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Written in the Scars: fear of intimacy and sex addiction

“Sexual acting out is often used by people who feel shame around having any emotional needs … Because [sexual] acting out to regulate unwanted feelings has become a ‘default setting’, recovering addicts will experience stress when they are expected to be intimate, open and honest.” – *John Beveridge

Fearful avoidance of sex and compulsive sexual acting out are two sides of the same coin: attachment disorder. The only solution is intimacy, however gradual, so choose love.

*John is an attachment based Psychoanalytic psychotherapist working in North and Central London in private practice. Trained at the Bowlby Centre London and in Supervision at SAP (Society of analytical psychology) John has also trained at The Institute for Group Analysis (IGA) He has studied PIT Trauma Reduction and Sex Addiction at the Meadows Arizona, trained in sex addiction with Paula Hall and with Thaddeus Birchard. He teaches therapists in training at and runs groups for sexually compulsive men at The Marylebone Centre. John enjoys spreading understanding about Sex addiction through writing and public speaking. He can be contacted via telephone (+44 (0)7979 862 765) and via email

Loving an adult survivor of child sex abuse

“For most people, when they were abused it wasn’t by somebody who jumped out of the bushes, but by somebody they had a trusting, loving relationship with. A sense of trust got merged with a sense of betrayal when it comes to their sexuality. The closer they get to someone, here comes that trust issue. So they pull back emotionally and sexually.”

- The Aftermath of Child Sex Abuse

“In this climate of profoundly disrupted relationships the child faces a formidable developmental task. She must find a way to form primary attachments to caretakers who are either dangerous or, from her perspective, negligent. She must find a way to develop a sense of basic trust and safety with caretakers who are untrustworthy and unsafe … She must develop the capacity for initiative in an environment which demands that she bring her will into complete conformity with that of her abuser. And ultimately, she must develop a capacity for intimacy out of an environment where all intimate relationships are corrupt, and an identity out of an environment which defines her as a whore and a slave.”

― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror