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Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred Paperback – May 13, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred, Patrick Carnes explores more of the continuum of human sexual dysfunction. With all the moral injunctions about sex that most of us received during childhood, it is difficult to see a lack of, or even revulsion of, sexual desire as a serious problem. In comparing these areas of difficulty with the anorexic and bulimic eating disorders, Carnes masterfully presents an easily understood structure of the disease process and a recovery regime that offers real hope for comfort in relationships."
--Pia Mellody, RN, addictions and codependence consultant, author of Facing Codependence, Breaking Free, and Facing Love Addiction

"A valuable resource for men and women who have been afraid and confused about sex. Patrick Carnes has made another remarkable contribution that fosters sexual recovery and sexual healing. Using his trademark blend of wisdom, practical strategies, and personal stories, Carnes takes readers through a step-by-step program to discover the meaning and joys of healthy sexual intimacy."
--Wendy Maltz, MSW, sex therapist, author of The Sexual Healing Journey and co-author of In the Garden of Desire

About the Author

Patrick J. Carnes is a nationally-known speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He is the author of Out of the Shadows, Contrary to Love, A Gentle Path Through the 12 Steps, and Don't Call It Love. He is the clinical director for sexual disorder services at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona. Carnes is the editor-in-chief of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, the official journal of the National Council of Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity, an organization for which he also serves as a board member. He also serves on the national advisory board of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden; 1 edition (May 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568381441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568381442
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After having tried different kinds of books and therapy which mainly is focusing on the technical aspects of sex with little success or progress, I feel that this book really goes behind the technical and offers a more complete explanation as to why some people have a difficult relationship with sex.

In comparison to other books that seem to tell you that if you have difficulty with sex you must have been sexually abused as a child, this book offers a more complete analysis and makes you think of little things and details which along the way might have caused you to find sex difficult, but in an uplifting manner, saying that it is ok and that you can solve it. It also tells you that you are not the only one suffering from this fear of intimacy and that it is ok and you can do something about it.

In my opinion it is a very well written book and is worth reading for a lot of people in order to get a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them, focusing on how intimacy can be difficult and providing solutions to work through it.
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I purchased this book in hopes that it would help a friend of mine through her troubles, as she was abused in childhood and as a result she's unable to have a physical relationship with anyone.

This book seemed nice, but upon flipping through it I realized that it assumes that the reader is a man or woman in a relationship that is already having sex & doesn't find joy in it. That doesn't help my best friend, since she's NOT in a relationship with anyone and would feel left out by the book. The book wouldn't be any help for her, and ended up being a waste of my money. Why would I give her a book that isn't going to help her? Still, it did make some nice points but again... the fact that the writers are assuming that they are speaking to married or partnered men/women really alienates a large chunk of people.

EDIT:

Seriously, I ended up showing her the book & she herself echoed my own thoughts. It wasn't helpful to her. All of the exercises & suggestions were for couples. While the book looked like it would be helpful for her in some ways, the book only focused on couples. It's not helpful to a person who is going this "alone". Vote me down if you want, but this book needs to state that it is for COUPLES, not singles who are dealing with this problem.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been very useful to me. It's written with a good deal of compassion and insight, and even though I think the authors oversimplify some issues, they manage to get near the heart of what makes sex so difficult for many people. The recommended activities are generally weak and none too useful, but that's true of most self-help books. Even the good ones.
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Format: Paperback
I have only just recently begun to read this book. But already I am absolutely shocked by how on target everything it says is. As I read the pages, I find myself wondering if the author has not been observing me and taking notes. I have always held a strong fear of sexuality, and always feel guilty when I find myself watching pretty girls or getting aroused. The author's descriptions if an interior world of denial and self doubt are precisely on the mark. I have not begun to utilize any therapeutic tips offered within, but so far I am deeply impressed.
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Format: Paperback
This is a textbook about sexual anorexia, which is a condition that causes a person to fear intimacy to the point of incredible pain. It contains a plan for recovery, and certainly is a place to begin to grapple with such a sensitive and important part of life.
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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.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been a great and insightful read for me!
It was recommended by a therapist I met in AZ when I shared with her my problems in dealing with sexuality in general. Before I read this book, I was completely lost with no understanding why I struggled like I did or how I could ever overcome my ingrained fear/hysteria over sexuality. After reading it, Carnes' book has provided me with insights, information, and exercises that I would never had figured out through my therapist alone. I now have a better understanding of what I'm struggling with and how to approach it in a constructive and healthy way. I couldn't be more grateful to Dr. Carnes than if I was one of his clients from the start!
That alone would warrant this book a full 5 stars, but I took 1 star off because Carnes does not address sexual anorexia for the single adult, which I am. While I did gain some insight from the passages that dealt exclusively with married couples and the like, it never really dealt with those that struggle with this disorder outside of any committed relationship. Don't get me wrong: I'm absolutely glad that I read this book and wished I read it sooner! However, I would have liked to have the book also focus on those not in a relationship--never married, divorced, or otherwise--and struggling with SA.
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