Are you addicted to sex? Of all the addictions, a sex addiction is the most embarrassing to talk about. To make matters worse, society doesn’t take sex addiction seriously. Just ask anyone who has this addiction, or a person in a committed relationship with a sex addict and they’ll tell you otherwise.
Similar to other addictions, there is distorted thinking, rationalizing, justify their behavior and blaming others for it. Sex addicts also deny the problem, until they’re force to come to term with it. They engage in various sexual activities and risk the consequences. And like every other addiction, sex addiction interferes with your relationships, work and with social and spiritual lives. The compulsion to for the behavior is overwhelming.
The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Simply put ~ sex addicts engage in certain sexual behaviors despite health risks, financial problems, relationship problem or even arrest.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four (DSM-4) classifies sex addiction, under “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified,” as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” To simplify: “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.”
Sex Addiction has been studied by Patrick Carnes and he estimated that 3-6 percent of adults are preoccupied with it.
Here are the signs:
You'd think that if you were addicted to sex, at least you'd get satisfaction from the sex act, but addicts don't. There is no emotional connection. This is strictly about sex and once the act is over, an addict is left with the feeling of guilt and shame.
Sex addiction, usually begins with masturbation. Masturbation addiction is also the most common addiction.
Porn addiction is usually combined with masturbation. The fantasy creates an unreal world developed in adolescence. Addicts resort to these fantasies to meet their emotional and physical needs and seek this escape rather than relate with a real person.
In the later stages of the addiction, there is a preference for the fantasy with themselves or others, rather than a relationship with a partner or spouse.
Women & Sex Addiction:
Women display the same behaviors as men: masturbation, pornography, cyber-sex, anonymous sex, affairs etc. Recently women have been more openness about sex and I am happy to report that there is less of a stigma about them getting help.
Recovery takes time and lots of hard work, especially in the beginning, but there are good results.
With guidance the addict develops emotionally, sexually, spiritually. The client learns to develop intimacy in personal relationships and because of this, I’ve witnessed much stronger relationships with sexual partners once the problem is addressed.
Partners of addicts are also distressed. They may feel alone with this problem and feel powerlessness, angry or guilty. If this is the case, you too have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Be assured, your partner's behavior is not your fault.
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There are 12-Step Programs for Sex/Love Addicts
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