Many people ask me if there is such a thing as SEX addiction, yes there is. Sex addiction is also known as hyper-sexuality and it can take over someone’s life and can have serious consequences because of the risks one will take to get their fix. It is a condition where an individual cannot manage their sexual behaviour, have constant sexual thoughts which affect their ability to work, find it hard to maintain relationships and the inability to maintain a normal functioning life because of sexual thoughts. 

Sex addiction is very similar to that of a drug addiction because they release the same chemicals in the brain, the only difference is drugs are substance and sex is an activity, and not getting the help you need can cause all kinds of issues such as depression, anger, anxiety and serious risk taking and unprotected sex, this is caused because the brain reward is not being met.

Sex addiction comes in many forms such as excessive use of pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes, excess sex and anonymous sex with strangers. This means it does not have to include penetrated sex as many assume, and neither does it mean a sex addict is a sexual predator. Sexual predators do not empathise with their victims as they do not care about their victims, they are also narcissist and usually someone who has power over others. An addict on the other hand has empathy and usually afterwards suffer self loathing which can manifest as depression or anxiety.

 

As there are many forms of sex addiction it also means they have different signs, however generally if someone has increasing secrecy issues with their partner, avoidance of family and loved ones, moodiness or frustration because of their sexual thoughts then this could be a sign of a sex addiction. Other signs can include:

An obsession with sex or an abnormally high sex drive

Compulsive masturbation

Persistent use of pornography

Practising unsafe casual sex

Exhibitionist or voyeurism

Becoming sexually but not emotionally involved with people you do not know and confusion between sexual attraction and love

Being involved with more than one person

Using sex to manipulate others

Destructive relationships that you keep going back too or an obsession to attract others

Jumping from one relationship to another

An awareness of your urges not matter the consequences

Sexual rage disorder, where the individual becomes distressed, anxious, restless and may turn to violence if unable to engage in their addiction

If you are concerned you may have a sex addiction the first thing is to seek help, leaving it can cause extensive damage to you and those around you. I offer complete confidential counselling and therapy sessions for individuals and couples on sex addiction.

Lianne Young

Cousellor and addictions therapist

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