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Below are is an abbreviated list of 20 key “questions” adapted from the Sex and Love Addicts literature that might help a woman self-determine if she has this type of problem.
More about SLAA can be found at: I a female sex and love addict? Do you feel that your life is becoming or is unmanageable because of your sexual and/or romantic behavior or your excessive dependency needs? Do you find yourself unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that seeing this person is destructive to you? Do you feel that you don’t want anyone to know about your sexual or romantic activities?
Though Mary had a highly physically and emotionally abusive home environment, she had not previously sought out treatment or therapy nor did she relate her problem adult sexual and romantic history to early childhood abuse.
She told her therapist that she had always believed that “by marrying the right guy, I could just put the past behind me, when Jeff came along – I thought I was safe” Just after her first child was born, Mary began sexual/romantic affairs with both a neighbor and separately, a co-worker, believing then that her marriage had become boring and she needed these other experiences to feel “more alive.” In addition to the stated ongoing sexual and romantic liaisons over the past several years, Mary has been signing onto Craigslist in search of other lovers and casual sex whenever she or her husband are out of town for work.
While the primary etiology of male sexual addiction is mostly based in early emotional neglect, covert parental incest and early attachment deficits – female sex addicts report much greater incidences of profound, overt childhood abuse, physical neglect and trauma – often sexual, which leads to sex addiction and intimacy issues in later life.
SLAA, Sex and Love addicts Anonymous is a 12-step sex addiction recovery program that encourages female participation and offers many gender separate meetings.
The Ranch, a residential treatment center in Nunnelly, Tennessee offers private, gender separate residential treatment for female sex addicts.
In addition to the affairs and anonymous sexual liaisons both before and throughout her marriage, Mary also disclosed “losing myself on a daily basis” to 30-40 minutes of porn use with masturbation, “to help calm me down or as a way to get to sleep” for nearly all her adult life.
She simply reported this as “what I do to relax” but she also keeps this secret from her husband.