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June 11, 2024 27 mins

 Welcome back to another episode of One Hot Mess. Today, we're diving into a topic that's a bit different but super important—sex addiction.

We'll talk about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for sex addiction, and even touch on some real-life examples. While it's not officially recognized in the DSM-5, it's a real issue for many, affecting daily life and relationships.

We'll also discuss how chronic health conditions can impact your sex life and offer some practical tips to keep the passion alive, even when dealing with challenges like back pain, skin sensitivity, or post-surgery recovery.

So, whether you're dealing with sex addiction or just looking for ways to spice things up despite physical limitations, this episode has got you covered. Let's get real and find ways to make your love life better than ever.

Thanks for tuning in, and don't forget to hit that follow button and share One Hot Mess with a friend. Have a beautiful, lovely, amazing day!

Later!

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:00):
Music.

(00:06):
Hi guys, it's Brittany and welcome to another episode of One Hot Mess.
Today we're going to be talking about something a little bit different and that is sex addiction.
We'll talk about some signs, symptoms, and treatment.
And sex addiction, it may not be an established disorder in the DSM-5,

(00:29):
But persistent patterns of failing to control intense repetitive sexual impulses,
they can be problematic.
When behavior interferes with daily functioning, you may need to seek professional help.
Okay so so the

(00:51):
term sex addict it
began receiving renewed scrutiny in
2017 when former film producer
harvey weinstein declared that he was what or that was what ailed him and entered

(01:12):
rehab after more than 80 women came forward alleging sexual assault and sexual abuse by this man.
He was found guilty of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in
2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

(01:33):
Practitioners in the country's mental health community still can't come to an
agreement about how to regard a multitude of dysfunctions ranging from compulsive
masturbation to uncontrollable infidelity to illegal behaviors.

(01:54):
These get lumped together under the label sex addiction, in effect between three
and six percent of the U.S. population.
There is even disagreement over whether sex addiction or, as it's frequently
called, compulsive sexual behavior disorder is a treatable mental disorder.

(02:16):
Regardless of the name used, this disorder is not listed in the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by practitioners to diagnose psychiatric illnesses.
The rationale for the exclusion is that sex addiction does not cause physical

(02:38):
symptoms of withdrawal, such as illness or anxiety.
Another concern is not to stigmatize people who enjoy kink or non-monogamous
behavior and other out-of-the-accepted normal standards of sexuality.
However, this exclusion makes it extremely difficult to receive reimbursement for treatment.

(03:07):
Clinical psychologist and author of The Myth of Sexual Addiction,
David Lay, does not mince words.
He says sex addiction is an excuse and distraction used by powerful men when
they get caught engaging in impulsive, promiscuous behavior.

(03:27):
Behavior however while the majority
of those afflicted may be male
they don't own a patent or
sexual dysfunction for instance actress jada pinkett smith has been very open
about her past addictions to alcohol working out and sex and in july 2018 the

(03:52):
actress revealed on her talk show Red Table Talk.
When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind.
Yes, that everything could be fixed by sex.
Shocking, right? Kind of. I don't really know. Anyway,
the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, which is a non-profit organization

(04:20):
dedicated to promoting sexual health prefers yet another term,
which is hypersexual disorder.
And we're just going to say SASH for the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, okay?
SASH defines this as a persistent pattern of failure to control intense repetitive

(04:42):
sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior despite adverse
consequences or deriving little or no satisfaction from it.
When the obsessive behavior continues for six months or more,
resulting in significant impairment or distress to functioning in other areas of your life,

(05:08):
for example, family, relationships, work, self-care, hobbies,
well, guess what? Attention must be paid.
Okay, so there is a doctor who gave an example, For example,
or he says a patient I'll call Ed describes his torment.

(05:30):
As soon as you're done having sex, you feel a sudden repulsion to the person lying next to you.
There is trouble focusing on the task at hand.
You get sexual images in your head every minute of the waking hours.
And there are nightmares about sexual taboos, such as having sex with a close relative.

(05:55):
Well, A.D. Burks, author of Sex and Surrender, An Addict's Journey,
labels himself a former sex addict.
His bottom line, if a man or woman is continually using sex to escape pain,
he or she can be considered an addict.

