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How To Revive Your Sex Drive And Enjoy Sex Again

Chances are probably pretty good that when you got married, when you said “I Do,” you thought you would always “Do… it”.

While completely enveloped by the excitement of all the passionate, late nights during your honeymooning phase in the relationship, it’s a good bet you probably didn’t think much about the fact that your sex drive would decrease, in fact, you probably didn’t even know it was a possibility.

I mean, what with the great personality qualities you like, the wicked physical attraction to him; there’s no mistaking these are the reasons you decided to tie the knot in the first place. You had most likely heard of long marriages having their problems, like developing wandering eyes, the inability to find excitement in the bedroom, being easily irritated with your spouse, or even falling out of love; but you may have never thought you’d end up being in one of these marriages. This sort of thing was only supposed to happen to everyone else but you, right?

Unfortunately, life happens; the honeymoon period, which could last up to the first three years of your marriage, will ultimately fade, changing the way your relationship works, especially when it comes to sex.

Even though each relationship is unique, it is most likely that your relationship will follow the same path as most others have, go through the same stages. It seems that because there is a huge amount of attention given to sexuality, especially in intimate relationships, there is little room left to focus on the downfalls and issues that come up that many people are just unprepared to deal with and work through them. As we work to take care of ourselves, becoming exhausted by our jobs, or not being able to think of anything else as problems at work come up – even thinking of passionate sexual encounters just become more of a burden than something to delight at.

The fact of the matter is that there is much more you are responsible in your life other than making sure the two of you have an amazing relationship and sex life; finances, work, having children, dealing with the terrible twos, rebellious teenagers, taking care of your own parents. All of these things are part and parcel of living, having a family, and they all take away our focus and desire for sex. More often than not, even if you do continue having sex all along, it can become very monotonous; you go through the motions, and probably don’t even really remember it the next day because it’s exactly like the time before, and the time before that… Basically what this does is kill your once alive and kicking sex drive. It’s like figuring out which came first, the chicken or the egg; the less you have sex, the lower your sex drive, the lower your sex drive, the less you have sex. Therefore, it just becomes a vicious cycle; there’s seemingly no end, and you’re not quite sure how it began.

So how can we possibly bounce back from this? It’s very possible you will need to just grab the bull by the horns and put some urgent emergency action plans in place to revive a limp sex drive.

Just think about it, for those who currently have great sex, or have in the past, you know a lot of it has to do with your own mind, just thinking of some naughty things can get you going. If you want to start to get your sex drive on an incline, you’ve got to start thinking about sexual things. Even though I may not agree with fantasizing of other people, we should use what we’ve already experienced with our spouse; relive past encounters, invent new ones with some things you’d like to try that excite you. You cannot enjoy sex when you’re mind isn’t working, thinking about sex; the brain hasn’t been called the most important sexual organ without reason. So, we need to learn how to use it to get us back in the game. It can be as simple as just reading some great articles, watching illuminating videos, which can teach us and therefore allow us to know some areas where we need to just focus more energy. In the end, it is imperative that your mind shouldn’t be allowed to just sit there, never being used when it comes to your sexuality, and therefore eventually become empty of any thought of sex.

If you’re going to be a sexual person, you have to look like a sexual person. We are visual creatures, and dressing sexy is a great stimulant. When we look good, we feel good; and when we look good, we show that we are confident and feel good about ourselves. It’s just a snowball effect of feeling sexy and exuding sexiness. It’s so simple to just go out, pick up a new outfit, a new bottle of perfume, maybe a makeover, or new hairdo; this all just goes to show that we still care what we look like to our own self, and our spouse. Even though we all become very used to living with our partners, seeing each other every day, it is important to keep the surprise element in the relationship, even in the way we make ourselves look. This is also relevant for men; popping out to the gym a few times a week to get back the muscle that may have been lost over the years can be a great way to keep in shape and look and feel more attractive. If we allow ourselves to look like a wreck, we end up feeling like a wreck, and then more often than not, our sex life becomes a wreck.

The next thing you need to do is talk. We all know how powerful words can be, affecting us for the rest of our lives, in some cases. When you speak to your spouse in a flirty and sexy way, it can be an easy way for you to start reconnecting as a sexual couple. You can do this by initiating it yourself, deciding to talk together at the same time; more often than not, if you are telling each other all of the things you would like to do, and miss doing, this will be enough to get you both going. The words you speak can be like a romantic, sweet, poetic, and flowery love letter; or you can get naughty and use graphic words, like a passionate novel. You can write them, speak them; heck, why not both? Whatever you may choose to do, use this sexy language to help you increase both your sex drives in a boring marriage – all that you need to do is either open your mouth, or pick up that pen.

Don’t test the waters first, just jump in. Well, you haven’t had sex in a while, your interest is nigh nil, and you would really like to fix this and get that sexual spark back. Just have sex. “Just do it,” as Nike’s catch phrase tells us. There’s solid research that shows that the more we have sex, the more we want to have sex. Keeping up a healthy sex life allows the brain to release a hormone called oxytocin, which lends strength to our attachment, our bond to our spouse, leading to more desire for sex. Sex is also good when you’re in a bad mood, it changes the chemicals flowing through our bodies, so just allow it to happen. It’s also very important to keep in mind that keeping away from sex because you are waiting for only the most magical of moments to have it can be incredibly counter-productive. Just jump in, even if you don’t feel in the mood, you could be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel during and after.

