One of the biggest blocks to getting help for sex addiction is the fear of what others will think and how you’ll be judged. Some may think that this can be a particular challenge for people who are in the public eye or hold positions of authority, but in reality, this fear is common to most. Sex and porn addiction is still grossly misunderstood and people from all walks of life might find themselves prejudiced against. For example, how do you imagine a police officer with sex addiction might be judged, or a magistrate, or a school teacher or a vicar? Social attitudes to sex addiction still often assume that sufferers are sleazy, out of control, untrustworthy and some even believe dangerous. This is of course almost always inaccurate, but these are the judgements that people with sex addiction face.
The stigma of sex addiction can make it particularly difficult for people to decide to join a group. But it is precisely because of the stigma that group work is so important. When you realise that the people around you who suffer with exactly the same condition, are equally as loving and caring and responsible and trustworthy – in all other areas of their life, it’s easier to see the good in yourself. One of the tragedies of sex addiction is that it can rob people of their self worth – fearing they’ve become what people think a sex addict is. But within the group you can see first hand that it’s not true. And together it’s much easier to face that stigma head on and focus on the task of recovery.