Sex Addiction: Definition
This term defines an advanced intimacy syndrome described by systematic sex-related acts and thoughts. Similar to other kinds of dependence, it causes a negative effect on an individual and their closest family especially with the advancement of this habit. Constant craving for this obsession destroys their ability towards maintaining proper relationships at work and even in other public places. The obsession towards sex comprises of other descriptions which include compulsive sex disorder or hypersexuality. This condition is non-gender biased – in men, it is referred to as satyriasis, while in females it is known as nymphomania.
Prolonged obsession can intensify the subjective disorder’s indicators, thus causing an individual to develop a more severe condition. However, for some addicts, the action will not progress beyond masturbation or extensive utilization of phone sex amenities or other internet access devices. In some unusual occurrences, porn obsession may reach voyeurism state, which may influence sexual malpractices such as child molestation.
The Reality of Sex Addiction
Yes, it is real. In most cases, sex addiction has always turned out to be a joke. But the underlying truth is that sexual addiction is real and some stories will show how sex addiction caused immeasurable damage. A sex addict in some studies has exhibited similar behavior to those of a drug addict. So, it would be fair to state that extensive sexual conduct leads to sex addiction.
Causes of Sex Addiction
There is a possibility that sexual addiction is as a result of biochemical abnormality, which is indicative that psychotropic anti-depressants may be of help in some cases. While sexual disorder might be a result of problems/issues with the brain, the initial triggers are at times found in the individual’s background. This means that someone who has unwarranted sexual behavior might have been raised up in dysfunctional families.
Sexual conduct or activity usually causes the brain to have sensations on the reward system which causes one to have a sense of satisfaction in the memory. As a result, the person will feel compelled to have a repeat of the activity that gave them pleasure, which is a craving that the addict looks forward to satiating. Note that the person who engages in that excessive sexual behavior will forego some vital aspect of life, like family and work, to achieve that sensation.
Sexual addiction symptoms are linked to early exposure to sexual habits, which affects brain behavior. Causes of female sex addiction can be related to growing up with traumatic experiences that are undetected and therefore at times lead to intimacy addiction. The cause of addiction in men is associated with poor role models. If a male or female child grows up with parents who are poor role models, the children might pick some of their habits and later use them in life, such as illegal sexual behavior. If one of the parents was a call girl or a prostitute, this might prompt the child to follow on the same path in life.
Is Porn Addiction the Same as Sexual Addiction?
Many people believe that sex and porn addiction are the same disorder expressed through different outlets. Even though the sexual nature of both pornography and sex addiction may seem similar, these two disorders have fundamental differences that show they are two separate illnesses. Pornography addiction is considered to be the type of addiction that, over time, manifests itself in different versions than any form of sex addiction. Sex addiction, on the other hand, is not known to be the official diagnosis yet in DSM-5. However, porn addiction leads to severe consequences in life.
In simpler terms and by definition, sexual addiction is the activity that takes place with a partner. While a porn addict seeks to satisfy themselves by merely logging in to the computer and watching a pornography video or looking at a magazine, a sex addict is always hunting for new partners or new avenues in order to express their sexual desires and fantasies. The primary difference is that porn addiction is similar to addiction to cigarettes leading to compulsive and habitual behavior. On the other hand, sex addiction is believed to be a display of compulsive/obsessive disorder, bordering on a personality disorder.
Sexual addicts are social people since they are on a prowl to get a partner to engage within a sexual encounter. Meanwhile, people who have an addiction to porn are likely to spend most of their time logged in to their computer and are reclusive; often, they will not interact with others freely. On the surface, these two addictions may appear to be the same, but they affect the addict’s brain in different ways.
So, porn addiction is not the same as sexual addiction.
10 Types of Sexual Addiction
Sexual addiction is a field that requires strong understanding. There are various forms of activities that are involved in sex acts, it is essential to know the kind of fantasy that tickles you so that you can identify with the type of help that best fits your situation. There are certain distinctive forms of sex addiction, and they come in different ways like fantasy, masochistic, masturbation, voyeurism, sadistic and other excessive pursuits.
Sex dependence is not merely an addiction, and you will realize that people are addicted to different forms of sexual behavior, which have unique names that identify them.
Fantasy sex is when one preoccupies their obsession with a sexual fantasy. It is a sexual desire based on an illusion. A fantasy is something that you imagine or envision in your mind. This activity mostly happens when someone is masturbating because they believe to be in the act, which is an illusion. Fantasy sex inhibits one to develop genuine and true feelings for real sex since you have in your mind a fantasy that you wish to fulfill and if you lack it in someone, you fail to appreciate them for who they are.
