“Sex addiction” is descriptive of the behavior of someone who has an unusually intense sex drive or obsession with sex. Sex and sexual thoughts dominate the sex addict’s thinking, making work or engaging in healthy personal relationships difficult at best.
The sex addict engages in crooked thinking, often justifying their actions and blaming others for their problems. Generally, they deny they have a sex addiction and make excuses for their actions, just as people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs do.
Sex addiction is also associated with risk-taking behaviors. A person with a sex addiction may engage in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative or health-compromising consequences. In addition to damaging the addict’s relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, sex addiction can also cause the addict to place him or herself at risk of emotional and physical injury, or to likewise injure others.
A person with a sex addiction generally obtains little satisfaction from the sexual act itself and forms no emotional bonds with his or her sex partners. Also, the issue of the sex addiction itself can lead to guilty and shameful feelings. A sex addict also may feel a lack of control over his or her behavior, in spite of negative consequences suffered.
Most sex addicts live in constant denial of their addiction. Since treating an addiction is dependent on the person accepting and admitting that he or she has a problem, this is the first obstacle to be overcome. In many cases, it can take a significant life event to force the addict to admit there is a problem.
Treatment of sex addiction is centered on controlling the addictive behavior, and assisting the person in developing a healthier sexuality. Journey to Wellness’ sex addiction treatment program includes:
- education about healthy sexuality
- individual counseling
- marital and/or family therapy
External support groups and 12-step recovery programs for people suffering from sex addiction also are available.