Let’s Talk About Sex Addiction

SEX ADDICTION!!! Is it real? Is it fake? Is it an excuse? Is it an overactive libido? Or could it actually be an addiction?

As someone who suffered for nearly 12 years with sex addiction, I can confirm that it is definitely real. From the addictive cycle highs of finding people you think are the most attractive and engaging in intercourse to the point they beg you to stop; but in the very next breath they ask you to do it again. To the addictive cycle lows where you feel so despondent and regretful that you promise yourself never to engage in that type of behavior again; only to find yourself in less than a week or at most a month right back in the saddle pressing repeat.

Until the true source or sources of pain are identified and addressed, the addictive cycle cannot be broken and the addiction will continue.

Sex addiction, unlike other addictions such as alcohol and drugs, doesn’t typically leave visual indicators. There aren’t the obvious signs like track marks on a person’s arm, breathe that reeks with whiskey or vodka proliferating through one’s pores. Unless an addict has contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) which has reached the point of being life threatening, most people would never know the person was an addict. Thus, most sex addicts are forced to suffer in silence which makes this addiction so difficult to address and heal. What a person can’t address, they can’t heal! (Every addict thinks their addiction is the worst).

What is consistent amongst sex addiction and any other addiction is pain. Whether a person chooses to use alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, shopping, sex, work or any other substance or experience; (is an addiction a vice or a substance or experience? A vice implies that an addiction is a sin, rather than a disease, or a symptom of emotional pain) at the root of the addiction is pain. Until the true source or sources of pain are identified and addressed, the addictive cycle cannot be broken and the addiction will continue. Unfortunately, because of the addiction, (the ego seeks to support the addict in their addictions) addicts are masterminds at putting up walls both externally and internally to prevent others and themselves from getting to the source(s) of pain.

I grew up in what is becoming the “norm” in most American households, being raised by a single-parent. Thankfully, after my parent’s divorce, my mom was able to provide everything I needed and almost everything I wanted because of her education and spiritual upbringing. However, there was one thing neither she nor anyone else could provide, the unconditional love and support I longed for from my father. While my father was in my life at significant times, he wasn’t there on a consistent basis providing the nurturing only a father could provide which had a tremendous emotional impact.

Nevertheless, through God’s grace and my mom’s guidance and sacrifice I was able to excel in almost every area of my life. With academic scholarships I graduated with a BA in chemistry from Grinnell College and a MBA from Rice University. On the surface it appeared my life was perfect. Yet, I was hiding an addiction. (If you are hiding something then you believe no one knows. You don’t need both)

Thankfully, I realized my addiction was going to prevent me from having the most successful aspect of life: having my own family. Through support from mentors and close friends I went to therapy. It wasn’t until I went to a second therapist who wasn’t trying to treat my addiction, but rather the sources of pain which were the root of my addiction, did I find peace. Now, my relationship with my father is better than it has ever been and I haven’t had to deal with the effects of sex addiction in over two years.

In Sex and Surrender: An Addict’s Journey, I candidly describe how sex addiction played itself out in my life. While I’m definitely not proud of the behavior I engaged in as a sex addict, I left nothing to the imagination in the book. I wanted other sex addicts to be able to see themselves and those being affected by the addict’s behavior to know some of the signs. I believe God puts us all on this earth for a purpose. My purpose and mission is to share my story, provide hope and help others being affected by addiction directly or indirectly.

Addictions can be broken! What I am both grateful and proud of are the 4-Steps which I created from my experiences and God’s grace. Those steps allowed me to break the addictive cycle and get the help I needed to get to the root of my pain. For example: Step 1 – re/establishing a relationship with God, and the other steps can be found under the “4-STEPS” tab at sexsurrender.com. Also, the first chapter of Sex and Surrender can be downloaded, for free.

When addicts take personal responsibility for their actions and do not blame others or prior situations for their addiction, they can have peace and gain what everyone wants; LOVE.

About the Author

A.D. Burks is a native Texan and true Renaissance man. After earning a degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College, he pursued a music career while teaching in the Atlanta, Nashville and Houston public school systems. A.D. has a Master’s in Business Administration from Rice University, and works for Chevron oil as a corporate real estate developer. With Sex & Surrender, A.D. returns to his first love, and what he considers his calling — creativity and spiritual growth. In this book, he shares life lessons and experiences he has learned along the way. A.D. has spoken locally and regionally on the connection between HIV and sex addiction.

This article was originally published in Recovery Today Online.