MANY OF YOUR CLIENTS ARE SEX ADDICTS.
— There are a lot of them, because I have earned trust, I understand this dependence.
— I grew up in the Warsaw district of Prague and saw various alcohol-drug pathologies near, among neighbors, acquaintances and friends. After receiving my master’s degree in psychology, I decided that I should go to an internship at an addiction center, because I had a lifetime of experience in this field. I applied to two centers in Warsaw. There I met incredibly professional therapists, addiction specialists, with whom I am still friends. Here I encountered a curious situation. In both centers, I met many sex addicts who were treated for what they had a contract for: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, but none of them were treated for sex addiction. It was in 2009. At that time, many sex addicts went to psychotherapists and sexologists, but they were all released with nothing. This was a very large group of patients that no one wanted or could treat. So they wandered from doctor to doctor.
I UNDERSTAND YOU’RE IN DEMAND.
— I had knowledge in the field of sexology, also in different courses I got knowledge about addictions, so I rolled up my sleeves and started therapy for patients with sex addiction.
And now attention. December 2017. A big event, a well-known sexologist, a specialist in sex addiction, comes to Poland for a master class. Summing up the course, she says: “the Paradox of the world’s treatment of sex addicts is that addiction specialists have huge knowledge in their field and little knowledge in the field of human sexuality. And sexologists have a huge knowledge of sex and little knowledge about addictions.”
YOU NEED TO LEARN TO COOPERATE SOMEHOW.
— Many sexologists tend to treat hypersexuality with medications. And Paula Hall said that she is skeptical about this method and recommends psychotherapy. Medications will not teach a person to take care of their loved ones, open up to people, or motivate them to play sports, enjoy culture, travel, or music.
AND, IN GENERAL, SHE IS RIGHT. BUT BACK TO YOUR CLIENTS. MOST SEX ADDICTS ARE MEN, RIGHT?
- 80 %.
SOME USE THE SERVICES OF PROSTITUTES, OTHERS-THE BENEFITS OF THE INTERNET.
— I have men in therapy who are addicted to paid sex. There is still a demand for it. And if this usually involves one or two visits to an escort Agency a week, one of my clients can do it up to twice a day. This is a crazy thousand zlotys monthly. But this is how his inner child makes itself felt.
COULD HE FIND SOMEONE TO HAVE FREE SEX WITH FOR A WHILE? AT LEAST THROUGH THE INTERNET?
— His problem is that he is a very religious man. He received a severe religious upbringing. Sex for him is the sphere of expression of his will. But he explained to himself that when he buys sex, he does not sin, because he simply pays for the service in this way.
— This way he removes responsibility: “I did nothing, only paid. This woman is responsible for everything that happened afterwards, because she is the one who sells her body for money.” It doesn’t matter that he’s taking her body for money, which means that he’s part of the deal.
In addition, he makes all sorts of agreements with himself: “Today I will not engage in penetrative sex, only oral.” He gives himself the feeling that he is directing the addiction.
INDEED, THERE IS SOMETHING CHILDISH IN THIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT.
— When I tell my clients about the model “I am an adult, I am a parent, I am a child”, they often respond: “Well, what to hide, it is clear that we are talking about sexual needs, and not about any other.” Then I say, ” Maybe in your case it is. Let’s check it out. Let’s do an experiment.” I propose to increase the number of children for a month from the microscopic amount that they have to 30 %. Only there is a rule: the child should manifest itself in any pleasant life activities that are not related to sex. If after that they still want paid sex, it will mean that they were right.
HOW TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF “I-CHILD”?
— Instead of two hours a day to masturbate or give an hour for paid sex, you need to give yourself permission to get other pleasures.
WHAT, FOR EXAMPLE?
- Go to a cafe, a movie. Go on a short vacation, at least get away for a while in some beautiful European city. Or maybe go back to an abandoned hobby or a broken friendship. Listen to your favorite music. Read a book. Do nothing.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO NOTHING?
— When it seems that we are lazy from the outside, our brain is still working, and at high speeds, so you can not blame yourself for this. This is confirmed by neurological research.
