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Rewriting the Core Beliefs of the Sex Addict – pt. 4

April 15, 2010

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction

Today finishes up our look at The Four Core Beliefs of the Sex Addict.  These core beliefs come from a book called Out of the Shadows by Dr. Patrick Carnes.  

Part1:  I am basically a bad, unworthy person.

Part 2:  No one would love me as I am.

Part 3:  My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on other people.

Part 4:  Sex is my greatest need. 

The addict believes that he can’t live without sex.  Sex becomes the main thing in his life and he is consumed with satisfying his sexual desires.  He has become a codependent to sex.  It starts to consume him. 

To the sex addict:

Sex = Love

Sex = Nurturing

Sex = Comfort

Sex = Escape

Sex = Fulfilment

Relationships Suffer or Get Sexualized
A sexual addict can become consumed with this core belief.  His fantasy life kicks into high gear.   Some relationships with others suffer and get cut out.  Others get sexualized.  It’s hard for an addict to develop friendships with the opposite sex that are healthy.  He has trouble serving others, and being selfless.  He’s not thinking out of love, but out of lust. 

New Risks Are Taken
The addict starts taking new risks to get his sexual fix.  He finds that the high that he used to get off of sexual activity isn’t as satisfying.  He starts doing something new, and finds a fresh exhilaration from it. 

·        He starts exploring new avenues of sexual pleasure

·        He starts crossing new boundaries

·        He starts being unsafe 

·        He starts doing illegal things 

The Addict Becomes Consumed With Sex
Sex becomes the highest thing and the only thing for the addict.  He gets tunnel vision and soon is only thinking about where to get his next fix.  Those who are farther along, shut everything else out and ever one out. 

Another Version of This Core Belief
This core belief finds its way into many of our marriages and relationships.  We genuinely believe that having sex and the orgasm are the main things, or at least the highest pleasure.  If we are having sex and having copious amounts of it, we believe our relationship is fine.  Our solution to a bad relationship might become:  “We need to have more sex  This is very “Hollywood”.  Very Soap Opera.     


Our sexuality is only a part of us.  We have spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and sexual components of our lives.  So much of us is not sexual, but we have made our sexuality the main thing and put it above all other parts of our lives. 

We cannot stop being sexual.  God has created us all with sexuality.  We are sexual beings.  But sexuality is not the same as sex.  In our sexuality we are attracted to others.  We are romantic.  We pursue and give of our selves.  If we’re married, we are able to connect in a very deep way with our spouse through intercourse. 

We don’t have to have sex to survive – You and I don’t have to have sex or have a release to survive.  Sex is not like food.  We will not die if we don’t get it.  We sure do feel like it at times.  But our body adjusts.  God wants us to function within a healthy sexuality.  Many counselors prescribe a period of abstinence for the recovering sex addict to break him from the belief that he HAS to have sex. 

Sex is not our real need – Our real need is intimacy.  Intimacy is not sex.  Sex is an intimate act, but intimacy is simply, “Knowing and being known by another.”  Our deep needs are to be connected, comforted, accepted, valued, loved. 

Sex is not the highest pleasure – This is a mind-boggling truth I’m picking up from those who are mature in their relationships and farther along in their recovery.  These couples are enjoying the sexual part of their relationship, they enjoy the deepest of connections with their spouse.  They experience “one flesh” in a very special way.  But their greatest fulfillment is coming from serving one another and meeting one another’s needs.  They are finding deep fulfillment from the relational and emotional connections with their spouse, not just the physical.  Amazing!  Chew on that for a while!

Our Brains Need a Reboot – There’s a lot going on in our brains when we are chasing sexual fulfillment.  Chemicals in our brain get charged when they see sensual and sexual things and when we have sex.  We have trained our brains to go to sexual things whenever we feel down or feel pain.  We need to retrain our brain to go in healthy directions instead. 

You’ll notice when you try to pull away from your addiction, that you go through withdrawals.  That’s the neurochemicals in your brain that are low and craving more.  Addiction.  You have to keep stepping in healthy directions to retrain your brain. 

The Goal is Healthy Sexuality – So the goal is not having sex or an orgasm.  The goal is to get to a healthy sexuality.  Break away from unhealthy outlets.  Take all the energy, passion and creativity you’ve been giving to your sexual addiction and funnel it in healthy directions.  Let God help with your masculine or feminine needs.  Let your spouse be the sole outlet for your sexual energies.  There is an incredible freedom on this side of things!

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  1. The Addiction Noose as a way of Looking at the Addictive Cycle

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