Sexual Dependancy

 This page is information on Sexual dependancy

What is sex addiction?

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. 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.

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

It’s estimated that six per cent or more of the population experience sex “addiction” and one in five are women.

Maybe if you look at the sheer physical damage that addictions such as heroin or cocaine can wreak on the body then sex addiction may indeed seem like a different sort of problem. But sex addiction certainly meets some of the criteria for an addiction. Like other dependancy, the person is driven by a compulsion to seek out and engage in the behaviour that brings them the benefits or a sort of intoxication that they seek, even though it may cause enormous disruption and even harm to their life.

If you’ve a sex addiction you may find you need a markedly increased amount of sex to feel sexually fulfilled. And you may have such a persistent desire that you’ll spend abnormal amounts of time involved in activities necessary to fulfil cravings, or recover from its effects.

As a result this addiction may interfere with work, hobbies and relationships with family and friends. You may struggle to cut down or control your behaviour, and continue despite being well aware of the psychological or even physical damage that it’s doing.

Sex addiction symptoms

Of course most people enjoy sex, get a buzz from it and welcome the chance to engage in it. So when does sex become addiction?

One clue comes from a definition often used by experts, who suggest that sexual addiction is any sexual behaviour that feels out of control. Another important feature is that, like other addictions, those affected find their emotions swing between intense highs and lows.

Behaviors 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


Obsessive dating through personal ads

Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking

Sexual harassment

Warning symptoms of a sex addiction might include:

Certain types of behaviour such as frequent casual sex, multiple affairs when you’re in a relationship or high-risk sex
Excessive use of pornography
Feeling worried about the possible behavior
Wanting to stop or change your sexual behaviour
Feeling unable to stop, despite wanting to
Using sex as a way to cope with other problems
Needing more sex to get the same fulfillment
Feeling very low or guilty after
Spending large amounts of time planning or engaging in sex
Missing important social events or even work in order to pursue sex
The debris of a sex addiction includes consequences such as breakdown of meaningful relationships, loss of job opportunities, sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. Depression is common among sex addicts (it may even be a factor which leads to the addiction or aggravates the problem) and as many as one in five may have contemplated suicide.

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).

Following the gratification and sought–after high that the sexual behaviour brings, emotional lows follow. Typically you may feel:

Anxiety about your behaviour
Trapped by your helpless need
The only way to relieve these feelings may be another sexual encounter, so you go in search of more sex.

Advice and support

It may be very difficult to admit to a sex addiction and seek help. Many of those addicted feel intense shame about their behaviour and are reluctant to talk about it. But few are able to change their behaviour without some professional help to explore why it has developed and how the behaviour can be changed.

So recognising that you have a problem is the first step.

Whether sex addiction is a true addiction or a form of compulsive behaviour, the main approach to treatment is the same, and consists of psychological therapies, which involves learning about and understanding your condition, and how to make changes to your behaviour.

If you still feel unsure then take a look at the following questions:

Is internet porn a problem?
Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
Do you feel that your sexual behaviour is negatively affecting your life?
Has your sexual behaviour ever created problems in your relationship?
Do you have trouble stopping your sexual behaviour when you know it’s inappropriate?
Do you ever feel bad about your sexual behaviour?

Here are some signs and symptoms  you might consider…

Pattern of out of control behaviour
Severe consequences due to sexual behaviour
Inability to stop in spite of adverse consequences
Persistent pursuit if self-destructive / high-risk behaviours
Sexual obsession or fantasy as a primary coping strategy
Severe mood changes around sexual activity

How is sexual addiction treated?

Most sex addicts live in denial of their addiction, and treating an addiction is dependent on the person accepting and admitting that he or she has a problem. In many cases, it takes a significant event — such as the loss of a job, the break-up of a marriage, an arrest, or health crisis — to force the addict to admit to his or her problem.

Treatment of sexual addiction focuses on controlling the addictive behavior and helping the person develop a healthy sexuality. Treatment includes education about healthy sexuality, individual counseling, and marital and/or family therapy.

Sexual addictions are caused by misuse of a person’s natural sex drive. The addiction will usually be started in puberty but it can also be developed later in life. Once started it leads to a compulsion the sexually addicted person tries to avoid, but can’t. In the later stages it can affect every part of the person’s life. Self-respect, intimate relationships, associations with family and friends, finances and career can take second place to his sexual addiction. If the sexually addicted person is honest with himself, he’ll realize that his sex life is underscored by confusion, conflict, and regret. The joy of wonderful loving sex now competes with his sexual addiction.

