How does sex addiction prevent people from having intimacy in meaningful relationships?
I think any addiction prevents intimacy because addiction is all about separating me from you, but with sex addiction, because it’s such an isolating addiction or it can be, basically what it does is it creates this wall between me and the rest of the world. There’s this part of me, this kind of secret compartment that I don’t want other people to know, and intimacy is all about vulnerability. More of the way I like to describe it is into me see, and if I’m doing all of these things in the background, if I’m sleeping around, if I’m an exhibitionist, if I’m addicted to porn, I may not want my partner to know that part of me because I’ll feel if they know that part of me, they’re not going to want to be with me.
Just that level of secrecy and that double life, in and of itself, will prevent intimacy. A lot of the sex addicts that I see and I would say 99.9% of them also have trauma in their past, sexual abuse, domestic violence, abandonment, and it baffles me that I’ll have a couple in my office, and when one of the partners starts talking about this trauma, the other partner has no clue because they’ve never really talked about this kind of stuff and it’s really coming out in my office for the first time, which is awesome because right there, intimacy begins between a couple.