As with any other business, the adult industry is not without its problems. Beginnings are always tough for any new endeavor. If you plan on starting your own adult site, you may want to consider the following problems that new adult merchants encounter.

1.The ever-tightening law belt against adult-related content – Law enforcement agencies have knuckled down on protecting younger Internet users from exposure to content deemed immoral. Some laws have also been laid down for what’s good for consumption of the general public and what’s not. For instance, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 makes it illegal for adult site owners to post child pornography, at least in the United States. While the existing laws may not necessarily be able to cover your particular brand of adult content, it cannot be denied that it has had a certain ripple effect throughout the industry. One way to deal with this hindrance to success is simply to know what’s legal and what’s not. Do not risk limiting your goods and services to a genre that may be banned in countries that are major target markets.

2.Hosting limitations – Most web hosts have a contingency against adult-related sites, mostly because they don’t want adult material on their servers. Two other things that go against adult website operators in this context is their demand for high bandwidth and disk space to cover the site’s high traffic, high volume streaming and media-rich content. If you are looking for a host, make sure to get one that will be able to cover both requirements. While some mainstream hosts are willing to work with adult site owners, they may not understand the business as in depth as an industry-specific host could.

3.Difficulty in acquiring an adult merchant account – Perhaps the toughest problem to overcome, acquiring a merchant account can be a time-consuming and difficult process for the adult merchant. First among the things to contend with would be the killer rates. As adult businesses are considered high risk account, they are often subjected to sky-high fees. The best solution to this problem would be to find a payment processor catering specifically to the adult industry. One example would be AdultMerchantPay. This particular online payment processor offers low-cost accounts with no upfront fees. An adult merchant account service provider would also understand the need of the adult merchant for optimum security and should be able to provide this with an advance technology payment gateway.

4.Lack of compelling content available- Webmasters of adult sites are always looking for something fresh and something new. While many sites offer good content, what you should be looking for in a supplier is: 1) variety; 2) original content; and 3) the legal stuff. As previously mentioned, not all content is deemed legal. So aside from looking for the good stuff, make sure you are dealing with the legal ones as well.

5.Market satiated with free products and services – To say that the competition in the adult world is tight is an understatement. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of adult content websites out there. Why should the average consumer pay for your services and goods when a glut of free online adult entertainment content can easily be accessed online? The answer to this problem may be less complex than you think. Offer a service that is different from what everyone else out there has. Focusing on your own niche is the best way to get your audience to be loyal subscribers.

One thing to remember when starting an adult site: With the right mix of marketing savvy, great content and old-fashioned hard work, your adult website can, and most likely will, succeed. While other entertainment businesses may suffer from an economic roller coaster, the adult industry will feel nary a sting from the ups and downs of a country’s financial state. The reason is obvious, access to online adult content is easier to acquire than any other entertainment venue (say movies, plays or fine dining). Adult sites are only a click away and subscriptions to a site will last longer than what a consumer gets when paying for dinner and a movie.

Aside from having accessibility on its side, the probability of its success is also driven by the consistently high demand for adult-related material. Thousands of subscribers keep the industry afloat by continuing to pay big bucks on a recurring basis. So make sure you have original, eye-popping content that is within the legal boundaries of your target market. Get a host that can cater to your specific needs and an adult merchant account provider that will ensure you get paid for all your troubles.

 

We don’t have to talk a woman into having sex.

Women love sex! They actually WANT sex.

Only problem is they deal with cultural stuff surrounding sex. More than us. You know, being seen as a “slut.” For us, someone calls us that, it’s almost a compliment.

Why the double-standard?

Women are seen as the “guardians” of sex. I mean, if a woman doesn’t open the “door” to us and we force our way in… well, there are laws against that. Even though she’s got the SAME EXACT desires we have, if she opens the “door” too easily, she gets chastised, ostracized.

At least that’s the story. But to what extent is that story meant to “control” women?

A woman’s sexuality is like an ocean. It’s large, powerful, flowing, changing, receptive. Men take a dip inside and come out limp. Not to mention her sexuality can bring the strongest of us to our knees. Hello Samson. And then of course there are the husbands who’ve historically worried whether his children really are his.

So, to what extent is that word “slut” meant to control women’s sexuality? ‘Cause I don’t see why women can’t enjoy the same freedom to enjoy sex as we do.

Agree with me, disagree with me. I don’t care. My point is this.

One big reason women SEEM like they’re not into sex as much as us is because they have the social consequences to deal with. As well as pregnancy consequences. And even emotional consequences (sex is often an emotional experience for women). So, they hide their desires.

Doesn’t mean they don’t want it. ‘Cause they do. Oh, man do they. They just have more stuff to deal with around it than we do. They don’t want to be judged, so they hide it.

“No, no, no, no,” I hear someone saying. “I’ve been with my wife for twelve years and she won’t give me any. How do you explain that?”

Hey, if she has sex out of obligation… Or if sex isn’t fun or pleasurable… of course she won’t want it.

But if she ENJOYS the sex… why would anyone NOT want something that’s pleasurable?

Still don’t believe me?

Look at a book like Nancy Friday’s “Secret Garden.”

Nancy Friday is a journalist who had collected women’s most secret sexual thoughts and fantasies. That book’s a collection of women’s fantasies from the mouths of real women.

Read that and you soon see how CRAZY sexual women are.

Not only that, you see a theme. A lot of women’s fantasies have to do with being dominated, “ravaged,” and “taken.” You realize, women don’t just love sex, they love to get taken!

What does that mean?

#1. Don’t Be Judgmental.

Never EVER pass judgment on her sexuality. It’s GREAT that she’s sexual! Love it. Let her be free. Make her feel comfortable letting go and being so sexual with you.

The more comfortable she is letting go (because she knows you won’t judge her), the more comfortable she’ll be to unleash the sexual BEAST inside of her.

And really… Is there anything more beautiful than a woman in ecstasy?

I know. Of course there isn’t.

#2. Attitude – She Wants You

You already have what she wants. You have a cock. She wants that, man.

So, you never have to talk a woman into sex. You never have to kiss her ass. You never have to spend loads of money in order to “get” sex from her.

After you make her feel comfortable with sex, all you’ve gotta do is turn her on. Believe me, she’ll want it then.

Well how do you do that?

#3. Give Her Sex She ENJOYS

Turn on her mind. Her mind is her largest sex organ. Turn on her mind, and her body will follow.

That means physical sex techniques won’t turn her on alone. You’ve gotta also use psychological sex techniques. Those are even more important.

What are psychological sex techniques?

Turning on her mind. Meaning…

First, you’ve gotta shut off the “slut” threat inside her, and make her feel comfortable giving herself to you.

One prime way to make her feel comfortable: massages. Give her a massage.

Even better? A leg and foot massage.

Most guys, including myself, forget to massage a woman’s lower body. But relaxing her lower body goes a loooong way to relaxing her whole body.

Second, you’ve gotta make her feel beautiful and sexy and desirable. That means getting completely and totally turned on by her. In addition, she’s gotta feel liked not just for her looks, but for her as a HUMAN BEING.

Complicated? Check.

Third, you’ve gotta spend plenty of time with foreplay. Her second biggest sex organ is her skin all over. Her va-jay-jay comes in third place.

So, spend time exploring her skin all over before touching her sexual bits and pieces. This teases her, and turns her mind on even more.

Man, let me tell you. She’ll be wet and BEGGING you for sex. Ha!

#4. TAKE her.

But you don’t always have to make “sweet love” to her.

Of course women enjoy that. But once you’ve got the water boiling, women ALSO love getting raunchy, animalistic, naughty. They love dirty talk, being taboo, being dominated.

Women are horny, man, HORNY.

Well, how do you “take” her?

