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Understanding the Difference Between Compulsive Sexual Behavior and Sexaholism

May 16, 2024
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I never knew there was a difference between someone who compulsively acts out sexually and a sexaholic. For a long time, I just lumped everyone I worked with together into one group: sex addicts. I mean, they were all having difficulty with their sexual behaviors, so what was the difference?

At one point in my own recovery, I had a sponsor take me through the AA Big Book. It explains how Dr. Silkworth said that there were people who were compulsive drinkers that could learn to moderate their drinking, and then there were those who couldn’t. Those who couldn’t were hopeless drunks, alcoholics, and nothing the current medical system had to offer them could help them. He said there needed to be a moral psychology for alcoholics. In other words, alcoholics needed a miracle to overcome their problem.

And that’s the difference between someone with a compulsive sexual problem and the sexaholic. The sexaholic needs an act of God to heal. People with sexual compulsions will most likely heal rapidly when life gets to a breaking point. However, the sexaholic won’t.

No one can decide for another if he’s a sexaholic; one has to decide for oneself. It’s a personal conclusion. It’s this conclusion that will ultimately lead a sexaholic to true recovery.

When the sexaholic realizes his sexaholism, he also realizes nothing will save him but a miracle. This miracle is a spiritual experience, and the spiritual experience must be strong enough and last long enough to create total submission to the recovery process. Otherwise, the sexaholic will be back to addiction.

You’ll know you’re a sexaholic when you seek help from someone who’s experienced your situation, and you’ll follow his advice to the tee, no questions asked. It’s at this point that the sexaholic’s Higher Power takes over and sobriety begins. It’s at this point when the sexaholic begins to heal.

Whether you’re a sexaholic or not, if you’re dealing with sexual problems, you can seek help. If you’re a sexaholic, I hope you realize nothing can heal you except a Higher Power of your understanding.