When someone is struggling with sex addiction or pornography addiction, they very often see only one need in their life – to have sex. This is a very difficult concept to unravel, but let’s try.
It’s not so much that the person has a need for sex and they want it. As human beings we all have a need for sex. But we also have needs for other things, too. We all have non-sexual physical needs (hugs, touching). We have needs for connection and intimacy – but not necessarily physical intimacy – such as emotional intimacy. We have needs for intellectual stimulation. And the list of our needs goes on.
But for many sex addicts, they don’t recognize these needs. They may not even be able to articulate these needs. Many sex addicts use sex or pornography as a way to get ALL their needs met. Being sexual with someone can be an attempt to fill needs of feeling wanted, needed, important. Sex can be a way to feel connected, get physical stimulation, be appreciated.
Unfortunately, when we try to get all our needs met through sex, we end up not really getting those needs met, even though it may seem like it in the moment. Sex meets our sexual physical needs, it meets some of our emotional needs, but leaves many of our other needs empty. And, especially if sex is with someone you just met or don’t know well, any additional needs that seem to being met are very short lived. (Think one-night-stand that seems fulfilling and amazing at the time, but in the morning the feelings of loneliness and guilt, remorse or shame are prominent. Other needs did not get met.)
This conversation will continue in my blog, but know that we have many needs and sex is only one of them. If you struggle with sex addiction, you may not be able to appreciate that other needs exist. If you cannot, know this – one of the big reasons you feel a need for more sex is that your other needs are not being met through sexual activities.