And if we talk about “other pleasures”, it is better to describe it to yourself: so many minutes a day I will do this, so many other things.
DOES IT WORK?
— 80 % of men to whom I offer this scheme, after some time, admit that they do not feel the need to let their inner child into sex. They get other rewards during the day, and that suits them. They realize that sex is needed once a week, several times a week, but not exactly twice a day — as sex addicts claim before therapy.
They also begin to understand that the child’s condition causes relaxation. Therefore, they often let this child speak out. From a few percent, its presence increases to 25 %, which leads to the fact that when “I am a child” is turned on, it does not behave in a frustrated way.
THE CHILD SAYS,” LET’S WATCH THE SERIES ON NETFLIX “INSTEAD OF”I’LL GO SEE WHAT’S ON PORNHUB.”
— Yeah. And then the sexual needs that manifest themselves will only arise from real desire and arousal.
DO YOU MEET PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE YOUR EXPERIMENT WORKING?
— When a client comes to me and says (and this happens quite often) that the scheme did not work, I ask for a detailed description of the last week. And it turns out that when someone had, for example, 80% of the “parent”, and he declares that as part of the experiment, as much as 40% released the “I-child”, in fact, he did not do it more than 10 %. He kept a strong “I’m a parent” voice that said, ” Hey, too much fun, you don’t deserve it anymore. Get to work.” And he thought under the influence of his “parent” that it was 40 %, but in fact — a maximum of 10 %.
Only a few percent of the men in whom my experiment allegedly didn’t work. First they believe the inner parent, and then they realize that I am right.
HOW CAN I INTRODUCE THE “I-CHILD” INTO MY LIFE IN THE RIGHT PROPORTIONS IN THE LONG TERM?
— When I talk to clients, for example, about Masturbation and ask why it is so important to them, I usually get four answers:
- Because it’s fast,
- Because it is effective,
- Because it tones up, reduces tension,
- Anonymously, no one needs to be involved.
A METHOD THAT IS ALWAYS AT HAND.
— I suggest that you prepare a catalog of various awards that are at arm’s length. And divide it into three categories: small, moderate and large awards. A small success is a small reward. Moderate — moderate and so on. We need to give an award for every thing we do well during the week. Eight hours of effective work? Go for coffee, eat sushi. Call your girlfriend.
AND THIS HELPS US GET USED TO THE VOICE OF”I AM A CHILD”?
“To the voice and pleasure.” But some people say,”I don’t know, Andrzej, not only do I not feel any pleasure during the performance of daily duties, but I don’t know what to reward myself with, because I don’t know what I like.” Then I suggest asking friends at work how they spend their free time, what their Hobbies are. And then to test these suggestions on a scale of satisfaction from one to ten.
TRAMPOLINE PARK? INTERESTING…
— We need to check how we feel about it.”
Next, we look at our rewards in terms of the three main advantages of Masturbation (fast, effective, helps to let off steam). Go for coffee? Quickly. The cafe is just a stone’s throw from my office. Effective? Yes, I felt better after the coffee. Does it blow off steam? Yes, I relaxed, looked out the window at the people. The trick is to find adequate pleasures in life, in addition to quick sex or Masturbation. And also in order to enhance positive pleasantness.
BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT SEPARATING YOUR OWN SEXUALITY FROM YOURSELF, IS IT?
— Not to separate, but to use it only when we feel a real need. There are people who form their self-esteem by denying themselves basic things: food, sex, travel. How many clients do I have who argue with themselves about how long they can last without sex?
“I WON’T MASTURBATE FOR A WEEK.”
— It won’t work that way. After all, there is nothing wrong with Masturbation, which occurs from real arousal.
SOME PEOPLE BET ON THEMSELVES FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS.
— For religious reasons, or because they suspect they’re sex addicts.” Some are still because of the partner. For example, a partner caught a man masturbating and threatened: either he stops doing it, or she leaves.
WHAT EXACTLY PREVENTS WOMEN FROM MASTURBATING THEIR PARTNERS?
— As in the case of men using pills for potency, women who build their value on their appearance want to get a monopoly on the way men are aroused.
