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First Steps for a Sex Addict

first steps for a sex addict
The First Steps to Take When You are a Sex Addict

John is 40 years old and has been married for more than 12 years and has 2 children.  He has been fortunate to have climbed a corporate ladder and is making more than 200K a year.

His life on the outside looks perfect; nice car, big house, beautiful wife, great kids but all of that was going to change with the next pone call; “The president wants to see you immediately.”  Unsuspectingly, John walks in and two other vice presidents are sitting nervously next to the president.

Is it true?

“Before I give you the facts, I am going to give you one chance to be brutally honest, is it true?” said the president, glaring at John.  He immediately wants to ask questions but knows this will only guarantee his dismissal, he has witnessed this before.  He gulps and says, “Yes, sir, it’s true.”  “What is?” asks the president.

“It’s true I had an affair with your secretary sir.”  “Is that all?” he asked.  “Yes sir,” said John. “You’re fired!” said the president.  “She’s not the only one and your computer is full of porn and you have been looking up prostitute sites.  I wanted the truth.  Clean out your desk and HR will get with you on the details.”

Does everyone know I am a sex addict?

John doesn’t know what to do. It feels as if everybody already knows.  He heads to his car and on the way calls his wife and tells her he has been fired.  She calmly states, “Don’t come home either.”  This wasn’t the first time and she knew why. He promised before he would stop.

John’s a sex addict and this is a true story, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  So what should John do to start recovery?  As he sits across from me, we discuss his past abuse, neglect, his present circumstances and painful future.


Well, circumstances took care of the first part, John is out of denial.  “I know I am a sex addict, Dr. Weiss.”  This is a great start.  If you are still in denial of your sex addiction there is not much hope of real recovery happening.

Professional Help

Next John did the right thing; he sought out a professional who deals with sex addiction.  General counseling can be less effective. He needed to call someone who has counseled sex addicts before and has some rate of success; someone unafraid to ask if he is viewing porn, masturbating or having sex outside of his marriage. The last thing John needed was an uninformed therapist.

Learning about sex addiction

John didn’t oppose much at all to the therapeutic next step.  We discussed how he needed to get informed about his addiction.  He was open to reading sexual addiction materials such as The Final Freedom: Pioneering Sexual Addiction Recovery.  This was the easy part.

The following suggestion to help John with his lust problem was easy too.  He earlier reported constantly checking out women’s breasts, bottoms, and legs.  “It’s like never ending candy for me.”  “I understand, John, I’ve been there too,” I stated.  So I gave him a rubber band to place on his wrist and any time he objectifies a woman, he is to snap it to shut down this behavior.  Most addicts find about 80% of their objectifying ending in about 30 days.

Joining a sex addict support group

John responded to the next suggestion as if I was asking him to stab himself in the heart.  You see, I just explained to John, that recovery is a team sport and that he already tried hundreds of times before to stop and failed by himself.  He sheepishly agreed but the idea of a support group for sex addicts was dreadful.

John tried to use his charm, rationale and emotions to change my mind, but to no avail.  I’ve been helping guys for more than 20 years and unless you’re in a group you will fail and destroy more of your life.  “You mean I have to sit around a bunch of men and say, ‘My name is John and I am an alcoholic?’”

Call every day

I quickly said, “No John, you get to go to a group of guys and say: ‘My name is John and I am a sex addict.’”  We both laughed but he got the point.  “Better yet, John, you call these guys every day for the next ninety days so you have a shot at actually getting sober,” I said.  “Sober?  I never thought of it that way before,” said John.

Before John left we quickly went over his boundaries for porn, masturbation, grooming women, contact with women he had sex with, getting rid of prostitutes phone numbers, changing his cell phone number, email addresses and he needed to place a porn blocker on his computer and then discussed the time for the group that met in my office.

John had to take several next steps.   He went to group, dealt with his past and continues to address issues with his wife.  John’s nowhere near the end of a journey, he is just staring a journey.  A journey I have helped thousands with: moving from addicted to recovering.

Sex Addict Recovery

Recovery is so worth it for John and for you.  If you’re a sex addict, I would suggest the same steps for you. These are the first steps for a sex addict

            1.  Stop being in denial

            2.  Seek out specific help for the sex addict professionally

            3.  Read sex addict recovery literature

            4.  Go to a sex recovery meeting

            5.  Call the guys daily in your group

            6.  Repeat

For your next step I strongly encourage you to go to through the rest of the website.  There is a wealth of resources to help you start your path to recovery. You can first discover what kind of sex addict you are, there are six types.

I have worked with many men who were struggling with sex addiction. Ask about our Sex Addiction Intensives.

The sex addiction intensives are three to five days long and are focused around helping couples and individuals overcome sexual behaviors and addiction.

For more information about sex addiction treatment, call us at 719-278-3708 or email us at Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. is the founder of the Sexual Freedom Class and author of the Lust Free Living book. He is also the president of the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy. He is also the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs.

Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, the author of several books on sex addiction and the Executive Director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs for more than 20 years.  Please visit our website at

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