Sex addiction is also called sexual dependency, hypersexuality, satyriasis, compulsive sexual behavior and sexual compulsivity refers to the phenomenon in which people cannot manage their sexual behavior. This can be very dangerous and destructive condition. Drug or alcohol dependence, sex addiction is common but infrequently diagnosed condition which affects the addict’s mental health, personal relationship, safety and quality of life.
A person with sexual addiction is obsessed with sex or has abnormally intense sex drive. Their lives are dominated with sex and the thought of sex that other activities and interactions become seriously affected. In general sex addiction is referred to as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts so that it can achieve the kind of “fix” which may get from a drink or an addict from a drug. Sex addiction occurs in multiple partners or may also have relations with children, animals or inanimate objects. This is not uncommon for the patient with sexual addiction to rationalize and justify their behavior and thought patterns. Those people who have sex addiction may reject there is a problem. Addiction may manifest as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography or be in a erotically stimulating situations. Sex addict may require the addict to significantly alter his life and activities so that it can perform sexual acts many times a day. Those who have sex addiction; they cannot be stopped by his or her behavior despite harsh negative consequences.
Symptoms and signs
Sex addiction may be difficult to identify from outside. There are many people who hide their behavior and can even keep the addiction secret from spouses, family members and partners. However mentioned below are some of the signs and symptoms of sex addiction:
- Relations with multiple partners on frequent basis, especially with strangers
- Inability to stop compulsive sexual behaviors or restrain sexual activity
- Engaging in illegal sexual activity with prostitutes, children or minors
- Negative personal or professional consequences due to sexual behavior
- Preoccupation with having sex even when it interferes with daily life, work performance, productivity etc
- Need to dominance and control in sexual episodes
- Chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
Since sex addiction can be difficult to diagnose, so it is important to remember which enjoy sexual activity does not make one a sex addict. Sex addict is typically someone who has a compulsive need to perform sexual acts and appears to have no control over these impulses.
Unlike other addictions, treatment for compulsive sexual behavior cannot require the addict to give up sex for life. Sex is normal, healthy and necessary human function. However, sex addict must learn the difference between healthy and non healthy sexual behavior. This process can often takes months or years.
Unlike with other addictions, sex addict faces a unique set of challenges. It is not realistic for a sex addict to give up sexual activity entirely but it may be necessary for him or her to abstain from sex for up to a year. Such type of period abstinence can often help sex addicts learn to identify the causes of their urges and to explore deeper emotional issues which might contribute to the manifestation of the addiction. Sex addict must learn the difference between natural, healthy urges and addictive ones. For sex addicts, there is not necessary a cure but there is ways to manage the condition and still live a normal balanced life.
Spouses and family members of a sex addict should be prepared to deal with the possibility of relapse as it often a normal part of the recovery process.