Sex Addiction

Sex addiction refers to the behavior of a person with an unusually intense sex drive or obsession with sex. Behaviors and thoughts dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to function daily with work or healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts have distorted thinking, often rationalize and justify their behavior or blaming others for problems. They deny they have a problem and make excuses for their behavior. 

What are some behaviors of the sex addict?

Behaviors associated with sexual addiction include:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Constant use of pornography
  • Multiple affairs
  • Multiple or anonymous sexual partners
  • Obsessive dating via personal ads
  • Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
  • Prostitution or use of prostitutes
  • Sexual harassment
  • Unsafe sex

A sex addict generally gets little satisfaction from the sexual activity and avoids an emotional bond with sex partners. The addiction can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. They also feel a lack of control over their behavior, despite negative consequences. 

How Is Sexual Addiction Treated?

Most importantly, the sex addict needs to admit to the problem. It usually takes a significant event, like the loss of a job, the breakup of a marriage, an arrest or health crisis, to force this admission. 

Treatment of sexual addiction helps the addict to control their addictive behavior and help the person develop a healthy sexual outlook. This includes education about healthy sex, individual counseling and marital/family therapy. Support groups or recovery programs (like Sex Addicts Anonymous) are usually beneficial. In some cases, medications are needed to curb the compulsive sex addiction, such as Prozac and Anafranil. 

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