Keep a lookout for good advice. If you are suffering from a low sex drive, and lack of sexual encounters in your relationship, it is possible that there are some serious issues that need to be dealt with that are affecting the lack of desire for sex. These issues should not be made out to be nothing, or ignored. When it comes to abuse, infidelity, or previous individual trauma, it would be a very good idea to seek help in resolving and healing. Finding a counselor, therapist, or even your pastor to help you heal old wounds can help you to open up to your sexuality again. If this is the case, then getting your sex life back on track may need you to be strong and finally deal with the issue, whether it is an issue the both of you share, or an individual issue. This will take time, but it is the foundation for a stronger sexual relationship in the future.

Sex Offenders Revealed

In this article, I refer to sex offenders in the masculine he, him, his. This is for two reasons; most sex offenders, by a very large margin, are male; and it makes the writing of the article easier. The reader needs to know that everything I am writing applies also to female sex offenders, who make up approximately two per cent of the sex offender population in America.

As I sit here watching a certain newsrag program on a certain cable news channel, I hear an obnoxious woman start quoting statistics about sex offenders that are appalling! It makes me think to myself, “If they are so dangerous, why do we let them back on the streets? Why don’t we just lock them up for life? If it is true that almost all sex offenders re-offend, we should never let them out of prison again.” And this line of thought led me to my favorite question: Why are we doing it?

When the woman on the news show started spouting her statistics, I wrote them down to verify them. Here were the claims that were made: 90% of sex offenders will re-offend. 90% of sex offenders will commit a new sex crime within 3 years. Sex offenders cannot be treated. All child molesters are pedophiles. The only treatment that works for sex offenders is execution.

I immediately suspected there was some sort of conspiracy here. I thought for sure that the government was hiding something from us and releasing sex offenders back into the population for some nefarious purpose. I was determined to get to the bottom of it and report this information to you, the public.

Surprisingly, I did find a conspiracy after all. But it isn’t the one you think. The conspirators turned out to be news media. Newspapers, cable networks, magazines and even public networks. It seems that it is more expedient to MAKE UP the news than report on the truth. The media is responsible in a very large part for the myths and misconceptions surrounding these individuals. By misreporting information over the years, the media has been able to instill enough fear into our society that the mere mention of the term sex offender on their network increases ratings. Increased ratings mean more advertising dollars. Since we are willing and actually desire to hate sex offenders, we are also responsible for perpetuating these myths.

Sex offenders are amongst the worst of the worst of our society. We love to hate them. I will not make any excuse for them such as “they are misunderstood individuals,” or they are a “product of their society.” They aren’t. They are perverts with mental deficiencies who have chosen to commit crimes of the most despicable nature. They are sick people who need treatment, but not in the way a cancer patient is sick. Rather, they are sick in the way a drug addict or alcoholic is sick.

The myths and misconceptions surrounding sex offenders usually result in a stereotype of a grizzled old man hiding behind a bush and drooling over children in a park and offering a pocketful of candy (as in, “I have some candy in my pocket little girl, just reach in and grab some.”) The truth is, this kind of offender is very rare; most child victims will be molested in their own home or in the home of a trusted friend or relative. Most rape victims will be assaulted by a spouse or trusted friend. But, by perpetuating the myths, the media and general public can make themselves feel better about demanding the worst types of vengeance. It is easier to punish the stranger than the person we know and love. In doing this, according to the Hindman Foundation, a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of sex abuse victims, “many problems emerge with the detection, prosecution and management of sex offenders.”

So, let’s discuss the FACTS about sex offenders.

According to the Bureau of Justice, “Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense: 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.” Remember, the loud-mouthed news reporter said it was 90%. Where did she get this fact? The truth is, she made it up. I found absolutely no corroborating evidence anywhere to support her claim. In fact, the most reputable agencies who track these statistics don’t even support the claim that “most” sex offenders will re-offend.

The Bureau of Justice further reports that, “Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape.” Additionally, when it comes to child victimizers, they report that “An estimated 3.3%… were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.”

I came across one website of a fear monger who claimed that 25% of sex offenders will commit another sex offense within 15 years. When I contacted the owner of that site requesting that he tell me how he came up with that information he sent me back a reply which basically said that he made the number up after he read some reports and didn’t like their results.

Remember, the Bureau of Justice numbers are based on actual arrests, convictions, releases, re-arrests and new convictions in all 50 States.

Another reputable agency, the Center for Sex Offender Management, reports a bit differently, though they do not disclose how they arrived at their numbers. According to them, “child molesters had a 13% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 37% reconviction rate for new, non-sex offenses over a five year period” and “rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 46% reconviction rate for new, non-sexual offenses over a five year period.”

Additionally they report, “Another study found reconviction rates for child molesters to be 20% and for rapists to be approximately 23% (Quinsey, Rice, and Harris, 1995).” It should be noted that these numbers are based on a considerably smaller control number than the BoJ. It doesn’t make their results any less valid, but it is important to put the information in perspective.