(06:15):
Indeed addictions whether they
manifest in compulsive gambling shopping
substance misuse or sexual acting
out are rooted in the desire to escape emotional pain the distraction of the
pleasurable event becomes harmful when the person's impulse control abilities

(06:37):
are not sufficient to lessen the activity.
But there are treatment options to explore.
There is a sort of buyer beware sticker attached to treatments as sex addiction
therapy is unregulated by insurance companies and government agencies.

(07:01):
So do your research. Make sure wherever Wherever you go for help has a good
reputation and no complaints.
For some people, the 12-step program, Sex Addicts Anonymous,
it can be of help by providing community and support.
Another good 12-step program is offered by Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

(07:25):
Others may need one-on-one therapy and possibly psych meds.
But making the realization that you may have a sex addiction is a good place
to start. You know, getting in touch with your emotions.

(07:46):
It's a good first step to recovery.
And rather than delving into feelings,
cognitive behavioral therapy is a
short-term approach geared toward helping patients notice and correct the irrational
thoughts and feelings that lead to compulsive behavior by using learning techniques

(08:11):
that serve to regulate the urges.
And this often involves journal keeping and workbook exercises and can be an
effective treatment for sexual addictions.
And learning to engage your whole

(08:31):
being during sex with a partner you love versus just using someone as,
you know, just using someone basically for sex is something you definitely probably
need to work on and learn not to do while you are getting help or treatment,

(08:52):
if that applies to you, of course.
But anyway it's also
crucial to follow up with treatment and to involve others affected by your addiction
in your recovery and keep in mind when sexually compulsive behaviors stop.

(09:18):
Physiological and psychological discomfort may be experienced,
but withdrawal from sex or even porn isn't well-researched.
So most information on the topic is, well, you know, not, you can't believe
everything you read about it, basically, because you never know.

(09:41):
But the president of the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy offers
perhaps the best advice for those struggling with addiction.
You have to be motivated for treatment, not doing it to make someone else happy.
So yes, you definitely have to be doing it for yourself. If you are not ready,

(10:06):
there is no point in attempting to get help.
Okay guys let's switch
it up you know and let's talk about basically
well this is going to be your guide to better sex as long as you're not a sex
addict that is maybe i didn't think that through when i put the two together

(10:28):
but anyway maybe you live with back pain joint issues shoes or,
you know, whatever.
But that doesn't mean that you don't deserve to give and receive pleasure.
It's easy to think about sex as two physically able and usually young and beautiful

(10:50):
bodies coming together in an erotic display of passion, thanks to pop culture,
unrealistic porn, and sex ed that often fails to include chronic people of all
ages and mobilities into the equation.
Turns out it's a lot more varied than that.

(11:11):
Sex in the broadest definition is a person or people engaging in a pleasure-focused activity.
If we can get out of these prescribed limiting spaces and learn all of the ways
that human beings can experience sex and intimacy,

(11:33):
life is so much better.
You know, plenty of people yearn for physical intimacy with a partner or even
partners who also face a wide range of bodily or emotional limitations.
So you need to, well, here's one thing that can help if you're having issues there.

(11:56):
Start feeling sexy again. They say that your brain is your most important sexual organ.
So before we get into sexual workarounds
for specific chronic ailments it's smart
to start with the question what do you think about sex as in you having sex

(12:16):
maybe tonight are you stopping yourself before you get started are you hindered
by medical obstacles you don't know how to overcome come.
Ironically, the treatment you are on to feel better with your chronic condition
may also be the thing that's making you feel worse about sex.

(12:37):
With many chronic health conditions, medications can be a libido killer.
Like drugs that treat high blood pressure.
They can cause erectile dysfunction, antidepressants that can decrease your

(12:58):
interest in sex and delay or even prevent orgasms.
Those are good examples of treatments that can shut down your love life, but don't let them.
If your medication is causing a new problem or you think your medication is
the root of an ongoing problem, bring it up with your doctor.

