeks or more. okay i checked that. but then a couple weeks in, BAM the addiction strikes and i have a slip. not a relapse, which is different. no porn, no fantasizing at all (which is very refreshing as it cuts out 90% of the guilt), just an orgasm that i can't quite claim is "accidental".

So in that case, do we STOP doing exchanges all together, and just do bonding behavior for 2 weeks, and then start the exchanges over from scratch?

OR, since, according to my partner, it seems i'm unable to "keep my agreement to not have orgasms", do we just say that it is impossible at this time to do the exchanges?

If you want more backstory on me than you probably really need, this is my recovery blog.

Hi Knight,

Welcome. I'm guessing that you're reading out of the Exchanges as they appear in Peace Between the Sheets. Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, which comes out in 8 days, contains a fairly modified version of the Exchanges.

When Marnia first published PBTS, I think not many people had tried the Exchanges. Since then, a lot more has been found out an experimented with, both in terms of understanding the science behind this stuff and learning from people's personal experience. One of the unexpected things that happened is that a lot of porn addicts discovered this site and have been blogging here about their recovery. A lot of this is summarized in the new book, so if you're curious you could buy a copy. Alternately, if you just want the updated version of the Exchanges, Marnia can probably email it to you.

You are certainly not the first person to report the kind of problem you're having. Unfortunately, I don't think there's an easy solution to it (if you find one, tell us!). Addictions are tough. I think the new version of the Exchanges is basically just bonding behaviors anyway, with some fun activities thrown in, and allowing for intercourse after a while. So I think the only thing you really have to decide is whether you need to keep some clothes on at any given time or avoid intercourse because you would overheat to much. That might be a matter of experimentation more than anything.

How are things going otherwise? Are you enjoying the Exchanges generally?

Let us know!

It could be good

to drop the Exchanges and create your own program, emphasizing bonding behaviors and de-emphasizing using each other to get to orgasm. If orgasm happens now and then, it happens. You tend to learn more from the slips anyway. Smile

In any case, don't beat up on yourself. It's a big adjustment you're attempting. Even if your sweetheart is disappointed, don't worry. Just focus on generous bonding behaviors. That should help some.

The icon to the left will take you to a list of bonding behaviors. Here's the link it goes to: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/exchange_of_the_day

Have you read Chapter 6 of the new book? I can't remember if I sent you the link: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/exchange_of_the_day Could give you some perspective.

Let us know how you get on.

hmm

kay i guess i wasn't completely clear.

1: we have your book on pre-order at amazon, we'll get one of the first copies, thanks!
2: the "go unconscious and end up having an orgasm" is not something that happens during the exchanges, it is a fall-back into masturbating, by myself. clearly and obviously a compulsive addictive behavior, not an "accidental" orgasm due to getting too hot during an exchange.
3: we absolutely never even get "warm" during exchanges, never mind "hot". we don't ever touch each other sexually, we don't ever kiss more than a quick chaste peck on the cheek or occasionally lips, and that is never during an exchange.

so it's not a matter of "de-emphasizing using each other", as that has been 100% surgically removed from our relationship. we always only ever have our clothes on. we're only in the "first stage" and she assures me she likely won't be ready to move to any other stage any time soon. we haven't had any sex in about a year and a half. in case that seems strange, we are recovering from an affair that I had which ended completely more than a year ago.

I just don't want to give up moving forward, but at the same time I absolutely don't want her to feel "pressured" into more than she's ready for. she seemed devastated by my "slip up". :(

I had time to read some of your blog

It looks like you're working really hard and doing all the right things. I think you should just be patient. Don't despair- eventually you will both be ready, and you will know when that happens.

As for her being a bit devastated by your slip up, I think that is a really, really good sign. It means she cares, and she is coming to expect something positive from you. That is 100 times more hopeful for the future of your relationship than if she had reacted with indifference, or, "It's OK, I expected as much." But I think if she had any clue about the difficulty of what you're dealing with, she'd be really impressed with your progress.

EDIT: I did think of one other thing you could try. That is joining an in-person recovery group. You could also try joining any other sort of group that would give your more opportunity to make friends and get emotional support. It might help you feel less alone in the whole process.

Anyone have a look at this book

yet? Looks like it is shaking on amazon today, must be a lot of people out there interested.

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