A reformed sex addict who slept with more than 700 men has started her own healing bootcamps where she teaches self-esteem and how to establish healthy, respectful relationships.
Belinda Rygier, a former contestant on The Bachelor, said her wild lifestyle put a strain on her friendships because she would ditch her mates on nights out so she could have casual sex – and even tried to hook up at her local supermarket.
Speaking publicly, Rygier said her out-of-control addiction came to a head when one of these men became abusive, but was later told she couldn’t press charges because she had ‘scratched’ the man while defending herself.
She said the incident marked a turning point and encouraged her to unpack her emotions, along with her perceptions of love and sex.
This journey led to her launching her own healing bootcamps, where she teaches self-esteem and how to establish healthy, respectful relationships.
“That was my turning point. I thought, “I have to help myself.” That’s where the journey began, and it was a very quick transformation. Once you decide [to change], it happens very quickly.”
The TV star and former sex addict (now a sex educator) started counseling and self-development work in order to better understand the psychology behind her compulsive behaviour.
“Having a coach that called me out and held me accountable made me dig deep. I didn’t ever know I had sex addiction until I healed my trauma,” she said.
As she followed the road to recovery from being a sex addict, Ms Rygier did some serious soul-searching as she worked through her complicated childhood and avoidant-attachment personality.
Reflecting on her years of active addiction, she confessed sex “was constantly at the top of my mind”, even when she was at the supermarket.
“I would be grocery shopping and would think to myself, “Oh, I wonder if he would be interested?”‘ she said.
However, the majority of her conquests were men – and occasionally women – that she would find at bars and nightclubs on nights out.
Her tunnel vision sometimes upset her friends, as she would ‘ditch’ them while out clubbing as soon as she decided to hook up.
“I was never self-aware. The minute I was out, I was like, “Where’s a hot guy?”
“Sex is the only addiction I fell for because it was making me feel loved. Love is really what I lacked in my life.”