Talk dirty
Make noise (be expressive, not just silent)
Pull her hair
Pin her hands behind her head
Slap her butt
Feel her breasts
Pick her up
Bend her over
Throw her on the bed
Give it to her hard.

GET IN TOUCH WITH THE ANIMAL WITHIN. Dominate her. ENJOY her.

Now, ladies come first. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

But I even hesitate writing that. I mean, definitely let a girl come before you. And if you come before she does, make sure to take care of your girl. But great sex isn’t just about the orgasm. A TOY can make her come for God’s sakes.

Great sex is more about paying attention to her, connecting with her. It’s like the old saying: the journey’s more important than the destination.

Let me tell you a quick story about this.

I had sex with this BEAUTIFUL girl who eventually became my girlfriend. One night we were reminiscing about the first time we had sex. I’ll never forget what she said: “I don’t even remember whether I had an orgasm or not, but I just remember the sex being REALLY good.”

Why? I had paid attention to her.

Now, there were other times I had sex with her and tried too hard to give her orgasm. And you know what? She DID have an orgasm. But the sex wasn’t as good. Go figure.

So, orgasms are cool but even more important to having great sex: paying attention to the way her body responds moment-to-moment, rapport, making her feel beautiful and liked as a human being. AND also TAKING her, DESIRING her, ENJOYING her.

Then after it’s all done, making her feel beautiful.

Again?

Yes, again. “I can’t hold you close enough”… a satisfying ending will ensure she’ll be coming back to you for more.

My point it simple. She WANTS sex and she WANTS to be taken. So TAKE her!

Unleash her ocean of sexuality. And make her feel good about it along the way.

 

 

It is well known among people in the 12-step sex programs that of all the addictions, sex is the most difficult to master. Far from the notion that sex addiction is the “fun” one, the suffering of dealing with this affliction is enormous. The compulsion is so compelling that it is common for members of the sex recovering groups to be unable to maintain any continuous time of sexual sobriety, giving way to despair and hopelessness. Before treatment, sexual enactment is the addict’s only source of safety, pleasure, soothing and acceptance. It vitalizes and connects. It relieves loneliness, emptiness and depression. Sex addition has been called the athlete’s foot of the mind: it is an itch always waiting to be scratched. The scratching, however, causes wounds and never alleviates the itch.

Furthermore, the percentage of people who go to therapy or a 12-step program is quite small. The majority of sexual compulsives live in isolation filled with feelings of shame. Almost 100% of the people who come to me for an initial consultation, whether it be for compulsive use of prostitutes, phone sex, a fetish, cross dressing, or masochistic encounters with dominatrixes, relay that beneath the shame they feel in telling me their story, they also experience a sense of freedom that comes from finally being able to share with another human being the hidden, shameful, sexually compulsive acts that imprison them.

This is a condition that gradually bleeds away everything the person holds dear. The life of a sex addict gradually becomes very small. The freedom of self is impaired. Energies are consumed. The rapacious need for a particular kind of sexual experience drives the addict to spend untold hours in the world of his addiction. Inexorably, the compulsion begins to exact higher and higher costs. Whether it be on the internet indulging in sexual fantasies with fantasy people, being on the phone to the sex hot-lines, or frantically searching the net and the S&M clubs for someone who will act out a particular, ritualized fetish fantasy, or cruising the bars searching for the “one” who will have sex in a public toilet, or going to dungeons to be whipped, flogged and humiliated, sex addiction is a devastating illness that takes an enormous toll. Friends slip away. Hobbies and activities once enjoyed are dropped. Financial security crumbles as sums as high as $40,000 or $50,000 a year are spent on sex. Then there is perpetual fear of exposure. Relationships with partners are ruined, as the appeal of intimate sex with a partner pales in comparison to the intense “high” of indulging in the dark and devious world of sexual compulsion.

What is a sex addict? Sex addiction, of course, has nothing to do with sex. Any sexual act or apparent “perversion” has no meaning outside of its psychological, unconscious context. A simple definition of sex addiction is not dissimilar to definitions of other addictions. But a simple definition of this complex and intractable condition doesn’t suffice. What sets sex addiction apart from other addictions and makes it so persistent is that the subject of sex touches on our innermost unconscious wishes and fears, our sense of self, our very identity.

Current treatment might include participation in a 12-step program, going to an outpatient clinic, working with the Patrick Carnes material, aversion therapy, or the use of medications to stave off hypersexuality. Most therapy is cognitive-behavioral, designed to help the patient to control or repress the instinct for a period of time, usually out of a desire to comply with the group norms of their 12-step meeting or a need to please the therapist. While I recognize the efficacy the 12-step programs to provide structure and support, in my opinion, the reason that relapse is so prevalent is that these treatment modalities do not effect long-term structural personality change that eliminates the compulsion at its roots. Current treatment does not aim to transform psychic energies so that the reality sector of the mind dominates the personality so that the impulse to act out can be understood and controlled.

While the definition of sex addiction is the same as that of other addictions (recurrent failure to control the behavior and continuation of the behavior despite increasingly harmful consequences), sexual compulsion is set apart from other addictions in that sex involves our innermost unconscious wishes, fears and conflicts. Sex addiction is a symbolic enactment of deeply entrenched unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns with self and others. It involves a person’s derailed developmental process that occurred as a result of inadequate parenting. Hence, permanent growth and change are most likely to occur in the arena of contemporary psychoanalysis, which seeks understanding and repair of these unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns along with the development of a more unified and structured sense of self. This new personality restructuring can better self-regulate feeling states without the use of a destructive defense like sexualization and can find meaning, enjoyment, intimacy, meaningful goal setting and achievement from attainable and appropriate sources in life.

The remainder of this paper will give a brief overview of the historical psychoanalytic views about sexual deviance, and will then articulate the current analytic understanding about the dynamics and treatment of sexual compulsions.

Any discussion of historical psychoanalysis must, ipso facto, begin with Sigmund Freud. Freud formulated that sexual deviance occurs due to an incomplete resolution of the Oedipus complex, with its concomitant castration anxiety. Unconscious castration anxiety occurs in the person’s present-day consciousness in the form of fear of confrontation, retaliation, or rebuke, a sense of inadequacy, and perhaps doubts about gender identity. Sex addiction, according to Freud, is a defensive way to cope with a tenuous sense of masculinity combined with unrelenting anxiety about sex, women, intimacy, aggression, and competition. Analysts that followed Freud held varying views. Sexual compulsions derive from an insatiable need for approval, prestige, power, bolstering of self-esteem, love and security which are experienced as being necessary for survival. The addict experiences the absence of sexual acting out as a threat to his very existence.

Characteristic of any addict is a long history of a disturbed mother-child relationship. An unempathic, narcissistic, depressed or alcoholic mother has low tolerance for the child’s stress and frustrations. Nor is she able to supply the empathy, attention, nurturing and support that foster healthy development. The result in later life is separation anxiety, fear of abandonment and a sense of imminent self-fragmentation. This anxiety sends the sex addict running to his eroticized, fantasy cocoon where he experiences safety, security, a diminution of anxiety as well as the quelling of an unconscious wish to establish and maintain the missing, yet essential tie to mother. Typical of this person is the hope that he can find an idealized “other” who can embody, actualize and make concrete the longed for endlessly nurturing parent. This approach is doomed to failure. Inevitably, the other person’s needs start to impinge on the fantasy. The result is frustration, loneliness and disappointment.

On the other hand, a mother can be overly intrusive and attentive. She may be unconsciously seductive, perhaps using the child as a replacement for an emotionally unavailable spouse. The child perceives the mother’s inability to set appropriate boundaries as seductive and as a massive disillusionment. Later in life, the addict is hypersexual and has trouble setting boundaries. Real intimacy is experienced as an engulfing burden. The disillusionment of not experiencing appropriate parental boundaries is acted out later in life by the addict’s unconscious belief that the rules don’t apply to him with regards to sex, although he may be regulated and compliant in other parts of his life.

