Security breaches among sites like AdultFriendFinder.com seem to be increasingly common. In fact, this is the second time AdultFriendFinder has been hacked in the past year. AshleyMadison.com, another popular site that matches users up with partners for casual sex, was also hacked last year, threatening to expose the personal information of 37 million users.
Websites and social media apps have proven to be a force for good in many ways. They can help to generate grassroots financial support for outstanding social causes, and keep us connected with far away friends and relatives. But, they have also made it easier for people to self-destruct through sexually explicit chatting and “camming,” one night stands, and multiple sexual and emotional affairs. For some, these activities become part of a secretive and out-of-control pattern of behaviors. It’s an addiction that can cause immeasurable pain and emotional damage to their significant others and children, and can cause the addict’s life to crumble.
The Truth about Addiction to Internet Sex
Some people rationalize that their participation in sexual activity on the internet by telling themselves that they aren’t hurting anyone. They tell themselves that since there’s no real physical contact with another person when they are chatting or camming, it’s safe. If they get caught by a spouse or partner they may defend their sexually explicit online conversations by saying “It’s just a fantasy. Nothing really happened!”
But, being addiction to internet sex (or cybersex) can destroy lives and families. Some addicts end up having real-life affairs and destructive relationships with people they meet online. Some some lose jobs because of the amount of time they spend on hook-up sites and porn sites. And, if they’re addiction escalates to the point where they are buying memberships and add-on services for the sites, they may also lose a lot of money.
It is important to note that sex addiction is not a moral issue or a character issue. The sheer volume of pornographic websites and “friend finder” websites can make acting on all of their sexual impulses seem normal, even for those who may have never imagined they would. Many otherwise respectable and decent people can find themselves caught up in a web of internet sexual trysts, real-life sexual trysts and lies. It can happen to almost anyone, from all walks of life. Police officers, teachers, attorneys, member of Congress, and even priests and clergy members are not immune.
Are You Tired of Keeping Secrets?
Maintaining the kind of life in which you have to constantly find new ways to hide the inordinate amount of time you spend on sexually explicit websites would take a serious emotional toll on anyone. But for people with a sexual addiction, who experience persistent inability to stop their inappropriate activities despite their desire to stop, the shame and guilt can be overwhelming. Many times this resulting shame and guilt serve to fuel the cycle of addiction as the addict attempts to overcome negative emotions by seeking new sexual distractions, such as joining another website or starting another affair.
Being in an empathetic (shame reducing) yet challenging (behavior changing) therapeutic treatment setting designed for treating sexual addiction is often the only way that sex addicts with chronic infidelity are able to break this cycle. Treatment of sexual addiction is quickly adapting to the technological changes in our society to help addicts stop this destructive behavior and allow families begin the healing process.
If you have any questions about addiction to internet sex, please give us a call at 866-471-6190. Our Intake specialists are happy to talk to you about sex addiction and the treatment options Gentle Path at The Meadows has to offer. And, we take extra care in ensure that your conversation is kept completely private and confidential. Don’t wait another day. You can get help and you can build a new and even better life.