Cover image for Out of the shadows : understanding sexual addiction
Out of the shadows : understanding sexual addiction
Carnes, Patrick, 1944-
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Center City, MN : Hazelden Information & Edu 2001.
Physical Description:
xx, 219 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
First ed. originally published in 1983 by CompCare under the title: The sexual addiction.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC560.S43 C38 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



With the revised information and up-to-date research, Out of the Shadows is the premier work on sex addiction, written by a pioneer in its treatment.

Sex is at the core of our identities. And when it becomes a compulsion, it can unravel our lives. Out of the Shadows is the premier work on this disorder, written by a pioneer in its treatment. Revised and updated to include the latest research--and to address the exploding phenomenon of cybersex addiction--this third edition identifies the danger signs, explains the dynamics, and describes the consequences of sexual addiction and dependency. With practical wisdom and spiritual clarity, it points the way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and back into the light and fullness of life.

Author Notes

Patrick J. Carnes, PhD, 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 Addiction Recovery, Betrayal Bond, Don't Call It Love, The Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and T he Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles .

Dr. Carnes' research provides the architecture for the "task model" of treating addictions that is used by thousands of therapists worldwide and many well-known treatment centers, residential facilities, and hospitals. He founded IITAP (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), which provides CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) training and certification as well as cutting-edge information for addiction professionals. Dr. Carnes currently serves as a Senior Fellow and Executive Director for the Gentle Path Program at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona.

For more information on his work and contributions see You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter: @drpatrickcarnes.



Chapter 1The Addiction CycleAlthough Hefner was approaching forty-five, and had been involved with hundreds of photogenic women since starting his magazine, he enjoyed female companionship now more than ever; and perhaps more significant, considering all that Hefner had seen and done in recent years, was the fact that each occasion with a new woman was for him a novel experience. It was as if he was always watching for the first time a woman undress, rediscovering with delight the beauty of the female body, breathlessly expectant as panties were removed and smooth buttocks were exposed and he never tired of the consummate act. He was a sex junkie with an insatiable habit. Gay Talese, Thy Neighbor's Wife Del was a lawyer. Brilliant, charming, and witty. He had a special breakthrough in his career when he was appointed as one of the governor's special aides. His wife and three children were proud of his accomplishments. However, Del's public visibility was creating a problem because he was also a sexual addict. His double life included prostitution, porn bookstores, and affairs.Del would initiate relationships with women, feeling that he was "in love." After the initial sexual contact, he would desperately wish to be free. These relationships became characterized by his ambivalence. He wanted to be sexual, but he did not want the relationship. Yet he couldn't say no clearly without fear of hurting the women's feelings, so he never quite broke off the relationships. Instead he hoped their frustration would force them to give up. The result was that he had a series of relationships at the same time in various stages of initiation and frustration.There was not only the juggling act of keeping his relationships straight. Some of these women were vital to him professionally. He exploited relationships to receive cooperation. His problem was that the women would believe that he cared for them. The professional complications were extreme. At one point, he was involved with a colleague and her secretary at the same time. The secretary went in to talk to her boss about this "problem" she had. Del had to face two very angry women.His other behaviors were also problems. In porn shops, he was sexual with a number of men in the movie booths. Worse, the shops he frequented were near the capitol, an area where he was liable to be recognized. He vowed to stop when, sitting in a meeting in the attorney general's office, a plan was described for a raid on a local porn shop the one he had patronized two days before. But he did not stop.Neither were his visits to massage parlors without peril. One night his masseuse was a young girl quite high on some form of drug. Del decided to have his massage anyway, including a "hand job." When she masturbated him, she hurt his penis. Del was too shameful to complain or even to tell anybody. When he got home, he was so upset, he masturbated despite his penis being sore.Late one evening, Del pulled up next Excerpted from Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Patrick Carnes, All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.