Learn About Ailments | Sexual Addiction

Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is the description used for the thoughts and behaviour of a person with an abnormally high sex drive or obsession with sexual activity. Sexual addiction can affect day-to-day routine and ability to form long-lasting relationships. Behaviours associated with sexual addiction can include compulsive masturbation, affairs, one-night stands, pornography use and voyeurism.
Sexual Addiction

In This Article
Causes of sexual addiction Symptoms of sexual addiction
Diagnosis of sexual addiction Related Terms

What causes sexual addiction is not fully understood however social and biochemical factors can alter the way the brain handles thoughts and judgement about sexual activity. These factors can develop from the way a person is raised by parents, a family history of addiction or social pressures created by peers and the media.

Changes in the brain can trigger a preoccupation with sex and an addict will exclude all other activities in favour of compulsive sexual behaviour, even when there are negative consequences. The sexual experience itself rarely involves intimacy but does give a sense of euphoria far beyond what is usually experienced by others.
Sexual addiction is used as a way to cope with negative feelings, work difficulties or personal problems. As with any addiction, reward from the experience soon gives way to feelings of guilt, remorse and a declaration or promise of change.

Sex addicts have been found to come from dysfunctional family environments and are more likely to have been abused as children. Parenting is often described by sex addicts as being distant and uncaring and many will have a previous family history of some type of addiction.

There are common behaviours which indicate that someone may have an addiction to sex.

These can include:
  • A persistent preoccupation with sex or craving for sex
  • Unsuccessful attempts to limit sexual activity
  • A desire to stop sexual practices but continually engaging in them
  • Constant thoughts of sex to the detriment of other social activities
  • Spending an excessive amount of time on sexual activities such as viewing pornography or looking for sexual partners
  • Neglecting work, family or social life to pursue sex
  • Excessive sexual behaviour despite negative consequences such as health risks or relationship break-downs.
  • Problems with mood when unable to engage in sexual behaviour

As with any addiction, sex addicts will have an underlying mental health problem which must be addressed in order for them to overcome their problem.

A diagnosis of addiction should be carried out by a mental health expert who will make an assessment based on behaviours as explained above. It is advisable to get a referral from your GP before this assessment can take place.

Sex Addict
Extra-Marital Affair
Sexual Harassment
Sexual health

Therapies to consider
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Counselling EFT
Hypnotherapy Life Coaching NLP
Psychotherapy Thought Field Therapy

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