Why "no-topless-pics" matters

My name is Olivia and I’m a sex addict.

I see discussions about (half) naked selfies/other pictures arising regularly on the forum. I also see confusion and irritation among forum users, whose doc is not sex-related, as to why such pictures get flagged. This topic was created to shed light on these matters.

In case you didn’t know, TS welcomes people with all addictions, not just substance abusers. This place is supposed to be a safe place to recover for all of us, hence the community guidelines.

On this thread I’d like to welcome especially my fellow sex/love/PMO addicts to share their point of view of what kind of things on the forum either support or hinder their recovery. The purpose of this is NOT to have a go at someone but to speak on a general level. (PMO stands for porn, masturbation, orgasm)

We understand that pictures of drinking and drugging can be triggering or make someone in recovery uncomfortable. I hope such understanding would be extended to us who are sensitive to partial or full nudity.

A screenshot of TS community guidelines


Let’s get the ball rolling.

I’ve watched alotta porn. When I see a pic of a person (half) naked/topless/string bikini etc my brain does not understand the context of that pic is not sex related. To me bare skin is an instant sex trigger, doesn’t matter what is going on otherwise.

I am working towards to be able to tolerate nudity in everyday life but I’m not there yet.


This is not about pointing fingers. I have nothing against you Conor, it’s all good. I respect the fact you want to understand my doc.


With raised awareness, hopefully some things would change tho :slight_smile:


I’m sorry about my part in it-

I joke about it quite often and don’t understand the implications.

I need to be better at understanding others addictions

Love to all :hugs:


I have alot of love, admiration and respect for many many peoples views on this app, i can’t explain how so many of you through your substance addiction have given me a voice and a better understanding of my own addictions!

I am nerodiverse… I see, hear and a hell of alot of the time interpertate the world different.
Like nonaffected adults, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) show the entire range of sexual behaviors. However, due to the core symptoms of the disorder spectrum, including deficits in social skills, sensory hypo- and hypersensitivities, and repetitive behaviors, some ASD individuals might develop quantitatively above-average or nonnormative sexual behaviors and interests

When i see a topless pic or someone repeatively sexualise or bring up a topic over and over, i then struggle to get that image out my head, it can take me most of the day to refocus and the impluse/urge becomes stronger.

I fantasise more, i become more focused on self gratitfication which then becomes an overwhelming need of a person… I was trapped in a viscious circle of this addiction for 8/9 years.
Im not proud of the number of sexual partners i’ve had, i’m not comfortable still in my skin of what my sex addiction has done.

But this place gave me the knowledge to confront and admit im an ADDICT who wanted to be free of the cycles that have trapped me and made me stay on the merrying go round.

I can tell you openly what my drug addiction feel as it was a physical and mental reaction but the sex addiction is something i shy away and feel more ashamed to share.

It is something i’m studying into and hope to become fully trained and hope to help others know its okay to have these behavioural addictions and give it the big push to being more openly talked about.

I don’t know how to judge a person, i don’t see a persons intention but i do see how much damage ive done to myself struggling alone and i’ll never let that happen to someone who walks this path of recovery with me.

As always i come from a place of love and bluntness its how i was created!


Hey! Great post! Any insight to any addiction is needed!


I want to give a response to some common comments I get on the forum. Not aimed personally at anyone.

"Just scroll past or mute."
I do. I had to give up meme threads bc pics of tits and ballsacks. There are too many random threads and people to be muted. I do alot of scrolling too, but esp in early sobriety seeing an image for a fraction of a second is enough to get triggered. Porn addiction has a lot to do with imagery.

"I have the right to dress how I want."
Yes you do. I’m not here to take that away but I am asking you to take a moment to consider how your attire or the lack of it might effect others. We all have to be selfish regarding sobriety and to do things others maybe don’t understand. Showing up dressed up makes a big difference to me at least.

