Sex Addiction: What is the Description for Sex Addiction?

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I don’t think I can provide this description, definition or words about the disease of sex addiction enough times.

Sex addiction is truly a devastating and damaging disorder and more importantly a disease. The disease of sex addiction compels otherwise normal, level-headed intelligent men and women  to engage in sexually compulsive destructive behaviors despite their strong desire to stop.

Sex addiction is growing at an incredible pace with more and more access, affordability and anonymity. The problems that accompany it are quite damaging. Because we’re  talking about sex… addiction it is not a mainstream conversation. Therefore, for many sex addicts, they suffer with their addiction in silence.

According to SASH, (The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health), “sexual addiction is a persistent and escalating pattern or patterns of sexual behaviors acted out despite increasingly negative consequences to self or others.”

Some of these unwanted obsessive and compulsive sexual behaviors include masturbating, viewing  pornography, engaging in cyber sex, using  phone sex, frequenting  strip clubs, paying for prostitutes or engaging in sex with multiple anonymous partners or having multiple and repeated affairs. The list goes on…

Some believe sexual addiction is a moral problem, that’s the farthest thing from reality…Sex Addiction is a disease and therefor, a real medical condition. Just like alcoholism and drug addiction, in time this disease will be recognized as such. In 2010  the American Psychiatric Association released a draft which recognized sex addiction  as a medical disorder they formally named it  “Hypersexual Disorder.” It  lists the following as symptoms of the disorder:

1.  “Excessive time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges, and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.”

2.  “Repetitively engaging in these sexual fantasies, urges and behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).”

3.  “Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges and behavior in response to stressful life events.”

4.  “Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges and behavior.”

5.  “Repetitively engaging in sexual behavior while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.”

Sex addiction should be compared and hold the importance of drug, alcohol and other addiction. The addictions cause the addict to want to change their emotional state by the use of the natural chemicals in the brain, namely dopamine. Most addicts can trace their addictive behaviors to family dynamics of childhood. Sex addicts experience more shame and hopelessness than other addicts.

The sex addict lacked the basic  guidance, mirroring or role models educating them on healthy human sexuality. Many addicts also experiences some form of abuse that include emotional, physical and sexual abuses. Finally, many sex addicts are poly addicted and suffer from other addictions.

As you would imagine, sex addiction comes with serious consequences in all areas of the lives of sex addicts including social, emotional, physical, legal, financial/occupational and spiritual. One major face that most addicts do not want to hear is…recovery from sex addiction can take a long time and is a lifelong commitment. The good news is, there is hope for those recovering from sex addiction. Only the addict themselves can  take the first step and commit to recovery. Once an addict has made that commitment, there are a number of recovery options available including 12 step programs, inpatient treatment, counseling, individual and group therapy and all-inclusive sexual addiction recovery programs.

Please share your comments below, share this blog post with others and let’s keep the world educated and stop the disease of sex addiction.

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