A major theme for all addictions is that they have experienced profound and chronic need deprivation throughout childhood. Addicts in general sustain emotional injury within the realm of the mother-infant interaction as well as with other relationships. Intense interpersonal anxiety is the result of this early-life emotional need deprivation. In later life, the person experiences anxiety in all intimate relationships. Because the sex addict has anxiety about being unable to get what he needs from real people and because his desperate search for the fulfillment of unmet childhood needs inevitably end in disillusionment, he inevitably returns to his reliance on sexual fantasies and enactments to alleviate anxiety about connection and intimacy and as a way to achieve a sense of self-affirmation.

Sex, for the addict, begins to be his primary value and a confirmation of his sense of self. Feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and worthlessness magically disappear while sexually preoccupied , through acting out or through spending untold hours on the internet. However, the use of sex to meet self-centered needs for approval or validation precludes using it to meet the intimacy needs of a cherished other. Characteristic of this kind of narcissism is the viewing of other human beings not as whole people who have their own feelings, wants and needs, but rather as deliverers of desperately needed satisfaction that shores up a fragile sense of self. This sets up a cycle wherein his narcissism prevents him from deriving satisfaction from mutual, reciprocal relationships in real-life. Sexualizing, once again, is returned to as a magical elixir wherein his needs are magically met without having to negotiate the very real vicissitudes of intimate relationships.

A client of mine, a 48-year-old attractive single man, is in the process of the breaking up of yet another relationship. After spending years of living a noxious childhood household, he went into his own world of fantasizing and masturbation as a way to soothe and protect himself.

“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with beautiful women in the magazines. When I was able to date, I went through one woman after another. In adulthood, I knew there was sadness and anger I didn’t want to face. To evade them, I had a steady stream of women who worshipped me, soothed me, paid attention to my needs. I went to peep shows and I visited prostitutes. Many a night I would spend hours in my car circling the block looking for just the right street-walker to give me oral sex in my car. One night I had sex with a transvestite. I cried all the way home.”

He met a girl whom he designated as “perfect – my redemption, my salvation.” He became engaged but soon lost interest in the sex, which he described as “boring”. While still engaged, he started picking up hookers for oral sex in the car and began compulsively using phone sex.

His current relationship is breaking up because he picked a woman for her youth and beauty (which reflected well on his narcissistic self). The rest of the story is predictable. They moved in together and the beautiful, young, sexy female started become real and having needs of her own. He admits he never felt warmth or love for her; she was merely a supplier of his narcissistic needs. As the relationship deteriorates, he fights the impulses to return to sex with strangers who don’t make demand on him.

Another client of mine, a 38-year-old married man, has a compulsion to visit prostitutes. Three years into the treatment, he was finally able to talk about his anger towards his mother for depriving him emotionally through neglect and for never touching or caressing him. He can now make a connection between visits to the prostitutes and his hostility against mother for depriving him of sensual pleasure. He got lost in the mire of his parents’ constant feuding.

“When I was very young I would put a blanket on my genitals as a kind of soothing which I wasn’t getting from my parents. The rest of my life was a struggle to find other ways to soothe myself. When I discovered prostitutes, I thought I was in heaven. I can get sex now and be in total control. I can have it immediately, any way I want it, whenever I want it. I don’t have to concern myself with the girl, as long as I pay her. I don’t have to concern myself with vulnerability and rejection. This is my controlled pleasure world. This is the ultimate antithesis of the deprivation of my childhood.”

The use of sexualization as a defense is a common theme that runs through the psychoanalytic literature. A defense is a mechanism the young child devises to psychologically survive a noxious family environment. While this way of protecting himself works well for a period of time, the continuous use of it as an adult is destructive to the person’s ongoing functioning and sense of well being.

By losing himself in sexual fantasies and constantly seeing others as potential sex partners, or by erotic internet enactments, the sex addict is able to significantly reduce and control a wide variety of threatening and uncomfortable emotional states. Most addicts control or bind potentially overwhelming anxiety via the addiction process. Diminution of depression, anxiety and rage are some of the pay-offs that operate to facilitate and maintain life in the erotic cocoon.

I quote another patient which illustrates a case of narcissistic personality together with the use of sexualization as a defense. He is a 52-year old attractive, successful single man.

“I went on a date the other night. She wanted sex. I didn’t. It’s predictable. I don’t think I can even maintain an erection anymore. While a spend untold hours compulsively websurfing to live in my erotic fantasies, when it becomes real, when you find someone who seems to be the embodiment of your sexual pre-occupation, interest soon wanes as her wants and needs come into the picture. Sometimes, I don’t even bother with the pursuit of real women, because I know the inevitable result is disillusionment. I’m simply not prepared to meet somebody else’s needs.

Oddly enough, my life is still dominated by sex. It becomes the lens through which I view everything. I go to a family gathering and get lost in sexual fantasies about my teenage nieces. I live in constant fear of being found out to be a “pervert”. I see a woman on the train dressed in a way that triggers me, and I’m ruined for the day. Regular sex just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It’s got to be bizarre or forbidden or “out of the box”. I arrive at work in an erotic haze. Women around me are all objects of sexual fantasy. I’m distracted; not focused. If something requires my attention, when real life intrudes and yanks me out of my sexual preoccupation, I get angry. Real life is so boring. Ordinary sex with a girlfriend holds no interest for me.”

This patient uses sexualization as a defense. He uses his sexual pre-occupation as a way to ward off chronic feelings of loneliness, inadequacy and emptiness born of a childhood trying to get nurturing from a withdrawn, depressed mother. When stress or anxiety begins to overwhelm the regulation of his emotions, he is beset by intense urges to indulge in his fantasies and enactments. Sexualization thus becomes his standard way of managing feelings that he perceives to be intolerable as well as a way of stabilizing a crumbling sense of self-worth.

It is my belief that sex addiction requires a contemporary psychoanalytic approach. Psychoanalysis changed drastically in the 1970’s with the work of a prominent psychoanalyst who jettisoned the Freudian approach and established a kind of treatment that is particularly useful in treating sex addiction. Contemporary analysts no longer conduct treatment three-times a week on the couch. They do not unearth hidden meanings, or remain silent, or put themselves on a “thrown” as being the “One Who Knows”. The process is a shared one and the relationship between patient and therapist is co-created and mutual.

Some contemporary psychoanalysts use the concept of a vertical split in treating the addict. The split exists from inadequate parenting which results in structural deficits in the personality. Patients often report that they feel fraudulent, living two separate lives with two different sets of values and goals. They feel they’re acting out a version of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde.”

One sector of the personality, the one anchored in reality, is the responsible husband and father. This part of the person is conscious, adaptive, anchored in reality, structured, and often successful in business. This is also the sector that experiences guilt and shame about his sexual behaviors and ultimately drives him to seek therapy to ameliorate his misery.

The “Mr. Hyde” side of the vertical split has a completely different set of values and seems to be impervious to his own moral injunctions. “Mr. Hyde” represents the unconscious, split-off part of the personality. It is impulse-ridden, lives in erotic fantasy, and is sexualized, unstructured and unregulated. This side of the vertical split seems to be incapable of thinking impulses through, and thus is oblivious to the consequences of his behavior. This is the part of the self that is hidden, dark, driven and enslaved.

A comprehensive discussion of the actual process of therapy is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, the therapist uses him/herself as an instrument in integrating the split which results in personality structure building. Treatment bridges the gap of the split. Its aim is the establishment of a relationship with the therapist that regulates emotional states, is used as a “laboratory” to bring to consciousness maladaptive relationship patterns, provides empathy and understanding and reconstructs the childhood origin of the addiction. The goal is an integrated self that is able to merely experience a sexual fantasy without being preoccupied with it and without acting out a damaging sexual scenario.

