What is Sex Addiction?
The most insidious aspect of sex addiction is that it starts slowly. At first, sex is just a way to take your mind off your problems and cope with your emotions. Eventually, thinking about and having sex becomes the only way you know how to make yourself feel anything.
Everything else that mattered to you slowly fades into the background. So much of your life feels out of your control- your thoughts, your moods, your words, and your actions.
When the addiction is related to drugs or alcohol, the consequences are clear. Substance abuse puts your health at risk and may lead to legal problems. When sex becomes an addiction, it can be difficult to recognize the dangers until it is too late. Answering the questions “What is sex addiction?” and “Do I have one?” becomes complicated.
Sex addiction affects people from all walks of life. However, the disorder is poorly understood by many. Those suffering from sex addiction may not know where to turn for help. It is essential to learn how sex addiction affects individuals and their loved ones. Only by de-stigmatizing the condition will people be able to get the support they need.
Understanding Sex Addiction Means Knowing What It Isn’t
Misconceptions about sex addiction are harmful. Failing to understand what sex addiction is and isn’t can lead to pathologizing normal behaviors or normalizing addictive behaviors.
Sex Addiction Does Not Always Involve Promiscuity
Sex addiction is often conflated with promiscuity. While promiscuity is a sign of sex addiction, not every person with a sex addiction is promiscuous.
What is sex addiction outside of promiscuity? It is the use of sex or pornography to fulfill emotional and physical needs. Unlike promiscuity, where this need is always met through interactions with other people, sex addicts may use sexual images or videos to manage their urges. Compulsive sexual thoughts and urges to masturbate can both indicate an unhealthy relationship with sex.
Sex Addiction Is Not an Excuse
Sex addiction causes considerable difficulties in an affected individual’s relationships and interactions with other people. The person often feels compelled to hide their urges from their partners or people around them. Living a double life leads to all sorts of problems, including dishonesty and infidelity.
As sex dependency becomes more severe, it is more likely that people will engage in illicit behaviors to meet their extreme needs. This can include soliciting prostitutes, watching cam girls, sex parties or attending illegal sex shows.
At Peter Stathakos and Associates, our experienced staff helps people struggling with sex addiction regain control and autonomy. We specialize in couples facing complex issues, such as sex addiction and partner betrayal. Connect with us today to learn how we can help you on your healing journey.
Treatment And Support for Sex Addiction
If you are concerned you may have a sex addiction, then you will need professional support to overcome your addiction. Therapy can help you cultivate healthier coping strategies and release the stranglehold that sex has placed over your life.
What Is s Sex Addiction Diagnosis?
One of the most complicated aspects of sex addiction is that the disorder doesn’t meet all of the official criteria for addiction. For this reason, only a qualified mental health professional can distinguish between what is, and is not, sex addiction.
How Does One Recover From Sex Addiction?
Recovery is individualized. For some people, managing thoughts and urges is essential for moving forward. In other cases, recovery comes in the form of acknowledging and healing past traumas. Either way, recovering from sex addiction means that people can go on to live fulfilling and balanced lives.
If you suspect that you, your partner, your friend or family member is living with a sex addiction, you will need support to break the spiral of deceit, shame, and isolation. Individual or couples therapy with a compassionate professional can set you on the path towards recovery. Book a free introduction call and decide if our individualized, evidence-based approach is right for you.