They do not allow him to be aroused by the sight of pornography — that is, from another woman, or using pills.
“JUST ME — OR NOTHING.”
— I have a couple in therapy. She is a former model, and she has a feeling that appearance is her only virtue. Although in fact she is understanding, smart, she has her own company, she makes good money, and is interested in culture and art. From my point of view, her self-esteem can be safely based on 15 other pillars. But she pushes them all aside. She thinks that the only reason to be seen as an attractive person is because she was some kind of miss 20 years ago. And when she saw her husband watching pornography, getting turned on by the sight of another woman, she was furious. She threw his things into the garden and turned him out of the house. He was able to return only two weeks later.
Often such women come with men: “Do you know what he does? Not believe. Watching porn.”
Oh, my goodness.
— I look at him and he looks like a dog with his tail between his legs. I ask the woman:
— How do you explain it?”
— Don’t you know?”
— I can’t read your thoughts, and everyone understands reality in their own way.
— I’m not important to him!” I’m like a fifth wheel to him! He thinks I’m just a pet.
If attractive women like her were kept as Pets, then men would stay at home twenty-four by seven.
WOMEN DON’T WATCH PORN?
“Women are less likely to become addicted to mechanical sex, not to mention pornography and Masturbation. But if so, they usually prefer movies with a storyline, female friendly. First, the heroine meets a man, they like each other, and tension begins to build, which breaks out only at the 50th minute, when they are in bed.
Of course, there are women who like rough porn, with big throbbing members in the foreground and strictly gynecological shots. But this is a minority.
But I have a lot of clients who are addicted to flirting on the Internet, who climb chat rooms, apps, seduce in clubs. They like to create profiles on several portals, receive messages, and like photos. Some even believe that their real life is on the Internet, only here they get attention.
THIS IS WHAT FACEBOOK IS ALL ABOUT.
— It is important to note, however, that although they do this much less often than men, women admit to watching porn, much less often than they actually do. I was once visited by an angry client whose partner “Masturbates on other naked members”. His claim was: “I want to be the only member in her life.”
WHAT AN OWNER.
— That’s fine, but they only have sex sporadically, once every few months, because he says he’s tired. And she has a high libido, and she would like to have sex more often.
AND SINCE HE REFUSED IT TO HER “MORE OFTEN»…
— Exactly. From the point of view of a sexologist, there is nothing wrong with her masturbating in this situation.
But returning to the male dependence on sex: often in a relationship, it happens that he would like to have sex with her today, better this second. I would like to relieve the tension. And she needs an emotional base, the formation of intimacy, before it comes to sex. And there are scandals in which he accuses her that she no longer wants him, he no longer excites her.
A MIRROR SITUATION, AS YOU CAN SEE.
— And the way out of it is to understand that although we are a couple, our sexual needs may be (and often are) different, but we satisfy Masturbation and porn only their excess.
UFF, THAT IS, YOU DON’T NEED TO CONTROL YOURSELF COMPLETELY.
— No. You need to be careful not to break the proportions. If this week we had 60% of sex with ourselves and only 40% with a partner, unfortunately, we will put in our head what was more. In other words, we will be more receptive, more responsive to what we see in pornography. Thus, what we see in sex, in bed, will excite us much less. A man can set himself up for a lot of stimuli, so he will experience constant sexual hunger, which can end up with erection problems. If the reward center in the brain is overwhelmed by the constant dropping of “dopamine atom bombs” from pornography, then other pleasures will be perceived as a monthly bonus of four pennies.
HOW CAN YOU RESIST IT?
— It is necessary that viewing pornography does not exceed 40% of our sexual activity in a given week or month. This is the first thing. Secondly, so that pornography is not “hard-core”. If once in a while you watch a movie focused on a fetish, nothing. But if you masturbate too often to such movies, it will become more difficult to react to other forms of sex in real life. Other pleasures will be perceived not as pleasures, but as some new everyday activities.
YOU CAN’T EXTEND INCENTIVES INDEFINITELY. YOU CAN FINISH UNDER THE WALL.
