David: Is there any medication available that helps the sex addict?
Dr. Sharp: Some physicians are finding success with the anti-depressants, SSRIs. These are Selective Seretonin Reuptake Inhibitors, such as Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac. Medication alone is not sufficient treatment however.
David: If a partner of a sex addict could do one thing to aid in the addict's recovery, what would you suggest?
Dr. Sharp: Avoid enabling. Don't overlook or excuse the behavior, but also be supportive and encouraging of recovery.
Charcy2000: Do they ever recover and lead healthy lives?
Dr. Sharp: Yes. Many do. There are thousands of people who recover from sex addiction and lead healthy lives.
FaPiRDaniel: Dr. Sharp, Are there any really good programs available to assist recovery pedophiles?
Dr. Sharp: I know that there are. I cannot name them off the top of my head. Contact your Sex Addicts and Sex Addicts Anonymous organizations as well as your community mental health system. They frequently can give you leads. I could research that further and have information available at a later date.
iaacogca: Is there anything the spouse can do, such as being more sexually responsive in order to help the addict avoid acting out?
Dr. Sharp: Being more sexually responsive will not typically curb the acting out for long. Sex addiction is about a fantasy relationship, its not reality oriented. Consequently, the Sex Addict often looks for an excuse to get angry with their spouse or partner. This gives them an excuse to go act out through their unhealthy behaviors.
mrlmonroe: Do you think it is ever possible to have a "kinky" sex life with a sexual addict. My fiance who is a Sexual Addict and I, have had a good sex life, and now that I know of his illness, I am afraid to even venture to places we used to go?
Dr. Sharp: You need to be careful. Although I don't condemn people's sexual peculiarities, its important to try to find out what significance this behavior has for the sex addict partner. Would your partner ever have non-kinky sex with you and be OK with it? Also, are you OK with it, or does it make you feel used? I would want to know how much of the kinky sex is about loving you, versus simply acting out and getting the high. I guess what I am wondering is, is your partner fully present with you or in some fantasy.
mrlmonroe: Yes, we do vary our sexuality a lot - and it is very fulfilling for both of us. That's why the acting out has me so baffled.
David: By the way, are you saying that having kinky sex with an addict is dangerous, like let's say, putting alcohol before an alcoholic?
Dr. Sharp: It can be. It may simply be part of that person's ritualized behaviors and may lead to other things that you don't know about.
paulv54: What about the sex addict for whom sex has such negative connotations, history, and feelings, that he has almost an impossible time envisioning having a sexual relationship with someone he loves and respects?
Dr. Sharp: That suggests trauma and really requires treatment. That is assuming your goal is, to one day have a healthy sexual relationship. Of course, people can concentrate on having healthy, non-sexual relationships. The important thing is to take care of yourself and not force yourself or let someone force you to do something you are not ready for. Obviously, if you are in a marriage or partnered relationship, that partner may or may not be willing to settle for a sexless marriage.
David: Well, it's getting late. I want to thank everyone for coming tonight. I want to thank Dr. Sharp for coming tonight, sharing his knowledge and expertise. And I want to thank everyone in the audience for participating. If you are interested in conferences like this one, please sign up with the community mail list that interests you. Our homepage is: www.healthyplace.com.
Any closing comments Dr. Sharp?
Dr. Sharp: Thanks for inviting me. I have an e-mail attached to my website if folks need assistance with referrals or further information. That email address is: drpsharp @netscape.net.
David: Wonderful! Thanks again and good night.
Disclaimer: We are not recommending or endorsing any of the suggestions of our guest. In fact, we strongly encourage you to talk over any therapies, remedies or suggestions with your doctor BEFORE you implement them or make any changes in your treatment.