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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


Oooh lots to think about here! Briefly off the top of my head: Yes, there was the use of sex to bring about an almost instant gratification of needing to feel likeable/wanted/good at something I seduced men because I liked the feeling of power and being in control I used shallow sexual, short-ish term relationships as a substitute for proper relationships, because I believed that if people got to know the real me they woud see how bad/unlikeable/unloveable I was, and I would be rejected and pushed away - I was unloveable as a whole, the sexual relationship was the best I could hope for (that makes me cry so must be significant) Those are the obvious ways of using sex to deal with the things that I also used my ED to deal with too, but there's a lot more stuff tied up in sex for me too... my sexual kinks are a reflection of the attitudes and control mechanisms used by my parents...if I allow myself to be subjected to that same level of humiliation and violence almost as foreplay,then I feel free to enjoy the sex...and it is more pleasurable as a result I was violently raped by a work colleague, partly because I didn't have the confidence to enforce a boundary that I felt should've been there, because I was scared that I would get talked about and riduculed at work... I was working away, and normally you would meet colleagues in the bar or reception in an evening to go out for a bite to eat and a few drinks, and on this particular trip it was just me and 2 of my bosses, and I was last back to the hotel, so I called one of them to say I was back and to just give me 20 mins to get ready and I would see them in the bar, and he was fine, and said my other boss had figures to prepare so prob wouldn't make it. 5 mins later there was a knock on my door, I thought it was someone from housekeeping or something like that, opened it and he was there. I felt uneasy, and wanted to not let him in and insist that he waited for me in the bar...but in my head it was "he's my boss he's not going to try anything, he's prob being friendly and so it would be rude for me to turn him away, If I send him away he will go back to work and tell everyone what a prude I am cos I wouldn't let him in my room and they will all be talking about me and laughing about me behind my back, I'm a bad person for thinking that he might be anything other than honourable..." and so I let him in. I like sex, and it is important to me, more than it might be to most people, because my entire life was controlled to such a degree by my parents - mother especially, that my sex life is the only thing that she can't control, that is still mine! The other thing that I think is worthy of consideration, is erotic transference, as I think it is probably quite commonplace in ED therapy, but very difficult to disclose....but whilst those secret fantasies go untalked about and bubble away under the surface, I think it makes talking about sex in therapy more awkward, sort of like a belief that the therapist will be able to tell that the erotic transference is going on, if we talk about sex and sexuality. Sex is easy to talk about in therapy, once your relationship is at a certain level...but not before....and I'm not sure how the therapist is supposed to sense when that time is right Just my collection of thoughts anyway

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