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Dr. Robin can see that Jennifer and Tracy are using sex like an anesthetic. "It's something that numbs you temporarily from the real pain. And, then you need more of it." The pain is then compounded by the stigma of being a "bad girl."

It's also not at all surprising that neither Jennifer nor Tracy experience any sexual satisfaction from their actions, Dr. Robin says. "It's about punishment," she says. "What you're doing is covering up your pain, and it's a way of recreating early pain.

"Tracy, when you're teased as a child, that's a real wound. Jennifer, when you felt abandoned by your father and whatever exposure to pornography, those cover-ups continue to replicate. They keep happening again and again. Not having an orgasm is a form of self-punishment. It's a way of denying yourself pleasure. And both of you are on the prowl not for sex, but for security."

For people struggling with a sex addiction, Dr. Robin has two pieces of advice. "Get some really solid professional help because addicts, ordinarily, cannot get free of the addiction without real support and help." She also suggests focusing on why you are really suffering, because the sex is really just a cover-up for that suffering. "Start to say, 'That's a piece of my history, and it's all about pain. It's not about being a slut.'"
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FROM: Women Who Use Sex to Find Love
Published on February 23, 2006

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