Lust Makes Us Fools
Someone wrote to Dov:
If 'wanting sex' is lust, then being romantic with our wives to get sex is just as lustful....
100% agreed! But there is a world of difference between being good to your wife in order to open the path for sexual pleasure with her - and trying to "make it happen and take what you want". The difference is in the acceptance that she (and certainly her body ) is not yours, and that sex is still optional that night. Do you see the difference? My wife does, and so do I. It is ultimately a question of whether I live with step 3 or if the world still revolves around me. (BTW, I use the niddah cycle to remind me that my wife is not my sexual possession - ultimately like every other woman in the world. The niddah cycle is a powerful tool Hashem gave us to grow up.)
As far as the human need for "affection", maybe sexuality is not as necessary a part of affection as you feel it to be. I have learned that it is wonderful and actually acceptable to my meshugeneh sexaholic self to have cuddling nights. That is, to agree with my wife beforehand not to get sexual that night and agree to go to sleep cuddling with my wife (no hot and heavy necking or feeling, of course), just warm and friendly holding and a kiss or two. Two friends who respect and love each other and are married, just going to sleep nicely together. Does this sound possible to you? "Welcome to normal", I say to myself. The need for affection is sometimes shockingly satisfied with this - even for me. You may find the same. And it takes the pressure off of the wife in unexpected ways. She may even tell you that, and thank you for it.
Now, I am aware that some uninitiated but sincerely well-meaning talmid chochom will say, "that's crazy, and ossur! Especially for you!" - because he figures it is just inviting temptation and a wet dream! "Stay even farther away from her," he will warn. Nope - wrong. In recovery, we must take Hashem with us and go into real life with surrender - not with fear. First off, if the fellow has a wet dream, he'd have it anyway what with lust boiling in him already. He might be right for normals, but paradoxically, he's wrong when it comes to sexaholics, of all people! This isn't called tempting it - we are already tempting it with the 3-D sex videos playing in our heads in surround sound. The average Rov out there just doesn't get it. In reality, for us pervs, it is exhilarating to discover real physical joy and satisfaction with our wives - without sex. What a relief for both of us. Unexpectedly discovering the very pleasure I was really looking for in the sex, in calm and friendly cuddling is a life-changing experience. It's nice to discover I am an idiot, and I always thought that obviously the raunchier and dirtier, the more satisfying it will be... Lust makes us fools. We do not see the riches we already have and thus squander them, for both us and our spouses.