Topic: Sexual Addiction


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The term "sexual addiction" is used to describe the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. It is sometimes referred to as sexual dependency or sexual compulsivity (or impulsivity).  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 rationalizing and justifying their behavior and blaming others for problems. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions.


Sexual addiction also is associated with 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 risk for emotional and physical injury.



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 and shame. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behavior, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional).


For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls, or molestation. However, it should be noted that sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders.


Are you a sexual addict?  How often do you purchase sexually explicit magazines? Are you preoccupied with sex?  Do you feel that your sexual behavior is abnormal?  Does your spouse ever complain about your sexual behavior?  Do you often feel badly about your sexual behavior?  Do you hide aspects of your sexual behavior from your partner?  Has your sexual behavior ever interfered with your family life?   Have you been unable to stop your sexual behavior even though you know it's inappropriate?


Medicine Net: Sexual Addiction
Psych Central: Sexual Addiction
Web MD: Sexual Addiction
Sexual Control: Sexual Addiction
Psychology Today: Sex Addiction

Wikipedia: Sexual Addiction


Behaviors Associated With Sexual Addiction

-- 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 personal ads

-- Voyeurism (watching others)

-- Stalking (following and watching others)

-- Sexual harassment

-- Molestation


Sexual Addiction Help

Medicine Net: Masturbation
Psychology Today: Exhibitionism

Wikipedia: Sexual Abuse
Free Dictionary: Sexual Perversions
Wikipedia: List of Paraphilias
Psychology Today: Sex Addiction

MD Guidelines: Psychosexual Disorders

Psych Central: Sexuality and Sexual Disorders
DSM-V: Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Sex Addiction and Pornography

Great Expectations Blog: Sexual Addiction

All Psych Journal: Sexual Addiction
Psych Central: What Causes Sexual Addiction

Mayo Clinic: Society's Sex Addiction Problem

Journal of Sex Research: Sexual Addiction, Compulsivity, Impulsivity






Sexual Addiction
Sexual Identity Disorder

Sexual Offender



Patterns and Examples of Sexual Addiction

-- Fantasy sex: Neglecting commitments because of fantasy life, masturbation.

-- Seductive role sex: Extramarital affairs (heterosexual or homosexual), flirting and seductive behavior.

-- Anonymous sex: Engaging in sex with anonymous partners, having one night stands.

-- Paying for sex: Paying prostitutes for sex, paying for sexually explicit phone calls.

-- Trading sex: Receiving money or drugs for sex.

-- Voyeuristic sex: Patronizing adult bookstores and strip shows, looking through windows of houses, having a collection of pornography at home or at work.

-- Exhibitionist sex: Exposing oneself in public places or from the home or car, wearing clothes designed to expose.

-- Intrusive sex: Touching others without permission, using position of power (professional, religious) to sexually exploit another person, rape.

-- Pain exchange: Causing or receiving pain to enhance sexual pleasure.

-- Object sex: Masturbating with objects, cross-dressing to add to sexual pleasure, using fetishes as part of sexual rituals, having sex with animals.

-- Sex with children: Forcing sexual activity on a child, watching child pornography.



Sexual Addiction or Hypersexual Disorder

Sexual addiction, which is also known as hypersexual disorder, has largely been ignored by psychiatrists, even though the condition causes serious psychosocial problems for many people. A lack of empirical evidence on sexual addiction is the result of the disease's complete absence from versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.


However, people who were categorized as having a compulsive, impulsive, addictive sexual disorder or a hypersexual disorder reported having obsessive thoughts and behaviors as well as sexual fantasies. Existing prevalence rates of sexual addiction-related disorders range from 3% to 6%. Sexual addiction/ hypersexual disorder is used as an umbrella construct to encompass various types of problematic behaviors, including excessive masturbation, cybersex, pornography use, sexual behavior with consenting adults, telephone sex, strip club visitation, and other behaviors.


The adverse consequences of sexual addiction are similar to the consequences of other addictive disorders. Addictive, somatic and psychiatric disorders coexist with sexual addiction. In recent years, research on sexual addiction has proliferated, and screening instruments have increasingly been developed to diagnose or quantify sexual addiction disorders.


[Source: Karila, Wry, Weinstein, Cottencin, Petit, Reynaud, Billieux]


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Topic Pages

Sexual Addiction
Sexual Identity Disorder

Sexual Offender