— Many of my clients watch porn not because they are excited, but because they feel negative emotions, stress and tension, they want to cover them up, and they come up with the idea: “Oh, there is still pornography. I wonder what’s going on there.” And when they watch these movies, they will always find something that excites them.
IN GENERAL, IT WOULD BE STRANGE IF THEY LOOKED AT PORN MOVIES AND FOUND NOTHING EXCITING.
— At the same time, taking advantage of the opportunity, they are encoded for a different approach to sex, which is difficult to reproduce in real life. For example, someone refuses to partner in sex, because they watch stories exclusively about group sex, and her crowd in the bedroom does not excite.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO REPROGRAM THIS?
— We need to re-encode for two-person sex movies.”
HOW? DO YOU NEED TO MASTURBATE TO THEM, EVEN IF THEY DO NOT EXCITE?
— Yeah. This is what habit formation is. Over time, masturbating with the thought of a real partner, the man will be more pleasant, and the orgasm will be stronger and will come faster. But it takes time.
MASTURBATION WITH GOOD INTENTIONS. AND, PERHAPS, AS IN THE CASE OF THE HUNDRED FIRST APPROACHES, HE WILL HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT PLEASURE FOR SOME TIME?
— If it strongly depends on a specific stimulus — up to several dozen times. Sexologists say that reprogramming for something adequate in real sex should take about as long as programming for something inadequate took.
A SLOW RETURN TO NORMALITY.
— Unfortunately. This is what fighting any addiction looks like. What we watch in porn should not differ significantly from our everyday sex. During brain research, it was found that it does not distinguish between Masturbation for porn and “normal” sex. In other words, the brain thinks it is participating in what is happening on the screen. And if on the screen one is dressed in leather, another in latex, and the third is hanging from the ceiling head down, and all this is accompanied by Masturbation, the brain remembers this as a typical situation in which arousal occurs. Other, less advanced systems may no longer affect it. Therefore, pornography often wins over sex with a partner or partner.
SINCE EVERYTHING IS AS YOU SAY, I THINK THAT VARIOUS INTERESTING OR STRANGE THINGS CAN BE ENCODED IN OUR BRAIN-COMPLETELY WITHOUT OUR PARTICIPATION.
— I had a client who came to me because she couldn’t adjust to sex in a relationship. She thought that her partner smelled bad, even though he took care of hygiene, used perfume, and so on. For a long time we could not understand what was wrong, what was the reason for the situation, until we gradually began to analyze all her past relationships. And it turned out that the previous partner, with whom she was six years, worked as a veterinarian. When he came home, he smelled like sick animals. At first it bothered her, but she broke herself to the point that the smell became associated with sex. With each orgasm, she was more and more programmed for this, so after changing partners, she perceives the natural smell of this man as repulsive, at best asexual, although the man monitors his hygiene and buys expensive perfume.
WOW! NO WONDER THE BRAIN IS CALLED THE MAIN SEXUAL ORGAN.
— So (I repeat) it is not necessary to masturbate in circumstances that it encodes, and then we will not be able to reproduce with real sex. I don’t just mean the method of Masturbation, we’ve already talked about it. The point is not to regulate your bad mood with sex, otherwise, after a while, negative emotions will become the only stimulus that causes arousal.
AND THEN SUCH A PERSON WILL HAVE TO FIRST SPOIL THEIR MOOD TO HAVE SEX. HE REMINDS ME OF THE CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE “LITTLE DEATH” WHO ONLY FELT SATISFIED WHEN HER PARTNER WAS CRYING.
— The terrible moment of this beautiful film from the point of view of sexology. It reminds me of a client of mine who noticed one of his mechanisms. When he is very nervous at work (and with his job it is easy, he is a broker), he goes to the toilet and Masturbates very vigorously. He was so used to it that he only had sex with his partner when something happened that made him angry. For example, at dinner, he spilled good wine on himself. It is very likely that when they return home, they will have sex.
SOMEONE FROM THE OUTSIDE WOULD NOT SEE THE LOGIC, BUT IT IS THERE.
