Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: sex addiction | childhood | pornography | counseling

The Origins of Sexual Compulsions

By Tuesday, 22 December 2020 02:22 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A number of recent (and not-so-recent) studies have shown that people with out-of-control sexual behavior — often called “sex addiction” — are more likely to feel threatened by or anxious about close romantic relationships.

Sex addiction or compulsion is often associated with scandals surrounding celebrity entertainers and sportsmen, like David Duchovny, Kanye West, Amber Smith, or Tiger Woods. But it affects average men and women as well.

If this describes you, then you may take part in a whole range of out-of-control sexual behaviors (OOCSBs) such as impulsive or compulsive sexual thoughts, feelings, and actions, like frequently seeing prostitutes, spending a lot of time on pornography, or compulsively hanging out in sexual chat rooms.

Often, your experience is one of “losing time” to these sexual activities, while important activities remain undone. Much of your time may be spent obsessing about your next sexual exploit.

I wrote about the family of origin experiences of some of my OOCSB patients in my book SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It.  

Very few of my patients with compulsive sexual behavior came from secure, nurturing families. Many came from families who neglected them emotionally. Some came from families where there was emotional or physical violence, to them and/or other family members.

These clients’ associations to being in close relationships were that it would be better not to be close to and not to depend on their parents. (Often, they did not feel comfortable with gentle, loving touch, because traumatic memories were stored in their bodies.)

That is just what the research has found. The OOCSB groups in studies tends to report higher rates of insecure styles of attachment characterized by a perspective on relationships as threatening, and feelings of either anxiety towards or avoidance of closeness or intimacy.

In contrast, non-OOCSB groups in these studies reported higher rates of secure attachment styles, characterized by a sense of romantic relationships as safe, partners as being trustworthy, and a feeling that closeness and intimacy is desirable and rewarding.

If you are curious about these studies, Google phrases like “sexual compulsions” or “sexual addiction” or “Out of Control Sexual Behavior” and attachment style.

Another way of exploring what you learned about being close to others from your family of origin would be to read SexSmart.

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AlineZoldbrod
A number of recent (and not-so-recent) studies have shown that people with out-of-control sexual behavior — often called “sex addiction” — are more likely to feel threatened by or anxious about close romantic relationships.
sex addiction, childhood, pornography, counseling
384
2020-22-22
Tuesday, 22 December 2020 02:22 PM
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