Sexual Addiction



The term “sexual addiction” is used to describe the behaviour of a person who has an unusually high sex drive or an obsession with sex or a high number of sexual partners. Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict’s thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships.


Sex addicts engage in distorted thinking, often rationalising and justifying their behaviour and blaming others for problems. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions.


Sexual addiction also is associated with high risk-taking. A person with a sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict’s relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at high risk for emotional and physical injury.


For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls or sending explicit pictures or texts, often referred to a ‘sexting‘.


Behaviours associated with sexual addiction include:


·    Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
·    Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
·    Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
·    Consistent use of pornography
·    Unsafe sex
·    Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
·    Prostitution or use of prostitutes
·    Exhibitionism
·    Obsessive dating through dating websites
·    Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
·    Sexual harassment
·    Molestation/rape



Generally, a person with a sex addiction gains little satisfaction from the sexual activity and forms no emotional bond with his or her sex partners. In addition, the problem of sex addiction often leads to feelings of guilt, shame and even worthlessness. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behaviour, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional).

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