If the CSOM studies are based on a sampling of records, then they have to face the possibility that the records that were handed over to them were not random but rather, designed to meet some person?s political ambitions. Further, if they are based on local records, then those results are only good for a small area of the country. Since they did not disclose how they arrived at their results, we have no way of knowing how to understand their study. But it should be noted that they report on their website that sexually based offenses are typically underreported which could explain why their numbers are a bit higher than the BoJ’s. Also, the BoJ statistics are based on actual convictions and do not take into consideration charges dropped due to plea bargains and such. This may also contribute to the slightly higher numbers from CSOM.

Regardless of which numbers you believe, the fact still remains that sex offenders are vastly less likely to re-offend than any other criminal. Myth: the recidivism rate amongst sex offenders is 90%… BUSTED! (Myth: certain loud mouthed newsrag hosts make up statistics in order to increase ratings?CONFIRMED!)

Next we need to examine the claim that sex offenders cannot be successfully treated. I was recently watching an episode of Law and Order, Special Victim’s Unit where Ice T’s character stated that sex offenders could not be treated because they cannot learn to control their urges. (Please don’t hold it against Ice T. He is only an actor who was reciting lines that writers provided him. You can hold it against the writers for not verifying their facts.) Again, the statement made by that character and the statement made by Ms. Blonde Ambition are not supported by the facts. CSOM reports:

“Treatment programs can contribute to community safety because those who attend and cooperate with program conditions are less likely to re-offend than those who reject intervention.” Again, it is important to read what was really said here. I highlighted those words for a reason. The offender must be compliant with treatment conditions in order for the treatment to be effective. If the offender is non-cooperative, the risk of re-offense increases by as much as eight per cent as will be discussed below.

CSOM, when discussing treatment options for offenders, tells us that: “The majority of sex offender treatment programs in the United States and Canada now use a combination of cognitive-behavioral treatment and relapse prevention (designed to help sex offenders maintain behavioral changes by anticipating and coping with the problem of relapse). Offense specific treatment modalities generally involve group and/or individual therapy focused on victimization awareness and empathy training, cognitive restructuring, learning about the sexual abuse cycle, relapse prevention planning, anger management and assertiveness training, social and interpersonal skills development, and changing deviant sexual arousal patterns.”

A unique form of treatment that has yielded tremendous results over the past couple of decades is called ?restitution therapy? which requires the perpetrator to take responsibility for his actions and to, for lack of a better term, ?submit? to the victim. In doing this, the perpetrator relinquishes power and returns it to the victim. As will be discussed briefly later, this is very good for the victim?s treatment and recovery process.

They go on to say, “Different types of offenders typically respond to different treatment methods with varying rates of success. Treatment effectiveness is often related to multiple factors, including:

1- the type of sexual offender (e.g., incest offender or rapist);

2- the treatment model being used (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, relapse prevention, psycho-educational, psycho-dynamic, or pharmacological);

3- the treatment modalities being used; and

4- related interventions involved in probation and parole community supervision.

Several studies present optimistic conclusions about the effectiveness of treatment programs that are empirically based, offense-specific, and comprehensive (Lieb, Quinsey, and Berliner, 1998). The only meta-analysis of treatment outcome studies to date has found a small, yet significant treatment effect an 8% reduction in the recidivism rate for offenders who participated in treatment (Hall, 1995). Research also demonstrates that sex offenders who fail to complete treatment programs are at increased risk for both sexual and general recidivism (Hanson and Bussiere, 1998).”

In other words, sex offenders are less likely to re-offend than other criminals and if they are amenable to treatment they are even less likely than non-treated sex offenders to re-offend. Myth: Sex offender treatment does not work. The only treatment for sex offenders is execution: BUSTED! But in fairness, I must say it is busted with caveats.

Not all sex offenders are willing to undergo treatment. Reasons for this range from just plain denial that they have a problem to the fact that it is incredibly uncomfortable and difficult to discuss the root causes of the criminal behavior. Since it appears that over 98% of sex offenders are male, it makes sense that they would be unwilling to discuss these issues. In our culture and society, we tend to raise our boys in a manner that reinforces this behavior. With our understanding of human psychology increasing yearly, this cultural behavior is slowly changing.

We are finally beginning to understand that it is okay to let our boys cry and it is okay to discuss emotions and sex. This is a recent development and the more conservative elements in our society are still against such things. Sex is at the root of their anxieties. We have made sex such a taboo subject for so long, we can no longer bear to discuss this with our children. Ironically, these same people who will not discuss sex with their children are also at the forefront of the battle to keep sexual education out of our public schools. It seems that they just don’t want anyone to know about sex. It seems that conservative elements are trying to push their ideal that sex is somehow evil or solely for the purpose of reproduction and should not, under any circumstances, be enjoyed by those participating in such activity. And then we wonder why people are developing sexually deviant behavior.

Sex offenders have the ability to cross taboo boundaries that ordinary people seem to be unable to cross. It is the opinion of many sex offender treatment providers that the reason this is possible is because of the fact that we don’t discuss emotions, sexual respect and such with our young children. It seems that most sex offenders come from these kinds of conservative households. Again, from the category of irony, most sex offenders report that they were NOT molested as a child which is commonly thought by the general public. It also seems that most children who are sexually molested do not grow up to be sexual predators or sexual criminals as is also commonly thought by the general public.

