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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 190
I have been reading and listening to accounts of women sex addicts and their recovery processes. What has struck me is how similar their experiences are with my own and other female partners of male sex addicts. The biggest difference is that we (female partners) remained monogamous in our committed relationships. I believe we share the same vulnerabilities only that instead of acting out we did the opposite by switching off.

Most female sex addicts have been emotionally neglected or abused or sexually assaulted early in life. My experience of the recovery communities suggests to me that most female partners of male sex addicts experienced the same. Some female partners on the RN program have also disclosed a complicated sexual and relationship history including love addiction and past behaviours suggestive of sex addiction. In addition, many partners have addictions to food, alcohol, shopping and so on. Unlike male sex addicts, female sex addicts don’t go to brothels or massage parlours, or have paid-for sex. I’m sure there are exceptions but it’s not typical. Women addicts tend to have a far more complex pattern of acting out which is different for every woman.

So much of healing from sexual addiction looks like healing from being in a relationship with a recovering sex addict. We have to (re)discover and explore our own sexuality and sensuality. We have to (re)learn how to connect sexually with our partners. We have to address issues such as becoming confident with our sexuality and working out what healthy sexuality means for us, we have to deal with body image issues, we have to practice good self-care and develop relationship skills. Women addicts suffer from much the same emotional issues as women partners, which only makes me question the role of patriarchal cultural values for both groups of women. We both ingest the same toxic messages of how a “sexy” woman should look like and behave.

I’ve learned a lot about women and sex addiction by discovering Staci Sprout, a recovered sex addict, via some podcasts on sex addiction. There are a few other women working with female sex addicts too. I’ve been amazed to discover how much they have in common with female partners of male sex addicts and how different women addicts are from male addicts. Their stories don’t read like the typical male accounts of addiction. I think we, the female partners, could learn a lot from these women. They do actually address the issue of sexual healing, something that isn’t spoken about much in partner communities (although we do here). The same can be said for relationship recovery — I rarely see male addicts talking openly about what they are doing to heal their relationships, and some won’t even tell their partners about it even though they’ll go online and openly state that they have a problem — they think they can fix everything by going 90 days without sex, porn or masturbation, as if that cures everything. It seems that women addicts who have gone on to train as therapists are looking at their whole lives, not just quitting unhealthy sexual encounters or using porn.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 166
Thanks for this, Blue. I still drop in and read here at RN every now and then - I am still on my own healing journey; it takes a long time for some.... I will check out the resource you mention. I'm so glad RN still exists. Take care all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 190
I agree. This healing journey is long and complex for both partners in a relationship. Sex addiction is undoubtedly a gendered issue, particularly as porn, strip clubs and sex workers attract predominantly male customers and have traditionally catered for men. We are now hearing more and more that more women are using porn and “women can be sex addicts too” and so on, but the implication of those statements is that it’s the same for women addicts as it is for men I don’t think it is. I think that women addicts have far more complex issues with sex addiction in the broadest definition. It can manifest as cybersex addiction, love addiction, sex/love addiction, porn addiction, romance addiction, often with co existing addictions, very often eating disorders, compulsive spending, alcoholism or problem drinking. The emotional component seems to play a far greater role for women, whereas the sexual component of acting out is often bad sex that isn’t pleasurable at all. It’s going to be more of a problem in the future because girls are growing up with internet pornography and are absorbing its negative messages about women, and also the normalisation of violence in sex — activities which have only recently become a thing, in tandem with the proliferation of internet porn. I’m now beginning to see the parallels between women addicts and women partners, and I’m quite astounded by how much of the female addicts’ experiences I identify with.


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