‘My sex addiction almost killed me’

Allison Yee

One woman has bravely spoken out about the sex addiction that nearly broke her – and how she turned her life around by confronting her demons and seeking treatment for her dangerous behaviour.

Jace Downey from Texas, Austin admits she became addicted to engaging in public sex, watching porn at work and having sex with strangers.

“[It] came in the form of unprotected sex, with people I did not know,” she told Barcroft.

“I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a line up now.”

Jace became addicted to dangerous sexual behaviour. Photo: Barcroft

Feeling alone and lost, Jace’s sex addiction saw her struggling to have an ‘intimate or emotional connection’ with sex, and having troubles with infidelity and relationship boundaries.

It was only when Jace hit rock bottom in 2014 when she began to have suicidal thoughts that she realised she needed help.

After realising she needed help, Jace turned to her local recovery centre for group meetings. Photo: Facebook/Jace.Down

She sought treatment by attending addiction group meetings, and it’s here repressed memories of her father sexually abusing her from the age of five began surfacing.

Jace never told anyone about the abuse, which took place for two years.

“I would just wake up the next morning and pretend like nothing happened,” she said.

Seeking treatment was just the catalyst Jace needed to examine her behaviour – and after realising she used sex to numb herself - decided to swear off it until she could engage in sexual activity in a healthy way.

“I decided I was going to stop having sex, and start learning about,” she explained.

Jace decided to give up sex altogether, and began her Suddenly Celibate project. Photo: www.suddenlycelibate.com

“I figured I probably shouldn’t put myself back in that situation until I could do it in a healthy way.

“I started my project Suddenly Celibate and spent the next couple of years going around the US, talking to different experts in the field of addiction, specialists in sex addiction, and learning a lot about healthy sexuality.”

The 30-year-old happily embraced her celibacy vow until she met her current partner William Kane at a comedy show, and broke it a few months after they began dating.

After embarking on a stint of celibacy, Jace met William and decided to break it. Photo: Barcroft

Jace is now a self-development coach and now has an ‘extraordinary’ relationship with William.

“In going into recovery – and going from feeling completely hopeless and alone in the dark – I now live with enthusiasm,” she said.

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, don't suffer in silence, call 1800 RESPECT any time of day or night.

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, Mensline 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

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