The patient achieves some ability to self-regulate moods, and to seek out adequate and sustaining available supportive relationships both in and out of treatment. He is then free to put sexuality in its proper place and free up energies to gain satisfaction from real relationships, pursue creative or intellectual goals, obtain pleasure from hobbies and activities, and have a heightened sense of self-esteem, thus enabling him to end his isolation. He is then free to love, to have deeply satisfying, self-affirming sex, work to his potential, and experience being a valued member of the human community.

 

 

1. Question: Am I a sex addict?

Answer: There are a number of red flags that can signal an addiction to sex. A person who uses sexual activity be it intercourse, viewing pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, prostitution or masturbation as a numbing agent, something to prevent them from feeling bad, may have a sex addiction. Other indicators the sexual behavior is causing the addict problems include their spouse becoming upset over their behavior or they’ve gone into debt over payment for phone sex lines or Internet pornography sites. Spending an excessive amount of time viewing pornography Over 10 hours a week is another red flag, since this sexual behavior is interfering with time spent with friends, family or at work.

Another key factor is the addict has tried to stop engaging in sexual behavior but failed. When all these things come together, it’s time to ask a professional about getting help.

2. Question: Can I be cured?

Answer: Many sex addicts have reported being able to bring their sexual behavior under control, through any one of a variety of treatment methods. Some attend intensive rehabilitation facilities; others go to therapy sessions, attend 12 step meetings or use medication and a host of other techniques to control their sexual behavior. This can include finding a trusted person to act as an “accountability partner.” Or for pornography addicts, it can mean the use of pornography blocking computer programs.

3. Question: Does being cured mean I give up sex?

Answer: No. Unlike chemical dependencies related to alcohol or drugs, sex is recognized as a healthy aspect of life. Treatment for sex addiction, while it does involve a period of abstinence, seeks to bring harmful and unwanted troublesome sexual activity under control to where it is no longer causing harm. It may lead to stopping viewing pornography, discontinuing solicitation of prostitutes and other “bottom line” behaviors or even illegal activities. The goal is stopping harmful behavior, but certainly not giving up sex.

4. Question: Is sex addiction even real, or just something people use to excuse their behavior?

Answer: Truth be told, there are some experts who don’t feel sex addiction is real and say it’s more a product of conflicting social norms and mores. Other say sex addiction exists but do not feel it meets the definition of an addiction in the same way addiction to alcohol or drugs does. For a sex addict seeking treatment, it may be a moot point. To get treatment, first one has to recognize they have a problem and stop trying to use their own willpower alone to control it. Many people have sought treatment for sex addiction and reported results. Much of the criticism about its validity has been aimed at celebrities embroiled in public sex scandals and is hardly analogous to the average person not living in the public eye. Sex addiction is real and one struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors certainly can attest to that fact.

5. Question: What caused this? How did I get to be this way?

Answer: There is no definitive cause for sex addiction, and for each person it will be different. Many sex addicts report being sexually abused at a young age and growing up with a distorted view of sex and what a healthy sex life should be. For others, it is simply the rush of chemicals in their brain after discovering a parent’s pornography stash or coming across it in some other fashion. Still others indicate the accessibility of Internet pornography had them fall into a cycle, while there are those who turned to using sex as a numbing agent during a difficult period in their lives and began relying on it as a coping mechanism. For some growing up with abuse, neglect, abandonment and enmeshment have cause the to seek out other ways to feel good about life and themselves.

While knowing the cause of sex addiction is important, those on the path to recovery should not seek to dwell on the unchangeable past; instead, they need to focus on their present actions.

6. Question: Does viewing pornography and sexual interaction over the Internet count as cheating on my spouse?

Answer: Not to be glib, but it can depend on the spouse. Certainly many women do feel that their spouses having cybersex or phone sex with another woman qualifies as infidelity. They may not react in the exact same way as if it had been physical sex with another woman, but the impact on a relationship can be dire. First, the wife will feel betrayed. She won’t trust her husband if he’s been hiding his behavior. She may can feel bad about herself, perhaps thinking some failing on her part led the husband to seek these sexual outlets.

Even pornography viewing can be a sore spot for women. Society places a lot of pressure on women to be physically attractive and sexually desirable and they may feel they are in competition with actresses in pornographic videos. This can affect their self-esteem, even if they do not confront their husband about the behavior.

7. Question: Can medication lower my sex drive so I don’t have this problem.

Answer: Yes and no. There are medications out there that can lower a person’s sex drive, and they are often used to treat sex addiction. However, they are limited in their power to erase the problem completely. Some form of therapy, be it a 12 step program or other process, is required.

8. Question: Will I ever be cured or is this a lifelong problem?

Answer: Many people report being able to bring their sexual behaviors under control, sometimes after a period of months or years, and are living lives relatively free of problems related to sex addiction. These people have addressed the factors in their life they had once sought to control by using sex; they have now embedded into their lives multiple tools to avoid falling back into destructive addiction cycles. For some, there is always the fear they will relapse, and some do struggle with sex addiction for long periods of time. There is no quick fix for the problem.

9. Question: I’m also addicted to alcohol. Is my sex addiction just a sign that I’m susceptible to addictive behaviors in general?

Answer: In some ways, yes. Many sex addicts report being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or behaviors such as gambling. They also claim family members with various addictions. It’s certainly been theorized that a person can have a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. As to treating multiple addictions, it should be noted that many sex addiction treatment programs are modeled after alcohol treatment techniques developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 step programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous model their programs after and borrow their literature from that organization.

10. Question: Am I really a sex addict or is my sex drive just naturally high?

Answer: The difference between a sex addict and a person who enjoys a lot of sex has to do with why the behavior is being sought and the inability to stop an unwanted behavior as well as the obsession and compulsion. A person with a high sex drive is aroused and in most cases can control acting on that arousal. A sex addict is engaging in sex as a coping mechanism, isolating themselves from others even if they have a real life partner for the sex, and engaging in the sex act compulsively. They may feel shame after they complete the act, or some general feelings of depression. Actual arousal is not the primary motivator.

 

The variety of sex toys is surprising. Sex toys vary from purely male or purely female sex toys to toys that can be used by both sexes. There are also some sex toys that can also be classified as sex aids or marital aids.

The Purpose Of Sex Toys

Some sex toys aid the man’s erection, stimulate the female genitals to become more sensitive or provide a different feel to ‘normal’ sex. Other sex toys provide an ‘environment’ for variations in sex, for example so called orgy bed sheets. Sometimes they are used to help a person who has difficulty with unaided sex to achieve sexual satisfaction. However most sex toys provide a new way to directly stimulate the male or female genitals to achieve sexual satisfaction.

Using sex toys can provide new experiences and variation in the sexual experience. It can also provide a fantasy element for enhancing or revitalising a relationship.

The usual expectation is that a sex toy provides direct stimulation of the genitals in foreplay and/or during sexual intercourse or as a means to obtain orgasm through only the stimulation provided by the sex toy.

Types of Sex Toys

Vibrating Sex Toys

Probably the most well known sex toys are ‘vibrators’ which, as the name suggests, provide stimulation of the genitals using vibration. They are mainly used to stimulate the clitoris, but may also be used to stimulate any other part of the female body or that of a man’s.

The simplest of these are pencil or wand shaped (though normally thicker than a pencil). They often have an internal battery (or two) which powers a small electric motor. Sometimes the battery pack and controller are external and connected to the vibrator by a wire. This motor is fitted with a small, out of balance, weight attached to the shaft. As this weight rotates it throws the motor and vibrator into a small circular movement which causes the vibration you feel.

With a vibrator that has a controller, as the power is increased the speed of the motor increases and with it both the rate and strength of vibration. Both the strength and rate of vibration effects how stimulating you find the sex toy. The best effect may not be as strong and as fast as possible. The optimum settings may well change as your degree of excitement builds. To get the best results it is worth buying a vibrator which is controllable.