So why are they able to cross those taboo boundaries that ordinary (notice that I do not use the word “normal”) people don’t? Theories abound about this. For some, it is to satisfy their need for power. Others get a thrill out of crossing those boundaries in the same way that a person gets a thrill from jumping out of an airplane. Still, others believe they have a religious right to engage in certain activities, such as incest. There are a host of other reasons, but I list these three as examples of the workings of the sex offender mind.

Sex offenders come in a variety of flavors. They are typically classified in the following categories: power rapists, indiscriminate child molesters, pedophiles, all others (this includes incest related crimes, prostitution, pimping, voyeurism/exhibitionism, etc.) It is interesting to note that the power rapists and the indiscriminate child molesters have the lowest recidivism rates (according to the BoJ website, it is 2.5% for rapists and 3.3% for child victimizers) leaving one to question the conventional wisdom about incarceration vs. treatment. With those statistics in mind, it means that the bulk of the sex offenders who re-offend are the pimps and prostitutes! With everyone up in arms about sex offense incarceration terms not being long enough for repeat offenders, why, then, are these offenders not receiving longer prison sentences?

Additionally, the question of registration must be revisited. It is obvious by the statistics that it is not the sex offenders we need to worry about. Once they are caught and undergo treatment, it is highly unlikely they are going to re-offend. However, other criminals, who are much more likely to re-offend, should be the ones registering. The other side of the coin is that as long as the sex offender’s whereabouts is known, it helps his neighbors and the supervision officials to keep tabs on him increasing the chances of his successful rehabilitation.

Pedophiles are a unique subset of sex offenders. Most people believe that any child molester is a pedophile. That is not the case. A pedophile is one who has a mental disorder that causes him to become sexually aroused ONLY to primary sexual characteristics. Primary sexual characteristics are those of a young child or (in the case of a hebophile) a pubescent child. This means they display the undeveloped or developing sexual characteristics such as lack of body hair, undeveloped penis, vagina or breasts, or, in the case of the developing adolescent, very little in the way of pubic hair, developing breasts, vagina or penis. Myth: All child molesters are pedophiles?BUSTED.

An indiscriminate child molester is different from the pedophile in that the child molester is aroused by both the secondary sexual characteristics of an adult, that is, developed sexual organs and mature body, as well as the primary sexual characteristics of the child or pubescent adolescent.

The reason that the distinction is important is that indiscriminate child molesters can be treated successfully and, as yet, there is no means of effective treatment for pedophiles. Unfortunately, there is no known method for increasing sexual arousal to secondary sexual characteristics. The best that can be done for the pedophile is to decrease his sexual arousal to children through the use of negative behavioral modification. This means that they expose the pedophile to audio and visual stimulation and allow him to become aroused. When he becomes aroused they cause some sort of negative thing to happen to cause his mind to associate the arousal with a negative action. For example, they may shoot a blast of ammonia up his nose at the moment he begins to become aroused. This is an extremely unpleasant experience, so the brain begins, over time, to associate deviant arousal to children with the negative experience of ammonia being forced up his nose. This will lead to a decrease in arousal to children.

Once this has been achieved, cognitive modification and restitution therapy can then take place allowing the pedophile to learn to control his impulses to react to children. The combination is usually sufficient to give the pedophile all the tools he needs to prevent himself from acting out on the deviant behavior again. It should be noted that pedophilia is an extremely rare condition. It occurs in less than 1% of all child molesters. The popular media use of the word to describe all child molesters is a deliberate misuse of the term.

Child molesters and power rapists can be treated effectively through the use of cognitive restructuring, negative behavior modification, intensive self therapy, and, of course, by being made to take responsibility for their actions, also known as restitution therapy.

There is a pervasive fear amongst the population that the convicted sex offender may move in next door. This irrational fear is based upon the popular myths perpetrated by the media. The truth is that the known sex offender is not the one of whom you need be afraid; you need to be afraid of the one you don’t know about. So who are they?

Typically, the sex offender works in a construction or industrial related job in a blue collar capacity. He is someone whom you know well, say a family member, neighbor or close friend. Usually it will be said of him that he was the last person one would have suspected of such behavior. He will be a church-goer, model citizen and pillar of the community.

This is not the case with all sex offenders, just the vast majority of them. Just because you know of a construction worker or factory worker who happens to be a nice guy and attends church and PTA meetings doesn’t mean he is a sex offender. Remember, most people are exactly what they seem to be. The difference is that the sex offender has to pretend to be like everyone else because he knows he is not.

That guy lurking behind the bushes with a pocketful of candy drooling over children should also be suspected. Don’t think that just because it is unlikely that he is a sex offender that he isn’t. What I am telling you is that you are very unlikely to come across someone of that type. If you fear for the safety of a child, err on the side of caution and call the police. I usually don’t advocate the calling of authorities before you have taken preventative measures of your own first, but in this case, you could be preventing a child from being molested. You could be forcing a sex offender to receive the treatment he needs to be a productive and law abiding citizen. In this case, I support using the authorities.