"Nudity is natural."
Yes it is. So are most other docs. I’m a normie regarding alcohol, I have no problem being around it. Just because a doc is natural to someone, should it be promoted or accepted on a sobriety forum? There needs to be discussion to define lines.

"You just have to get used to it, it’s everywhere."
Yes, I do, at some point and under certain circumstances which I will define, not anyone else. Like you with e.g. alcohol, you can choose to go out every day, do shopping, see family etc and expect to see alcohol at some point. When you come here tho, you know you can flag content that violates your sobriety and community guidelines. I wish I could do the same here without getting talk about being “too sensitive”.


I’ve been gaining a lot of muscle lately from working out. I find it fascinating to see my transformation and I’d love to share it. But I won’t. It would be selfish to do so. The only reason I’d upload would be to receive compliments and feel good about myself. Whilst doing so, I would be triggering multiple people because I need positive attention.
If you ever feel like sharing a selfie without shirt to instantly feel good, realize that it’s a quick-fix and triggering to many people.


This lady prefers other images :innocent:


This is a great thread. The more we talk about it the better it is understood and accepted. I guess the privacy of the two main threads (for female and male sex addicts) has its flip side by not allowing others to get more familiar with it (not questioning the importance of privacy). Also there are several topics regarding this addiction that could be openly discussed but people rather share them on the private threads too, so it reaches less people even from the sex addict community.


In addition to respecting our friends here who are sex addicts, the rule also avoids complications as what counts as ‘sexual’ - hugely subjective - and the gender imbalance - why can a man be topless and not a woman. From a moderating perspective, it makes sense to just say no topless pics, rather than having an endless list of exceptions which no one would agree on!

Ultimately this is a forum for recovery and the reason we are all here is to build connections and find support. If posting topless pictures is really an essential part of that for anyone, they are welcome to create private threads or connect with people on other social media and communication platforms.


When I first joined , I was told by a member of our community to remove my profile pic- its triggering for sex addicts…now as it was said light heartedly as a joke , there maybe was some truth behind it. I do not know… What I do know is that everyone has there triggers and being on here for well over a year now I can tell you I am still learning so so much about us as humans and interaction. Every day is a new day to learn and understand more :pray:


My favorite phrase: “I have the right…”

Yes and as an adult you also have a responsibility. A responsibility to look outside of yourself and extend a common courtesy to understand life from another human’s point of view


Thanks so much for this thread. We are all in this together no matter what our DOC is and we all need to avoid triggering others and be compassionate, kind, understanding. @olivia-i feel terrible for you that you have had those responses! I would be so mad if someone said the same to me about alcohol (which there are equivalent responses to clearly)
I’m grateful for this insight and I understand a bit better now. Thank you for your honest and gentle challenge. Hoping this doesn’t re-emerge as a future topic for you to have to go through this all again!


Bear n apes :gorilla::bear::joy::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@Fargesia_murielae @Thirdmonkey @anon89207786
Yes. I’ve noticed that we people get pissy when someone has something to say about the way we look, the way we dress. I get that, I’m not immune to that. It touches deep insecurities in us when we get such comments whether they be appropriate or meant to be insulting.

@Tomek This is a good point you make about public/private threads. It’s up to us invite people to discuss our doc, which requires courage to go public to some degree. Keeping in mind that this is an open internet forum keeps me from sharing my deepest battles publicly. So both private and public are needed. Thank you!


When you are in a room full of different addicts, talking openly about your DOC and we all had the right to drink alcohol, pop a pill, wear low cut tops, no tops, tight leggings, grey joggers, play a computer game, scroll through you phone, play a game of blackjack, spend as much money as you can freely.

Would you or would you pause and have compassion that what your doing might affect the person next to you.
Thats my world in my head, be aware, be mindful.

Let us ALL recover.


Same here lol
People in the USA have the right to eat other people as there are no laws against it, does that mean everyone goes around eating people? No.


That’s like having a bottle of beer on my kitchen side with a label saying “don’t drink”