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Discovering Your Sexual Rituals

November 30, 2009

Everyone in sexual addiction recovery has to be aware of rituals.  Rituals are

“Routines we have that prepare us for acting out sexually”

  • Going to a bar to pick up girls
  • Driving a certain way after work to pick up a porn movie
  • Masturbating before you go to bed
  • Chilling out in from of the computer before you go to bad sites
  • Positioning yourself a certain way to practice voyeurism
  • Carving out time to be alone so you can act out in private
  • Taking a long shower
  • Renting the sexually explicit movies when your spouse is gone

Rituals get us warmed up to act out.  They are yellow light behaviors.  They are actually the first stage of acting out. 

Rituals open the door to sexual acting out.  They put us in a downward funnel.  They prime the pump for further sexual behavior.



1.      Think about a time when you acted out recently. 
Masturbation, pre-marital sex, affair, voyeurism, objectification, fantasy

2.      What rituals led up to your acting out? 
It could be watching a TV show, looking at sites on the computer, a Sunday circular, a flirtatious conversation, lustful long looking at a person, time alone in your hotel room…

3.       Write each of them down and start working on roadblocks and boundaries.

4.      Create a strategy for each of your rituals.
Build several barriers around you and your rituals. Example:  For the firty person at work, you need to take a different path when you walk around, not talk to the person, be cold toward them, pray before you talk to them, etc. 

5.      Bring your rituals into the Light. 
This is the most important step.  Rituals must be shared with someone safe.  Bring them into the Light.  This takes the power out of them.  Rituals are secrets that grow in the dark.  Someone safe needs to hear it.  You need to hear yourself telling someone. 

6.       Time and distance.
Breaking from rituals take time.  Rituals are learned patterns that we build into our routines.  Our brains are trained to go down the path and to act out.  You have to recondition your brain to act in a healthy way, instead of in a ritualistic way. 

Remember, you will still act out if your determined.  The best strategy in the world is not going to stop the person who is bent on acting out. 

One more thing – Break it!  Don’t try to get as close to the ritual as possible.  Build big barriers around them.  Be as far away from your ritual as possible. 


Terms You Learn in Sexual Recovery  Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


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