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Bisexual Sex Addicts: A Typical Story

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A Story about Bisexual Sexual Addiction

Manuel started masturbating at an early age, learning about it from a male cousin roughly his age. Since they lived in close proximity, they saw a lot of each other and frequently engaged in mutual masturbation. Manuel also masturbated with a boy who lived down the street and later with a boy in his class. He enjoyed the shared sex and when alone found the self stimulation soothing and unconsciously a way to offset the constant criticism from his father whom Manuel was never able to please.

His father even attacked his son’s masculinity by saying a number of times, “You’ll never be a man.” As a result of his father's relentless rejection, Manuel eventually gave up on trying to gain his approval and began secretly to loath him. More and more he emotionally distanced himself from his father and all that his father represented to him.

One day the friend down the street, Carlos, introduced Manuel to video pornography which Manuel remembered as the biggest high he had ever experienced. Manuel visited Carlos as often as possible to see again the videos that Carlos would sneak out of his father’s hiding place. While watching the videos the boys would masturbate and several times they tried out some of the sex acts they saw, taking turns playing the female part.

At about fifteen Carlos started dating and began to be less available to Manuel. Manuel’s cousin had moved away and so had the classmate with whom Manuel had formerly been sexual, so Manuel depended primarily on masturbating alone, which he did just about every day, sometimes more than once a day.

Eventually Carlos set Manuel up with a girlfriend too and they double dated some. Sometimes the two boys spent the night together afterward and once again they engaged in sex together, justifying it by saying the girls had gotten them turned on but wouldn’t go all the way.

It wasn’t till Manuel’s freshman year in college that he had sex with a girl. He counted that as another incredible high and sought the high on dates afterward. He also continued to masturbate frequently and had one-time sexual experiences with a couple of male students, which distressed him but which he was unable to resist. He contracted genital herpes from one of the anonymous sexual encounters. During his junior year he dated a female student, Laura, on a steady basis and began to feel love for her. The masturbation reduced. He told himself he would not be sexual with males again. The following summer he returned home and met up again with Carlos. Because the summer seemed long and college far away and because it seemed so natural and familiar, eventually Manuel allowed himself to have sex with Carols again. Afterward Carlos told Manuel he had decided he was gay.

Manuel shared that he had wondered himself if he might be gay also, but was confused because he enjoyed the sex he’d been having with girls and felt very good about both the sex and the relationship with his new girlfriend. He did notice there was a difference, though, in how he experienced sex with females as opposed to males. With females the sex felt like part of a relationship with the woman and with Laura it was becoming integral with the love he was feeling for her. With males, although there could be friendship, as with Carlos, the sex felt like it was an end in itself. It was just to experience the sexual feelings. Romance, hugging and kissing with a male had no appeal. But there was an appeal, in fact a strong appeal, about the sex with males. It was all quite frustrating for Manuel.

Laura and Manuel continued to date and fall more in love through their senior year. Eventually Manuel told her about his history of male attraction and sex with males. She was somewhat distressed by the news but was reassured when he said his love and passion for her were genuine and that he believed the attraction to males was a childhood holdover that their relationship had replaced. To further reassure her, and himself, he said he was committed to never having sex with males in the future. They didn’t talk about it again. However, Manuel continued to notice certain males and to feel some of the old attraction. He tried to dismiss it as just an old habit and he didn’t mention it to Laura. He also didn’t mention that he occasionally masturbated alone. He privately didn’t like the fact that the masturbation was more euphoric if he fantasized about being sexual with a male.

Because he genuinely loved Laura, and thinking getting married would extinguish the troublesome male attraction for good, Manuel proposed. He promised to himself and to God that he would never permit himself to violate Laura or the marriage by having sex with a man. After graduation and marriage, things seemed to go well. Both enjoyed the jobs they found; they joined a church, bought a home and settled into a contented lifestyle. Like most newly weds, the sex was fairly frequent and enjoyed by both. Manuel didn’t have much of a problem with the male attraction but occasional sexual thoughts about men did not entirely disappear, which concerned him some. Over time, as he noticed the thoughts gradually becoming more frequent, he finally mentioned the problem to their minister who encouraged him to pray diligently, which Manuel did. Still the thoughts persisted but Manuel felt relieved that he had shared it with someone and that he had not been rejected when he did.

Several years later Laura was pregnant with their first child. As her desire for sex steadily decreased, Manuel’s masturbation, which never stopped completely, correspondingly increased. He also allowed himself more of the male fantasies. Mentally Manuel was anxious about becoming a father, and his preoccupation with male sex made him feel even more inadequate. But rather than stop, the urges increased.