— Another client of mine developed a love for the BDSM atmosphere as a result of watching porn. His partner didn’t want this kind of sex, thought it was strange. And for him it was so important that he broke up with her and after a long search met a woman who shared his interests. He didn’t like her very much because she weighed over a hundred kilos, but she loved BDSM, and THAT was more important to him. They began to live together and in a few months moved from the phase of passion to the phase of a regular relationship. Of course, she loved all these BDSM things, but not constantly, but as a variety for vanilla sex. And it was important to him that such sex was regular. For him, BDSM is a certain form of communication with a woman. Fifty shades of grey twenty-four hours a day. And he was again at a dead end.
AND WHAT DO WE CONCLUDE FROM THIS, MASTER?
- That you don’t need to put all sex on one card. You need to take care of a wide range of possibilities.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF I JUST LED A SECOND “PORNOGRAPHIC” LIFE? WELL, IF I’M TURNED ON BY SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T TURN ON MY PARTNER, I’LL JUST WATCH IT ON THE SLY MYSELF AT THE COMPUTER?
— I repeat, not too often. We have reward centers in our brains that, thanks to dopamine, make us get used to different pleasures. The brain will need new stimuli to get more dopamine. With such innocent, at first glance, things will begin to develop the mechanism of dependence. Someone will start watching porn a few times a week, and will finish a year later with nine hours a day.
I WILL JUST REMIND YOU THAT WE DISCUSSED THE MECHANISM OF HABITUATION IN THE CHAPTER ON PREMATURE EJACULATION.
— I’ll add another illustration. Imagine that you are in the desert. You eat something, and suddenly your tooth breaks and the filling falls out. Now the tooth is very sore, and there is no dentist, only sand, Bedouins and camels around. You will have to deal with this pain somehow. On the first day, you feel it 100 %, but since you can’t do anything about it, thanks to the habitation mechanism, you start to feel it less and less. Despite the fact that nothing changes, the tooth is still not cured and there is no filling. But you’re just used to it. It is the same for medical students who almost faint during training, and then, when they start working, they can eat a sandwich with a patient with a torn leg who vomits blood. This same mechanism worked for prisoners of concentration camps, it helped many of them to survive. I wrote about this famous Warsaw Stanislav Grishuk in the book “Five years”camp.
HOWEVER, OUR HABITATION MECHANISM HAS TWO FACES. IT HELPS WHEN YOU ARE SUFFERING, BUT IT CAN ALSO LEAD TO ADDICTION WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY.
— It can cause terrible torment at the end. According to nature’s plan, this mechanism had only advantages, because it allowed us to get used to difficult situations. Maybe mother nature didn’t foresee the situation of dependency because she didn’t come up with natural mechanisms that would work in the opposite direction.
Habituation is bad because when we get used to some action, such as Masturbation, its quantity and intensity may increase, since at the basic level we no longer feel any pleasure.
My clients who are sex addicts feel only a “slight UFF” after orgasm, a short-term relief after releasing tension. This is such a narrowed perception of orgasm that healthy people can not imagine it.
MY SCHOOLTEACHER USED TO SAY, ” EVERYTHING IS FOR PEOPLE — BUT IN THE RIGHT PROPORTIONS.”
— Wise counsel.
About six months ago, a client came to my office who, at 190 centimeters tall, weighed 62 kilograms. And this is because he sat at the computer for 12 hours a day and watched porn. Despite being 34, he doesn’t need to work because his parents are rich and he inherited a house in the center of Warsaw. Because of this, say, “lifestyle”, he has a lot of health problems: high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, hemorrhoids, constipation, dry eye syndrome, depression… This is only half of the list.
I sent him to a closed ward for addiction treatment. I hope he wakes up there.
LET’S HOPE SO.
— Another client of mine corrects a bad mood in two ways: either watching porn and masturbating, or eating sweets. Now he comes home from work at five o’clock, eats something sweet, watches TV, and about seven goes to jail for pornography. These sessions can last up to two nights or longer. He has to get up for work at seven, but porn is so addictive that he doesn’t think about it. In addition to porn movies, he loves bird’s milk. He usually eats a whole box in an evening. Sometimes one and a half.
And it all started innocently: from one or two sweets two years ago, when he broke up with a girl.
