Sex Addiction Is No Joke

sex addictionWhen the term ‘sex addiction’ is mentioned, people either tend to giggle, refuse to believe that such a thing actually exists or assume that the person claiming to have it has come up with an excuse to justify infidelity or promiscuous behaviour.

Even with high profile cases such as Russell Brand, Tiger Woods, David Duchovny and Gail Porter being brought to our attention, it’s doing little to increase our understanding and even tolerance for the disorder.

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Online porn is damaging to relationships

b2ap3_thumbnail_guyAtComputer2.jpgIndividuals who watch porn on a regular basis may be putting their relationship with their other halves under unnecessary strain, the findings from a recent survey of sex experts have suggested.

According to a study conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, some couples are experiencing problems with their romance as a result of a growing desire among young men to watch adult films on the internet.

Some 86 per cent of therapists questioned by the publication said they believe porn is having a negative effect on relationships, due to the fact it is now so easily accessible.

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The Complex World of Sex Addiction

b2ap3_thumbnail_sex-addiction2.jpgSex addiction is an issue that - though widely regarded as a common problem - is rarely talked about by those who are living with the condition and particularly their loved ones.

Although medical professionals have long since established the disorder is one that is very real and can affect anyone, the majority of people continue to believe is simply an excuse for being unfaithful in a relationship or watching internet pornography.

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Sex addiction is increasing and it is not a psychological issue, its increasing and will increase due to media, porn and sexual me... Read More
Saturday, 05 October 2013 16:45
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Recognising Sex Addiction in Women

By Marcela De Vivo

When discussing sex addiction, most people automatically assume the problem is almost wholly exclusive to men, especially with a series of high-profile men (Tiger Woods, David Duchovny) explaining their infidelities with a diagnosis of sex addiction. The women with this addiction are also likely to participate in a number of risky behaviors to satisfy their compulsion and are often overlooked in diagnosis.

The distinction between acceptable sexual behavior and addictive sexual behavior can be difficult to determine. All addictions present with similar basic symptoms—obsession and preoccupation with the addictive substance or behavior, engaging in dangerous activities to satisfy the compulsion, and continuation of behavior regardless of consequences. Guilt and remorse are often felt by women sex addicts, but it does not stop the behavior.

The Symptoms of Sex Addiction

    • Obsessive about sex and obtaining it. Sex addicts have difficulty focusing on subjects other than sex and how to obtain it. They may find themselves thinking about sex at all times, neglecting family and career with their preoccupation.


    • Unable to control compulsive behavior. Addicts may not be able to stop their behavior despite promises to themselves or others. Sex addicts may feel guilt or shame following yet continue to persist in acting out.


    • Continued behavior regardless of adverse consequences. Addicts may participate in risky, and possibly illegal, sexual behavior to satisfy their impulses with a disregard to the effects of their actions. Even when their personal relationships and careers are affected, addicts feel unable to discontinue seeking out more sexual experiences.

Women with a sex addiction rarely gain satisfaction, lasting or otherwise, from the activity, yet persist in pursuing sex. They are also unlikely to form emotional bonds with their sexual partners.

Who’s At Risk?

While the mechanism behind addiction is not fully understood, a few risk factors have been identified for women at greatest risk for sexual addiction.

According to the Sexual Recovery Institute, “research has shown that there often is a combination of rigidity and lack of emotional support in the sex addict’s family of origin. The majority of women sex addicts were sexually abused in childhood (78 percent in one study).”

Other risk factors (identified on Psych Central) include:

    • A pre-existing mental health issue like Bipolar Disorder (during the manic state) or Borderline Personality Disorder or Dependent Personality Disorder


    • Severe identity confusion regarding their own sexual orientation


    • Victims of childhood sexual abuse often repeat pattern of abuse in a subconscious attempt to gain control over their childhood trauma


    • Adolescents and young adults who are intellectually delayed such as Asperger’s Syndrome


    • Those with a tendency towards addiction such as substance abusers.

Sex Addiction Treatment and Therapy

Women sex addicts will need a combination of therapy and sex education to gain control over their compulsive behaviors. While individual therapy with therapists who understand addiction, and specifically sex addiction, can help the sex addict stop acting out and deal with the underlying feelings, in-patient rehabilitation programs in rehab centers may sometimes be necessary.

In addition, 12 step programs such as SLAA, Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), Sexual Recovery Anonymous (SRA) and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) can help women manage their sexual compulsions and help them in their daily lives. It should be noted that because so few women are willing to come forward about their sexual addiction, and so few are diagnosed with it, finding all-women group therapy sessions can be difficult.

In some cases, medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as Prozac, might be prescribed to inhibit the compulsive nature of the sex addiction.

With treatment and ongoing assistance from therapists and like-minded support groups, women sex addicts are able to regain a measure of control over their lives from this debilitating addiction.

Bio: Marcela De Vivo is a health and wellness writer based in Los Angeles, California. She currently writes about skin care products for Skintrium.

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Sex addiction to be classed as mental health condition

Sex addiction can be a very serious condition, however, despite the support for sufferers increasing, it is often not fully understood by the general public.

Now though, a team of experts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has now tested a proposed set of criteria, which would redefine hypersexual disorder as a mental health condition.

Commenting on this development, senior sex therapist and counsellor, Dr Rajan Bhonsle, claims that addictions are compulsive preoccupation with any activity.

He told the Times of India: “When an obsession starts affecting a major aspect of a person’s life and relationships, it is classified as an addiction.

“Sexual addiction, therefore, implies an inability to control one’s sexual behaviour despite its negative consequences.”

This can cause dysfunction in other areas of a person’s life, such as study, work, relationships, family life and personal hygiene.

However, Dr Bhonsle was keen to point out that it may take a professional to ascertain whether a person is addicted to sex.

“Some people have a higher libido. As long as it doesn’t make them dysfunctional in any aspect of their life, it is not an addiction,” he said.

However, “if they have conflicts over it, or worse, are doing things on the sly, then it is a case of sex addiction,” Dr Bhonsle went on to say.

Sex addiction can be difficult to diagnose, with many people fearing repercussions from revealing the truth about their compulsive behaviour.

This can lead to secretive actions, which in turn can make a problem easier to spot.

However, with continued support from professionals, the root cause of the obsession can be found and it can be treated effectively.

Being reclassified as a mental health condition could be a comfort to many sufferers and encourage more people to come forward if they notice that they themselves, or those close to them, are exhibiting symptoms of sexual addiction.

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Really nice post Brad, I love reading your articles
Saturday, 05 October 2013 17:12
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