Although the heart of “The Bachelor” franchise is finding love, it has also dealt with its fair share of social issues, including drug and alcohol addiction. There is, however, another type of addiction that, until recently, has not been openly discussed within the franchise: sex addiction.
Belinda “Love” Rygier, who appeared on 2017’s “The Bachelor Australia,” recently opened up about her sex addiction, admitting that she has had sex with over 700 men. According to The Daily Mail, “The former reality star, who found fame on Matty J’ season of The Bachelor in 2017, said she was dealing with ‘unhealed trauma’ and she isn’t ashamed of having a high number of sexual partners.”
According to WebMD, “Sex addiction is defined as a lack of control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. While sexual impulses are natural, sex addiction only refers to behaviors that are done in excess and significantly impact one’s life in a negative way.”
Rygier Reveals Her Painful Past
Rygier opened up about her sex addiction and recovery on the August 22, 2022 episode of “You’re a Grub Mate,” an Australian morning radio show hosted by Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton, aka Ben & Liam. During the interview, the 38-year-old revealed that she has been a recovering sex addict for eight years, and has been abstinent for 15 months. She now uses her experiences to help others suffering from addiction through her relationship bootcamps.
The former “Bachelor” contestant told Ben & Liam that at the height of her addiction, she would “go out clubbing five or six times a week” and sometimes pick up men at grocery stores. Although she lost count of the exact number of people she slept with, she is sure it is more than 700.
Rygier elucidated, “Men were very good at telling me what I want to hear. My love language is affirmation. So, when a guy was telling me what I wanted to hear, I thought ‘wow, this guy really likes me.’ So, it was more about feeling beautiful, feeling validated, feeling loved than actually having the sex.”
This is not to say Rygier isn’t interested in sex. She admitted to Ben & Liam that she has always had a strong sex drive, and she still does. However, rather than treating sex like it’s “a hobby” she is waiting to be intimate with someone she feels a true connection with.
Hitting Rock Bottom
According to a September 17 article in The Daily Mail, “As she followed the road to recovery, Ms. Rygier did some serious soul-searching as she worked through her complicated childhood and avoidant-attachment personality.”
The outlet continued, “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.”
Rygier explained, “When he pushed me down the stairs and locked me in the garage, I had a black eye and they thought my hand was broken. It was pretty bad. I went to work and they sent me home. The police came and they said because he had a scratch on his arm from my ring, after I tried to get him off me, we could both go to jail for domestic violence.”
Rygier called that experience her “turning point.” She began going to counseling and engaged in a great deal of self-exploration to try to figure out where her behaviors came from. “I was never self-aware,” she told The Daily Mail. “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.’”
Although the journey to recovery has not been easy, Rygier says once she made up her mind to change, it happened fairly quickly. “I will be having sex again but with someone I have a connection with,” she told Ben & Liam.