This is how the habitation mechanism worked for him.
IT CAN COMPLETELY RUIN YOUR LIFE.
— I have many such clients. One of them is a fine artist. I saw his work in the gallery long before he became my patient. For five years, he has not drawn anything, because he constantly Masturbates. Once it took him ten minutes to feel 90% pleasure, and now, five years later, he Masturbates for two or three hours to get at least 60% pleasure. And so on three times a day.
THREE TIMES FOR THREE HOURS? FULL RATE.
— He has a free profession, he does not need to leave the house. During the break, something to eat, goes to the store, for a walk with the dog — that’s the day passed. In the evening, of course, he gets frustrated because he didn’t do anything. To get rid of this feeling, he sits down at the computer again.
Some time ago, through the Internet, he met a girl, but in real life with her, he does not have an erection.
BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO FEW INCENTIVES?
— She’s an attractive woman, and he showed me a photo. It’s just that he has too little incentive to be dependent. The same person all the time — he couldn’t switch. He missed her. And, unfortunately, he will not have enough of any real girl, he has gone too far in his dependence.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO STOP THE HABITATION MECHANISM IN SEX?
— Yes, but only this way: “from the computer KRU-ugom! Step forward!”. You need to stop getting visual and auditory stimuli from pornography, look for others: in touch, smell, hearing, vision, first of all — look for an emotional contract with a real partner.
HOW DO I DO THIS?
— In psychotherapy, we develop with the client an individual way to return to reality. Because, unfortunately, there is no individual program for everyone.
There is one more thing related to addiction that needs to be said. These are so-called defense mechanisms. They are based on the fact that when you find yourself in a certain situation, you use a certain behavior that theoretically should help solve the problem — but paradoxically prevents you from getting out of the situation and only strengthens it. For example, my client Masturbates before going to bed to get to sleep faster. But this does not solve the problem of his insomnia, but only supports it.
IT’S LIKE AVOIDING SEX FOR FEAR OF NOT GETTING AN ERECTION.
“Yes, that’s it. I don’t feel afraid because I avoid sex, and it only works here and now. Next time I will have to avoid the situation again. At the same time, confusion and sadness grow, and the client still avoids learning new behavior.
IT’S BETTER TO START FIGHTING THIS SITUATION.
“Yes, but no longer using defensive mechanisms.
In the case of this man who Masturbates because of sleep problems, there may be a situation when he wants sex, the body will accept this situation as an anomaly — and respond with a lack of an erection. Because he was programmed to have an erection and an orgasm only when he was sleepy.
I WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT THAT REGULAR MASTURBATION COULD BE THE CAUSE OF SO MANY PROBLEMS.
— There are men who are so mired in this addiction that they wash their heads. Sometimes this is because they want to hurt themselves — this is the case with those who are prone to self-harm. A client of mine lost his firm to a so-called hostile takeover. He was addicted to Masturbation. He does this several times, even up to 15 times a day. Stronger, more active, to get new incentives that will cover for him the pain associated with the fact that he has lost an important part of his life and now his career is going downhill.
IT SEEMS TO WORK LIKE THIS: IF I HAVE HAD PROBLEMS “IN MY LIFE” AS A RESULT OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES, THEN AT LEAST I CAN CONTROL MY BODY — AND PROVE IT BY INJURING MYSELF OR MASTURBATING.
— Yeah. In those cases, I feel helpless, but I can control the pain I cause myself; I’m the only one in charge of this situation, no one else. This is very well shown in the magnificent series “Lovers”. The main character Alice cut herself with sharp stones on the inner side of the thigh after each time she cheated on her husband. It was on the ocean, and her blood was running down the shingle.
THE ENCHANTING PICTURE.
— I saw similar situations when a few years ago I was on a psychological training in a popular psychiatric hospital in Donetsk. I met many patients there who had self-inflicted injuries to numb their emotional pain with physical pain. Once I was very surprised by a patient: he cut a mattress and ate foam from it. I asked why he was doing this, to which he replied: “I feel so empty inside. Foam fills the mattress well — maybe it will fill me.”