In many ways understanding sex addiction comes down to one thing – the primary choice between acting out sexually again in a problematic way or choosing an alternative.
Sure, we can discuss the million and one reasons why sex addicts are the way they are. We can debate whether the best approaches to treatment rely on a thorough analysis of childhood or a clinical focus on current-day behavioral patterns. We can also chew the fat on how the broader social world stigmatizes and maintains the predicament in which sex addicts find themselves. But, at the end of the day reversing every negative aspect of the above considerations wouldn’t obviate the need for the sex addict to choose a better path at the crucial moment for his life to change.
The choice between acting out or not is deceptively simple though. Within this choice are many smaller choices that aggregate to the primary question. Shall I use the computer alone again or not? Shall I walk through the neighborhood where the sex workers work or not? Shall I give my telephone number to my next potential casual sex partner or not? Let’s call these examples of secondary decisions.
The secondary decisions serve as a funnel that narrow us into a place where there is only the one primary decision to be made – to act out or not act out becomes the question. Answer these secondary questions differently or replace them with new ones and you improve your chances of controlling unwanted sexual behavior.
Break the big decision down into smaller ones. Choose differently. Begin a new way of living.