Our guest on this episode of the Addicted Mind podcast is Lacy Bentley, a recovery mentor, and coach in the areas of love and sex addictions for women. At age 13, Lacy found herself consuming erotic novels and pornographic anime called hentai. She didn’t realize it until much later in life, but her involvement with those types of pornography had created an addiction to the fantasy that affected all of her relationships into adulthood. She developed a pattern of escape and avoidance related to any intense emotion – positive or negative – that was affecting her marriage and her relationship with her children as well.
Once she realized her own issues, she realized that there had to be other women out there who were struggling as well, but no one was willing to talk about women having problems with pornography. Since so much of pornography involves the subjugation and abuse of women, there is a “girl code trauma” associated with women being aroused by the terrible things that are portrayed happening to other women.
Lacy has found in her work to help women find the freedom and recovery that they so desperately need that once a woman is willing to admit her addiction, she is usually all-in to do whatever needs to be done to heal. They need to go through a period of raw and unfiltered honesty about what has happened, then move past the shame that they have been living with for too long, and find their way to reconnecting with their partner healthily and intimately. One of the keys to a successful recovery is opening up and walking through your struggles with your partner, talking about what happened, what works, what doesn’t work, and so on.
Women who are struggling with love, sex, or porn addictions need to know that they are not alone. That they are worth recovery and that they have the right to be empowered to be themselves and have the courage to face their problems head-on. Lacy is a strong advocate of the concept of regaining your integrity because integrity is a big part of what is lost during an addiction.