A note about this book: I worked hard to keep this book short and succinct, especially for partners of sex addicts to hear my story. Is there more I could say? You bet. But in the interest of respecting your time, I asked myself whether a particular point was necessary, and if the answer was not a resounding "yes!", I cut it. I want you to know my story. I want this disease to come out into the light.
A note about our children: Our children are growing up in an era where we cannot protect them. They are exposed to far too many things, far too early. The current crop of 40 year olds grew up in an era before the Internet. Despite this, many of today's 40-year-old sex addicts say that they started with the underwear models in JC Penney catalogs. Today, much more graphic images are easily available, and depict sex in a way that is entirely contradictory to healthy sexual intimacy. The most common age that sex addicts say their addiction began is 12 years old. I purposely did not restrict this book to the 18+ age group. If unhealthy behaviors start at age 12, adolescents need to learn to distinguish what is healthy and unhealthy before that. By age 18, most sex addicts have been "using" their drug of choice for many years. Sex addiction develops early in life, because it's in adolescence that we experiment with various coping mechanisms and our developing bodies. We do not have the luxury of waiting until our brains are more fully developed. Anorexia, bulimia, substance abuse, smoking, and porn use most commonly begin well before 18 years of age.