(13:22):
A lot of times there are other options. Be your own advocate.
Pleasurable sex is part of life. Don't let medication take it away from you.
Meds, of course, are just one type of mood dampener.
You should also consider this

(13:44):
advice right here which is to acknowledge that you are still a sexual being
a lot of people just shut it all down after the diagnosis or when treatment
impacts their sex life there's a lot of anger grief shame and guilt for some
people with chronic disease
that destructive thinking carries over to

(14:07):
topics of sex with thoughts like we
should just be grateful that we're alive or I'm
selfish for wanting to still be a sexual person and if I can't be the lover
I used to be I'm not worth loving but it's a radical act of self-love love and

(14:28):
love of your partner to reclaim your sex life in a new way.
Remap what feels good. Ask yourself, what feels good to me now?
It takes a lot of curiosity, a willingness to explore your own body and to be
open to different sensations.

(14:50):
Sex is not just intercourse. It's learning both on your own and with a partner what feels good.
So be brave enough to communicate your desires. A lot of couples who have been
partners for a long time have the way they do sex.
And once they figured it out, they might not renegotiate.

(15:18):
Sorry. And consent-based communication can help do that.
Say things like, if you're open to it, I would like to try.
Okay. Okay, so now that we've got you in the right mental mindset for intimacy,
we can tackle how to face many of the physical challenges too.

(15:40):
Some ways to overcome specific chronic issues to help bring sexy back into your bedroom.
Such as, so let's say that you struggle with chronic back pain.
And there are a lot of different kinds of back pain.

(16:01):
And other kinds of spinal disorders that can cause struggle with mobility issues
that can make sex, well, super uncomfortable or sometimes even painful,
depending on how you do it.
So consider, if you can, this as a new opportunity to try a new position.

(16:24):
Missionary style with you on the bottom may only make pain worse.
It's about adapting heights and creating supports where necessary.
There's pillows, sex swings, or slings, and other back supports that support
the spine while partners are getting busy.
So for example, a sex pillow, typically made of a high-density foam that holds

(16:50):
its shape and has a machine washable pillowcase,
it can be used to enhance the angle of different while taking pressure off of the neck and back.
Websites such as Good Vibrations and A Woman's Touch are good places to look
for supportive props and toys, just so you know.

(17:13):
In different positions, they can save a sexual relationship.
Like a woman with back pain might feel better leaning, not learning,
but leaning forward over the bed and having sex from, you know,
like a rear entry position.
Or if the act of

(17:33):
thrusting for a man is painful having a
woman on top using her hips for stimulation
it may be preferable now let's say that you have skin that is super sensitive
like people with eczema or other skin disorders maybe yours itches like crazy

(17:55):
or you have open been painful or even bleeding?
Plex on your arms, legs, back, and elsewhere on your body.
Is skin-to-skin contact forever a no-go for you? Well, don't give up so easily.
Medication, timing, and sexual positions all come into play here. Communication is key.

(18:19):
You just need to let your partner know if you're having a flare-up or if an
area bothers you when it's rubbed and then be open to talking about what positions
work with any potential no-fly zones.
Sexual positions where the breasts are not touched may be the best for comfort during penetration.

(18:43):
You and your partner, you just need to experiment and explore new sexual positions
to understand your new normal in the bedroom while using like a water-based solution.
Silicone-based or water-based lubricants. It may help limit friction or discomfort.

(19:07):
And it's just recommended that you steer clear of flavored lubes since fragrances,
preservatives, and colors are common skin irritants.
And if open wounds on, say, your torso are too painful for direct touch or they
make you self-conscious, consider
wearing a soft shirt that makes Makes you and your skin feel good.

(19:33):
All right. All righty. And then we have.
So sorry, guys. So sex after a mastectomy for breast cancer.
Mastectomy surgery, which removes cancerous breast tissue.
It can require a long recovery. And this often life-saving procedure can,

(19:57):
you know, kind of cause a little bit of a shift in sex between partners in multiple ways.
It can be a three to six month recovery process and a year or longer until women want to have sex again.
Excuse me. healing time fatigue

(20:19):
and therapeutic side effects can all
play into desire for sexual contact and while
operating on your breast has
seemingly nothing to do with your genitals the reality is that breast cancer
treatments can do a number on your vagina estrogen is a great hydrator and breast

