Ask the LifeQuake Doctor – Dec 2016
Dear Dr Toni:
I am a thirty-three-year-old recovering sex addict with a three-year-old child and a husband who loves me very much. I am a stay-at-home mom and I have a lot of time on my hands. I was sexually molested by a babysitter when I was thirteen and she was nineteen. It led me to becoming promiscuous at age fifteen with boys. I felt guilty for having sex with a girl so I went overboard with guys for a number of years. I was also using alcohol to suppress the self-loathing I had in relation to my body.
I’ve gone to SLAA and I just don’t relate to the other women there. I haven’t gone to prison for my man. I have a good life except that I don’t feel fulfilled sexually, so I have been watching a lot of porn on the internet. Most of what I watch is lesbian porn and I notice that I have started drinking again too. I keep my porn-watching to just one hour per day when my son is sleeping. My husband doesn’t know I am doing this. We cannot afford therapy, but I thought I would reach out and get your opinion. I saw your column in the magazine someone left at a meeting. I have gone back to attending AA meetings again.
Do you think watching lesbian porn qualifies me as relapsing? I would be very appreciative to receive a response from you. Thank you.
– Minnesota Mom
It is very important to clear the guilt you have felt for having been molested by someone who should have been protecting you. This person is responsible for this betrayal of trust, not you. She crossed your physical boundaries whether she was female or male.
At age thirteen, we are just entering into our pubescent sexuality and are very impressionable. It also is a time when sexual preferences are more fluid—teens are very curious—so perhaps part of your participation with her may have come from that curiosity. You don’t mention whether you are attracted to your husband or not. I would invite you to confide in him this habit you have acquired. As you may know from AA, you are only as sick as your secrets. If you are having sex and your husband is fulfilled, he most likely will not be alarmed. In fact, he may be curious to see what you’re watching.
I would also encourage you to go back to SLAA with a more open mind and actually participate. When clients in my practice tells me that they are feeling a lack of purpose, I know that is a link to their relapse. Spend some time surfing the net and see where your interests go besides porn.
Career repurposing can definitely bring passion to one’s life as a stay-at-home mom. You mention that you cannot afford therapy. I would talk to your husband about getting a part-time job to get you out of the house and in front of people again.
One other possibility to deal with the compulsive aspect of the porn watching is the emotional freedom technique (sometimes called “tapping”). My colleague, Dawson Church, has a website that you can visit and teach yourself through the manual to tap meridians on your body: eftuniverse.com. Tapping the experiences you had with your babysitter can release the trauma. EFT has been clinically proven to heal addictions and sexual trauma.
Once you clear the original experience, you might be able to determine if you are repressing genuine sexual preferences for other women. A statement they use in tapping may be helpful to you, but the tapping helps too: “Even though I have these feelings of shame around watching lesbian porn, I deeply and completely love and accept myself now.” Then you go to the deepest feeling in your body where the shame lives and do the tapping sequence.
My colleague’s website has many resources. I use tapping in my practice and with Skype clients. It works great with stress management, phobias, and addictions.
All the best to you.