Different vibrators will have different characteristics and you may well find you prefer one combination much more than another and your preference may even vary depending on which part of your body you are stimulating.

More recently electronic vibrator controllers have appeared which provide not only the static control of power/speed but also allow you to select patterns of power pulses and surges. These can be very effective.

There are also other vibrating sex toys such as butterfly stimulators and vibrating penis rings.

Other Powered Sex Toys

There are some sex toys that use other ways to provide mechanical stimulation. These usually depend on a motor that makes the sex toy continually change its shape which provides a sort of rotational movement or makes it move back and forth. The back and forth movements are sometimes powered by an air pump rather than a motor. The movements have been used to create, for example, mechanical licking tongues, vibrators that ‘penetrate’ the vagina and mouth simulators to give a man a ‘blow job’.

On a bigger scale and much more expensive, there are ‘sex machines’ that incorporate thrusting and vibrating dildos.

Combination Sex Toys

So far we have covered vibrating, moving and thrusting sex toys. As you may have guessed these are all offered in a bewildering array of combinations.

A common combination in many ‘Rabbit Style’ vibrators is clitoral stimulation using vibrations and vaginal stimulation using movement and sometimes a thrusting motion as well.

Many sex toys add varying textures to their surfaces; a dildo or vibrator may have ridges or soft spikes or a rippled shape.

Sensation Change Sex Toys

Some sex toys rather than provide vibrating or moving stimulation, change the feel of sex.

For instance there are a variety of sleeves to put over the penis to provide different sensations for both partners while engaged in penetrative sex.

There are rings that squeeze the base of the penis and/or tighten the scrotum that assist the man’s erection and also changes his sensations. There are penis extenders and thickeners which may give a man’s partner greater sensations during penetration.

There are a wide variety of lubricants that can significantly change the feel of sex.

There are PVC and Polyurethane bed sheets that are water and oil proof that can be used for slippery or messy sex.

Why Use A Sex Toy?

A good question is: why do people use a sex toy? Surely fingers, tongues, penises, clitorises and vaginas etc all provide great sexual stimulation and enjoyment.

Well, apart from therapeutic uses (eg erection assistance), sex toys can drive the imagination (being taken by a machine), provide variety (new ways to do old things), vary the stimulating effects in otherwise normal sex (penis sleeves) and some can provide experiences not possible with ‘normal body parts’ (particularly vibrating sex toys and electro-stimulation).

 

Sex is not a comfortable topic for many people, even though talk about it has become more open and relaxed. People may speak freely of their sexual experiences and particular taste, but what remains taboo are the sexual problems of individuals. Men find talking to their doctors about erectile dysfunction problematic, so it’s not surprising that confronting another person about their possible sex addiction would be even more challenging and awkward.

Many addicts choose to seek help from a licensed professional, an expert in the field. However, sex addiction is probably a subject most comfortably discussed among family, closes friends and spouses. For the moment let’s address the issue from the friend and family point of view.

Here are some signs a person you know might have a sex addiction:

1. Is their sexual behavior leading to problems?

Are pregnancy scares a common thing for them? Have they caught or transmitted an STD? Being careless about safe sex, having random sex, or having multiple partners are signs of sex addiction. These behaviors show the person has placed fulfillment of sexual needs above all other priorities. Are they putting themselves at risk for problems as a result of their sexual behavior? Sex in the workplace creates a risk of being fired, as does masturbation and viewing pornography while on the job. Even if this is done off site during a lunch hour, these activities show a lack of control and the inability to separate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

Some other problems not as tangible, and not as easy to see, are ones involving how much time an individual spends on sex. Oftentimes, the addict will cancel plans to go out or visit, preferring to stay in to watch porn, and/or masturbate. People with an addiction to porn will spend inordinate amounts of time watching videos and films, excluding family and friends. Have they given up hobbies they once enjoyed? Stopped going out on weekends? Maybe you used to talk to them often and they haven’t been as available recently?

What might be more visible are their romantic relationships. Do they bounce from one person to another in rapid succession? Are they having a series of “one-night stands? While there is no definitive amount of time one should devote to sex, or a way to measure how much sex is “normal,” if someone you know seems like he or she is only in a relationship for the sex, and have been frustrated in forming a real bond, that could be a sign of addiction.

Keep in mind one can be “addicted to love.” The act of seduction and the rush of brain chemicals produced when a relationship is in its early stages can form a sex addiction. While men and women can suffer this, female sex addicts are more likely to exhibit this behavior. It may not involve actual sex, but a person who is constantly starting new relationships (sometimes before the previous one ends) or flirts excessively may be showing signs of sex addiction.

2. Do they often talk about sex?

People tend to discuss subjects of interest to them, daily occurrences or events they have experienced. Is your friend bringing up pornography often in idle conversation? Such talk between friends is normal, but note how often the individual talks about it. Does it seem like that is the only thing he or she has to discuss? Are sex and pornography the only topics that seem to peak this person’s interest or gets the individual animated? It is possible that’s all he or she talks about because it’s all that person has to talk about. A porn addict can spend the bulk of his or her free time viewing pornography, leaving them with little else to speak of in conversation.

This can be tricky; each person is different, as is each friendship. A person addicted to sex may not talk about it, feeling shame and guilt, or they may bring it up at inappropriate times.

Note things other than speech, too. Having a poster of an attractive model in one’s room is common. Having one’s screen saver set to show hardcore pornography might be cause for concern. Do they have pornographic backgrounds on their mobile phones? Inappropriate ring tones? While these may be signs of mere tastelessness, they can also be signs of this addiction.

3. Have they brought up sex addiction in conversation?

Many sex addicts suffer from this addiction for a long time before suspecting they have it, and then a longer time before they stop denying it. If they’ve broached the subject of sex addiction, they may be testing the waters, so to speak, to see how you will react. Many sex addicts feel ashamed of themselves and keep their addiction a secret for fear they will lose friends. It’s not likely they will admit to having a sex addiction, but they may ask you your opinion on it, or talk more in depth about a high profile celebrity claiming to suffer from the issue. They may even mock the notion of sex addiction, feeling you suspect them of it and wanting to alleviate your suspicions.

How you feel about sex addiction is up to you, but most people taking this approach are scared and looking for support and your reaction could affect their choice in receiving professional help.

For spouses and romantic partners, you have a more intimate knowledge of the suspected sex addict than anyone else. Some things you should look for if you suspect your significant other may be suffering from this addiction are:

· Are they becoming more demanding about sex with you?

If is fairly normal for two people in a couple to have differing libidos. It’s also pretty common for sex to put a strain on a relationship. How your partner reacts to being told “no” and how insistent is he/she on the subject of sex is an example of where red flags may appear. An addict in need of a substance can become highly agitated when they don’t get it. Spousal rape is a real thing, and just because they didn’t coerce you into sex with force doesn’t mean there wasn’t a transgression. A sex addict can exploit the power dynamic in a relationship, threaten to do something negative, or withhold something from their spouse to get sex. If they’ve resorted to these harmful behaviors, oblivious to the emotional damage being caused, that’s a sign of addiction.

· Are they going somewhere else for sex?

Being unfaithful doesn’t necessarily mean your partner is a sex addict, but it is certainly one indication, especially if this isn’t the first time. While this may be a sign of a troubled marriage, if the bond between you is otherwise strong, the infidelity may be sue to the addiction. An addict craves the physical act of sex, or the intoxicating feeling of a new relationship, they are not necessarily in love with the other person or not in love with you. Often, addicts aren’t even interested in the act of sex, but in the repetitive behavior that leads up to the act, creating the dopamine levels the addict craves.

