“We would use sexual fantasy to deal with emotions and situations that we didn’t want to face.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 5
I had a serious problem with sexual fantasy, but never saw the connection between fantasy and acting out. In time, I saw that fantasy was acting like a gateway drug. When I “took” fantasy, I was highly likely to go to the harder drug of acting out sexually. For me, fantasy is a circling-the-drain behavior with one logical outcome.
I put fantasy in my middle circle. I then applied principles from the Steps whenever I would start to fantasize. I begin by admitting to God that I am heading into fantasy, and ask God to free me from it and show me the truth about the situation. Then I check in with my program friends.
I found that fantasy often masks feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, fear, etc. In this way, my sexually oriented thoughts and activities were acting like a drug to dull uncomfortable feelings. In recovery, I’ve learned to embrace those uncomfortable feelings as messengers and to learn from them, all the while weaving a closer relationship with my Higher Power.
I found the Steps to be a powerful weapon against this problem. Now I rarely spend time in fantasy, and acting out is not the powerful temptation it used to be.
If I treat my middle circle activities as danger signals, I can stay away from my inner circle, and I can open the door to even greater freedom.