The movies and the media portray sex addicts as having fun. A sex addict compulsively tries to use sex to conceal his personal problems just as an alcoholic uses booze or a drug addict loses control over his life to drugs. Sexually addictive behavior, like any other addiction, delivers short-term thrills followed by long-term miseries.

Getting a sex addiction stopped is the most important decision the sexually addicted person can make in his or her life. The fear of failure is normal, especially if you’ve failed before at stopping.

Just about anyone who acts sexually addictive has made some attempt to stop. It might have been only for a day, but they tried – and they failed. If you’ve tried to overcome sex addiction before and weren’t able to, the biggest barrier to your success is believing you cannot succeed.

Let’s imagine you wanted to teach a kid how to ride a bike. You’ve taught lots of kids and you’re sure this kid can make it. He doesn’t believe he can. He tried to learn before but was not taught correctly. Now he’s sick and tired of failing. You know that the only thing holding him back is his belief that he can’t do it.

The answer to the fear of failure is to find a successful approach and persist.

Let’s change the problem from learning to ride a bike to learning how to overcome sexual addiction. Remember that the kid felt hopeless because of his past mistakes. This same problem can become your biggest obstacle to success, if you let it. You are not doomed to failure. A good counselor can help you identify your past mistakes and help you correct them before they get in your way.

But what if you don’t believe that you can correct your mistakes? Ask yourself this question: “What if my situation isn’t hopeless? What if I really can overcome my addiction?”

Here’s what it takes to overcome sexual addiction:

Free will,  Knowledge,  Hard work.

Good counseling will provide you the knowledge. Good counseling will also help motivate you to make the free will choice to stop. Providing the effort is up to you. Just like the kid who can learn to ride the bike if he makes the effort, you can overcome sexual addiction, once your efforts are properly guided. We provide insights about developing effective motivation and will explain other mistakes to be aware of.

Don’t let past failures defeat you. Learn from them. Don’t give in to hopelessness. Use it to build motivation.

The first obstacle to overcoming sex addiction is not in your genes, your childhood or your environment. The first obstacle is the decision not to try. If you’re willing to make the effort, good counseling can guide you to success. The decision to make the effort and find the right guidance doesn’t apply only to sexual addiction. It applies to accomplishing anything.

Sexual Addiction and Self-deception

Self deception is the addict’s strongest defense against admitting s/he’s addicted.

Sexual addiction is more deceptive than most other addictions because sexual addiction provides the illusion of pleasure. The pleasure is escapist oriented. When the escape ends, the thrill of the addiction is over and the demands of real life return with a vengeance. Now the sex addict is confronted with the decision to face reality and gain the real pleasures of life or flee back into shallow fantasy. All too often the sex addict decides that sexual addiction is not escape and not an addiction. Some of the rationalisations used are:

“I’m not addicted. I do it to relieve stress.”
“It’s not an addiction. It’s a way of having fun.”
“All my friends do it.”
“You’re uptight about sex. I’m not.”
“I have more sex drive than most people.”
“It gives me pleasure. It can’t be an addiction if I like it.”
“I know guys who are sex addicts. I’d never do what they do.”
“I’m normal. You’re abnormal.”
“Sexual addiction is a myth put out by small-minded bigots and hypocrites.”

You know that your partner has a sex addiction. But do they know? If they don’t want to accept that their sexually addicted, what can you do? Even if they’ve accepted that they have  a problem, are they willing to stop? How can you help them stop? People are also quick to diagnose a healthy interest in porn or sex as an addiction.

Pornography is not like any other sexual addiction. It is usually associated with a masturbation addiction. Other sexual addictions, such as promiscuity, anonymous sex, phone sex, fetishes, and voyeurism, function independently from porn. Contrary to what you are told by the media, there are millions of sex addicts who have no interest in porn.

If the masturbation addiction is overcome, the interest in porn fades away.

