First of all what in the world is a sex binge???
Like alcohol and other recreational drug users can go on a weekend binge or longer, so can sexual behaviors. Sexual behaviors, including fantasies, masturbation, porn, intercourse, and other acts of a sexual nature.
If you think about it, why do people binge on anything?
Well, to escape of course. Escape work, home, people, or even your own thoughts and emotions. When people binge, they are just looking for a way to release, not think about what made them feel like binging in the first place. It’s a false sense of “dealing” with the problem.
Dealing with the problem or rather, not dealing with the problem has become a way of life. True you may not be addicted (so to speak), but you do have an unhealthy and risky habit. Most people don’t believe in the risk or even consider the fact that they binge for a reason. Everything is for a reason, or else we wouldn’t do it. You just have to discover what that reason is.
SEX is no different!
We like to compartmentalize risky behaviors or socially unacceptable behaviors, such as drug use or drinking “too much.” Truth be told, depends on who you are talking to and sex could fall into those categories as well.
However, that’s irrelevant in this case. The relevance of a sex binge is what I am here to talk about and how to recognize it, understand it, and avoid it.
First, I want to distinguish the difference between sex addiction and sex binging.
- Obsession – Being obsessed with sex, sexual fantasies, pornography, etc.
- Loss of Control – Losing control over the ability to not engage in sexual fantasies or behaviors.
- Adverse Consequences – Job loss, a decline in physical and emotional health, loss of interest in things once enjoyed, isolation, anxiety, arrest, etc.
Even though these are universal signs and symptoms, they are not limited to them and doesn’t affect everyone with this issues the same way.
Here are some signs and symptoms to recognize a sexual binge:
- Limiting – Limiting your sexual activity to weekends only or restrict the length of time you allow yourself to engage in sexual activity.
- No Regard – Engaging in high-risk sexual activity impulsively without regard for safety or other consequences.
- Guilt – Feelings of guilt after the impulse has worn off.
- Pattern – Engaging in the same type of impulsive sexual behavior on a certain day, time of year, or when experiencing certain emotions.
Now that we have that out of the way…How in the world does this happen?
Many don’t want to acknowledge a “sex binge” let alone try to understand it. But to understand it, you must acknowledge that there is a problem or at least that it doesn’t feel right…OR that you are just plain old’ tired of being out there, giving it up for nothing in return.
Sex makes us feel good, wanted, important, in control…at least in the moment.
That is the rush! Along with the euphoric sensation and adrenaline, you get from the pleasure of sex and control. I mean let’s face it…the binge is about control. Controlling your emotions, the environment, the time, the reason, and the results. You even get a kick out of controlling the fact that you control to be in control or controlled during the act of sex.
But what is it that drives the control?
The need to escape anger, loneliness, sadness, hurt, frustration, or disappointment. Or this can be multiple feelings at one time that you are experiencing and you just want it to stop. Since you feel out of control with your emotions, you go to what you can control, SEX.
The problem lies, in the after effects. During your binge, you feel in control (even though you are out of control), but when it’s all over and you come down off the high of sex or sexual activities…the guilt, shame, and self-hatred settles in and lead you back to the same issue that provoked you in the first place. Only now, you have created additional emotional pain that sends the binge into a spiral or sends you into a temporary depression. Either way, you spend a long period of time recovering. Sort of like an emotional hang-over.
Nonetheless, there are 10 ways you can AVOID a sex binge.
- Respect yourself
- Know your worth
- Refuse to settle
- Get clear on what you want
- Refuse to be controlled by people and situations you cannot control
- Deal with the problem
- Let it pass
- Accept that is ok to be alone
- Reflect on your emotions and the reason behind them
- Be patient. Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions
It is important to know your own power through knowledge of yourself. Understanding who you are and your past trauma and/or experiences is the key to avoiding activating sex binges.
Believe it or not, this is a real thing and I can attest to it because I have experienced these binges. It wasn’t until 2 years ago I was able to recognize it. I was grieving, but I wanted to numb the pain. I used sex to avoid dealing with my emotions, that were all over the place. It wasn’t a random person or anything, but the purpose was the same, to undue the emotional pain. It didn’t work and I used a person I cared about in such a vulnerable way, it was unfair. I added to the emotional pain with guilt. The guilt of the act during such a painful time and the guilt of taking advantage of someone I cared about. On top of all of that, it never made me feel better, the pain was still there. Time and time again, it has proven that this is only a diversion from the real issues deep down.
I advise that you take a good look at the issues that you are trying to avoid or the void you are trying to feel with these sexual acts before it continues, turns into a binge, or a full on sexual addiction. Evaluate yourself. Learn about the emotion. Feel it, so that you can heal and move on, instead of trying to numb or ignore it.
Until Next Time…Leap off the couch into your new future, with self-control.
Ashley M Dais