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Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and our responses to it can add to existing traumas, and emerge in all aspects of our lives, including sexuality. If this crisis has revealed or exacerbated fear of intimacy or aversion to sex for you or a loved one, this book offers hopeful help for healing.

A first-time examination of sexual anorexia, an extreme fear of sexual
Paperback, 420 pages
Published May 13th 1997 by Hazelden Publishing (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  124 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Jen McDaniel
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
intended for those with *issues* this book is a fantastic sex ed and development book for all adults.
Dan Scott
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing book. It sheds light on a common issue that has been seriously neglected: self inflicted sexual avoidance by individuals who actually crave sexual experience.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Therapist, social workers, counselors, etc....
Don't let the title of this book scare you. I read it for a client of mine a while back. It is a good book for therapists out there! Highly recommended! ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, own
This is one of the best books on sexual recovery that I have read. I have respected Patrick Carnes for a long time through a few of his other books on sex addiction, as well as some of the resources he has provided on his website and in other books regarding covert incest. This is so much more than simply the deconstruction of the dynamics of sexual anorexia, it is a holistic map towards recovery in sexual life.

Carnes begins by describing the anorexic system, both as a singular issue as well as
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with interest in sexual/intimacy issues
"Our sexual behaviour is a core expression of who we are"

This book looks into addiction and anorexia. Both of these conditions are the opposite sides of the spectrum, they are just a different personal reactions to the same inner issue.

In the fist part of it, it is theoretical. It covers the symptoms of the sexual anorexia and why this problem is so difficult to be noticed by the people that experience it and the professionals.

I'm sure this first part could have been more extended
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality
The first half gets 4 stars, the second gets 3 stars. Useful and well written, but very entwined with the 12-Step approach and process, so how well it fits you will depend on your attitude toward that approach, which isn't one I relate to. When dealing with the individual the author did very well, less so with relationships, and the chapters on sexuality toward the end of the book would only be helpful to people who had no problems with their sexuality except from choosing to refrain from it. ...more
Jim Parrillo
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
The first half of the book explains what Sexual Anorexia is, and how it can consume a person's life. The other half of the book explores the 12 dimensions of healthy sexuality in detail. It also gives some very helpful exercises and journaling assignments that can be done alone, with your partner, or with a therapist. ...more
John Yarbrough
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, psychology
Carnes hits it again about healthy sexuality and the Steps you need to take to uncover the appropriate actions. The US culture maintains a "no talk" status around sexual issues and I agree with him that it needs to be discussed in an appropriate way with family, each other and friends. Risky. Yes. I hope to work through some of the action points after each chapter. ...more
Kim Nick
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful series about the diagnosis, treatment and effects of sexual addiction. Once again, it is from a clinical perspective by the countries leading expert in the field, but intriguing and enlightening!
sheena d.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm too sexy for this shirt, and too insecure for this book. Thanks, Patrick! ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sa-books
This was an incredible book. It is one I now want to work through with my spouse and feel like after working through it on my own I have gained so much in my journey to heal some of my brokenness. It is not a hard read but at times the content was hard for me to process and taking breaks was needed. I liked how he had questions and exercises to do at the end of chapters 6-17. Worth the time to read and do the tasks.
Kaitlin Daniel
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I noticed lately that more people have been giving up on dating and have become more anti-sex, so I decided to read this book. It was very interesting to find that sexual addiction and sexual anorexia were basically two faces of the same coin. It makes me want to read the Humanae vitae later on.
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Shrink Rap (Psych...: Sexual Anorexia or Sexual Avoidance Disorder 5 43 Aug 01, 2013 09:04PM  

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Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., is an internationally known authority and speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He has authored over twenty books including the bestselling titles Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, Facing the Shadow, Betrayal Bond, Don’t Call It Love, A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and The Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.

Dr. Carnes’ research provid

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“By the nineteenth century, society had given up burning witches. Yet the sexual exploitation of children continued. In late-nineteenth-century Britain, for example, men who raped young girls were excused because they did it to cure venereal disease. There was a widely held belief that children would take "poisons" out of the body. In fact, leprosy, venereal disease, depression, and impotence were part of a wide range of maladies believed cured by having sex with the young. An English medical text of the time reads, "Breaking a maiden's seal is one of the best antidotes for one's ills. Cudgeling her unceasingly, until she swoons away, is a mighty remedy for man's depression. It cures all impotence.” 7 likes
“By the Middles Ages it was a sin to have sex with a child. If an adult were guilty of such a sin, one remedy was to declare the child a witch. The child thus became an offender who "beguiled" the adult with the power of the Evil One.
Understanding this process puts a new light on the burning of witches. A Catholic bishop in Wurttemberg in the seventeenth century writes, for example, of his sadness at having presided over the burning of three hundred young girls that year and of his wonder if the church were making a mistake.”
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