Cover Image: My Secret Life as a Sex Addict

My Secret Life as a Sex Addict

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Member Reviews

this book was a eye opener on how women can struggle just as much with addiction like men. the process of overcoming it and changing your life.

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The author's book, despite sharing their story, lacks depth and contains excessive crudeness. The author's experience of suffering from addictions is highlighted, but the book's focus on shock factor rather than practical application is lacking. The author suggests using the book to help overcome sex addiction, but the reader doesn't see any practical lessons to take away. NetGalley provided the opportunity to read this ARC.

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Thank you to the author for sharing your story. This could not be an easy book to write. Unfortunately, this book didn’t really do much for me. I struggled with how crude her writing is, everything was ‘fuck’ and ‘suck huge cock’ and it just felt like the author was writing for a shock factor. It is possible to write about these topics without being so over the top and crude. It was great to learn more about someone suffering from these addictions but I feel like there could have been more. The author suffered for decades and yet 120 pages was all that was possible? The author suggests using this book to help get over a sex addiction, unfortunately I don’t see anything that someone could really take away from this and learn from/incorporate into their life to help get over their addiction (coming from someone who doesn’t have an addiction so maybe my judgement is not correct). Unfortunately, while I appreciate the author telling their story, I think this book was really just for shock factor and not to actually help someone. I thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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This was very raw and honest and I’m so glad I came across it.

It made me so empathetic to the author and the feeling of guilt she felt throughout her addiction.

I also loved the short chapters and length of the book.

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Sex addiction, characterized by compulsive and harmful sexual behavior, can adversely impact relationships and mental well-being, often requiring therapy and support for recovery. Understanding its complexities is crucial for effective treatment and support.

The title immediately grabbed my attention. Not many women delve into topics like sex, sex addiction and infidelity, but Paulina approaches these subjects in a truly captivating manner. Her writing style is simply astonishing. What sets this book apart is its raw honesty and authenticity there’s no sugar-coating or holding back.

Paulina’s openness, introspection, and connection with the reader are truly commendable. She fearlessly exposes her vulnerabilities and struggles, all in the name of personal accountability and helping fellow women. Even if you’re not dealing with sex addiction specifically, the book’s insights can resonate with anyone interested in a woman’s perspective on the subject.

It’s not just about sex; it touches on broader issues like food addiction, eating disorders, and codependent relationships. Reading about someone else’s journey toward healing is in itself a healing experience. I gained valuable insights and had several moments of lightheartedness while reading.

This is a true story about a middle aged woman who has suffered with sex addiction and food addiction for most of her life. This book takes you on her life journey from the incidents that caused her to become a sex addict, stories of acting out her sexual compulsions, how she recovered from her sex addiction, and how she repaired the collateral damage to her relationships.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the book. I loved the honesty and the way the author refuses to be ashamed of something that society see as taboo. Truly inspirational. What I got was exactly what I wanted.

Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

Thank you @netgalley @booksgosocialgroup @platypuspublishing for the #arc in exchange for a honest review.

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I didn't expect to be as into this title as I was; I've always had a theory that my own active sex drive growing up was probably due to the abuse I endured as a child and while reading this, I felt less alone. While I don't get how someone can continue to find sex when they're in a committed relationship and no hints of it lacking sex; I can see that the author clearly had an addiction.

I really hope some day that things like this will be discussed more and not just drug abuse or drug addictions. There are a ton of other types of addictions that can be just as damaging.

I admire the author for her candid honesty and for writing her truth!

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As someone who has never suffered from an addiction this book was incredibly eye opening. My heart broke for the author was in the middle if it but I was so elated when the author emerged from it even stronger than before.I just reviewed My Secret Life as a Sex Addict by Paulina Pantyleva. #NetGalley

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I really liked this memoir because it was super informative, while also having short chapters. The memoir draws the reader in by being honest about all the experiences with being a sex addict without making it seem like a bad thing. The author does a good job of not stigmatizing sex addiction.

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Very well written. This happens more than people know. I enjoyed reading the book. I'm glad she got through it and it didn't mess up her marriage.

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This is a rather searing book about a woman with a sex and food addiction and how she eventually was able to choose to live a normal life. It is a harrowing tale and seems almost unbelievable and, yet, I imagine it is true and the book shows how it is possible to restore normalcy, learn to love and forgive yourself, and bring a very spiritual side to the healing process. The book was an eye opener for me, and I am very glad that Ms. Payntyleva has a good life now and that she is reaching out to others to learn how they, too, can transcend/embrace/accept/live with and learn from the trauma in their life to arrive in a much better location that they were in for too long.

