What is Sex Addiction?
Sexual Addiction (or Compulsion) is a term originally coined by sex addicts themselves to describe a behavioural pattern characterised by sexual behaviours that a person cannot stop, despite the destructive consequences for the self or others. There is increasing neuro-scientific evidence to support the view that the obsessive use of certain sexual behaviours can be an addictive process.
These behaviours might include some of the following: compulsive masturbation, pre-occupying fantasies, the use of internet, DVD or magazine pornography, chatrooms, phonelines, webcams, hook-up apps, fetishes, chemsex, BDSM, romantic obsessions and multiple affairs. There may be behaviours that violate others such as exhibitionism, voyeurism and assault. None of these behaviours in themselves necessarily indicate sex addiction. For sexual addiction to be present I would look for the following indicators:
* Inability to stop the behaviours (and stay stopped) despite harmful consequences to the self or others.
* The behaviour is used to soothe or change unwanted emotional states such as anxiety, depression, fear, anger or sadness.
* Pre-occupation with sex and sexual activities.
* There may be an increasing tolerance to unwanted behaviours, with an intensifying desire and seeking of behaviours that are more risky in terms of financial, legal, relational, emotional or physical wellbeing.
Am I a Sex Addict?