Comparisons Chart

Learning to distinguish healthy sexuality from other forms of sexual experience empowers you to bring healthy sex more into your own life and relationships. Below you will find a “comparisons” chart that contrasts “healthy sexuality” with a “sexual abuse and sexual addiction” perspective on sex. Pay attention to any items that concern or confuse you. You may want to discuss these with a friend, counselor, or health educator, to tease out the differences more. How you think about sex significantly effects how you and your partner will experience and feel about it.

Sexual Abuse and Addiction

Healthy Sex

Sex is uncontrollable energy Sex is controllable energy
Sex is an obligation Sex is a choice
Sex is addictive Sex is a natural drive
Sex is hurtful Sex is nurturing, healing
Sex is a condition for love or devoid of love Sex is an expression of love
Sex is “doing to” someone Sex is sharing with someone;sex is part of who I am
Sex is void of communication Sex requires communication
Sex is secretive Sex is private
Sex is exploitative Sex is respectful
Sex is deceitful Sex is honest
Sex benefits one person Sex is mutual
Sex is emotionally distant Sex is intimate
Sex is irresponsible Sex is responsible
Sex is unsafe Sex is safe
Sex has no limits Sex has boundaries
Sex is power over someone Sex is empowering
Sex requires a double life Sex enhances who you really are
Sex compromises your values Sex reflects your values
Sex feels shameful Sex enhances self esteem

If you are concerned about pornography, you may want to look at the comparison chart we developed for recovering porn users. Entitled, “Do You Know The Difference?” it compares “porn-related sex” to “healthy sexuality.” This porn-oriented comparison chart is published in our book, “The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Understanding Problems Caused by Pornography” and is also available as a free poster that you can download on this site.