The next question is, how should they be punished? Many say that since they are sentencing their victims to a lifetime of pain and misery, the offender should spend their life without their freedom. On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But when we dig deeper, we see that the reasoning is not valid. In most cases of rape or molestation, it usually takes the between three and five years of therapy and hard work to overcome the feelings of powerlessness and emptiness they experience. If they are motivated to recover from their experience, and they are willing to confront their victimizer, they can usually fully recover. (Yes, I said, face their victimizer. Therapists universally agree that this is an integral step, usually toward the end of their therapy, which should be taken under very controlled circumstances. Maybe I will write an article about this later as it is a fascinating subject. In essence, the victimizer has the power taken from him by the victim thus placing the power back where it belongs.)

I know that it sounds like I am minimizing the ability of the victim to recover. I do not intend it to seem that way. I know that there is a lot of pain and suffering involved in the recovery process. The reason I only touch on it here rather than go into depth about it is because this article is about the offenders, not the victims. I will write an article about victims another time as my research into their condition concludes. I am still gathering data.

I also know that there are people who will never recover from their trauma because trauma affects everyone differently. These cases are in the extreme minority. I understand their situation and my heart goes out to them. But the facts are still the facts. Most people recover.

With this being the case, is it right to keep the sex offender behind bars forever? If we remove our emotions from the argument and listen solely to the facts, the only answer can be “no,” not at all. This is a hard argument for me to make since the specter of this vile crime has touched my life as it has so many others. It is not easy to let go of the hurt that the perpetrator caused his victim and those of us who trusted him. But, once I do let go of the anger and pain, I can see clearly that the facts do not support my emotional status.

This is not to say that my emotions are wrong, they are not. I have the right to feel betrayed, angry and hurt. But I, like so many others, will get over it.

Back on topic, what then, becomes a fair punishment? Execution? Well, for the fear mongers, this seems to be their punishment of choice. Castration? This option makes absolutely no sense at all. Removing the testicles of a sex offender will NOT reduce the impulse. Sexual offending takes place in the brain, not the penis or the testicles. If the intention is to remove the offender’s DNA from the gene pool, then we will also have to kill any children the offender may have had, which also makes no sense, not to mention is barbaric to even consider. Chemical castration, which uses Depo-Provera to reduce the sexual urge also makes no sense for the same reason. So it seems that incarceration is the only viable alternative.

So how long should a sex offender be incarcerated?

There was a study done some 20 years ago (unfortunately, I have been unable to find it on the internet and I admit I am working solely from memory about this study) that suggested that after three years of incarceration, an inmate will either have learned his lesson or he will never learn his lesson. During the original three years, the inmate is usually in denial of his crime or is railing against the system or is involved in the appeals process. So it makes sense, then, that if it is going to take the offender that long to come to the realization that he needs to take responsibility for crime, the punishment then should be, after three years of incarceration, the real prison term should begin. If it takes an average of five years for the victim to overcome their pain and suffering, then let the perpetrator serve eight years. Three years to get the nonsense out of his system and five years for his victim.

Now, I admit that the argument is made with some emotion. Again, the facts don’t support my emotional argument. It costs far less to have a sex offender undergo treatment than it does to incarcerate him. It typically costs between $5000 and $15,000 per year to put a sex offender on an intensive supervision plan WITH treatment. Conversely, to incarcerate WITHOUT treatment, averages $22,000 per year. After the incarceration, the taxpayers then have to cough up the money for the supervision and treatment. The offender has to pick up much of this cost himself by paying a fee for supervision and by being required to pay for his treatment. But the taxpayer still has to cover some of the burden.

If the treatment option is working, why are we not discussing using that option first? Or at the very least why not be treating them while they are incarcerated?

One would think that in a country that has 20% of the worlds criminal element incarcerated, we would be trying to come up with ways to stop the cycle of violence! For example, what is being done to prevent the situation from happening in the first place? I personally know of a situation where the parents of a child were concerned that their child’s behavior put him at risk to become a sex offender. They approached a therapist about it and the therapist said that the law prohibited him from doing anything about it until AFTER the child had committed a crime!

Yes, the problem is a complex one because it raises so many issues about the right to privacy, invasion of privacy by the government, unreasonable search and seizure issues, and a host of other Constitutional issues. But, at the same time, if we can prevent one child from becoming a monster, that means that we can prevent approximately 115 victims. That’s right, 115. It has been determined that each sex offender creates an average of 115 victims before he is caught.

This subject is so full of myths and misconceptions that I could continue on for many more pages and still only scratch the surface. If this topic stirs up enough debate, maybe I will write another. For example, I have only barely touched on the fact that the media deliberately misrepresents this issue for the purpose of obtaining higher ratings. In fact, I learned that one year, not to long ago, television stations and cable stations ALL used the sex offender issue to gain ratings during Sweeps week! In some cases it worked, and in others it did not. In fact, the only program of all the ones I watch on a regular basis, that did NOT use that issue to gain ratings was Star Trek; Voyager. (That probably gives away how long ago it was that this happened.)

I cannot put the issue more succinctly than the late Jan Hindman, when she said:

“It is not enough to shed tears for those who suffer the tragedy of sexual abuse, nor will much be accomplished nurturing hatred and devising punishments for those who sexually abuse. Only by sharing knowledge, providing training, exchanging ideas, and challenging traditional beliefs and biases can we respond effectively to sexual victimization.”