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read My Secret Life as a Sex Addict. I’ve never known anyone who is a Sex Addict, and I certainly don’t struggle with it myself; but I was intrigued when I saw this. I’m a reader who enjoys books about wellness, and sexual health and this book hit all the checks! It allows the reader, one who’s never experienced it an inside look at sex addiction, specifically from a female perspective. In general the topic of sex is taboo, but more mainstream books about the topic are coming out and letting the light in. I would definitely recommend if these topics peak your interest.

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Thank you, NetGallery, for the book.

This book discusses the journey of Paulina, who suffered from sex addiction. Here, she tells readers some factors that influenced her and how she dealt with sex addiction before finally meeting Dana, the therapist. She shares her emotions and the reactions of her close ones once they acknowledge her condition.

It's a compact and concise memoir. It could be easily read in one sitting. I have to admit that, apart from the title, the fact that it's only around 120 pages immediately grabbed my attention.

I felt for the author when I read about her journey to healing from addiction. I loved how she expressed her feelings about each event in depth. It must be difficult to recover from sex addiction, as your body reacts to it immediately and without control. It requires determination and perseverance.

It is disappointing that she did not describe in depth the steps and methods she used to encounter the problem. I believe it might be because of the confidentiality between her and her therapist. I think it would make the book even more helpful if she shared a few tips.

Overall, it is a great book, and I enjoyed reading it.

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I mean, credit to the author for sharing her story. And what a hard story, I imagine, it is to share. But I feel like it could have been better. More details. Deeper. There were a few touching moments where she shared very vulnerable situations and life experiences (trigger warning) and she even explained why those situations may have created this addiction, but her story still felt unfulfilling to me. Maybe it was the way she told it, her writing style. But again, props to her for sharing the details of this difficult addiction.

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What a raw, honest account of a female sex addict's life. I'll preface my review with how courageous it is to write a memoir on such a sensitive topic that has clearly impacted multiple generations of her family. I applaud Paulina's goal to shed light on something not often discussed in society - it's admirable she is willing to share her story with the goal to help others' in their recovery.

That being said, I took issue with more than a few things in this book:
1. Let's talk "sex addiction" I disagree with the author's descriptions of addiction among other things. There should be a disclosure that this isn’t medically or academically accurate. As a licensed clinical social worker with a master's degree in human sexuality education, there were a lot of definitions and opinions that could be damaging to others' in their recovery. Possibly the biggest of all is the lack of accurate information on "sex addiction" which is not a clinical accepted medical diagnosis. Need more info? Send me a message.
2. The normalization of sexual abuse was disturbing to say the least. Major TWs. Similarly, the author made light of some serious concerning behavior and, in my opinion, downplayed the reckless and dangerous choices made in her life in exchange for a laugh.
3. Lots of segments of being provocative just to be provocative. For example: "f there’s only one take-away from this book, this is it. Never put a beer bottle up your snatch. It will give you a raging yeast infection and you will have cottage cheese curd pouring out of your pussy hole and you will be racing to the doctor to cure you of this hideous malady."
4. Statistics. "In my research for this book, I saw a statistic that 100% of sex addicts (and likely any type of addict) were either sexually abused as children, physically abused, or emotionally abused." This is just inaccurate. There's no reference to the claimed "research" or the source for this "100%." According to Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., the pioneering sex addiction researcher, 97 percent of people with sex addiction suffered emotional abuse in childhood or adolescence, while 81 percent suffered sexual abuse. A further 72 percent suffered from physical abuse. In addition, there's a number of other factors that could impact the development of sex addiction or hypersexuality. This was misleading and undeniably false.
5. Pay respect where respect is due. There were many excerpts that referenced others' work but was not properly cited. See descriptions of Kintsugi (Japanese art) & the 5 love Languages, written by Gary Chapman, who got no such recognition for his work the author referenced.
6. "I'm cured!" The author referenced being "healed" or "cured" multiple times from addiction is problematic. The language used is damaging and misleading. Typically people who have been effectively treated for addiction are in recovery, but may not ever be fully healed. Although addiction remains a chronic condition for most people, receiving treatment can help manage its symptoms and allow people to lead a healthier and safer lifestyle.
7. Religion. Similar to a lot of my above complaints, this is one individual's perspective of their sexually compulsive behavior. The assertion that God is necessary for recovery is also false and, again, can be damaging for people seeking solace and recovery.
8. Coaching v therapy. The interchangeability of these two very distinct roles in this book is alarming. It’s fair for therapists to say that their training qualifies them to be life coaches. It’s not fair, though, to say that life coaching is the same thing as therapy. Therapy is designed to help you heal. It’s also designed to help you grow and become more self-aware. Therapy is what you need when you want to “feel better.” A therapist creates a safe space where you’re free from the pressure to perform that you have to deal with at work or home—pressure that might be making you feel stressed out, depressed, or anxious. Life coaching is designed to help you succeed. It’s also designed to help you grow and become more effective. Life coaching is what you need when you want to “do better.” A coach creates an encouraging space where they apply gentle pressure and hold you accountable in your efforts to achieve your goals. Want to write a book, run a marathon or lose weight? See a coach. Want to heal from problematic sexual behaviors and possible compulsive sexual behavior disorder? See a therapist.

