When a Male Sex Addict Seeks a Female Therapist
A recent request for a female counselor by a male sex addict prompted this post.
On several occasions I have been hired as a consultant by female counselors who felt that something wasn’t quite right about their work with their male sex addicted clients. In all cases, we discovered that the clients were using the session to act out. The cues for this were subtle and passively hidden.
The sex addict who is neither “sober” nor in recovery is in constant need to satiate their sexual compulsions. While they may desire a nurturing therapist, which they assume will be a female, they also are addictively driven or compelled to find a therapist that will titillate their sexual fantasies.
Sex addicts with exhibitionistic tendencies “get off” on telling their story to opposite gender individuals, especially when discomfort results. The therapist then becomes fodder for the sex addict’s active fantasy world. Since euphoric recall is a primary mode of acting out for many sex addicts, the therapy, albeit unintentionally, becomes a part of the sex addiction ritual.
It has been my experience that when a male sex addict specifically requests a female therapist, it is a red flag. Sex addicts who are neither “sober” nor in recovery tend to seek situations that can either provide sexual stimulation or provide images or memories to later be used to privately act out (euphoric recall). More often than not, sex addicted clients’ preference for opposite gender therapist is fueled by their addiction. Because the gender preference may be motivated by both conscious and unconscious addictive forces, the client will be adamant about their counselor preference. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to set a boundary by insisting that the therapist be of the same sex.