Nothing is less sexy than sex and love addiction. At best I was hooked into self-destructive circles with unavailable partners or short-lived affairs. At rock bottom I was punching myself in the face and smacking my head against the wall.

These days we live in a sex and love addicted society. Indulge in online casual dating and realize that everyone’s a porn star. With some apps you are video sexing or real life fucking within 10 minutes. Flick to the ‘respectable’ channel and you’re fed an endless stream of celebrity romantic endeavours (and failures) to which we must all aspire…? Well I certainly tried. At both. As one of life’s ‘winners’ – company director at 30 with dot.com millions and the looks to back it up – it was hard not to think that I had what everyone wanted. 8 years later I was smashing my head into bricks to find relief from the inner torment.

Time to ‘wo.man up’…

Time for a spiritual adventure…

Adventures of a Sex and Love Addict is full disclosure of where sex and love addiction might take a woman (or man). Sure there is sex, drugs and the rest. But ultimately I open the kimono on what lies underneath – SHAME.

To transform shame you need to grow balls – metaphorical ones of course (being male doesn’t automatically guarantee you a pair), in the same way that being a woman doesn’t naturally give you sister status (sadly). I found that to transform shame meant more than showing up to a few thousand recovery meetings, or chanting a few million Buddhist mantras, or even engaging in those dreaded ‘inner child trauma workshops’ (yukkkk).

Because unlike recovering drug addicts who must never pick up on drugs again – a recovering sex and love addict has to put skin in the game. They have to be ‘in it to win it’ and at some point take their tender-fragile-freshly-healed-heart back off the shelf and go out into the world. Out into the gloriously sex and love addicted world that we all know and…

Brene Brown couldn’t have been more accurate when she discovered that the only thing that differentiates people who have successful relationships from those who don’t is that they are able to be vulnerable. And she didn’t mean take your clothes off for a stranger vulnerable. Or get arse-fucked by 10 men vulnerable. And definitely not getting gooey-eyed on a mini-break with some date from match.com vulnerable. Rather, Brown meant to bring yourself to truly believe that you are a worthy human being, worthy of love, and then to reflect that out into the world. To do that, in my experience, took Amazonian courage.

To shine a light on what I believed were my weakest parts, my most shameful parts, my worst parts, was (and still is) more than daunting. It’s so off-putting at times that the thought of getting laid by the creepiest guy on Tinder looks like the easier option. Actually, it probably would be. (Bring your shame into the spotlight and see how it wants to act out louder than ever before, by the way). What I’m saying is (in another addict’s words):

You can’t talk your way out of something you acted your way into.

And in order to act differently you need a method, a solution, or a formula for success. One that works. In writing Adventures of a Sex and Love Addict I hope that I have been able to share mine.

Photo: Gibson Blanc