Women make up a fairly small percentage of the number of people who seek help for sex addiction. However, when they do seek sex addiction counseling, women can potentially receive unique benefits from programs that offer gender-specific treatment. That’s true, in large part, because women who struggle with porn or sex addiction typically experience different symptoms than men. However, a porn addiction treatment center can make a difference.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Unlike the situation for various forms of substance addiction, there is no agreed-upon definition of sex addiction in the U.S. In addition, the condition goes by a number of names, including hypersexual disorder, compulsive sexual behavior, and hypersexuality. However, researchers have uncovered a range of problems frequently found in people with a clearly dysfunctional relationship to sex. These problems include:
- Losing your ability to control your level of involvement in sex, sexual thought, and sexual fantasy
- Relying on sex or sexual thought or fantasy to avoid unpleasant thoughts or emotions
- Repeatedly engaging in sex, sexual thought, or fantasy in situations that could harm your health or the health of other people
- Repeatedly having sex or engaging in sexual thought or fantasy during times normally devoted to important responsibilities or obligations, and
- Continuing a harmful pattern of sexual behavior, thought, or fantasy despite experiencing negative repercussions
Symptoms of Sex or Porn Addiction in Women
Men affected by sex addiction tend to express their desires in specifically sexual terms that focus on physical acts much more than emotions or feelings. However, women affected by the condition have a much greater tendency to express their desires in terms of love and relationships. In fact, women with sex addiction frequently also display overlapping symptoms of another unofficially defined condition called love addiction.
Possible symptoms of this condition include:
- An obsessive focus on the classic ideals of romantic love
- Use of manipulative behaviors (including sex) to control a romantic partner
- An outsized fear of losing a romantic partner
- An absence of emotional closeness within romantic relationships
- The tendency to confuse sexually intense experiences for love
- An inability to feel a sense of personal well-being when not in a relationship, and
- A frequent need for overt displays of devotion from a romantic partner
Women affected by love addiction may also turn to sex, sexual thought, and fantasy largely as substitutes for the lack of a current romantic partner. Only roughly 8% to 12% of all people who enter sex addiction counseling are women. However, this fact may be due at least in part to the different ways men and women perceive (or fail to perceive) their condition.
Underlying Factors Contributing to Sex Addiction in Women
There is another factor pointing to a need for gender-specific sex addiction counseling for women: the differences in the backgrounds of affected women as compared to men. Issues in men that may increase risks for an addictive relationship to sex include:
- Poor parental attachment in early childhood
- Incestuous parent/child relationships that remain hidden during childhood, and
- Exposure to emotional neglect during childhood
Issues that may increase risks for women include:
- Overt cases of parental or sibling sexual abuse during childhood
- Exposure to physical neglect during childhood, and
- Exposure to rape or other forms of forcible sexual assault
It’s worth noting that not all women or men affected by sex addiction experienced any such traumas in their early years.
How Specialized Sex Addiction Counseling at Recovery Ranch Can Help
Specialized sex and porn addiction counseling for women can help those who are struggling to find hope and healing. By talking with an experienced counselor, women can work to understand the underlying causes of this addiction and can find healthy coping skills. Lasting recovery is possible. Reach out to Recovery Ranch at 1.844.876.7680 or connect with us online to learn more.