Many things can become addictive, including sex and love. Addiction is much more than a bad habit. When we are addicted, controlling what we’re doing can be an ongoing challenge. Addiction can:
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Growing up was hell for me. My Dad worked a lot so I didn’t see him that much, but when he got home the yelling would start. It happened around the same time every night, so as soon as I heard the front door, I’d hide in the wardrobe and cover my ears.
I was an angry teenager, drinking a lot and getting into fights wherever I could find one. It was around the same time that I found internet sex chat and got into porn. When I was stressed, it took my mind of things and helped me relax and all my mates were online doing the same thing. It was normal, right? But, unlike them, I was spending hours online every day - I was addicted, in denial and couldn’t stop. Every morning, I’d tell myself I was in control and wouldn’t go online but I always did.
Things changed when I met Lisa. She was twenty three when we hooked up, two years younger than me. She was beautiful, sexy, everything I dreamed about; to be honest I could hardly believe she was interested in me so I was pretty nervous around her. I fell for her really quickly and we were soon spending loads of time together. I was happy – well mostly!
I thought I’d give up the porn, why would I need it? But I couldn’t and the more I tried and failed, the more on edge I became. Our relationship was suffering and Lisa kept asking what was wrong so I’d make up some lame excuses. She seemed to buy them until one day I walked into the bedroom and found her on my laptop. My heart was racing and I thought I might throw up, but I just stood there like an idiot, head down, glued to the spot.
She pushed me as she ran out of the house and I didn’t even try to stop her. After a few days I started calling relentlessly, she just wouldn’t pick up. I left loads of messages and when she did eventually answer, she told me we were over. I was gutted and yeh you’ve guessed, I went online to try and forget about it all. But I was getting more anxious and even started feeling depressed so I searched online for help. It was a relief to find so many people in the same boat and it gave me the guts to go for help.
The past eight months have been rough at times but the therapy is working so I’ll definitely stick with it. I now understand that excessive use of porn numbs the senses and that’s why I couldn’t concentrate and wasn’t motivated. I also learned the cost of shame. My addiction made me feel ashamed and disgusted with myself, a real loser which was fuelling my anxiety. Lisa catching and leaving me was really painful but it was the motivation I needed to sort myself out.
I’m still in touch with Lisa, we speak on the phone and sometimes meet for a drink. I’m still hoping we’ll get back together, but she won’t commit to anything right now so it’s one day at a time.