This is going to be a boring post – no pictures or graphics. The text says it all.
Hi my name’s Shep and I’m an addict. Something I’ve wanted to post about but am hesitant to is that I am a sex addict. I don’t know what you think of when you hear that term. But for me it involves compulsive behaviors that I participate in knowing full well that I shouldn’t. That they control my life in an extremely unhealthy manner. That, on my own, I am completely powerless over. This type of addiction isn’t one of the ones people like to talk about. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and a big taboo. But it’s quite real, and someone you know is probably struggling with it. I think it’s time we start talking about it more. Sexual addiction ruins lives. It rips relationships apart. It causes pain for the addict and anyone close to them. And it’s very real.
For me it started with chatrooms, talking to random strangers. I sought connection. It was innocent really, until I realized how desperate others were for connection, too. I chatted with a girl who was nine hours away, wrote letters back and forth, exchanged pictures and eventually made the trek to meet her. But, because of the distance, it never quite panned out.
I continued to frequent chatrooms, then discovered cybersex. I liked it but it didn’t do much for me. So I “progressed” to phone sex. Not like a 1-900 number I paid for. I sought out women to give me their numbers so we could do it for free. I got addicted pretty quickly and would sometimes spend literally an entire night chatting with the goal being to hear a woman get off. All the while I was in a committed relationship and was doing it right under this person’s nose while they were asleep in our bed. I literally didn’t care who I hurt or how. As long as I got mine.
Eventually I grew bored of just phone sex and met someone. That physical affair lasted about a year off and on. The sex was amazing. We would meet in a hotel at the midway point between us. Still in a committed relationship. Lying, manipulating and cheating. And the guilt and shame I carried with me every day.
The physical affair ended and an emotional one started. There was also porn, constant masturbation, and my significant other left to feel like she was doing something wrong, lonely and hurt. There were even times that I had phone sex or chatted in chatrooms while at work. I could have lost my career. My family. Everything. I risked it all. And it didn’t occur to me. I wasn’t in my right mind. Addiction is a sickness. I was in over my head and for years and years.
I finally hit bottom. My relationship was in jeopardy. It was stop or be kicked to the curb. So I found a counselor who specializes in sexual addiction. I found local Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings. It’s such a safe place and so many people could benefit from it. But it’s so taboo. I will be forever grateful for SAA. It’s given me the tools to turn my life around, along with counselling. My relationship may never fully recover, but I’m still in one. And I’m trying to do right by her and give her the time she needs to heal. Either way, I will not return to that way of living. For me. I am going to work to stay sober and be in healthy relationships from here on out. And man it feels good.