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Women, Sex and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power [Hardcover]

Charlotte Davis Kasl
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1989
In our society, sex can easily become the price many women pay for love and the illusion of security. A woman who seeks a sense of personal power and an escape from pain may use sex and romance as a way to feel in control, just as an alcoholic uses alcohol; but sex never satisfies her longing for love and self-worth. In this wise and compassionate book, Charlotte Kasl shows women how they can learn to experience their sexuality as a source for love and positive power and sex as an expression that honors the soul as well as the body.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Certain women (and men) use sex addictively as a substitute for love, nurture or power, according to Minneapolis psychologist Kasl. Crammed with case histories, diagrams and therapeutic suggestions, this study draws on her work with members of two organizations: Sex Addicts Anonymous, a support group modeled on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program, and Codependents of Sex Addicts, a group for partners of so-called sex addicts, especially women who allow themselves to be used sexually in order to preserve a relationship. Kasl tends to find this purported disease or its symptoms virtually everywhere ("Codependency is a devastating disease"; some women have "sexually addictive flirtations at work"). But she distills a great deal of common sense and therapeutic wisdom into her presentation, as she connects women's sexual neuroses to survival mechanisms evolved to cope with childhood wounds of incest, abuse, sexual shame and negative programming about being female. Many will support her view of all forms of addiction (sex, booze, food, work, etc.) as a misguided search for spiritual fulfillment.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Probably the single most significant text to date regarding women and sex addiction." -- --Edward Armstrong, National Association of Sex Addiction Problems --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WE ARE ALL SEARCHING FOR LOVE & POWER March 20 2000
By A Customer
"Women Sex & Addiction" is not a feminist, man hating book. It is an exquisitly written book based on the experience of many people with a refreshing and accurate description of codependency. It offers an alternative thought process to the 12 step programs, which rarely address the true level of struggle within people. AA is primarily for alcoholism, but alcoholism is only a symtom of what goes on inside. If you try to talk about what you really feel at an AA meeting you are told that you suffer from self pity or that you need to "poop or get off the pot", which is an inadequate solution to anything. This book invites you to look at the real struggle in life, which is the search for love and power. If you are a woman you often have to prove yourself and power seems elusive. I am not a feminist but as a woman I have been treated unfairly all my life merely because I am female. In terms of being human, this book addresses the search for love through sex, drugs & codependency. Many; male &or female have had sex under the guise of "love" or under the need for connecting with another, despite the fact they know the end result will be unfufilling. These are real issues. Not only does this book cover these critical topics it also touches on bulemia, anorexia, lesbian, homosexual & the male-female power struggle. My favorite section is the discussion of relationships and the light factor. The density of the personality of people we choose to spend time with, how it affects us and possibly the need to let go of some.
Lastly, the book provides some couragous steps for changing. An appropriate ending to an awe- inspiring and enlightening book that I thank the author for having the insight to write. Please write more on the recovery process Charlotte, I need more. With thanks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pheomenal! Dec 27 2003
As an addictions counselor who specializes in women's issues, I have found this book amazingly insightful into the addictive and co-addictive experience of women. Everyone I know who has read this book considers it no less than pheomenal (and often times a life-saver). It should be required reading for any woman in recovery. Even those who initially identify themselves as "only" abusing alcohol/drugs/food have found their core issues reflected in this book. Substance abuse is simply a more socially acceptable mask to hide issues of unhealthy sexuality. People don't ususally talk about these core issues, even with a counselor. Sometimes you have to read this kind of information privately first and assimilate it at your own pace before you are ready to discuss it with another human being. This is a great book to read to get that work started.
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By A Customer
I'll keep this short:
The book helps one understand why people do the things they do, feel the way they feel.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about themselves, and others, why we sometimes hang on to bad relationships, get stuck, how we can overcome our self-induced suffering, our perfectly human feelings we fall victims to, and become better people, with more self-confidence and self-understanding, and opening the door to happier lives spent with the right people.

Criticism: the author repeats herself a lot, which lengthens the book quite a bit. I'd overcome this by just breezing through it with a confidence that anything missed will be reiterated elsewhere, but I would fear this may make me miss something that is important and not reiterated elsewhere. (got that?)
In short, anyone suffering, struggling with what to do next, wondering if there's a way out, if there's a better life (relationship-wise), or just wishing to better understand one's feelings, this book is a must read. If you had to read just one book, take this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book to Sip at Intervals Jan. 22 1999
By A Customer
Women, Sex, and Addiction is so packed with insight and wisdom that it is to be consumed in small sips so that it may be absorbed completely into ones consciousness. WSAA, along with therapy, has brought me through co-dependency to a life of hope and light. Charlotte Kasl, in her compassion and wisdom, speaks to the mind and heart, and inspires us to be the children of light we are at our core. I believe that everyone should read this book if they desire insight into human behaviour and the complexities of relationships. What I especially value is Kasl's weaving of her own personal responses and experiences into the tapestry of the odyssey of her clients. She demonstrates great humility, integrity, and compassion in her writing__as well as in-depth knowledge as a practicing therapist.
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I really enjoyed this look at sexual addiction and codependency in women, and how the two are intertwined. Indeed, I enjoyed the entire holistic approach to these twin problems. Much of what Dr. Kasl said really hit home, and I found I gained a lot of insight into my own problems. I also liked that this book treated sexuality as a friend, and something to be treasured. It's too easy for people in recovery from sexual addiction and codependency to ignore their sexual side altogether, and that is a dangerous place to be. This book should be required reading in sexual addiction 12-step groups, for both men and women.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book
This book is amazing. Since reading it about a month ago, I bought two more copies and had them sent to a couple of my friends who are gong through some hard times. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Nicole Nicholas
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many notes writtend within the book
This book had many more hand written notes in book than expected. It had said some highlighter notes. There was lots.
Published 11 months ago by Marilyn Scott Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in sex addiction and codependency. A must read for those looking to change.
Published 15 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching
Very informative and insightful. A must read for anyone with connections to this life destroying addiction. Hard to put down.
Published 20 months ago by Lee Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all women
Very pertinent to all women looking in depth at their relationship with their partners, themselves and our society.Recommended to me by a therapist friend.
Published 21 months ago by Jan Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for women!
This book is amazing.
It has been extremely helpful in understanding relationship behaviors. I would recommend it to both men and women.
Easy read. Good advice. Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Dawn Power
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening!
I have just begun a 12 step program for sex addiction. This book has been a life saver. I think every woman should read it! The author is gentle yet firm, she is wonderful. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2003 by Alina
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the subject
As a therapist, I have found this to be the best book addressing the issues of female sex addicts and female codependency. It is affirming, thorough, and healing. Read more
Published on April 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowering, holistic - best book on addiction I've read
"Women, Sex, and Addiction" is the best book on addiction for women that I've ever read,(...).
What I found especially unique and valuable about this book is that it looks at... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars It really, really rocks!
This is a great book. The amazing thing is each time I read it; I will have couple of spiritual moments that guides me toward the fullness of my life. Read more
Published on May 26 2000
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