You are in a deeply painful relationship, yet you find it impossible to leave. Sex and romance are the only things that make you feel alive. You tell yourself next time will be different, but continue to have unsafe sex with people you've just met. No one knows anything about your sex life and you believe that if they did you would never survive the shame. You continue to meet partners who are unavailable, avoidant, and/or abusive. These are the kinds of fears and anxieties that haunt women who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior.
Women are keenly aware they live in a gender-biased society that says to be desirable they must be both "pure" and "sexy". This messaging heightens the shame and confusion that women who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior and/or romantic obsession experience. It also makes it difficult to decide what "healthy" sexual and relational behavior looks like.
One in five adult women recalls experiencing some form of childhood sexual assault. Women who have experienced trauma are more likely to be targeted for re-traumatization and/or victimization. With attachment-informed therapy, these repetitions can stop. Women struggling with compulsive behavior often have a great deal of pain and trauma in their history. Fantasies and romantic or sexual obsession are a common way to block out what's going on inside. Yet women are more likely to hide sexual compulsivity due to shame. You deserve support and help around these issues. At The SAT Project, you are safe and welcome to discuss whatever is troubling you. We are here to help you.
No man or woman fits into just one mold. But here are a few characteristics that women who experience compulsive sexual behavior often struggle with:
You're drawn to people who are abusive or not available
You frequently have sex with people you've just met
Your fantasies and romantic obsessions seem to take over your life at the expense of other activities
You don't feel valuable or alive without a romantic or sexual relationship
You frequently have sex to feel powerful
You use masturbation, sex, or fantasy to avoid feeling anxious, lonely, or angry
You avoid dating or masturbation and feel uncomfortable about anything sexual
Many people try and fail to solve these sorts of problems on their own. Our experience is that the single most effective thing a person seeking relief from addiction or out-of-control behavior can do is to stop trying to do it alone, and seek help.