2 Crucial Keys For Changing Compulsive Sexual Behavior


We all have had a desire to change our life in some way — to be free, whether it is a radical career move or a habit that has become a nuisance.  Many, however, have the hope of change without the resolve to carry it out.

U.S. News reports that 80% of those who make New Year’s resolutions to change their eating and exercise habits revert back to their old ways of living within the first month of effort. 

Change can be a challenging process, let alone becoming free of unwanted behavior. Those caught in the claws of compulsive sexual behavior need a tremendous amount of motivation to change to become free. 

Freedom from compulsive sexual behavior requires 4 foundational factors that facilitate change.

1.  Honesty

In an article in Psychology Today entitled, The Pinocchio Effect:  Lying in Daily Life, a study showed that people average 1.65 lies per day. 

These lies include “big fat lies” and “little white lies”. Importantly, this study did not include lies we tell our selves throughout the day, which may have skewed the number of lies per day to astronomical levels. 

How often are we truly honest with our selves about an area of our life that needs change? 

We can only get free to the extent that we are willing to admit that we have a problem. 

Until then, we may be sorry we got caught, feel depressed or anxious over our sexual behavior, or have a desire to discontinue our deviant sexual behavior, but change will only take place when we tell the truth — the whole truth.

A partial truth is a whole lie.

There are a variety of ways we can avoid the truth:

  • Denial
  • Minimizing
  • Blame-shifting
  • Justifying

More importantly, we must be honest with another person.  That may seem like a lot of risk, but it also has the potential for a lot of reward — Freedom. 

The 10% we don’t want to share is what controls us. 

The key to honesty is finding a safe and skilled person to share your secrets with.  The way to freedom is to come out of hiding — The truth will set you free.

2.  Humility

Admitting to a problem is crucial in the initial process of change, but asking for help employs the necessary resources for change — Humility allows us to reach out and accept the help we need for change to take place. 

When most people think of humility they think of saying they are bad when they are good, weak when they are strong, incompetent when they are competent. 

Humility is not thinking less of our selves, nor is it thinking more of our selves.

Humility is a proper assessment of our selves — the good and the bad, as well as our strengths and weaknesses. 

Humility allows us to celebrate our admirable qualities and successes, while addressing our limitations and failures. 

When we know everything, we know nothing. 

When we don’t think we need help we won’t get help. 

When we don’t get help we won’t change. 

When we don’t change we won’t be free.

Humility is the ability to recognize and receive the help available to us, boosting us to the next levels of breakthrough. Humility is not weakness, but our humility will empower us to overcome our weaknesses.

We need help from 3 sources to become free:

Interestingly, in the Sex Addicts Anonymous Green Book, (the counterpart to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book), steps 2 and 3 of their 12-step program is about surrendering to God’s help and power to change. 

Utilizing a power greater than our selves is key in getting free from unwanted and unmanageable sexual behavior, as well as attaining a healed, whole, healthy life that exudes wellness. 

We also need other people to help us walk through the process of change. Compulsive Sexual behavior ultimate leaves people hiding in secrecy — disconnected and isolated from others. 

The only way to change the direction of our compulsive behaviors is to allow other people into our journey.

Finding a certified therapist through The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and a support group specializing in compulsive sexual issues (Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, or religious affiliated groups) is often a safe place to find encouraging and competent help in the process of change. 

We also need informational resources to guide us into this journey of change. Patrick Carnes’ books, Out of the Shadows or Don’t Call It Love are great resources to start with. 

The Great Porn Experiment is a great Ted Talk discussing the neurological factors in compulsive behavior, and Your Brain On Porn is a comprehensive website outlining the basics of compulsive sexual behavior.

Let us know if this blog has been helpful to you as you consider your choices for change.  Our goal at FreedomU is to be a resource to help you in this challenging endeavor.

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