Remember, pornography and masturbation are sex acts. Is your spouse on the computer in the early morning hours before work? Do they hide large amounts of pornography on the computer? Are they less interested in sex with you? How you feel about some masturbation and pornography use is up to you. Some levels of self-gratification and porn are not detrimental, but if the use of these sex acts is at a point of contention, and your partner hasn’t given it up, that’s a sign they’re dealing with an unhealthy compulsion.

It is important to realize that only the addict himself/herself can really know the depths of their addiction and it is the individual that must realize he or she is suffering before treatment and recovery can be sought.

If you have ever considered music lessons for adults, perhaps some of the following thoughts have come to mind: “My parents made me take piano lessons when I was a kid and I hated it and never practiced. Now I really regret that.” “I would love to have a grand piano in my house, but I don’t know how to play.” “When I was a child, I always wanted to play an instrument, but I never got to.” “I played the clarinet when I was in high school and I really loved it.” People reminisce about their past experiences with music and make comments like these. Music teachers hear them all the time… especially from those looking for music lessons for adults.

Music lessons for adults are easily available for almost any instrument, and that includes the voice. But there is not as much advertising and promoting of music lessons for adults as for children. This sometimes leads to a common perception by the public that music instruction is an activity for children only. This article will address some of the main reasons adults take lessons, how music lessons for adults benefit them, and ways to avoid some snags when you decide you want to begin taking lessons.

The first question an adult needs to ask before starting music lessons for adults is, “Why do I want to do this?” Both teacher and student must have a clear picture of what all the goals are. Just as important is the choice of instrument. How about that old saxophone stored away somewhere in the house? What about the piano you inherited from your grandmother? Or is it your desire to go out and buy a violin because you really want to play that violin? No matter what you choose, there is an adventure just ahead of you. Each instrument is distinct and individual in its own way, but there is a common set of rules for all written music, and that allows for producing and good performance, which is, after all, the goal of performing art.

The “motherboard” of all musical instruments is the piano. All other instruments extend from the piano, and the playing or singing of music is fun and engaging no matter which instrument you choose. But to produce a good sound and to be accurate and artistic in your performance, even if “performing” is just playing for yourself, it is necessary to understand the fundamental principles of playing and/or singing. It is very stimulating to be able to just entertain yourself, or to play on stage in front of an audience.

Once you decide you want to begin lessons the next step is to locate a teacher who is in tune with your interests and schedule. You need to make your needs known to the instructor. Is pop and jazz for your own pleasure what you want to play? Do you want to form a woodwind quintet for classical music of the masters? You need to make it known. It will be a total frustration for both student and teacher to slave over a Mozart sonata for several months, when what you really wanted to learn was how to play cocktail piano for a friend’s party. Those who take music lessons for adults tell of the enjoyment and fun gained from flexibility in attempting a wide assortment of music styles. No matter what style of music you want to play, nothing takes the place of learning the basics, learning the vocabulary, and grasping the fundamentals, but these are merely tools to be used to reach the desired results. The adult student who begins lessons needs to remember that communication is the key. The adult student is the customer and that student will experience a real feeling of accomplishment when they possess a real desire to learn. A clear understanding between teacher and student of what the ultimate goal is will produce the most fulfillment. The ideal music instructor will cultivate this process and structure the material in such a way as to make it user-friendly and fun!

After you’ve found a teacher that meets your expectations, you will have to make a determination of how much time you can devote to this exciting project. Keep in mind that music is a journey, not a destination. Even the most accomplished professionals never stop being coached and seeking input from their peers. Enter your lessons with the expectation of spending at least a few years mastering the basics.

There is never a time when even the most accomplished professionals ever stop being coached and getting input from their peers. Music lessons for adults should be entered into with the understanding that you will spend at least a few years mastering the basics. Even more importantly, music lessons are most successful when there is time to practice. Thirty minutes per week is most often the actual lesson time. It is during this lesson time that the teacher will check hand position and breathing techniques, answer questions that may have come up during the prior week, demonstrate how to overcome trouble spots, and prepare the student for what is coming up the next week. The adult student must be willing to commit to a few minutes of practice for drills and repetition of material. Success will be linked directly to the amount of time dedicated to practice, but for the recreational musician, an acceptable result can be achieved through one half-hour of concentrated practice most days per week.

There are well-documented therapeutic advantages of playing a musical instrument. Pianos are located in nursing homes all over the country. Age curtails many activities due to physical constraints, but playing an instrument or singing can be safe and enjoyable at any age. Senior adults are often retirees with time to practice, so they can usually make remarkable progress. Playing music can be a good source of stress relief for the active working adult. A good teacher will be able to monitor the correct difficulty level of music in order to make music enjoyable and a source of pleasure for the adult student, and not another chore added to a schedule that may already be burdened.

Playing music encompasses the body and the mind, with both brain and hands becoming precisely connected. Each finger has to be a certain place at a certain time, and each note sung is a very exact number of vibrations per second. The science of this is precise and fascinating. True euphoria can be produced by successfully making it through a challenging passage.

Music lessons for adults are also advantageous in a social sense. Belonging to a community orchestra or chorus, joining a band, entertaining at parties, being a musically-educated member of a church choir-these activities are all much more pleasurable when you have the proper training.

Look at bulletin boards in music stores and local computer lists. They all show people looking for singers, keyboardists, and all kinds of other musicians. Music is a performing art, but playing at home or alone, with no one listening can be an entirely relaxing and enjoyable time. But, music is unique in that it takes three entities for completion. A composer must create the music, a performer must perform the piece, and an audience is needed to hear and enjoy it. It is these three elements-composer, performer, and audience-that make a live performance a distinctively engaging experience between the performer and the audience, even if your audience is just the family relaxing with you at home! Keep in mind, though, a good music studio will always offer recitals to its students to allow them to perform in front of an audience, should they desire to do that.

Dr. Diana Chapman Walsh, former President of Massachusetts’ Wellesley College gave a most inspiring and memorable speech when she was addressing prospective students. Incoming freshmen at Wellesley were encouraged to delay declaring a major. The philosophy there was to keep all avenues of self-development open. Dr. Walsh advocated taking classes in which you had no experience, and classes that you considered uninteresting, because you might discover an aptitude you never knew you had. I like to compare adults taking music lessons to Dr. Seuss’s character, Sam, who finds that after resisting them, “he LIKES green eggs and ham!” This is great advice for people of any age! The point gets across in yet a different way in Columbia Picture’s 1991 movie, City Slickers. Curley, a character played by Jack Palance, is a wise and weathered old cowboy, and his companion is Mitch (played by Billy Crystal). Mitch asks Curley what the meaning of life is, and Curley answers that it is “just one thing,” When Mitch asks what the one thing is, Curley replies that it’s different for everybody, and everybody has to find it for themselves. No matter what your age, it is never too late to see if music might be your “one thing.”

One of the many beautiful aspects of music is that it crosses all cultural, ethnic, political, and religious boundaries, and it is a constant. In an ever-changing world of electronic and digital technology, the specifics of how to play music remains unchanged, as anyone will find who took lessons as a child and starts again years later. (Middle C will never betray you–it’s always right where it was the day before, just waiting to be played!)

Students taking music lessons for adults come from all walks of life. A cross-section of my studio’s adult students includes a medical student seeking recreation and release from studying, a retiree working on a piano sonata, a housewife who received a grand piano for her anniversary present, an attorney who wants to be able to help his son with his piano lessons, a wife and mother of three who just turned forty and is taking voice and yoga for self-fulfillment, and an attorney with a long-held desire to learn piano but never played. There is another gentleman from the medical industry who has a complete sound studio in his house, and he wants to concentrate on theory in order to compose and record original music.

