Dec 01 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Dominique Strauss Kahn : Which one might be a sex addict? – Vol. 103, May 26, 2011

First, I need to be clear that I have never met either of the gentlemen being spoken of in this posting. I have however, worked in the area of sex addictions for the past six years and have written a book that will be published in the next few months on the subject. The following is just my opinion based on the media attention that these two famous males have had focused on them.

Sexual addiction occurs when a person is unable to stop the impulsive behavior regardless of the damaging effects of that behavior. There is a biological basis for the dopamine rush that a person gets when they take the risk involved in acting in a manner that goes against societal norms. When men are addicted to the sexual behavior they are in an altered state as they go on the hunt for the woman who will fulfill his orgasmic need.

It is interesting to note that for a man to become sexually addicted he will have never had the normal emotional attachment form with his primary caregiver, usually because this person was either negligent or unavailable to fulfill his needs whether it be on the physical level or the emotional. Without the ability to attach to another person in the normal manner, the sexual addict is unable to form any sort of long term relationship with a primary partner. Instead he will get his needs taken care as he feels them, unable to commit to any relationship, even if it means feeling lonely and unfulfilled by the sexual relations that he experiences.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has allegedly had several affairs over the twenty-five years he has been married to Maria Shriver. He has proven to be able to attach to these women one after the other, with them truly caring about him in return. Just because a man has a hankering for an affair, does not make him a sex addict. It most likely says more about his lack of fulfillment by the relationship that he is in, not feeling appreciated, or perhaps not experiencing the type of sexual play that he would prefer from the woman with whom he is married.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn formally of the International Monetary Fund, has a very different history from Arnold Schwarznegger. Here is a man who was notorious for groping strangers, women who held high governmental positions without any regard for who they were or why they were in a particular meeting with him. Many women who had to interact with him given the high status of his job, did all they could to not be left alone in a room with him. Even though it was a known fact that Strauss-Kahn acted in this despicable manner, nothing was ever done to protect these woman from him. Understand that this sort of behavior is very aggressive and hateful, crossing a boundary with the women with whom he came into contact.

Please note that most sex addicts are men who will find women to fulfill their sexual needs, usually in the sex trade, being paid for the services they render. It is only a very small proportion of the sexual addicts who would ever act in such a overtly demeaning manner, most likely less than five to ten percent. I want to be clear about his point. The reason that Dominique Strauss-Kahn could be considered a sex addict based on the reports in the news, is because he is unable to keep from being involved in sexual behavior regardless of the damage that it could and ultimately did cause in his career and personal life. The behavior centered on Dominique Strauss-Kahn pushing himself onto women who were not interested in being with him, doing so frequently. He was known for this inappropriate behavior yet never was stopped by any of his superiors.

When one thinks of a man who is having an affair with another woman, it very well could mean that he is unhappy with the woman that he is with, desiring something more in line with fulfilling his own needs. For if a normal man’s sense of self is being admired, appreciated and acknowledged, an affair would not be on the horizon.

With a sex addict, there is no hesitation to move forward to get his “fix”, regardless of perhaps destroying the relationship that he is in, hurting his children’s concept of who he is as well as destroying the relationship that he is in with their mother. All that matters for this man is that he get what he is after, much as a dope addict has to get his drugs to continue going on, the sex addict needs his sexual release or he will not feel whole.

What can be done about sex addiction? Well, there are a few 12-step programs that are oriented toward this particular problem. However, as noted in many of our other postings about the 12-step process it is clear that this is not the preferred manner in which to receive treatment. For those of you who are new to these postings I will point out to you that it is at the 12-step programs that fellowship members are forced to get up and state to the whole group that they a powerless over their addictions. What this means is that the the members of these groups have no hope of having days without cravings. Worse than that is the function of the unconscious mind to store everything that you say and hear inside the gray cells of the brain. This means that the addict will always think of himself/herself as an addict thus having the thoughts and behaviors that go along with having an addiction. There would never be a time that the urges will be gone, which of course is why the 12-step programs have about a five percent success rate, no better than the percentage of people who would be able to stop on their own.

It is only through reframing the way the addict interprets his world that he will be able to let go of the underlying issue for his problems. It really isn’t the sex addiction that is the problem. The sex addiction is only there as a “presenting problem” allowing us to know that there is an underlining cause to the addictive behavior. This is because all addictive behavior exists to allow the mind to not have to think of anything that may be hurtful or disagreeable to the conscious mind. This is why hypnotism is such a great way to deal with this issue. One needs to go into the unconscious mind to find out what the emotional hurt is allowing us to assist the client in releasing all the negative emotions that were underlying the specific sexual behavior. Once that is done a bit of forgiveness work for anyone who may have abused the client, including maybe the person(s) who sexually molested this client at a very young age. The research shows that 81% of all sex addicts were sexually abused. In my practice 95% of them were sexually abused before they even had any idea of what sexual contact was. They were too young at the age of ten or twelve to know. This idea that such a young person would be treated in this respect, to be “special” in that the manner in which the interaction was done was certainly something the aggressor would never want to be known, while at the same time the youth feels “special” in some sort of way, making it easier to go back into this sort of behavior later in life, when the stress of life or of the memories that are so hurtful. The sex addiction is serving the purpose of allowing the mind to quiet those feelings of depreciation of the self. The fact that sexual expression is one of the most pleasant feelings a person can experience only makes the addiction to sex even more compelling.

As you go about your business reading about these famous individuals having all these issues come to light, ask yourself if it seems from the news that you are hearing whether or not the person involved has perhaps a deeper issue that needs to be resolved then the fact that he was no longer happy in his marriage.

After seeing clients for the past six years for this particular problem, I can assure you that the majority of men who show up to release sexual addiction would be people that you would never think harbor such a mental/emotional dysfunction. They are for the most part physically attractive, kind yet frustrated individuals. Many of them hold down professional jobs or are self-employed. Hardly the sort of person you may imagine would have this particular problem. And, no, the idea of their having children to molest is over drawn in my opinion. Once again the reason why a man would go out of his marriage to pursue his sex provider is because he is not being given the sort of reassurance that he is loved for who he is, or in the more complex cases, never was able to organically form what is a natural right of passage. He was unable to form any emotional attachment to the primary care giverer disallowing the sort of “normal” relationship with a woman that would allow for a long term relationship to be successful.

The interesting thing about these individuals is that they are more fearful of themselves and their lack of self-control then anything else. My clients know that without help they can lose everything that means anything to them at all including their family, their job and in rare instances their freedom. They just need to know that there is a safe and respectful manner in which to get their issues resolved so that they can release themselves from this disorder. It is totally possible for them to do so as my practice has proven. My clients lose the desire to even go on the internet searching for the women they once felt compelled to find, fulling the time and energy on that useless activity with activities that serve a deeper meaning to them. All of them have gotten more involved with their own families which is a very good thing given that many of them have young children who need their dads in their lives. And of course the relationships with their significant others are worked on and strengthened if the client is interested in allowing that to occur. In other cases the client learns how to create better boundaries allowing for better choices in the people who hie chooses to date, allowing for a  healthier bond to form.

Hypnosis is a wonderfully natural way to clear this issue. Of course the client has to be ready to give up the world of seduction, willing to enter the world of engagement to create more fulfilling relationships for it to work.  If you are a person who is battling this particular problem, do look for a hypnotist who has experience working with sex addicts, who understands the underlying physiology and emotional issues that require resolution for successful treatment to occur. You can look on their websites for meaningful testimonials and blog postings that educate the public about the subject to know that you have someone who truly can assist you this most sensitive of issues.

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