Sexual Addiction

What is Sexual Addiction?

Sexual Addiction may be understood by comparing it to other types of addiction. Chemical addicts find they need drugs to feel normal. in Sexual Addiction, a parallel situation exists. Sex provides the "high" and addicts become dependent on this sexual high to feel normal. They substitute healthy relationships for unhealthy ones and opt for temporary pleasure rather than the deeper quality of "normal" intimate relationships.

Sexual Addiction follows the same progressive nature of other addictions. Sexual addicts struggle to control their behaviors, and experience despair over constant failure to do so.

Examples of Out of Control Sexual Behavior

  • Compulsive Masturbation
  • Indulging in pornography
  • Having multiple affairs
  • Exhibitionism
  • Dangerous sexual practices
  • Prostitution
  • Anonymous sex
  • Compulsive sexual episodes
  • Voyeurism

Factors in Sexual Addiction

Seventy to seventy five percent have thought about suicide. Many sex addicts suffer from broken relationships. Forty percent experience severe marital and other relationship problems . The factors can result in an unstable family environment. Physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse and neglect of the children may occur. In one study, the following factors in the sex addicts childhood were identified:


Consequences of Sexual Addiction Potential Health Consequences

  • HIV infection
  • Genital herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Genital injury may occur from excessive sexual activity or the use of sex aids and foreign objects
  • Sadomasochistic sex may lead to physical damage
  • Auto accidents occur when sexual activity causes the drivers attention to stray

Legal, Financial and Work Related Consequences

Financial difficulties from the purchase of pornographic material, use of prostitutes, telephone, computer lines, and travel for the purpose of sexual contact, and other sexual activities tax the addicts financial resources, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy and fees associated with legal representation.

Sixty percent of sex addicts have financial difficulties, fifty eight percent have engaged in illegal activities, and eighty three percent suffer from other addictions.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be part of a sex addict's repertoire, and may result in legal difficulties on the job.