From a partner’s point of view, pornography might seem to be the addiction. If you want to know what the real addiction is, ask your partner if they masturbate when they use porn. There are very, very few sexually addicted people who use porn without masturbating. The sexual charge that seems to be in porn is not the porn. The sexual charge is generated through masturbation. Some people will spend a whole night looking for the “perfect” image to masturbate to. Other will masturbate continuously while looking at pornography. Here’s another question which will shed light on the real addiction. Ask you partner, “After you finish masturbating, do you continue looking at porn?” Expect the answer to be “No.”

If the real addiction were porn, they’d still be using it even after they finished masturbating. If you want to understand why someone gets addicted to porn learn about the connection between addictive masturbation and pornography.

Pornography used in conjunction with addictive masturbation gives the sexually addicted person the illusion that fantasy can be more satisfying than a real relationship. In the most extreme cases, the sexually addicted person prefers sex through pornography addiction instead of loving sex with a real person. Even in these situations, the addiction can be overcome and the relationship can be saved, if the addiction is approached correctly.

A pornography addiction cannot be overcome in the long run without dealing with the underlying masturbation addiction.

If the sexually addicted person is not in a relationship, they face a different challenge because pornography addiction becomes their sex life. The situation is far from hopeless, though, if the pornography addiction is approached correctly.

The Complexities of Sexual Addiction

Sex addiction is an intimate addiction and a complex one.

Successfully overcoming any problem begins with knowing what you’re dealing with. Sex addiction is diverse.

There are virgin sex addicts who never had sex with another person. His or her entire sexual experience has been only with themselves through masturbation and/or porn addiction. It’s ridiculous to give a virgin sex addict the same treatment as the person who’s been promiscuous all their lives.

An obsession with a fetish is not the same problem as a porn addiction. I am totally kink aware and kink friendly. A promiscuous person does not have the same addiction as the virgin sex addict. The husband cheating on his wife is not in the same boat as the voyeur. From these simple examples, we can see that an “every addiction is the same” approach does not apply to sexual addiction.

To begin successfully overcoming sex addiction, apply this easily observable fact:

All sexually addictive behavior falls into two categories:

Addictive sex alone
Addictive sex with someone else

The most common forms of addictive sex alone are masturbation addiction and/or pornography addiction.

Promiscuity and infidelity fall into the category of addictive sex with someone else.

The other sexual addictions can be categorized as either addictive sex alone or with someone else.

Many sexually addicted people have sexual addictions in both categories. Besides identifying which category the addiction resides in, you also need to take into account if the addicted person is in a relationship. A couple trying to hold their relationship together while struggling with a sexual addiction requires a very different approach than the sexually addicted person who is not in a relationship.

Understanding if you are engaging in addictive sex alone, or with someone else, or both will help you control your sexual addiction because it will help you understand it better. But identifying a problem does not end it.

When it comes to relationships, sexually addicted people can be classified into two major groups:

Those who seek relationships to satisfy their addiction.
Those who have a sexual addiction that conflicts with their genuine, loving relationship.
The person whose relationships are defined by sexual addiction uses people for an addictive fix. Characteristically, this type of sex addict doesn’t get into long-term relationships. S/he does not represent most sexually addicted people.

The majority of sexually addicted people seek a long-term committed relationship. They are serious about commitment yet their sexual addiction creates an impersonal barrier between the relationship they want to develop and the addictive fantasy life they’re obsessed with.

The partner usually doesn’t discover their partner is sexualy addicted until after they’ve committed .

The partner of a sexually addicted person experiences emotional and/or sexual neglect. Usually, the sexually addicted person doesn’t even realise that their sexual addiction is creating emotional barriers between them and their partner. In some cases, they doesn’t realise it until they lose the relationship.

When the partner discovers that their partner is sexually addicted, they will usually suffer more than the addict will because thay mayt feel that they have to compete against the sexual compulsion. They also might feel that her relationship is hopelessly lost to sexual addiction. Yet, in most cases theywill stay until the bitter end trying to save the relationship.

Millions of sexually addicted people have lost good relationships and their loving families because they did not overcome their addiction. Relationships don’t have to end because of sex addiction. The addiction can be overcome and the couple can build the partnership they had expected to have.

Sexual Addiction and Financial Issues

Sexual addiction is not free. Even the person with a porn addiction who gets their porn for free on the Internet pays for their addiction by investing valuable time and precious effort into fantasy. Everything has a price. Sometimes the loss of money is the least painful price. The toll that sexual addiction takes on a relationship and the emotional isolation it causes cannot be healed by money.