(20:40):
cancer medication shuts down estrogen so the vagina gets well well, really dry.
Elastic in the tissue around the vagina closes, meaning you may have to prepare for penetrative sex.
It's suggested that women who are taking breast cancer meds work with their

(21:03):
doctor to find non-scented, non-flavored, and good quality lubricants and try a dilator,
which is a dildo-like like insert that slowly stretches vaginal tissue again.
And then when you're ready, explore sexual positions where there's less depth

(21:24):
of vaginal penetration,
like maybe from behind or where you as the post-mastectomy partner are in control
of the depth, like on top.
I mean, of course, a mastectomy can leave a lasting impact on body confidence too.
Physically the healing process may take

(21:48):
6 to 12 weeks but the
emotional healing may take much longer and wanting to engage in sexual activity
well it will vary among those going through breast cancer treatment since chemotherapy
and radiation may follow surgery which further delays interest in sex.

(22:11):
So communication with your partner is essential since you're going through this
challenging journey together.
And if your mojo is missing during your post-op recovery time,
cut yourself some slack.
To make sure that we reassure women that feeling desexualized is expected during

(22:32):
the typical lengthy treatment for breast cancer.
When your head or body is ready to feel frisky again,
even if one or the other lags behind, support groups that are specifically geared
toward sexual health for breast cancer patients,
as well as individualized therapy for women and their partners can both be helpful

(22:56):
additions to regaining interest in sexual and intimate activity.
All right, so what about sex with migraine?
I mean, I have a headache, honey, must be the most famous seduction stopper of all time.
But some people live with chronic migraine and they still want to be sexual being.

(23:20):
Seems counterintuitive, but for some people with the condition,
sex can actually provide headache relief.
One study from a university in Germany showed that 60% of people with migraine
and cluster headaches reported that sexual activity considerably or completely

(23:41):
improved their migraine symptom.
And researchers, they're not sure how or why
but suspect the endorphins the
brain's natural pain reliever may
play a role so if you are or if your migraine symptoms aren't too debilitating
getting it on just might be the best prescription for the night and if you're

(24:05):
willing to experiment just try some gentle foreplay or sex with a less severe attack.
Otherwise, just stick to having sex when you're not actively experiencing symptoms,
including seeing strobing lights or biting, crushing head pain.

(24:26):
Best bet for intimacy tomorrow perhaps may be to avoid your individual migraine
triggers in the first place so an evening of sex isn't traded for you lying
alone in a pitch black room after downing some medication.
But the good news, common turn homes like dim lights,

(24:49):
cooler temperatures, soft music, and an absence of overbearing male cologne
just may work in your favor since bright lights, hotter temperatures,
loud noise, and strong fragrances are all known migraine triggers.
And also the Mayo Clinic, it recommends that taking a more passive role during

(25:13):
sex may help prevent headaches for some people.
Maybe your partner can conjure their inner dom to both please you and help keep you symptom free.
All right, we're just going to go over one more and that is sex after prostate surgery.

(25:33):
So many men, they fear that sex after surgery for prostate cancer will will be a non-starter.
And that worry is understandable since the prostate is next to nerves,
blood vessels and muscles that help you have an erection.
And erectional dysfunction is common after surgery.

(25:58):
There are several adaptations from urologists around penile injections.
And there are also medications, penis pumps, I cannot say that word without
laughing, I'm sorry, implants and cock rings that can help improve or strengthen erections.

(26:19):
What's more, penises aren't the only measure of sexual connection for traditional hetero partners.
For couples that are interested in mutual satisfaction, like kissing,
touching, oral sex, using vibrators.
Bull stimulation, you know, whatever is making yourself, your sex life uncomfortable or difficult.

(26:44):
Remember, there are workarounds for almost everything.
Sex aids, new positions, medication swaps, and more.
So leave no stone unturned in your quest to get your sex life back on track.
Your chronic condition, whatever it is, it does not have to dictate your level
of intimacy intimacy with the object of your affection.

(27:07):
It may take some effort, but guess what? Good sex is worth it.
All right. Well, I think that is enough talk on sex today, y'all.
But thank you so much for listening.
Please hit that follow button and share one hot mess with a friend,

(27:28):
and I will talk to you guys next time.
Have a beautiful, lovely, amazing day, guys. later.
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