Once when housing two gentlemen from the Ukraine overnight, I had one of the best musical experiences ever. They were traveling with an orchestra and chorus across the US, staying in individual homes. They did not know a word of English, and I knew no Russian. It looked like it could be a long night, until they pulled out their violins. I pulled out a flute, and the three of us played Bach trios all evening long. Communicating in words became unnecessary. We all understood the language of music, and that can be a very rewarding experience for anyone. As an adult coping with today’s world of techno-gadgets, Twittering, time crunches and traffic, learning music through music lessons for adults can be a great outlet. Who knows, you might just discover your “one thing.”

Very few things that happen during sex are a disaster unless you choose to see them that way. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

The Journal of Marital and Sexual Therapy recently reported that 1 in 4 of us are unhappy with our sex lives. Problems with sex arise out of a combination of factors: for example lack of confidence, communication difficulties, inexperience and lack of skill, unrealistic expectations, refusal to take responsibility for our own sexual pleasure and

What many people are not aware of is that there are a vast amount of beliefs and opinions about sex that we all have and take with us into every sexual encounter. For the most part, we are not aware of out particular biases and expectations yet these unexamined yet rigid convictions have the potential to ruin any sexual experience.

1. SEXUAL FANTASY IS A BARRIER TO INTIMACY

Many people prevent themselves from having the best sexual experiences that they could have because they believe that fantasy should be restricted to masturbation and should not be an aspect of partner sex. This could not be further from the truth. Choosing whether and when to share a private desire with your partner can be exhilarating. Yet sharing is not the point of fantasy. Fantasy is all about learning what turns you on and exploring your potential to express your sexuality. It is not unusual for women to have trouble reaching orgasm with a partner because of insufficient mental arousal. She probably knows how to orgasm through masturbation but feels too guilty to enter the realm of fantasy when with her partner. The ability to be intimate is enhanced by self-knowledge and confidence and the uninhibited expression and communication of fantasy can bring people closer together.

2. PENETRATION IS THE GOAL OF SEX

Concentrating on the destination rather than the journey is responsible for the burden placed upon men to ‘perform’ on demand but is only a part of a vastly wider area of sexual possibilities. Penetration is often made the center of sex, yet oral and manual sexual activity is likely to be at least as – and frequently more – satisfying for a woman. When penetration is seen as the ‘goal’ of sex, then foreplay becomes something that leads to proper sex, rather than being a pleasure in and of itself. When sex is reduced to being a rush towards the man’s ejaculation through penetration, then it is no wonder that so many people find sex to be disinteresting and boring. It is more that the definitions of sex in our culture are shallow and trivialize the majesty and mystery that sex can be.

3 MORE SEX MEANS BETTER SEX

Quality versus quantity of sex is likely to be different at varying times. It is unrealistic to expect that sex is always going to be mind-blowing and require a heavy investment of time and effort. Variety is the key. Getting stuck in a predictable routine that both partners play out means that sometimes both quantity and quality suffer. We are surrounded by misinformation about sex. Surveys that tell us how often everybody is having sex (or more realistically, how often people say they are having sex) become methods of establishing a spurious norm of sexual activity that you may try to replicate.

Quality can suffer if you are too intent upon upping the quantity of your sexual experiences. Many people feel under pressure to have a lot of sex but this does not mean that they are going to be a better lover or have better sex. It merely means that they have more sex. Compulsive sexual behaviour can be detrimental to your sense of who you are, what you have to offer, your work, relationships. It can mask low quality sex. Comparing yourself with your perceptions of other people’s sex lives is always a destructive mode to get into. The only thing that needs matter to you is your own sexual happiness.

4 I AM JUST NOT A VERY SEXUAL PERSON

Loss of sexual desire is a common concern for many people and it is an issue that has no single cause. When you have persistent thoughts about feeling unworthy, unloved, unwanted and of not deserving of great sex, not attractive enough, you may manage to convince yourself that you just are not very sexual. Everybody has sexual energy and the capacity to express and enjoy a fulfilling sex life. What can happen is that your negative thoughts about yourself mean that you lose touch with the sexual part of yourself and start to feel disconnected from your sexuality. Identifying the internal self-talk that is damaging your sexual expression enables you to begin to re-connect with your sexuality and believe that you are no different to anyone else: you deserve and are entitled to sexual happiness. You will need to change the way you think about yourself or your label will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are looking for evidence to back up a belief, you can always find it. It doesn’t make it right or true. It just means you see what you want to see, whatever helps you feel comfortable – even this is only the comfort to be found in what is safe, unchallenging and familiar.

5 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE BETTER SEX.

Sex begins in the brain and sexual attraction and energy feed off of factors other than physical appearance. When you make love, you are so much more than your body. This belief feeds off the comparisons you make between yourself and other people. Beautiful people do not have more successful relationships, nor do they have better sex. Sexual fulfillment is about self-acceptance. The way you feel about your body is apparent to other people and can make sex a joy or a disaster. The danger with this belief is that you start to play the game of ‘If only’. If only I was thinner, more attractive, more sexually adventurous, then I can have the sex life that I want. When you make your dreams dependent upon some other change, then you reduce the chances that you will find the courage to make any changes at all. There is nothing to be gained by waiting. You need to start taking action to change now.

Your body image and the things you tell yourself about your sexual desirability are important factors that influence your sexual happiness. Whilst valuing your own desirability makes quality sex more achievable, loving your looks alone is no guarantee of a deeper and more solid sense of self-esteem. You can feel desirable but empty of desire. Self-acceptance and learning to love yourself extends beyond appreciating your attractiveness and incorporates an acknowledgment and respect of who you are, what you stand for and what you contribute to the world and other people.

6 THE CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST.

Many couples experience a decrease in their sexual satisfaction after they have had children. Believing that the child’s needs should always come first can mean that a total lack of privacy, time, energy and commitment makes sex a distant memory. Having children is a stressful time for every couple and the relationship dynamic will change. Balancing affection and attention between your children and your partner is a challenge that needs to be met head on.

Couples with young children need time alone to focus on each other’s needs and desires. They need to listen and respect each other and acknowledge their sexual situation, whatever it is. Being a mother or a father does not mean that you have to give up being yourself. It is important to set boundaries with your young children so that they know and accept that their parents expect privacy sometimes and are not always prepared to rush to fulfill their child’s needs on demand.

7. SEX IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Playing, being silly and laughing are all great ways to deepen intimacy and enhance sexual pleasure. Some people believe that sex must be, can only be, ‘romantic’ and so attach a great deal of earnestness to the experience. It is possible to learn the benefits of lightening up. When sex cannot incorporate elements of play, it is often an indication of an impoverished emotional connection. Usually, it is not difficult to bring the fun back into sex, even if it feels a little forced at first.

When sex is viewed as about achievement and competition, then lightness and frivolity are likely to be absent. Keep in mind that sex is about whatever works for you and keeping play and foolishness a part of sex can help to prevent sex becoming a stale and predictable.

8. SEX MUST BE A GENEROUS ACT; I WANT TO SATISFY HIS/HER SEXUAL NEEDS

Great sex is both generous and selfish. Most people do get turned on by their partner’s arousal and this is fantastic but if you put all your energy into finding out what she/he wants, what about you? Who is giving you what you need? Being prepared to get your own needs met is an indication that you are willing to take care of yourself, rather than relying upon other people to meet your unmet and perhaps unvoiced desires.

Sexual communication is all about clarity, saying what you think and feel. It is also about setting boundaries, discussing what you do not like and both parties must be able to say no and for this to be accepted. If you find yourself having sex because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, think about what you are doing. Honour yourself and what you want and share any feelings of ambivalence. This means that intimacy levels can remain high and misunderstandings are not given opportunity to distort your relationship with your partner.

9. PREMATURE EJACULATION IS A SIGN OF A POOR LOVER.

Being unable to control ejaculation is a worry for many men. Most practically, even if you have had an orgasm, don’t leave your partner high and dry. Often feelings of shame, failure and anticipating your partner’s disappointment mean that his orgasm means the end of sex. It comes back to widening your perception of what sex can be and not being enslaved to ideas about sexuality that are widely circulated in our culture.

