Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - Robyn Sal­is­bury is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. Email ques­tions to MrsSal­is­bury@sex­ther­

I think I must be a sex ad­dict. I think about sex all the time, I’m con­stantly tempted to have sex with oth­ers – the peo­ple I work with, my friends’ part­ners and even my next door neigh­bour. This has been hap­pen­ing for a while. Ac­tu­ally, to be hon­est, ever since I started hav­ing sex. An ex-friend spread the mes­sage about a year ago that I’m a slut, so I dropped her, but now I’ve started to won­der if she’s ac­tu­ally right. What do I do? I thought only men were sex ad­dicts. Is this cur­able? It’s good that you’ve sum­moned the courage now to have a look at your sex­ual be­hav­iour and recog­nise that it may not be serv­ing you well.

I don’t use the term sex ad­dic­tion, as it’s not help­ful or ac­cu­rate, but I un­der­stand it sure feels like that to you – as it does with ev­ery­one else of any gen­der with out-of-con­trol sex­ual be­hav­iour. Feel­ing an urge to en­gage in sex sev­eral times a day ev­ery day, ob­sess­ing about this, not feel­ing sat­is­fied from any sex­ual en­counter so in­stantly crav­ing for more are some of the ex­pe­ri­ences that lead peo­ple to self-di­ag­nose sex­ual ad­dic­tion.

Set­tling the ur­gency of your sex­ual drive and feel­ing able to break the com­pul­sive cy­cle will re­quire you un­der­stand­ing how sex has been serv­ing you. What was go­ing on in your life around the time you first had sex, what needs were you seek­ing through sex and how was that first ex­pe­ri­ence? Deep down in­side you, what are you still hop­ing to gain from sex? Feel­ing good enough? Loved? Pow­er­ful? Get­ting some anx­i­ety re­lief? Once you un­der­stand the driv­ers, you can find more ef­fec­tive ways to get your needs met – sex hasn’t done that for you or you’d be hav­ing times of feel­ing calm and sat­is­fied.

Do you have ways apart from sex to con­nect closely with im­por­tant oth­ers? Can you trust? Can you make your­self vul­ner­a­ble in shar­ing your feel­ings with some­one? Are you get­ting love and af­fec­tion from friends, part­ner/s or fam­ily? Learn­ing the skills to re­ceive love – and ar­rang­ing your life in ways that en­sure you do – is as fun­da­men­tal to well­be­ing as mak­ing sure you have food and shel­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.