Sex Addiction Explained - by Men Therapy Toronto

Sex Addiction Explained with 1 PowerPoint Slide

I do a lot of work with men who are working through a sexual addiction and porn addiction.  I decided to create one PowerPoint slide to help at least explain it intellectually.

Here is the step by step explanation of the slide starting with the box on the left.


  • Individual is born and life is relatively pain free.

Negative Core Beliefs/Shame

  • Individual has painful experiences (generally in childhood)
    • Trauma:  sexual, physical, emotional, neglect (for men usually no father present emotionally)
      • Gender Shame:  feels inadequate or not good enough as a man
      • Shame:  feels bad, unworthy and fundamentally unlovable

Healthy Intimacy

  • Once the negative core beliefs and shame take root then healthy intimacy becomes terrifying.
    • The experience of healthy intimacy brings up in men the feelings of powerlessness
      • Why? – because the men feel inadequate and to be in a healthy intimacy requires being vulnerable which means they could be exposed for being ‘inadequate’

‘Acting Out’

  • Acting out sexually (porn, escorts, anonymous sex, compulsive masturbation) becomes a safer option for men
    • Why? – becomes it numbs the pain of feeling bad about themselves & provides them with a fleeting experience of power.

Treatment for Sex Addiction

Treatment must be focused on dealing with the negative core beliefs and shame that a man is carrying.  Working elsewhere may be helpful temporarily but will change little longer term.

Sex & Porn Addiction Recovery Resources for men in Toronto, Ontario (GTA).

Eric Pierni, Registered Psychotherapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) | Founder of  Men Therapy Toronto | Counselling Services for Men specializing in therapy and psychotherapy for men in Toronto, Ontario (GTA).  Offices are located in the midtown (Yonge & Eglinton) area of Toronto.

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Sex Addiction Explained with 1 PowerPoint Slide