Over several posts we’ll look at many of the different aspects of sexual addiction in order to better understand the grip sexual addiction and pornography addiction have on our loved ones and possibly on ourselves.
People with sexual addiction or pornography addiction are often told to “just stop” their behavior. What I hear in counseling sessions is that in the intensity of life, often the only time the addicted person feels “normal” is when they are “using”.
How does the desire to feel normal end in hours online viewing porn or regular sexual exploits? When a substance user takes their drug of choice, over time they develop a level of tolerance. As tolerance develops, they need more of the substance to feel the same “normal” they used to get with just a little substance.
I’ve heard from clients that it works the same with sexual addiction or pornography. More is often needed to feel normal. Time spent online searching for something new becomes part of the relief from daily life. Hours go by but the person has no concept of time. With some forms of sexual addiction the search for the next partner may take hours or days and can dominate the person’s thoughts – again, relieving them from their “normal” struggles.
When the person struggling with sexual addiction or pornography addiction finds other ways to “normalize” their emotions, when you learn new skills to manage the emotional struggles of daily life, the grip of their addiction begins to lessen.