Addiction of sex
Addiction of sex is used to describe the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. It affects women as well as men, and it starts young. Sex addicts usually seek out sexual content wherever they can. For instance, they might pick up a woman’s magazine only to read through articles on sex, or find they are more excited when intimate or sexually explicit scenes appear in movies or music videos.
The excessive and repeated sexual fantasies and behaviors will have left the addict’s life in a downward spiral. It can wrecks marriages, destroys careers, and saps self-worth.In addition, the problem of sex addiction often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behavior, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional).For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exposing oneself in public, making obscene phone calls, or molestation.
Signs of sexual addiction include:
- Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
- Inability to have self control
- Sex becoming more important than any other thing in life
- Inclination towards One Night Stand and Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
- Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
- Consistent use of pornography
- Constantly seeking sexual material
- Unsafe and high risk sexual behavior
- Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
- Exhibitionism, Voyeurism or fetishes
- Obsessive dating through personal ads
- Sexual harassment
- Prostitution or use of prostitutes
Problems that people face with sex addiction are:
- Job performance will be severely affected
- Spend excessive money on pornography, phone sex and other sexual activities and devices.
- The risk of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease is greater with the addict.
- Suffer from a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, stress, shame, guilt, fatigue etc.
- Sex addiction cause job and social relationships to suffer
Possible causes are:
- Learned behavior
- Family discords
- Childhood abuse especially sexual abuse
- Failures in life and excessive stress like financial problem
Patrick Carnes, Executive Director of the Gentle Path program at Pine Grove Behavioral Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a leading expert on sexual addiction in the USA, proposed the following as diagnostic criteria for sexual addiction:
- Recurrent failure (pattern) to resist impulses to engage in extreme acts of lewd sex.
- Frequently engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent or over a longer period of time than intended.
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those behaviors.
- Inordinate amount of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experience.
- Preoccupation with the behavior or preparatory activities.
- Frequently engaging in violent sexual behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic, or social obligations.
- Continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, academic, financial, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the behavior.
- Need to increase the intensity, frequency, number, or risk of behaviors to achieve the desired effect, or diminished effect with continued behaviors at the same level of intensity, frequency, number, or risk.
- Giving up or limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the behavior.
- Resorting to distress, anxiety, restlessness, or violence if unable to engage in the behavior at times relating to SRD (Sexual Rage Disorder).
Treatment of sexual addiction
It focuses on controlling the addictive behavior and helping the person develop a healthy sexual life. It includes the following treatments:
- Education about healthy sexuality
- Individual counseling and psychotherapy
- Sex Therapy
- Constitutional Homeopathy
- Acupuncture , Acupressure and Reflexology
- Marital and/or family therapy
- Support groups like Sexoholic Anonymous SA and 12 step recovery programs for people with sexual addiction
- Medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder may be used to curb the compulsive nature of the sex addiction.