Next he lost the resolve he had maintained for a long time not to venture into internet pornography. He crossed this boundary by making a bargain with himself that he would only look at heterosexual pornography, and he rationalized that he was only doing it because sex with Laura was no longer available. Once he allowed himself to visit several porn sites he experienced the heart-racing euphoria that had accompanied each new avenue of his sexual journey. He soon found he was unable to keep the promise he had made to himself only to view straight porn, and once the door to gay pornography was opened he was hopelessly hooked on both hetero and gay porn. He started looking for every opportunity to spend time online with his new passion. Laura complained that he was ignoring her with the time he was spending on the computer. He explained that he was having to do more work at home now to stay caught up at the office. Even though he knew it was dangerous, he also began looking at pornography at work, partly to reduce online time at home but more so because it allowed him to indulge more often.

Not long afterward he had to travel to San Francisco for a business trip. He knew before he left that he probably was going to wind up having sex with a man somehow. He fought the thought but found it more and more compelling. He found the opportunity easily the first night he was there, simply by responding to “eye cruising” of male pedestrians on the sidewalk. He had sex not once but all three nights he was there. Each time he felt miserable afterward and phone calls with Laura were especially painful. She asked him if something was wrong but he said it was merely fatigue from not being able to sleep well away from her and home.

On the return plane Manuel descended into anxiety and depression he had never before felt. By the time the plane landed he resolved that he must tell Laura no matter what the consequences. The consequences were devastating, but the minister’s suggestion of specialized professional help enabled Manuel and Laura to avoid total disaster. Manuel first spent a month in an in-patient sexual addiction facility, then both he and Laura continued work with a team of sexual addiction specialists back home. With the specialized help Manuel explored his sexuality thoroughly.

It was unanimously decided that he was not a repressed homosexual but that he had long been addicted to sexualized re-enactment of his childhood trauma with his father which had prevented him from completing some of his psychic development, leaving him in doubt of his masculinity. This was part of the anxiety and inner turmoil that he had acted out over and over. He was told that the neurologically programmed addictive response would probably stay with him but that with the willingness to work a strong recovery program and to do some significant psychological work, he would be able to control the addiction rather than the addiction controlling him, allowing him to have the life he and Laura wanted. Laura also learned that she needed to participate in a recovery program and to do psychological work to help her with the effects Manuel’s problem had had on her and to resolve her own issues which she learned had played a part in unconsciously attracting her to Manuel.

Evidence of Sexual Addiction in the Above Story

There is repeated evidence of Manuel’s euphoric response to each new form of sex that he experienced and the gradual development of a dependence. Turning to sexual release in times of stress was illustrated in two instances. One was the near daily masturbation as a child in reaction to his father’s constant criticism; the other was starting to view Internet pornography and masturbating as an adult in order to deal with his anxiety about becoming a father.

The progression of more frequent and extreme sexual behavior started with early childhood masturbation shared with Carlos and two other boys, moved to video pornography and mimicking the sex acts with Carlos, escalated to masturbating multiple times a day, then progressed to adding Internet pornography to masturbation, and culminated with sex with three strangers. Examples of unwanted consequences were contracting genital herpes while in college and dealing a severe blow to the marriage from the sexual acting out in San Francisco.

And there were the unsuccessful attempts to stop the behavior. First, when he told Laura about his problem he reassured her he would not ever again have sex with males, which he broke the following summer back home with Carlos. Then when he decided to marry Laura he promised himself and God never to violate the marriage by being sexual with men. He began to violate this promise by looking at Internet pornography and imagining having sex with the men he viewed. He even made a pact with himself when he got online to look only at heterosexual pornography and immediately found he was unable to keep the bargain. Eventually he broke his promise of no male sex literally when he had sex with the three men in San Francisco.

These patterns are clear evidence of sexual addiction despite the unavoidable presence of cultural influence which probably accounted for the sexual identity doubt expressed to Carlos when he said he had wondered if he was gay. Ultimately the professional treatment ruled out repressed homosexuality, and even prior to that there was a good indication of a heterosexual identity in that he felt genuine love, which could be assumed included romantic and sexual love, for Laura.

No doubt Manuel will have an attraction to males his whole life that was set in motion as a child by the rejection and criticism from his father. In a sense the rejection by his primary masculine role model prevented him from developing a secure concept of himself as male. Therefore, the attraction to males probably has an element of unconscious searching for unfulfilled fathering and symbolically taking into his psyche the masculinity he had partially distanced himself from in childhood in reaction to his father's harshness. This “quest,” like all other patterns of experience that occurred in his psychological development were neurologically programmed as part of his psychic “map” or template, and therefore a permanent part of him. Such programs can be modified, but usually not eradicated, with the help of professional psychotherapeutic work and, in the case of addiction, the recovery process. (For more information on getting professional help, click here for “Treatment, ” and for free recovery help, click here for “Free 12-Step Program Help.”