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What is a Sex Addict?

Things You Need to Know About Sexual Addiction

How do I know if I am a sex addict?

Someone who suffers from sexual addiction finds themselves consumed with sexual thoughts and indulges in sexual activities that can cause damage to relationships and their quality of life.

What are forms of sexual addiction?

Pornography, strip clubs, massage parlors, voyeurism, prostitution, online chat, sex-texting, promiscuous sex, compulsive masturbation to name a few.

What causes someone to abuse sex?

Over the years I have identified 9 reasons why an individual becomes addicted to sex. You may be surprised to learn that only one of those reasons has anything to do with sex. In most cases, a sexual addiction is used as a means to distract from emotional pain or distress that the addict may not even be fully aware of. 

Is pornography a form of infidelity?

The answer is yes. When you view pornography and masturbate you are robbing your partner of emotional and physical intimacy. You are participating in a lustful activity in which you are fantasizing about receiving sexual satisfaction from another individual(s). Also, engaging in masturbation over an extended period of time can lead to erectile dysfunction including what is known a "leaking" erection. 

Is masturbation sinful?

Although the Bible mentions nothing about masturbation itself, the act of masturbation usually involves thoughts of lust that are sinful. When masturbation becomes a chronic behavior it steels intimacy away from personal relationships. It also can lead to intense feelings of loneliness and isolation.

How it is different from other addictions?

Sex addiction is similar to many other addictions in that people involved feel powerless to control their compulsive behavior. How it is different is that unlike other addictions in which the addict seeks “more” with sexual addiction the addict seeks “different”. What satisfies the need today usually doesn’t work tomorrow.

Why is there so much shame associated with sexual addiction?

Individuals suffering from sexual addiction often feel alone and isolated with their addiction. They are fearful what people will think of them if they should be exposed. Sexual addictions grow when they are hidden away and kept in the dark. When they are exposed to the light the burden eases and real work can be done to help remove the addiction.

How many people are sex addicts?

Sexual addiction is the number one growing addiction in the United States today. It affects people of all walks of life including both men and women. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 8% of women view pornography on a regular basis. That number was only 2% in 2010.

How are sexual addictions treated?

There are numerous methods utilized to help individual overcome sexual addiction depending on the severity of the condition. These include: cognitive behavior therapy, support groups (12-Step Programs), short-term anti-depressant therapy.

How long does it take for a spouse to recover and forgive from sexual betrayal?

The time frame for recovering is typically 12-24 months. That allows you enough time to grieve the loss of your expectations of the relationship, while learning more about your spouse's addiction problem. The amount of time is depended on many factors including the extent of the sexually activity that took place.  

 

Sexual Addiction Recovery Roadmap

Sexual addiction leads to shame and destroys the ability to engage in emotional intimacy. Understanding why you struggle to break this destructive bond is important to assist you in getting your life and relationships back on track. Certified in sexual addiction by the AACC, I have helped numerous men learn how they can once again be in control and break-away from the shame of sexual addiction. Here is a sample of a Sexual Addiction Roadmap, but please note that each case must be assessed individuality and treatment may vary.

  • Determining what resources are needed:
    • Group meetings
    • Abstaining (60-90-days TBD)
    • Reading Materials
    • Medication (TBD)
  • Understanding why pornography is so addictive
  • The development of the reaction sequence
  • Learning how the sexual addiction was developed
  • Developing a specific game plan
  • Creating a new lifestyle
    • New self-soothing techniques
  • Using personal values and beliefs to strengthen your resolve

What leads to Sexual Addictions?

The following are several common reasons for the development of sexual addiction. What is at the root of your problem may be different or a combination of issues.

  • Biochemical imbalances: Certain chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin) are known to cause compulsive behaviors
  • Dysfunction family environment: Causes the development of anxiety at a young age that requires soothing
  • Family History: Includes addictive behaviors
  • Child Abuse: This may include physical, verbal or sexual abuse, as well as severe bullying
  • An escape: Used to distract from anxiety and other unpleasant emotions (loneliness, boredom, etc.)
  • Early sexual stimulation: Can lead to fixated on sexual thoughts and feelings; also can lead to mistaking sex for love)