The Three A’s That Fuel a Sexual Addiction

Why is it that good men and women struggle with a sexual addiction that can devastate their love relationships, affect their performance at work, and leave them questioning their own value and worth? There could be many answers to this question such as the latest science research on the brain, past trauma, or the type of family they grew up in. But one thing we know for sure, is that the addiction is fueled by the three A’s which are Accessibility, Affordability, and Anonymity. Imagine if you were a drug addict and you could get your drug anytime anywhere for free and no one needed to know whom you are!


It use to be that a person who wanted to get their stash of pornography had to actually go to a store, ask for their magazine of choice and face the clerk who rang through their purchase. Obtaining pornography and opportunities for casual liaisons took some significant effort. However, in today’s Internet world, the simple act of clicking a button, or tapping our phones can open the gateway to endless varieties of pornographic images, chat rooms, social networks and on line affairs.


Indeed, if you can’t find what your looking for right away, you can open up several windows at a time, and spend hours searching through sites till you find the one that satisfies for that moment. We carry our electronic devices with us almost everywhere and as fast as a thought can cross the mind or the instant a sexual urge can be felt, we have almost simultaneous availability and access.

So, what does it cost to have such access and availability? Other than the cost of a smart phone, computer, or tablet with Internet service, not much. There is a multitude of free and affordable sites waiting to be accessed. Yes, there are some sites that require membership but there is a wealth of sites professional and amateur alike that are free.

3575828156_e04def5dfa_zAll this, and you can be anonymous! No one needs to know your true identity. On one hand you can be the upstanding citizen, father, husband, wife, son or daughter and on the other you can create a secret life. Unfortunately, this may leave you feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but it is anonymous. Creating a dual life can leave you feeling more and more isolated from those you love. Trying to juggle dual lives can be emotionally stressful and personally demoralizing. Most often your secret life may go against your own personal value system and can leave you feeling lost and empty.  Learning to set boundaries and limits on your behaviour can be helpful, but you may need to seek professional help if you are struggling with a sexual addiction. There is hope, recovery is possible, come out of hiding.

If you would like more information about our out patient treatment program at LifeStar Alberta, go to


By Jennifer Thibodeau, MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist

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