In terms of his sexual pleasure, learning how to manage his anxiety about performance and being able to talk to a partner are the most effective ways of building sexual confidence. Some of the informal strategies that are popular in our culture do more harm than good. For example, trying to delay ejaculation by distracting yourself with non-sexual thoughts will do little to enhance your sexual pleasure.
This strategy is more likely to create a feeling of disassociation for him from his own body and the situation that he is in. It may help him to delay ejaculation (although this is debatable) but consciously focusing away from your physical pleasure is unlikely to facilitate peak sexual experiences. Being emotionally present during sex is crucial to sexual awareness and intimacy. It is a far more successful strategy for a man to learn about how to control his ejaculation than to continue to consciously create emotional distance from his partner and the sexual experience.

Tantric sex exploration is a great way to learn the capacity to control male ejaculation as it teaches techniques that enable him to distinguish between orgasm and ejaculation. Contrary to popular belief they are not the same thing!

10. AN ERECTION IS ONE AND THE SAME THING AS SEXUAL AROUSAL

This is a difficult idea for many people to get their heads around. Sexual arousal happens within a context that is emotional, physiological and visual. If you think about the nature of desire and attraction, recognise that it is not always a purely physical response; it involves idiosyncratic and sometimes unpredictable preferences. Sexual desire just does not exist without a sexual context. It is confirmed/reduced by the accompanying emotions and thoughts that you focus on at any time. Men have erections of varying hardness according to how they are thinking and feeling at the time. An erection does not necessarily mean that a man is fully, or even a little, aroused. He may become erect without feeling particularly sexy.

For men who are insecure about maintaining their erection, confusing erection with arousal means that they often rush into sex before they are completely ready. If you habitually move from low arousal into sex, desire may well start to decrease. Part of the reason for this is that many men feel that they may lose an erection if they don’t immediately act upon its presence. Having sex in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity is not going to give you the best sexual experiences that you are capable of having.

There are many things that men can do to learn to have more confidence and control over their erections and ejaculatory control instead of ignoring his insecurity and depriving himself of great sexual experiences. Whenever your decisions and actions are motivated by fear and uncertainty, you are selling yourself short in some way or another. Many men are not sure about where their pleasure comes from during sex and experience a lack of understanding about their own bodies that means that they are unaware that their whole body can become aroused. If you are committed to gaining ore control over your ejaculatory response, invest in some of the many interesting and informative guides that enable men to delay ejaculation and become more connected with their sexual potential.

There are many other myths that run people’s sex lives. Whenever you find yourself thinking ‘he / she / I should / must / ought . . . ‘, you are probably listening to the demands of a sex myth that is taking you away from what you want and think and encouraging you to follow what other people want and feel. When are you going to listen to and follow you own rules?

Recognise that the thoughts that you have affect the sex life that you create. Know that you can choose to change the way you think and learn self-acceptance, respect for your sexual self and experience ease, excitement and power in the ways you choose to express yourself sexually.

 

What is sex therapy? It is a form of psychotherapy. In therapy, people can work with a therapist either on their own or with their spouse or partner. The issues can range from childhood trauma, abuse, neglect or intimacy to sexual concerns such as feelings or function. It is a helpful way for adults, regardless of sexual orientation, age or gender to work through their problems. In particular, sex therapy is an important part of the recovery process for many people who have struggled with sex addiction.

In general, sex therapy is conducted by licensed professionals including psychologists, physicians and therapists. CSAT’s, certified sex addiction therapists are best suited to handle the problems of sexually addicted individuals. Other professionals have a specialized expertise in the field of sexual/relationship therapy. A reputable sex therapist will have a graduate degree and credentials through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

People who are struggling with sex addiction will not always be at a point where they are ready for sex therapy. In most cases, sex therapy is meant to be a short-term treatment option. However, the treatment plan for sex therapy is based on the individual. Once a sex addict is ready for sex therapy as an individual or with his or her partner or spouse, he or she may work with the therapist to address specific treatment goals.

There is one big misconception that needs to be cleared up when it comes to sex therapy. At no time during any therapy session by certified sex therapists should there be sexual contact with the patients either in the office or off-site. If you or someone you know is going to a “therapist” who engages in contact with them, this behavior should raise a red flag. Sex therapy, like other forms of therapy involves verbal communication between the therapist and the patient.

So what exactly does sex therapy involve? Why should anyone, let alone sex addicts see a sex therapist? The answer is quite simple: Sex therapy is an effective way to help people resolve their concerns about sexual desire or arousal, sexual interests or orientation, compulsive sexual behavior, erectile dysfunction, ejaculating too quickly (premature ejaculation), trouble reaching orgasm, painful intercourse and intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition just to name a few. All of these concerns can be worked through with the guidance of a licensed therapist.

Let’s face it, discussing sex and intimacy issues can be a very sensitive subject. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that sex therapists are professionals. Your therapist will help you begin to feel comfortable discussing your concerns. A therapist’s office is a safe setting where you can feel comfortable expressing yourself without judgment or condemnation. It is a place where you and your partner or spouse can learn and grow together. For sex addicts, learning how to move beyond sexually compulsive behaviors and developing healthy sexual behaviors, relationships and intimacy is of utmost importance.

It is natural to feel reluctant to take the first step and commit yourself to sex therapy. You might feel you need to somehow prepare for it. In reality, all you need to do is search for a certified therapist whom you and your spouse or partner (if you are attending as a couple) feel comfortable with and trust. A good place to start is by talking to your primary care doctor. He or she can give you a referral to either a therapist or to a sex therapy clinic. Some health insurance programs or employee programs offer recommended listings for licensed professionals such as sex therapists. Another good option is to find certified members of the AASECT in your area. Finally, if you are enrolled in a sex addiction treatment program, they might recommend a number of ideal options for you.

There are many considerations you will want to keep in mind before you decide on a therapist. It is important to research the therapist’s credentials including education, training, accreditation and licensing. For sex addicts, you may also want to know the therapist’s level of experience in dealing with issues specific to sex addiction. Other considerations might include the office location and hours, session length, treatment length, frequency of sessions, cost, insurance coverage and payment options.

Communication is essential to successful results from sex therapy. You must ensure you and your spouse or partner are comfortable with the therapist you decide on. Take some time after your consultation to evaluate how you feel about the therapist and if you feel you can develop a strong line of communication with this individual. There is no shame in asking for a referral if it isn’t a good match.

Once you have selected a therapist who you feel comfortable with, you may still be a bit apprehensive. Understanding what to expect might help ease your concerns. Initially, you should expect to discuss your sexual concerns. As a sex addict, you will need to discuss the nature of your sexual addiction and the steps you have taken for recovery. Essentially, you need to give the therapist a broad overview of your situation. Ultimately, the therapist will use this information to help you build communication and improve your intimacy problems.

If you are attending sex therapy as a couple with your spouse or partner, you should expect to be asked to do a number of homework exercises. These may include reading about sexual techniques, slowing down and concentrating on your senses during sexual encounters and changing the way you relate to your spouse or partner during sex. As a sex addict, it may also include learning to develop healthy sexual behaviors with your spouse or partner.

The length of your therapy will vary based on your particular needs. It can be as short as a handful of sessions or last for several months. Your experiences outside of therapy will play a large role in determining the direction of your therapy sessions. It is also important to remember sex therapy should not include physical contact between you and the therapist. This is not an accepted part of mainstream sex therapy treatment.

Finally, you need to remember sex therapy will often be just small part of your treatment, especially when recovering from sex addiction. Other considerations such as stress, anxiety, depression and medical issues will also require treatment. Sex therapy will help you develop healthy sexual behaviors and restore your sexual relationship with your spouse or partner.