Most people don’t think of sex addiction as a problem until it has an impact on their lives directly. In fact, many people overlook the fact that people can legitimately suffer from a behavioral or compulsive desire to take part in sexual activity that is promiscuous, dangerous or otherwise bad for psychological or physical health. Sex addiction is the term used to describe an intense desire to take part in sexual activities. People who suffer from this addiction find it difficult to engage in healthy relationships, may have difficulty concentrating at work or otherwise suffer from complications as a result of their desire to take part in these activities.
Sex addicts will engage in distorted thought processes and may rationalize their behavior despite the problems that their behaviors cause in their relationships or in their own life. They often deny a problem is at hand and will make up excuses for their actions, place blame on others or otherwise try to cover up the instance of a legitimate sexual addiction problem.
How Sex Addiction Develops
There are many ways that sex addiction can develop. This addiction is a behavioral problem that is often progressive in nature which means that, when left untreated, the addiction can continue to grow and cause greater damage over time. Some people develop an addiction to sex as a result of sexual abuse while others may develop this condition for other reasons such as their desire to mask emotions with sex, feel close to others by way of sex or in some other manner.
Signs & Symptoms of Sex Addiction
Many different signs and symptoms can be recognized when sex addiction is a problem. Some of the most common signs of various types of sex addiction include:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Having extra-marital affairs or multiple sexual partners
- Anonymous partners or one-night stands
- Unsafe sex
- Consistent us of pornography
- Phone sex or cybersex
- Seeking prostitutes
- Voyeurism or watching others
- Sexual harassment
- Dating through personal ads
When to Seek Help
If you or someone you know is showing any of the above signs of sex addiction, it’s time to seek help. Sex addiction can cause great interference in an individual’s life as well as in the lives of others. There are many psychological factors that come into play as well as physical dangers associated with promiscuous or adverse sexual activity. Treatment for sexual addiction will focus on controlling the addictive behavior and promoting positive behavioral change.
The addict will learn to develop a healthy sexuality and may receive many weeks, months or years of psychiatric counseling in order to get well. Individual counseling, family therapy and marriage counseling can all provide an effective means of treatment for those who suffer from the perils of sexual addiction.