Yeah, sexual addiction is really a misnomer, as some other commenters mentioned. It really is a addiction to fantasy and an extreme form of intimacy avoidance. Ironic, isn’t it? These individuals use the context of a relationship to avoid being intimate.

This makes more sense with a closer look.

We are born relational creature. We thrive on it. Need it. Depend on it. But if someone is terrified he or she can’t live up to another’s expectation what are they to do?

Create a false persona.

Like a chameleon, they shift themselves to be what the other person wants. My ex did that. He would date/fuck women who were huge fans of country music and who had multiple pets when he despised both. Loathed them. Why? Well, it allowed him to get into their pants.

He did the same with me. I’m a spiritual person, so he would start my day with a text of an inspiration quote. Is that who he really is? Of course not. I bet he hasn’t darkened the door of a house of prayer in over a year.

In order to be close to another person, sex addicts turn themselves in whomever we need them to be, while at the same time they tuck their self away.

My ex used to say he was terrified of being found out — that he wasn’t good enough. Meanwhile, his public persona was charismatic, handsome, and polished. Definitely alpha male.

Yes, there is a hyper sexual activity, but not intimate behavior. They fuck. A lot. There’s a lot of getting off happening in their lives. My ex used to masturbate multiple times a day. He was doing it to get the experience of mindless bliss in order to wipe out whatever was bothering him. A meeting at work go wrong? Find a bathroom stall and beat off. Or, stop at the local motel on the way home for a quickie with a sex worker. At night, there were the convenient dating apps for someone easy.

Have sex with his wife? No.

Most sex addicts aren’t stay sexually active with their partners. Why? Especially since it’s free, safe, and most of the time readily available.

Here’s the interesting part — sex with an intimate partner is different. Hopefully both people emotionally show up and share a moment of deep connection, all of which is terrifying for a Sex Addict (back to the intimacy problem).

My ex did everything he could to avoid having sex with me. I have a big drive and wanted it several times a week. I was lucky if we were intimate once every 10 days to 2 weeks. And then it was rarely intercourse. Sad, huh? It about killed me.

What made it worse was that he turned my sexual interest into something ugly. He told me I was selfish, thoughtless, and insensitive for wanting to be intimate. I should have noticed how tired he was, or that his back hurt, or that he had a long day. All were excuses. The truth was he was masturbating daily or getting sex elsewhere. He admitted this to me. Said it out loud to me at the end. It had never been about me. He wanted the thrill of hunting for sex, but didn’t want to be sexually intimate.

Written by

Psychologist/Author. Quora & Medium Top Writer. Mom of three, Autistic woman, Relationship expert kerry@kerrymcavoyphd.com

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