Women’s love addictions

The process of romance or sex as the focus

A woman struggling with women's love addictionsexual or love addiction makes sex or love the focus of her pursuit.

She does this because she has been deeply wounded.

From his research Dr Patrick Carnes has found that over 40% of women are involved in problematic online behaviour. Sexual arousal including romantic attraction, when devoid of commitment and intimacy, creates a chemical change in the brain which then leads to neuropathways of addiction . The risky behaviour may escalate the high that is experienced, but basically it’s all about reducing stress and numbing the pain of one’s life.

Don’t call it love …

The behaviours may range from supposedly ‘harmless’ ways of acting out like cybersex or phone sex and sexting, all the way to mutual masturbation or sleeping together. Be that as it may, don’t call it love. A conditioning process is happening in which sex or sexual activity is being used to keep a relationship or to feel loved and special or even to experience personal power.

The place of your struggle is the place where the Lord is looking to do his next miracle

First of all understand this: No matter what you have been through and how much shame you are feeling, the place of your struggle is the place where the Lord is looking to do his next miracle. He is not only the God who loves you, but will restore you back to health and has plans to give you a hope and a future. (See Jeremiah chapter 29 and 30).

Looking for love in all the wrong ways

A woman struggling with sexual or love addiction is usually seeking love through sexual activity, but ironically further emotional loneliness and lack of intimacy are the results. Using some of his early research discussed in his book “Don’t Call It Love”, Dr. Patrick Carnes discovered that, in general, male sex addicts tend to objectify their partners. They seem to compartmentalize more easily and engage in sexual behavior involving relatively little emotional connection. This leads male sex addicts to engage primarily in such activities as voyeuristic sex, buying prostitutes, having anonymous sex, and engaging in exploitative sex.

Sex or romance to meet emotional needs to be loved and valued

Women sex or love addicts, on the other hand, tend to use sex to meet emotional needs to be loved and valued, which then is linked to reducing stress or numbing the pain of the soul. However there are other dark shadows such as sex for power, control, and attention that often play a factor. Dr Carnes found that female addicts score high on measures of fantasy sex, seductive role sex, trading sex, and pain exchange.

Author Charlotte Kasl has noted that women primarily struggle as sexual codependents. In her book, Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search For Love and Power, she defined such codependency as letting one’s body be used in order to hold onto a relationship, regardless of whether a woman really wants to have sex. In general, sex addicts tend to use (manipulate) relationships in order to have sex, whereas sexual codependents use (manipulate) sex in order to keep relationships.

Sexual codependents manipulate sex in order to keep relationships

When everything else has been taken into consideration, it is important to note that Women’s love or sexual addictions really have the same root and impact as men’s sexual addictions as discussed in the articles on healing the soul and renewing the mind.

For this reason there will need to be essentially the same journey as male porn / sex addicts :

– A process of healing the wounds and traumas of the soul through Christ’s love

– A journey of  discipleship by renewing the mind as Paul prescribes in Romans 12 verses 1 – 3

This will take place through counselling and ongoing participation in a ladies support / healing group.  Also, depending on the extent of trauma and hurt, therapy would be highly recommended.