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Answering Your Questions with Dr. Rob and Tami: This week, Rob returns with the great Tami VerHelst, his sidekick and first point of contact for the important questions that get sent their way. Tami came up with her list of best and newest questions over the recent weeks and generalized them to...

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This week, Rob returns with the great Tami VerHelst, his sidekick and first point of contact for the important questions that get sent their way. Tami came up with her list of best and newest questions over the recent weeks and generalized them to boil it down to a combination of the original question and common questions they get quite often.   TAKEAWAYS: [3:10] Q: How does one figure out sexual preference when acting out with the same sex? A: That is a hard question, and because there are so many levels to it, it usually is a case by case situation. For the man married to a woman and acting out with men occasionally, he might be bisexual and doesn’t want his wife to know, he could be gay, or may have sexual trauma and abuse and acts out all over the place which happens to include men. Whether your husband is having sex with men or women, lying, cheating and living a double life is the major cause of concern. [6:24] Q: What does healthy sexuality look like? A: For a sex addict restarting the dating process, dating is something you do in a bold brightly lit coffee shop for about an hour, then head your separate way. It is important for sex addicts newly dating again to lower their expectations of dating, be clear on your boundaries, and slow down the process and get to know someone at least a month or two before sex. It helps to have someone in the recovery program to go over the date with, and decide if it is beneficial to continue dating. [9:54] Q: How does a recovering addict work their way back to intimate sexuality with their partner? A: Whether it’s an affair, porn or acting out in another way, the addict has been conditioned to a high level of stimulation in order to get aroused. In order to re engage sexually with their partner and achieve stimulation, both parties must have an attitude of willingness and openness. [14:58] Q: What’s the difference between a sex addict and a love addict? A: Sex addicts consistently and persistently seek out body parts and equate it with power and importance in a primitive way. Love addicts don’t objectify body parts, but they fixate on how that person makes them feel and gets caught up in a glorified version of that person. Love addicts either do one of two things when they see their partners’ “real” side: back away, because they want the fantasy instead, or stay in a relationship with the wrong person instead of seeing the reality of the situation and moving on. [18:20] Q: What are the purpose of 12 Step meetings, and why are they useful? How do I pick one? A: For the addicts, peer support is essential for healing. It allows someone to reduce shame, find a community and bond with like minded individuals that have been through similar issues. It removes the “terminal uniqueness” and the feeling of being the “worst”. [22:54] Q: How do I set boundaries? A: We set boundaries before a situation occurs, and they should be something each partner draws up to help themselves feel safer and more secure. [30:36] Q: What is edging? A: Edging is masturbation for short or long periods of time, where you don’t allow yourself to orgasm. One would do that to make the experience last longer.   RESOURCES Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency Shame Out of the Doghouse: A Step-By-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating    

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