In the past, to have phone sex, you had to dial pricey 1-800 numbers. With the advent of smartphones and the internet, people have 24/7 access to phone sex, explicit images, and hookup apps. These inventions have led to an uptick in phone sex addiction.
Smartphones make it easy to find pornography, send and receive explicit images, and secure hookups. It’s never been easier for those with sex addictions to access the materials that feed their habits. And, getting rid of your smartphone probably isn’t an option. Most people rely solely on them for communication and even work.
The question for those with sex addiction is, how can you limit or control your phone access while you recover?
Smartphones and Sex Addiction
You used to have to wait for the phone line to be clear and for your dial-up internet to slowly load grainy, sexually explicit images. Before that, purchasing “nudie magazines” and going into XXX video stores was shameful and often prevented easy access to pornography.
Access to and constant dependence on smartphones eliminates those barriers. As long as you have a signal, you have access to pornography and hookup apps at any time and in any place.
For people with hypersexuality disorder, also known as porn or sex addiction, this access can be a barrier to recovery. Sex addiction is a compulsive behavior disorder where you are unable to control your sexual urges and activities. Your life revolves around sex or porn addiction, and your daily life and relationships suffer as a result.
Signs of sex addiction include:
- Chronic and obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
- Preoccupation with having sex to the point that it interferes with productivity, daily responsibilities, relationships, and work performance
- Failed attempts to stop, curb, or control sexual behaviors
- Putting yourself in danger through sexual behaviors such as having unprotected sex with strangers, using drugs or alcohol during sex, or having sex in public places
- Experiencing extreme shame or guilt after sex or masturbation
- Hiding sexual behaviors
Healing from sex addiction is about getting to the root cause, not just treating the symptoms. Abuse, neglect, lack of attunement, rejection, and trauma are often at the heart of addictive behaviors. Sex addiction likely is the result of untreated trauma. Sexual actions are a method of coping with adverse circumstances. It is a coping mechanism that helps you survive.
Setting boundaries around smartphone usage is an essential first step for people with phone sex addiction. But, how do you do it?
Overcoming Phone Sex Addiction
During your first few weeks of recovery, it is often necessary to limit or stop internet usage altogether. This pause can help break the pathways you’ve created in your brain that cause your phone sex impulses.
Methods for overcoming phone sex addiction include:
- Timing Use. Set boundaries and time limits around when you use your phone can help break your dependence on it.
- Deleting Apps. Delete apps that allow you to view porn or meet potential partners. Removing temptation may seem like an obvious choice, but it requires courage and commitment. Eliminating the temptation to start swiping is a crucial element that will help you heal from phone sex addiction.
- Installing Accountability Apps. Applications exist that your spouse or accountability partner can use to track your internet and app usage. These applications sound invasive, but they put another barrier around access until you can do it yourself.
Smartphone usage is one of the many reasons our 14-Day Men’s Intensive is an ideal opportunity for men to reset and begin to heal from sex addiction. Set in the mountains around Boulder, Colorado, you’ll be free from your smartphone, therefore free to reset and start your recovery in earnest.
Learn How to Reconnect
Rediscovering a sense of connection and intimacy with others is critical to making a full recovery. When you are in the depths of phone sex addiction, it can be easy to lose sight of how important your connections are.
You may find that your smartphone dependence was another way you avoided an authentically intimate connection with others. Preventing personal relationships may have made you feel safe. But life is incomplete without authenticity and intimacy.
Once you begin recovery, your relationships with others will change. Not only will you start to live more authentically, you’ll also experience real connections and emotions.
How Begin Again Institute Can Help with Phone Sex Addiction
At Begin Again Institute, we understand that phone sex addiction is only one aspect of compulsive sexual behaviors. Sex and porn addiction are complex and deeply rooted in adverse childhood experiences and trauma.
By getting to the root cause of your addiction, we’ll help treat the cause of your addiction, not just the symptoms. Our certified sex addiction therapists understand the links between traumatic experiences and triggers that pull you back into addictive behaviors. By learning how to recognize those triggers and prevent taking action, you can truly heal.
If you’re ready to take control of your life, contact us today and get the help you deserve.