I have obviously not touched on ALL the issues involved with sex offenders. My primary goal was to dispel some of the myths surrounding sex offenders. If we can begin to understand the true nature of these people, maybe we can stop living in fear. If we can learn to educate our children to be on guard for these individuals without being afraid of them, maybe we can prevent more children from becoming victims. If we can learn more about how we can help these people become responsible citizens they will stop being a drain on our society’s resources.

A new voice has arisen on the internet. A voice determined to expose the truth and reality about various events and myths that are affecting the United States and the world. His name is Iacchos Deru (pronounced YAH-kose De-ROO). Iacchos is the pseudonym of a writer, philosopher and observer who has noticed the unfortunate turn of events in the United States and around the world that threaten sanity, security and Freedom.

The Treatment of Sex Addiction – An Analytic Approach

It is well known among people in the 12-step sex programs that of all the addictions, sex is the most difficult to master. Far from the notion that sex addiction is the “fun” one, the suffering of dealing with this affliction is enormous. The compulsion is so compelling that it is common for members of the sex recovering groups to be unable to maintain any continuous time of sexual sobriety, giving way to despair and hopelessness. Before treatment, sexual enactment is the addict’s only source of safety, pleasure, soothing and acceptance. It vitalizes and connects. It relieves loneliness, emptiness and depression. Sex addition has been called the athlete’s foot of the mind: it is an itch always waiting to be scratched. The scratching, however, causes wounds and never alleviates the itch.

Furthermore, the percentage of people who go to therapy or a 12-step program is quite small. The majority of sexual compulsives live in isolation filled with feelings of shame. Almost 100% of the people who come to me for an initial consultation, whether it be for compulsive use of prostitutes, phone sex, a fetish, cross dressing, or masochistic encounters with dominatrixes, relay that beneath the shame they feel in telling me their story, they also experience a sense of freedom that comes from finally being able to share with another human being the hidden, shameful, sexually compulsive acts that imprison them.

This is a condition that gradually bleeds away everything the person holds dear. The life of a sex addict gradually becomes very small. The freedom of self is impaired. Energies are consumed. The rapacious need for a particular kind of sexual experience drives the addict to spend untold hours in the world of his addiction. Inexorably, the compulsion begins to exact higher and higher costs. Whether it be on the internet indulging in sexual fantasies with fantasy people, being on the phone to the sex hot-lines, or frantically searching the net and the S&M clubs for someone who will act out a particular, ritualized fetish fantasy, or cruising the bars searching for the “one” who will have sex in a public toilet, or going to dungeons to be whipped, flogged and humiliated, sex addiction is a devastating illness that takes an enormous toll. Friends slip away. Hobbies and activities once enjoyed are dropped. Financial security crumbles as sums as high as $40,000 or $50,000 a year are spent on sex. Then there is perpetual fear of exposure. Relationships with partners are ruined, as the appeal of intimate sex with a partner pales in comparison to the intense “high” of indulging in the dark and devious world of sexual compulsion.

What is a sex addict? Sex addiction, of course, has nothing to do with sex. Any sexual act or apparent “perversion” has no meaning outside of its psychological, unconscious context. A simple definition of sex addiction is not dissimilar to definitions of other addictions. But a simple definition of this complex and intractable condition doesn’t suffice. What sets sex addiction apart from other addictions and makes it so persistent is that the subject of sex touches on our innermost unconscious wishes and fears, our sense of self, our very identity.

Current treatment might include participation in a 12-step program, going to an outpatient clinic, working with the Patrick Carnes material, aversion therapy, or the use of medications to stave off hypersexuality. Most therapy is cognitive-behavioral, designed to help the patient to control or repress the instinct for a period of time, usually out of a desire to comply with the group norms of their 12-step meeting or a need to please the therapist. While I recognize the efficacy the 12-step programs to provide structure and support, in my opinion, the reason that relapse is so prevalent is that these treatment modalities do not effect long-term structural personality change that eliminates the compulsion at its roots. Current treatment does not aim to transform psychic energies so that the reality sector of the mind dominates the personality so that the impulse to act out can be understood and controlled.

While the definition of sex addiction is the same as that of other addictions (recurrent failure to control the behavior and continuation of the behavior despite increasingly harmful consequences), sexual compulsion is set apart from other addictions in that sex involves our innermost unconscious wishes, fears and conflicts. Sex addiction is a symbolic enactment of deeply entrenched unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns with self and others. It involves a person’s derailed developmental process that occurred as a result of inadequate parenting. Hence, permanent growth and change are most likely to occur in the arena of contemporary psychoanalysis, which seeks understanding and repair of these unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns along with the development of a more unified and structured sense of self. This new personality restructuring can better self-regulate feeling states without the use of a destructive defense like sexualization and can find meaning, enjoyment, intimacy, meaningful goal setting and achievement from attainable and appropriate sources in life.

The remainder of this paper will give a brief overview of the historical psychoanalytic views about sexual deviance, and will then articulate the current analytic understanding about the dynamics and treatment of sexual compulsions.