In conclusion, it was unclear if this is supposed to be helpful for others but it didn’t seem that way. It read like a diary - no doubt it’s helpful to let out our shame stories - I just don’t know if they need published. The formatting was all messed up and the language was, in my opinion, a bit too candid for the importance of the topic. Lastly, the casual advertisement for Paulina's "coach" at the end made my stomach turn. She is a *diet recovery coach* which is obviously to say the least reading this is a clinically licensed therapist who specializes in sexually problematic behavior. The lack of ethics is abhorrent.

Please approach this book with caution if you do decide to pick it up. It is a memoir, and as such, contains questionable and unfactual information. Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

It tends to be a challenge reviewing memoirs, especially with a difficult subject matter such as this. However, I have a few takeaways:

1. This was a quick read with very short chapters (only around 100 pages). It kept things moving; she was able to cover a lot of ground for a quick novella. Rather than being a straightforward narrative, it was broken apart into "episodes" of sorts, in other words, flashbacks to different situations over the years.

2. Her frankness was appreciated. Additionally, she was able to interject humor into an otherwise painful recollection of the years she struggled with addiction.

3. However, I didn't love the way the novella wrapped up. Everyone has a right to their feelings/musings/ takeaways surrounding the experiences they have. Different things help different people. That being said, the "everything happens for a reason" sentiment and other discussions (particularly around disability) toward the end rubbed me the wrong way. Again, I'm glad she's found peace and self love, but I struggle with the "this was all meant to happen" types of conclusions. In my experience, those struggling with trauma rarely want to hear that it "happened for reason." But, ya know, different things work for different people and if the author feels that way about her circumstance, it's not my place to argue.

I hope more women (and everyone, really) share their stories surrounding sex addiction, or any addiction for that matter. It seemed to be cathartic for this author! And it certainly has the power to make those struggling feel less alone.

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An inside look into the life of a sex addict who also had a food addiction. She shares her story of behaviors that were destroying her relationships, and how she finally was able to break free from the compulsions. A very honest and real story, and a quick read.

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When it comes to memoirs I'm not a big fan unless I'm interested in the topic. In this case, I not only was very interested in this book but also many of the things that were said in this book were very personal to me.

As to which things exactly I won't say but a lot of them have happened to me throughout my childhood and my teenage years.

The amount of honesty Paulina has put into the book is clear and that's what I loved about it. I hope that people who will come across this book will be interested in it and they'll read it because not many people treat sex addiction as an actual addiction.

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Paulina Pantyleva (what a pseudonym!) definitely didn’t hold back in this memoir of dealing with her sex and food addictions. I’m drawn to stories of others dealing with mental health issues, and while the perspective of someone with sex addiction is a foreign one for me, it was quite a fascinating window into that world. I can, on the other hand, more personally relate to the disordered eating/ weight fluctuation, and wish that more of the writing had focused on that.

There are a foreword and afterword provided by Dana Lee Chapman, the diet recovery coach who assisted Paulina in her journey to recovery from her addictions, and these provide some helpful additional context..

Thank you to Paulina Pantyleva and NetGalley for providing this ARC for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
It's rare to find a book written by a woman with sex addiction. The author does well explaining her sex addiction and food addiction. She writes with honesty and shows that people can overcome and understand their addictions.

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This book was an intense and raw depiction of female sex addiction which is a taboo and rarely talked about subject. Paulina did an amazing job demonstrating just how difficult it was to overcome and even recognize in herself. This was a true story of redemption and not for the weak of heart!

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