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Sexual Addiction

(Also Known As: Sex Addict, Sexaholic, Sexual Impulses)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Sexual Addiction ?

Sexual addiction, also known a progressive intimacy disorder, begins from a normal sex drive that becomes more obsessive in nature, to the extent of manifesting uncontrolled sexual behavior. Sexual addiction is also referred to as process addiction, as opposed to substance addiction seen from alcohol and substance abuse. The condition involves a euphoric feeling due to the release of chemicals from the brain instead from an external source. 1 The sexual addiction can reach the extent of using pornography, repeated sexual affairs, obscene phone calls, masturbation, voyeurism and patronizing prostitutes. To a greater extent it may involve rape, molestation and murder. Sex addicts manifest behaviors that are characterized with compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Oftentimes the sex addict finds the need to intensify their addictive behavior in order to achieve the same result, and overtime the disorder progresses just like all other addictions. Men are commonly at a higher risk to sexual addiction than women.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite the negative consequences to self and others.” This reflects that sex addicts are likely to continue their abnormal sexual behavior despite the negative consequences such as health risks, shattered relationship, financial problems, and arrest. 2

Sex addicts experience hypersexuality, as well as obsessive sex drives. The intensified sexual behavior of a sex addict is one that is an uncontrolled behavior. The sexual compulsivity in sex addiction is often defined based on obsessive compulsive disorder. Some sex addicts are known to have dual diagnosis or with co-occurring disorders such as the common disorders associated with sex addition namely narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bi polar disorder.

Could You Have Sexual Addiction?

Sexual Addiction Topics

Related Conditions

Drug Addiction – drug dependency, substance abuse, drug tolerance, withdrawal, intoxication, compulsion to use drugs, addiction
Gambling Addiction – compulsiveness to gamble, impulsive gambling, addiction, uncontrolled gambling, pathological gambling
Impulse Control Disorder – impulsiveness, compulsive behavior, kleptomania, pathological gambling, pyromania, obsessive compulsive
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – intrusive, repetitive thoughts, compulsiveness, obsessive personality, perfectionist
Paraphilias – persistent sexual interest, uncontrolled sexual behavior, pedophilias, sadism