Hooked: A ‘sex and love’ addict who spoke to the Bermuda Sun on condition of anonymity said the condition is about craving fulfilment. *iStock photo
Hooked: A ‘sex and love’ addict who spoke to the Bermuda Sun on condition of anonymity said the condition is about craving fulfilment. *iStock photo

A young Bermudian woman has opened her heart to the Bermuda Sun about her debilitating addiction — to sex.

She agreed to talk to us as a support group — Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous —  reached out publicly this week to promote its meetings.

The subject might be seen by some as trivial but in fact, sex addiction can wreck lives.    

The woman we spoke to, who is in her early 30s and private-school educated, said: “I’ve known I’m a sex and love addict for a long time... You’re afraid to get too close to someone because you’re afraid they will leave you, but you also want that person close.”

The worst repercussions have included crashing her motorcycle through not paying attention on the roads, due to “obsessing about a guy”.

We also spoke to a woman in North Carolina who appeared on Oprah to explain sex addiction



W
hat, and who, exactly is a sex addict?

If swinging from the rafters and multiple partners comes to mind, you may be surprised to learn they are more normal than you think. In fact, it could even be you.

The Bermuda Sun met with a woman in her early thirties who describes herself as a sex and love addict.

The woman, who is Bermudian and private-school educated, is your everyday person and has been in a steady relationship for the past two years.

But she is currently seeking help from the SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) group in Bermuda for what she describes as “obsession and sex addiction”.

We spoke on condition of anonymity, and the woman would only describe her occupation as “in the service industry”.

The worst repercussions of her ‘addiction’ have been crashing her motorcycle through not paying attention on the roads, due to “obsessing about a guy”.

“I’ve known I’m a sex and love addict for a long time,” she said. 

She says it’s about craving fulfilment.

“I think my addiction first started when I saw Dirty Dancing in the Eighties. Other movies and TV shows then probably made it worse.”

But she also attributes her parents’ divorce when she was a child to her current problems.

The woman says she has a “fear of abandonment”.

“You’re afraid to get too close to someone because you’re afraid they will leave you, but you also want that person close.”

She said: “I think my addiction started when I was a teenager because I was always obsessed with boys.

“It then started to affect my work because I would be obsessing so much about a certain guy that it would slow me down at work.

“I’ve also gotten into road accidents. In one of them, a car pulled in front of me but as my mind was on a particular guy, I wasn’t paying attention enough to slow down in time.

“I slammed on my brakes but ended up fishtailing on the ground. I only had bruises, but this has happened two or three times now, where I’ve had accidents related to being obsessed with guys.” 

When it comes to sex addiction, she said: “When I was a teenager I had up to four partners at one time. They were not all for sex but also for kissing or messing around.”

She said her sexual appetite could sometimes be voracious.

“When I was with someone I would have sex but then want it again and again. There would never be a satisfaction to it; I would always be wanting more.

“Sometimes it would be three or four times, and I think one of my boyfriends broke up with me because he couldn’t keep up.

“I guess the riskiest behaviour was having sex in inappropriate (public) places, where I was in danger of getting caught.

“So now, my bottom lines try to keep me on track.”

The ‘bottom lines’ are part of her 12-step programme with the Bermuda SLAA, and which set timelines for physical contact.

“It’s about getting to know someone first, rather than starting a relationship before you actually see if you like them,” she said.

“These bottom lines are landmarks which help you in a relationship.”

One example is not holding hands for three or four months.

The woman said: “Me and my current boyfriend, it took us a year to kiss.”

Her boyfriend is supportive of the programme, she said.

“I told him, ‘If I don’t do the fellowship I will be one crazy girl’.”

She expanded: “I would be bombarding him with phone calls and texts, and going by his house all the time.” 

She said the programme works by encouraging people to confront their past.

“The steps help you to deal with anger, shame, resentment and guilt, and to make amends for certain behaviours.”

The addict has the support of a ‘sponsor’ — a mentor who has previously undergone the programme. 

“They share experience, strength and hope,” said the woman.

“This then helps you to deal with everyday situations and relationships.

“We talk about a higher power, but it’s a spiritual programme, not a religious one. Some people may call it God, others something else, but it’s basically a power greater than you.

“The person you are obsessing over takes over from that higher power, because you put them on a pedestal, so it is about reclaiming that.”

The woman said: “Anyone can be affected by obsession, sex and love addiction. It doesn’t discriminate on gender or culture.

“But it’s one of those touchy subjects, especially with Bermuda being so small.”