Any discussion of historical psychoanalysis must, ipso facto, begin with Sigmund Freud. Freud formulated that sexual deviance occurs due to an incomplete resolution of the Oedipus complex, with its concomitant castration anxiety. Unconscious castration anxiety occurs in the person’s present-day consciousness in the form of fear of confrontation, retaliation, or rebuke, a sense of inadequacy, and perhaps doubts about gender identity. Sex addiction, according to Freud, is a defensive way to cope with a tenuous sense of masculinity combined with unrelenting anxiety about sex, women, intimacy, aggression, and competition. Analysts that followed Freud held varying views. Sexual compulsions derive from an insatiable need for approval, prestige, power, bolstering of self-esteem, love and security which are experienced as being necessary for survival. The addict experiences the absence of sexual acting out as a threat to his very existence.

Characteristic of any addict is a long history of a disturbed mother-child relationship. An unempathic, narcissistic, depressed or alcoholic mother has low tolerance for the child’s stress and frustrations. Nor is she able to supply the empathy, attention, nurturing and support that foster healthy development. The result in later life is separation anxiety, fear of abandonment and a sense of imminent self-fragmentation. This anxiety sends the sex addict running to his eroticized, fantasy cocoon where he experiences safety, security, a diminution of anxiety as well as the quelling of an unconscious wish to establish and maintain the missing, yet essential tie to mother. Typical of this person is the hope that he can find an idealized “other” who can embody, actualize and make concrete the longed for endlessly nurturing parent. This approach is doomed to failure. Inevitably, the other person’s needs start to impinge on the fantasy. The result is frustration, loneliness and disappointment.

On the other hand, a mother can be overly intrusive and attentive. She may be unconsciously seductive, perhaps using the child as a replacement for an emotionally unavailable spouse. The child perceives the mother’s inability to set appropriate boundaries as seductive and as a massive disillusionment. Later in life, the addict is hypersexual and has trouble setting boundaries. Real intimacy is experienced as an engulfing burden. The disillusionment of not experiencing appropriate parental boundaries is acted out later in life by the addict’s unconscious belief that the rules don’t apply to him with regards to sex, although he may be regulated and compliant in other parts of his life.

A major theme for all addictions is that they have experienced profound and chronic need deprivation throughout childhood. Addicts in general sustain emotional injury within the realm of the mother-infant interaction as well as with other relationships. Intense interpersonal anxiety is the result of this early-life emotional need deprivation. In later life, the person experiences anxiety in all intimate relationships. Because the sex addict has anxiety about being unable to get what he needs from real people and because his desperate search for the fulfillment of unmet childhood needs inevitably end in disillusionment, he inevitably returns to his reliance on sexual fantasies and enactments to alleviate anxiety about connection and intimacy and as a way to achieve a sense of self-affirmation.

Sex, for the addict, begins to be his primary value and a confirmation of his sense of self. Feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and worthlessness magically disappear while sexually preoccupied , through acting out or through spending untold hours on the internet. However, the use of sex to meet self-centered needs for approval or validation precludes using it to meet the intimacy needs of a cherished other. Characteristic of this kind of narcissism is the viewing of other human beings not as whole people who have their own feelings, wants and needs, but rather as deliverers of desperately needed satisfaction that shores up a fragile sense of self. This sets up a cycle wherein his narcissism prevents him from deriving satisfaction from mutual, reciprocal relationships in real-life. Sexualizing, once again, is returned to as a magical elixir wherein his needs are magically met without having to negotiate the very real vicissitudes of intimate relationships.

A client of mine, a 48-year-old attractive single man, is in the process of the breaking up of yet another relationship. After spending years of living a noxious childhood household, he went into his own world of fantasizing and masturbation as a way to soothe and protect himself.

“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with beautiful women in the magazines. When I was able to date, I went through one woman after another. In adulthood, I knew there was sadness and anger I didn’t want to face. To evade them, I had a steady stream of women who worshipped me, soothed me, paid attention to my needs. I went to peep shows and I visited prostitutes. Many a night I would spend hours in my car circling the block looking for just the right street-walker to give me oral sex in my car. One night I had sex with a transvestite. I cried all the way home.”

He met a girl whom he designated as “perfect – my redemption, my salvation.” He became engaged but soon lost interest in the sex, which he described as “boring”. While still engaged, he started picking up hookers for oral sex in the car and began compulsively using phone sex.

His current relationship is breaking up because he picked a woman for her youth and beauty (which reflected well on his narcissistic self). The rest of the story is predictable. They moved in together and the beautiful, young, sexy female started become real and having needs of her own. He admits he never felt warmth or love for her; she was merely a supplier of his narcissistic needs. As the relationship deteriorates, he fights the impulses to return to sex with strangers who don’t make demand on him.

Another client of mine, a 38-year-old married man, has a compulsion to visit prostitutes. Three years into the treatment, he was finally able to talk about his anger towards his mother for depriving him emotionally through neglect and for never touching or caressing him. He can now make a connection between visits to the prostitutes and his hostility against mother for depriving him of sensual pleasure. He got lost in the mire of his parents’ constant feuding.