Anonymous sex is where someone engages in sexual activity with strangers. Mostly, these are people they meet on first dates or for a one night stand from dating sites. Also described as risk sex encounters with unknown people. Anonymous sex arousal does not involve the development of feelings or true and genuine love, and it is immediate with no cost.
Paying For Sex
Paying for sexual activity is where someone purchases sexual services, like from prostitutes, or engaging in sex for monetary gain because of its management based on money and sex. Anyone who participates in such an event is looking for money and not a relationship. With time arousal is connected to sex payments and you realize that arousal comes when money is involved.
Seductive Sexual Role
Seductive sex role is persuading, appealing, charming or manipulation of others for a sexual contract. It is simply seduction. Seduction can be in form of facial expressions or someone seducing you by carefully choosing the clothes they have worn. This type of sex engagement will diminish rapidly once you have a contract since it is founded on feelings and love.
In this case, sex is a commodity rather than developing personal feelings or emotional connections. In these situations, one pays for sex either by receiving money or using sex to earn payment. It is characterized by trading your sexual favors for money and goods. Arousal, in this case, is based on products and money. Once there is a lack of these things, there is no connection as one uses sex as leverage to attain something. It is an exchange program, money for sex and goods.
Voyeuristic is visual arousal. It focuses on someone who gets aroused by watching others engage in sex. This use of the visual to get arousal leads to an obsessive trance. People who are voyeuristic get excited watching pornography and pre-shows, visiting live sex clubs to watch people engage in sex, watching films on the computer, reading magazines and books or merely being a peeping Tom who observes people engage in sex for arousal.
Excessive voyeuristic behavior at times leads to injury. These are the people who confine themselves in a room all day and night to watch pornographic films at the computer rather than having real sex with someone. Voyeuristic people do not cultivate relationships; instead, they find comfort in their solitary activities.
Exhibitionistic, just like the word exhibition, is showcasing body parts with the full intent of attracting attention. Sexual arousal comes when one looks at the pictures in videos, films magazines and other forms of media where someone has taken a photo displaying their body parts like thighs and breasts. Another type of exhibitionistic sex is posing for pornographic magazines and pictures or having sex when others are watching. This form of activity overrides the need to have genuine feelings for someone since sexual excitement will come from looking at pictures. Therefore you find there is no connection with your significant other.
This is a form of sexual fantasy where sexual arousal happens when you violate boundaries, and there are no repercussions. Intrusive sex simply is touching someone without their consent or permission. Mostly it is done by people who have authority over others and therefore will misuse that power to touch their juniors. Example are teachers, policemen, priests or anyone who has jurisdiction over the person they are touching.
This form of sexual behavior is exploitative and lacks a basis for love and connection and at times victims of intrusive sex experience loyalty towards the doer since they are exploited.
Have you ever heard of S&S or sadomasochism? Receiving or giving pain to someone is a form of sexually addictive behavior that people engage in to experience arousal. This form of sex is characterized by participants engaging in extreme activities like stepping on nails, whipping with belts and any behavior that will result in pain. Pain exchange participants often view the pain as though its love. They relate this painful hurting and humiliation with sexual satisfaction or sadistically degrading someone sexually.
When genuine love and consent to sex is lacking in a sexual encounter, it results in exploitative sex. It is characterized also as exploitation of the vulnerable party. Pedophilia and rape are forms of the exploitative sex. Participants of exploitative sex find arousal in exploiting vulnerable people for their sexual gain.
Signs, Symptoms and Effects of a Sexual Addiction
There are tell-tale signs that show that someone is addicted to sex. These can be physical or emotional characteristics. Therefore, it is imperative to identify both of them and understand sexual addiction. Sex addiction symptoms include signs like insomnia, drug use, abusive language, headaches, depression, anxiety and many other underlying factors. So what are the effects of sex addiction on people? Studies show that 45% of males and 38% of females with sex addictions are likely to contract venereal diseases. Another side effect is an unwanted pregnancy, with 70% of women having had an unplanned pregnancy. Someone who suffers from sex addiction will likely experience a decline in their personal relationships and health, a decrease in productivity and may even develop an STD.
Sex Addiction Symptoms in Females -The common symptoms seen in a woman who is addicted to sex is hopping from one sex partner to another. They may also lack the need to have a healthy relationship and opt for pornography work and prostitution.
