Women and Children are not the Only Victims of Sexual Obsession -Men, Marriages and Families are also.
The evidence is clear that in this technological era we have seen the explosion of the pornography industry unlike any other time in human history . Even though women and children are often the primary victims of this industry, which is built on exploitation, the secondary victims also include many of the consumers who develop sexually obsessive patterns. In my practice as a counsellor over the past decade I have worked with numerous men seeking therapy to overcome sexual addictive behaviours.
What compels these men to seek therapy? Whether they come because their wife has pressured them or they are genuinely self motivated, the driving forces are that their marriage and family are being impacted and under threat of destruction. A second major contributing force for some of these men is that their obsessive behaviour has impacted their employment with devastating potency, which magnifies the existing pressure upon their marriage relationship.
Of the self motivated clients many have attempted to overcome their obsessions by focusing on controlling their sexual behaviour to no avail. Drawing on the work Dr Patrick Carnes, Dr Doug Weiss, and Gene O'Connell I explain my therapeutic focus using a tree illustration. The fruit of the tree is the behaviours and cutting the fruit off effectively prunes the tree stimulating more growth, and in some, the tree gets savvy and starts to camouflage future fruit. Hence my focus is on the roots that supply the sap which in turn produces the fruit.
The root issues have very little to do with sex, instead they are about core issues of the persons persona, identity, self rejection and self hatred, and most of all fear of intimacy based on their personal experience of intimacy failure in their developing years and in particular with their fathers. Apart from the impact that sexual obsession has on some men's libido and arousal it has a devastating impact on their ability to engage in authentic intimacy not only with their wives but anyone. The promise of pornography is sexual intimacy with the perfect women without the cost of vulnerability. The truth is it is a promise that can't be delivered. The obsession with inauthentic relationships results in isolation, disconnection and a fear of authentic intimacy.
Children learn from the experience that they have in the microcosm of the family. What are children learning from fathers who due to sexual obsession are not able to connect with their wives, their mates, and most of all them? Such a marriage and family is no longer the primary place for relationships of integrity and authentic intimacy. In particular boys who learn about masculinity and intimacy primarily from their fathers are set up to repeat the cycle, fearing authentic intimacy they seek to meet their deeper needs through inauthentic ways, just as their fathers before them.
The tentacles of sexual inautheticity are far reaching, not only does it impact women and children who are directly exploited by sexual trafficking, but reaches into marriage and family, the primary unit of our society, by robbing men, destroying their relationships, and depriving their children of social and emotional needs.