“When I was very young I would put a blanket on my genitals as a kind of soothing which I wasn’t getting from my parents. The rest of my life was a struggle to find other ways to soothe myself. When I discovered prostitutes, I thought I was in heaven. I can get sex now and be in total control. I can have it immediately, any way I want it, whenever I want it. I don’t have to concern myself with the girl, as long as I pay her. I don’t have to concern myself with vulnerability and rejection. This is my controlled pleasure world. This is the ultimate antithesis of the deprivation of my childhood.”

The use of sexualization as a defense is a common theme that runs through the psychoanalytic literature. A defense is a mechanism the young child devises to psychologically survive a noxious family environment. While this way of protecting himself works well for a period of time, the continuous use of it as an adult is destructive to the person’s ongoing functioning and sense of well being.

By losing himself in sexual fantasies and constantly seeing others as potential sex partners, or by erotic internet enactments, the sex addict is able to significantly reduce and control a wide variety of threatening and uncomfortable emotional states. Most addicts control or bind potentially overwhelming anxiety via the addiction process. Diminution of depression, anxiety and rage are some of the pay-offs that operate to facilitate and maintain life in the erotic cocoon.

I quote another patient which illustrates a case of narcissistic personality together with the use of sexualization as a defense. He is a 52-year old attractive, successful single man.

“I went on a date the other night. She wanted sex. I didn’t. It’s predictable. I don’t think I can even maintain an erection anymore. While a spend untold hours compulsively websurfing to live in my erotic fantasies, when it becomes real, when you find someone who seems to be the embodiment of your sexual pre-occupation, interest soon wanes as her wants and needs come into the picture. Sometimes, I don’t even bother with the pursuit of real women, because I know the inevitable result is disillusionment. I’m simply not prepared to meet somebody else’s needs.

Oddly enough, my life is still dominated by sex. It becomes the lens through which I view everything. I go to a family gathering and get lost in sexual fantasies about my teenage nieces. I live in constant fear of being found out to be a “pervert”. I see a woman on the train dressed in a way that triggers me, and I’m ruined for the day. Regular sex just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It’s got to be bizarre or forbidden or “out of the box”. I arrive at work in an erotic haze. Women around me are all objects of sexual fantasy. I’m distracted; not focused. If something requires my attention, when real life intrudes and yanks me out of my sexual preoccupation, I get angry. Real life is so boring. Ordinary sex with a girlfriend holds no interest for me.”

This patient uses sexualization as a defense. He uses his sexual pre-occupation as a way to ward off chronic feelings of loneliness, inadequacy and emptiness born of a childhood trying to get nurturing from a withdrawn, depressed mother. When stress or anxiety begins to overwhelm the regulation of his emotions, he is beset by intense urges to indulge in his fantasies and enactments. Sexualization thus becomes his standard way of managing feelings that he perceives to be intolerable as well as a way of stabilizing a crumbling sense of self-worth.

It is my belief that sex addiction requires a contemporary psychoanalytic approach. Psychoanalysis changed drastically in the 1970′s with the work of a prominent psychoanalyst who jettisoned the Freudian approach and established a kind of treatment that is particularly useful in treating sex addiction. Contemporary analysts no longer conduct treatment three-times a week on the couch. They do not unearth hidden meanings, or remain silent, or put themselves on a “thrown” as being the “One Who Knows”. The process is a shared one and the relationship between patient and therapist is co-created and mutual.

Some contemporary psychoanalysts use the concept of a vertical split in treating the addict. The split exists from inadequate parenting which results in structural deficits in the personality. Patients often report that they feel fraudulent, living two separate lives with two different sets of values and goals. They feel they’re acting out a version of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde.”

One sector of the personality, the one anchored in reality, is the responsible husband and father. This part of the person is conscious, adaptive, anchored in reality, structured, and often successful in business. This is also the sector that experiences guilt and shame about his sexual behaviors and ultimately drives him to seek therapy to ameliorate his misery.

The “Mr. Hyde” side of the vertical split has a completely different set of values and seems to be impervious to his own moral injunctions. “Mr. Hyde” represents the unconscious, split-off part of the personality. It is impulse-ridden, lives in erotic fantasy, and is sexualized, unstructured and unregulated. This side of the vertical split seems to be incapable of thinking impulses through, and thus is oblivious to the consequences of his behavior. This is the part of the self that is hidden, dark, driven and enslaved.

A comprehensive discussion of the actual process of therapy is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, the therapist uses him/herself as an instrument in integrating the split which results in personality structure building. Treatment bridges the gap of the split. Its aim is the establishment of a relationship with the therapist that regulates emotional states, is used as a “laboratory” to bring to consciousness maladaptive relationship patterns, provides empathy and understanding and reconstructs the childhood origin of the addiction. The goal is an integrated self that is able to merely experience a sexual fantasy without being preoccupied with it and without acting out a damaging sexual scenario.

The patient achieves some ability to self-regulate moods, and to seek out adequate and sustaining available supportive relationships both in and out of treatment. He is then free to put sexuality in its proper place and free up energies to gain satisfaction from real relationships, pursue creative or intellectual goals, obtain pleasure from hobbies and activities, and have a heightened sense of self-esteem, thus enabling him to end his isolation. He is then free to love, to have deeply satisfying, self-affirming sex, work to his potential, and experience being a valued member of the human community.