Healing Asexuality and Sexual Anorexia:
Asexuality and Sexual Anorexia Recovery Calgary
Like in the hearing impared community where some members with to affirm (Capital D) Deaf as a culture group while others pursue cochlear implants and learning to vocalize, people who experience the absence of sexual desire called Asexuality also divide up into two separate viewpoints.
One viewpoint is that asexuality is an innate sexual orientation. Proponants of this viewpoint hold that asexuality is not a disorder and should be celebrated as simply being a different way of experiencing things like attraction, relationships and arousal somewhat differently. They hold that the term Sexual Anorexis is society pathologizing a perfectly normal way of being and treatment should not and must not be an option.
The second viewpoint holds that Sexual anorexia is the correct term and results from sexually repressive upbringings, highly religious parenting, long-term childhood exposure to pornographic or obscene materials, body dysmorphia and sexual abuse. Because the condition results from trauma, it can and should be healed.
Both sides tend to look down upon each other...
Our treatment for Sexual Anorexia takes the position that freedom to be who we each were made to be is foundational to being human and that it is not our role to tell either side who they are to be. Our role is simply to offer the help to pursue the vision God has planted within you - to help you on your journey towards what it means for you to be the fully human and fully alive person you were made to be:
What is Sexual, Social or Emotional Anorexia?
Note: I am fully aware that there is a rapidly growing campaign in motion in North America which seeks to have asexuality recognized as a new sexual orientation and to have therapy to correct such banned. Health is rarely defined by political activism...
Anorexia is simply another form of addiction. Addiction is a compulsive attachment to and obsession with a mood altering experience that takes the place of relationships with others and appears to meet needs it is really only numbing.
Anorexia is an obsessive and compulsive avoidance of giving or receiving physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or sexual intimacy from another. The all consuming avoidance of such becomes, in and of itself, a mood altering experience that appears to meet needs (usually security related needs) that it is really only numbing.
What does anorexia look like?
Some anorexics may have never had sex or been in anything approximating intimate relationship since childhood. Others are in marriages or common law partnerships but struggle with even small steps of closeness. Friendships are often distant and usually only deserve to be known as acquaintances. Relationships, if present at all, are usually highly selective (like only with children) while immense distance is maintained with others. And, in some way there is an immense distancing of the self from the experience of love.
Social settings tend to be experienced as overwhelming and are either avoided altogether or used as a means of sorta connecting with a lot of people to avoid connecting deeply with one. Feelings and responses to intimate situations can vary dramatically and range from totally incapacitating shyness to selective engagement in a limited number of areas and total unavailability in others.
Usually, anorexics have areas of their world where they function well such as the workplace or other areas where intimate connections are not required. Other times, all areas are engaged in -- but in such a way that the anorexic still remains out of meaningful contact with others. In other cases, addictive substances are used as liquid courage to enable the appearance of functionality but without the heart risk.
Are You Anorectic?
1. Are there long periods in your life where you remain uninvolved in any sexual or romantic relationships?
2. Do you avoid social activities for long periods of time?
3. When you are in a relationship, do you avoid sexuality, intimate connection, touch, romance or spiritual connections with your partner?
4. Are you alone and lonely, but can't seem to change that?
5. At work do you only talk about functional things, struggle with connections with others, or try to disappear into work?
6. Is there a certain gender you avoid relationships with?
7. When you find yourself in groups, do you stay cold and distant?
8. Do you avoid the spotlight or even being noticed by others?
9. Even when you like others, do they tire you?
10. When people start to get too close to you, do you get anxious and push them away?
If even a number of these apply to you, you may have sexual anorexia. No one has to continue to live with it. Help is available through Henze & Associates, through Session Notes as well as through calling (403) 819-3545.