top of page

Dr. Carnes talks about this book

Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred

A first-time examination of sexual anorexia, an extreme fear of sexual intimacy and obsessive avoidance of sex, by the acknowledged leader in the treatment of compulsive sexual behavior and recovery.

Author Dr. Patrick Carnes begins by defining sexual anorexia and demonstrating how it and its parallel disorder, sexual addiction and compulsivity, often arise from a background of childhood sexual trauma, neglect, and other forms of abuse. Utilizing extensive research and elucidating case studies, Carnes develops concrete tasks and plans for restoring nurturing and sensuality, building fulfilling relationships, exploring intimacy, and creating healthy sexuality. Woven throughout the book are stories of recovery which illustrate sexual healing principles, model new behavior, and support motivation for change. Sexual Anorexia enables those suffering from this disorder to recognize that sex need not be a furtive enemy to be fought and defeated but, instead, a deeply sensual, passionate, fulfilling, and spiritual experience that all human beings are innately entitled to.

Excerpt from the book:

"Sex seems to be the area of life that most deeply touches our personal issues. Whatever problems we face in life sooner or later impact our sexuality. If we are chronically angry, the anger will eventually become sexualized. If we cannot tolerate closeness, we will fail at sexual intimacy. If we need to be in control, passion will eldue us. If we have experienced trauma, we may repeat it compulsively through how we express our sexuality. If we are perfectionistic, sexual response will elude us. And, if we are so overextended and driven that all of our important relationships are abbreviated, sex will seem brief and overrated. To put it in another way, we can hide with sex, we can hide from sex, but we cannot be fully ourselves sexually and hide. Our sexual behavior is a core expression of who we are."

Customer Reviews

Sexual Anorexia

By Hecuba July 12, 2012

This book has helped me define a problem I've grappled with for years in isolation. To now know that there are definate behaviors, coping skills and support groups to aid in overcoming this condition is life changing. If you even suspect that this might be your problem this book will help you determine if that is the case. While the process of healing isn't going to be easy I am very grateful to know that healing is not impossible. Thank you Dr. Carnes.

Valuable Self Help Book

By Mitzi March 25, 2014

Describes very accurately some of my feelings. Has workbook-style questions and exercises to discuss with your partner. Draws a lot of parallels between the addict and the anorexic as two sides of the same coin. I got a lot out of it, and I'm only halfway through.

bottom of page