Sex Addiction Facts
Sexual addiction is a popular model to explain hypersexuality–sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts that appear extreme in frequency or feel out of one’s control. Hypersexuality is typically associated with lowered sexual inhibitions, and alcohol and some drugs can affect a person’s social and sexual inhibitions.
There are many types of sex addiction, but the term is used to describe the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict’s thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts engage in distorted thinking, often rationalizing and justifying their behavior and blaming others for problems. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions. Sexual addiction also is associated with risk-taking. A person with a sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict’s relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at risk for emotional and physical injury. Generally, a person with a sex addiction gains little satisfaction from the sexual activity and forms no emotional bond with his or her sex partners. In addition, the problem of sex addiction often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behavior, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional).
Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation), multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs), multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands, consistent use of pornography, unsafe sex, phone or computer sex (cybersex), prostitution or use of prostitutes, exhibitionism, obsessive dating through personal ads, voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking, sexual harassment.
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