For women sexual addiction can take on a uniqueness. Our behavior ranged from sex with self, phone sex, cyber sex, and pornography. We engaged in promiscuity illicit relationships and multiple-adultery. For some of us it was exotic dancing, escort services and prostitution. We used our bodies, intentionally dressed provocatively, and performed for others, creating the illusion that gave us a false sense of self worth. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease and the forbidden. We jeopardized our relationships, jobs, morals and values; we even neglected our children. All the while, we rationalized our sexual behaviors. We asked ourselves “What will a little fantasy hurt,” or “What they don’t know, won’t hurt them.” As we lived a double-life, we became disconnected from reality making true intimacy with another impossible. We carried this behavior from relationship to relationship and even into our marriages.
Why? We were running; running from love; running from pain; pain from shame, self-hate and multiple forms of abuse. We lacked self-worth and feared intimacy. We tried to connect; we tried to escape. We felt abandoned. We had a need to be put in control and have power over others. Spiritually, we were bankrupt. We have learned to numb our feelings and to cope with our inadequacies by reaching out for a cure that would ultimately destroy us. This unhealthy belief system was not in line with the plan God had for our sexuality.
Sexual addiction is progressive. It can begin as a little flirtation or a “curiosity.” When we cross a line, it sets us in motion to cross the next one more easily. Ask the adulterer, ask the prostitute, ask the slave to the Internet, “When, how they started, and how it ended.” We’ve asked ourselves, “How did we get here?” Sometimes, we don’t even remember why we started acting out in the first place. We tell ourselves that the next sexual act will be better and more lasting, but it never is. Eventually, our behaviors resulted in losing relationships, our marriages, jobs, and material possessions and in some cases, our children. For many the risks of sexually transmitted diseases are now a reality. And finally we hit a bottom. There is a void that we haven’t been able to fill with fantasy, sex or lust.