Sex Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms – Sex withdrawal has profound side effects. With the help of counseling and psychotherapy, one can handle the condition well. The symptoms are anxiety, depression, emotional dysfunction and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Once you address symptoms like isolation, headaches and depression effectively, it is easy recovering from sexual addiction.
What are Sex Addiction Symptoms? Just like any addiction, sex addiction hinders you from having a normal life. Sex addiction symptoms are behavior that you come to rely upon to satisfy or get excited sexually.
Emotional Symptoms of Sex Addiction
If your spouse is suffering from sexual mannerisms, it can affect their ability to form or maintain healthy personal relationships. Once the spouse is addicted to watching pornography and is addicted to sex, you start feeling alienated and depressed. On the other hand, if you are a sex addict, you constantly hook up with new people without even knowing them. Because sex addicts fear the feeling of abandonment, they often stay in unhealthy relationships.
The effects of sexual addiction on a spouse results in them looking for new partners from time to time. Sex addiction symptoms in females are seen when a female opts to stay in an abusive relationship or marriage. This makes the female feel incomplete and empty and will sexualize their bodies for sexual favors from people who seem to be giving them attention.
Physical Symptoms of Sex Addiction
Having an addiction to sex has many side effects; however, the most noticeable one is immobilization due to emotional obsession. Often the person will prefer staying indoors and engaging in these activities. If you are wondering what the sex addiction symptoms are, remember it is hard to notice this behavior if you have not seen someone physically engaging in them. You need to be extra keen on your loved one’s behavior if you believe they may they have sex addiction symptoms.
Am I Addicted to Sex?
For people who are addicted to sex, it is essential to consult with professional healthcare to get the proper evaluation. If you are addicted to anal sex, you may also have to seek professional help for your sex addiction. It is important to ask yourself, why am I addicted to sex? That way you will be able to find with the cause and start therapy from there. Can you be addicted to sex? Yes. Once you encounter some of the causes of excessive sex addiction, you may find that you are indeed addicted to sex.
If you know of a person who is addicted to sex, offer them a listening ear and persuade them to seek professional help. If you need to know if you are addicted to sex, look for the signs; for example, promising yourself to stop engaging in sexual activities, but instead continuing those behaviors. If you know of a male and hang out with girls who are addicted to sex, you may soon realise you are following suit. If you spend more time with someone who is addicted to sex, their behavior may prompt you to start experiencing and soon be hooked or addicted. How do I know if I am addicted to sex? If you exhibit some signs and symptoms of a sexual addict, then it would be wise to seek sexual addiction treatment.
Sexual Addiction Treatment
Any form of addiction is never easy to treat because anyone addicted will justify or rationalize their behavior. Often, sex addicts will deny they have a habit, but with sex addiction help, one can manage to suppress the urges and nurture healthy relationships. Sex addiction therapy is also ideal in helping people who are looking to eliminate those behaviors from their life. Today, there are numerous sex addiction recovery centers and sex addition rehabs that will help you to overcome sex addiction. If you are looking for ways on how to stop sex addiction, look for sex addiction treatment centers since they have the capacity and professional knowledge to help you overcome sex addiction.
In these sex addition rehabs, they teach addicts how to deal with sex addiction, how to cure sex addiction and various ways on how to treat sex addiction. Sex addiction treatment is, therefore, available in these facilities once you enroll in sex addiction rehab. Among the many topics they will cover in therapy sessions, is how to get over sex addiction and how to help someone with sex addiction, like your spouse or your family member.
Treatment involves all round help including sex addiction withdrawal and how to beat sex addiction. Can sex addiction be cured? Yes, it’s curable through sex addiction treatment methods, such as self-group organizations, residential treatments program and prescription medications. Self-help organizations, for instance, will teach you how to break sex addiction, how to get rid of sex addiction and how dealing with sex addiction can ultimately improve your life. So, what is sexual addiction therapy? It involves speaking to a professional social worker or a psychologist who helps you to untangle the causes and effects of your sex addiction and come up with the right treatment to curb your sex addiction.
Sex addiction is prevalent and with the easy to access the Internet most people are prone to developing this condition. It is essential to understand that just like drug abuse addiction, sex addiction also has numerous side effects like distress, anxiety, depression and guilty turmoil on the addicted. Sexual addiction also destroys relationships, and the other partner suddenly starts to feel alone, depressed, alienated and may opt to leave the addict.
Therefore, if you relate to these symptoms or your loved one is an addict do not hesitate to seek professional help. Again, if you are addicted to sex and suffer from anxiety and depression, there are many facilities nowadays that are open to giving professional help so as to curb sex addiction.