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Labels are important. They can help to either make or break a person. When someone is given a shameful label, it can inhibit their growth. Because of this, it is a good idea to stay away from labels such as porn addiction and sex addiction. Labels like these can be very limiting. If you struggle with compulsive sexual behavior, you have likely been labeled as a sex addict or a porn addict and you know how awful that can feel. Although it is important to acknowledge an addiction where it is present, these labels do not do much for rehabilitation. We need to go a bit more in depth to get to the root of the problem.

In this article, we will discuss some alternative labels to use when it comes to sexual setbacks. Using alternative labels can help to prevent debilitating shame. Here are couple names to use aside from sex addiction:

1. Sexual Authenticity Disorder
Suffering from a sexual authenticity disorder is having a deep fear of being fully known sexually. If you have particular sexual desires that you cannot express or practice freely within your relationship because you are afraid, you are likely suffering from sexual authenticity disorder. Some symptoms of this include:

a. a literal restriction in your throat when trying to discuss your sexuality.
b. a paranoia and fear about your desires coming to the light.
c. shameful body language such as avoiding eye contact.

In order to heal yourself of sexual authenticity disorder, you have to start being honest with your partner. Communicate about what you do and do not like. Failure to do so will rob both of you of the best experience possible. Learn to be mindful, to get to know yourself, and to express your desires in an honest way without a deep, embedded shame.

2. Intimacy Disorder
Often times, compulsive sexual patterns and porn usage are due to a lack of connection: not just with your partner, but also with yourself. If you are not connected and intimate with someone, you are going to look for ways to fill that gap. Usually, people turn to pornography to fill the space where intimacy and connection should be. So what is the cure to intimacy disorder? Fostering real, healthy connection and intimacy with yourself and those around you. Step out of your comfort zone to let someone know you and get to know yourself. Learn what you like and do not like and express that to someone you feel safe with. Chances are, your addiction will not reign so heavily when intimacy becomes a part of your life.

In addition to using these alternative labels, it is important to not rely too heavily on the disorders, addictions, and diseases, and to really just take responsibility for your actions. There is a lot of behavior involved with these disorders that is hurtful and inexcusable. It is important to own up to your mistakes and not hide behind the labels as if you cannot change.

Moving beyond the “sex addiction” label can create progress for those suffering from it.