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About 60 years ago or so when AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) was getting started, most of those meetings were male dominated.Alcoholics were assumed to be males, usually found drunk in back-alleys and half-way houses.Q: I spend many hours a week involved in online cybersex and checking out social networks for sex/relationship partners; I enjoy every moment. If you repeatedly spend more time on online looking for sex and love than you intend, if you continue this despite significant negative consequences in your life (examples: risking loss of relationships, job, health problems, time away from loved ones, recreation, or viewing illegal porn), and if you are obsessed or preoccupied with these activities when you should be focused on other aspects of your life, then you likely have an addiction or related problem.Research suggests that those addicted to online sex or those with online pornography addiction spend at least 11 or 12 hours a week on the Internet, but often it’s double or triple that amount of time. Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography and compulsive viewing of porn with or without masturbation both present long-standing problems for many cybersex addicts.I’ve had brief offline affairs with some of these men. I think I am a sex addict and I really struggle with this. Unfortunately, while our society often rewards men for excessive sexual behavior, it simultaneously punishes and devalues women for the same activities.No wonder it is so difficult for women to come forth and admit they have a problem.Most partners feel betrayed and emotionally abandoned when either through disclosure or discovery they learn of their spouse’s online sexual activities, even if a real-life affair has not occurred. Give your partner space and understanding to express his or her hurt and anger without trying to avoid, dismiss, or make it different. Consider couples counseling, or attending a couples’ support group to help work through the rough times. Q: I have a larger sexual appetite than my partner, so for years to satisfy myself I’ve been involved in affairs, both online and offline; use porn; and regularly receive sensual massages. Part of what determines whether someone is a sex addict is not just looking at the person’s sexual behaviors, but also at how he or she is living his or her life.Many sex addicts constantly lie to their partners, keep sexual secrets, and find ways to justify their sexual behaviors.
Q: I am a married woman and my time online is mostly spent in sex and romance chats.
If your spouse is unwilling to go with you, then it is even more likely that he is hiding some behavior.
In this case, it would be helpful for you to see a counselor alone in order to sort out your options.
But real intimacy takes dedicated work, communication, and play – for any addict it is always going to seem easier to pick up the phone, the computer, or a stranger for instant gratification than struggle with the messy unpredictability of an intimate relationship.
The rewards for that intimate relationship are far greater than you get with sexually addictive behaviors.
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