Those sexually addicted people who spend money on their addiction usually don’t realise how much they’re spending. They don’t want to look at the financial costs because adding up how much they’ve spent can ruin the fantasy.

A sex addict can invest hours surfing the Internet and not even realise they’ve lost an entire evening to sex addiction until the sun comes up to remind them that there is a life outside of fantasy. Every addicted person deludes him or herself about the real costs of their addiction, lack of sleep and finding you haven’t gone to bed with your partner or sneaking downstairs whe they’re asleep are not uncommon.

The worst price paid for sexual addiction is loss of an intimate relationship and or finding yourself trapped in a world of emotional isolation. The real riches in life are gained through intimacy and effectively dealing with reality.

Promiscuity, Infidelity, and Meaningless Sex

A promiscuous person has meaningless sexual encounters with numerous people.

By comparison, some people who engage in meaningless sex have only one partner.

The promiscuous person and the person who has meaningless sex with only one partner share a common trait. They are both attempting to avoid intimacy.

Genuine loving sex requires commitment and emotional vulnerability.

The difference between meaningless sex and loving sex is the difference between addiction and intimacy

Meaningless sex releases a person from emotional vulnerability. The person might be completely faithful to his or her partner, but they are not emotionally committed to the partner. The partner is a human sex toy. Some people take a warm bath for relaxation and enjoyment. Some people read a book, listen to music, take a walk, or spend time with friends. For the person with one meaningless sex partner, sex is just another form of taking a warm bath, or any other non-intimate activity.

The promiscuous person doesn’t even make the effort to create any kind of loyal relationship. To him or her, people are interchangeable bodies. As one promiscuous person told me, “I don’t want to be stuck with just one flavor of ice cream.” He wasn’t kidding. To him, people were just different flavors to be sampled and discarded.

Helping the promiscuous person overcome his or her sexual addiction is more difficult than helping the person who engages in meaningless sex but is not promiscuous. The path to overcoming sex addiction for both persons is traveled by opening oneself up to the need for intimacy.

Infidelity occurs when someone in a committed relationship is unfaithful to his or her partner. In the context of sexual addiction, the unfaithful person might be promiscuous or might be unfaithful with only one person. But the underlying emotions behind the unfaithful activity are the same: sex without intimacy or emotional involvement. (Note: if the infidelity involves an emotional affair based on a real connection, it might not be addictive behaviour.)

What makes infidelity worse than promiscuity or meaningless sex with one person is the lying and dishonesty that accompanies the unfaithful acts. Ask any person who’s been victimised by infidelity and they will tell you, “The lying and betrayal hurt more than the unfaithful sex.”

The unfaithful person needs to go beyond just sex addiction and to deal with honesty issues also.


Types of Sexual Addiction

Unlike alcoholism, there are many different forms of sexual addiction. Please note, the use of he can be read as she also.

A fetish addiction is a more detached escape from reality because the focus of the addiction is on an object, not a person. The fetish enables the sexually addicted person to experience sexual pleasure without even the fantasy of human contact. In some instances the object is used to stimulate a fantasy of human contact. However, any sexual compulsion towards objects intensifies intimacy problems that can lead to divorce or a life of emotional isolation. If no other person is involved, it is in the category of addictive sex alone.

Voyeurism (the Peeping Tom syndrome) also removes the sex addict from emotional vulnerability. Through this form of sexual addiction, the voyeur seeks sexual pleasure without the risk of intimacy or even revealing himself. And he doesn’t respect the privacy of the people he spies on. Since the voyeur relies on using another person for sexual stimulation, his addiction falls into the category of addictive sex with another person.

Phone sex is another form of addictive sex with someone else. Although there is no physical contact between the participants and they don’t even see each other, the sexually addicted person is using the other person for sexual stimulation he could not experience alone.

Sadomasochism goes beyond avoiding intimacy. It is based on gaining sexual pleasure through destructive and humiliating sex acts. It is certainly a form of sexually addictive behavior with someone else.

Nymphomania is a form of promiscuity. It enables the sex addict to escape the demands of a real relationship and gain a short-term sexual pleasure that leads to a life of continual loneliness. The need for loving intimacy and genuine emotional involvement cannot be replaced through promiscuity.


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