Why Can’t I Stop My Unwanted Sexual Behaviors?

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Many sex addicts struggling with obsessive, compulsive unwanted sexual behaviors often ask, Why can’t I stop? 

The internal stop mechanism doesn’t work!

It’s simple…All you have to do to stop, which you may have done many times, is say stop. Unfortunately staying stopped is the problem. 

In the aftermath of acting out you get sick and tired and shamed and guilty and promise to never do it again..until the craving comes back again…

The problem is there are two parts of the brain, the part that says I don’t want to do this, it’s not good, not healthy for me and the part that says do it, it will make you feel better and get you out of the discomfort you’re experiencing right now

I was on a morning walk with a friend this morning and he asked if there was any way I could help him with his sugar and chocolate addiction that he was having a problem

What does this have to do with sex addiction? Quite a bit…bear with meMy first reply was you’ve already taken the first step by asking for help and admitting you have a problem and want to stop the unwanted behaviors

I explained to him, the chemicals that are released in our brains such as dopamine are released in response to the basic needs of sustaining life…and what are those two basic needs? Procreation and sustenance. Sex and Food…The brain releases chemicals to help us feel good and seek out what is good for preservation of our species. We need to eat or we die…we need to re-produce or we die out.

So, the very same chemical responses are in both food addictions and sex addiction. We can live without sex but not food. If we stop eating we die. If we stop having sex our species dies out over the long term.

So, when my friends brain is in any state of discomfort, it says, go eat some chocolate and we’ll feel better. His only option is to say; stop…and that part of the brain is not as powerfu

l as the part that says eat, same as in a sex addict, one part says stop, the more powerful part says act out

So what to do?

First I suggested he pick up the phone and call me and say I’m feeling (feeling)  much the same as I suggest for any sex addict to do, pick up the phone and take the power out of the impulse and desire to medicate. 

I then talked about thought shifting, it’s not enough to just say no or stop there has to be a replacement thought and or activity. So I asked him what three activities could he list and then practice, called a fire drill so next time the urge came over him, he could use one of these fire drills.

I suggested he had already come up with one, make a phone call, which you can easily do

Second I suggested using the rainbow technique. When you have a disruptive thought or urge, you begin to search for the colors of the rainbow. ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. ROGYBIV is an acronym for the colors in order.

Third, I suggested a meditation or prayer activity and I even suggested a fourgh when the craving was too much, he could eat a pear, banana to replace the sugar rush he was looking for

So, what can you do as a sex addict to stop and stay stopped, to shift your mind until the urge and cravings come?

Make your list and practice them. It may sound silly, but if you practice the activities, when it’s time to do them, you’ll know how. Much like any fire drill. You practice it so when the fire happens you know where the exist are, on a plane you’ll know where the life vest are, where the oxygen masks are and where the nearest exit is.

Make your list of fire drills and help stay stopped.

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