Dexter & Sex and Pornography Addiction

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Dexter & Sex and Pornography Addiction

Are you a Dexter fan? If you are, I need not explain. If you’re not, it’s a Showtime (cable channel) series where the lead character leads a double life – blood-spatter expert with the police department by day and serial killer (for the “right” reasons”) by night.

In the past few episodes Dexter and his sister, Debra, who is a lieutenant in the police department have had some interesting conversations as she has discovered his alter ego.

So what does all this have to do with addiction? Go with me for a second…

Dexter is addicted to his alter-ego, nighttime behavior. At one point in the show he and Deb are talking and he simply says “I can’t stop” – the setup is as if he is addicted. As if he can’t imagine a week that goes by without ritualizing, planning, fantasizing, and actually doing his behavior. If you’re at all familiar with pornography or sexual addiction, you probably recognize or have lived this cycle – feeling irritable or uncomfortable, thinking about and fantasizing about your addiction, walking through rituals, and eventually relapsing into your addiction.

At the same time in the show, Dexter’s sister is telling him she doesn’t know what to do to stop him. She tries to make him live with her so she can watch his every move, but alas, he tricks her and relapses.

The clients I work with tell me eerily similar stories of a wife who puts blocks and controls on the computer, who wants him to report in where ever he goes, etc. It’s the same thing – and he eventually figures out a way around the computer block or uses a work computer, or a cell phone, etc.

You can’t control an addiction only by changing behavior – it just doesn’t work: in real life or on TV. Educating the people in your life and those who will support you is critical. But the hard work of overcoming the addiction, just like on TV, is up to the individual.

And, unlike Dexter, your life will be more interesting WITHOUT your sex or pornography addiction.

About the Author:

Dan Gabbert holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist (CSAT), a rigorous certification issued by The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).