Sexuality is essential for personal well-being and couple life. This act often goes hand in hand with pleasure, intimacy, tenderness, maturity, freedom and stability, but in extreme occasions this often crosses the line of normal and becomes a disorder or addiction. This usually happens because the affected person wants to relive over and over the set of sensations he experiences in orgasm.
Sex addiction is considered non-control behavior over sexual behavior that can lead to dependence and withdrawal. It does not usually start as a problem, but progressively increases the frequency of sexual activity, including fantasies or the use of other methods such as the internet. Simply put, the moment when a pleasurable behavior such as sex goes from living as a necessity of pleasure to an inevitable behavior and begins to destroy elements of your life, it is time to be alert and consider it an addiction.
For some people, this addiction can be dangerous like drug or alcohol addiction, so the same attention should be paid to it. It can sometimes be related to Sexual Compulsive Disorder or excessive and uncontrolled hypersexuality, but should never be confused or related to bestiality or pedophilia.
Are some people more likely to be sex addicted?
Although there is no specific profile that makes a person more likely to develop this addiction, it has been observed that it may occur in patients who have:
Hormonal ImbalanceAnxietyDepression (up to 40% of patients)Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Immature Or NarcissisticSocial PhobiaMasochistic structuresGenetic conditioning
Can both males and females be sex addicts
The media has always been tasked with making us believe that sexual addiction is something that only happens in men, this belief arises due to situations that often arise as infidelities by man, besides that they are the ones who attend strip club and many more. However, this is not enough to maintain this belief.
The truth is that research has been maintained that shows that women, like men, are prone to developing sexual Compulsive Disorder. In fact, at least 12% of people seeking treatment for this addiction have been shown to be women. What is true is that women are the ones who seek help the least because of shame.
The behavior in the face of this addiction is not the same in both genders. In the case of men they tend to see their partners as an object which involves little emotional participation, which leads them to have sex just by satiating a need, doing it with ladies-in-waiting, sex with strangers or in any way that does not include feelings. On the other hand, women addicted to sex often use it to gain attention, power and control, so they take a seductive role but always with people who give them confidence.
Behaviors of a sex-addicted man
The general characteristics of a man with sex addiction problems include behaviors where emotional contact with the other person is of minimal importance. Sex-addicted men respond automatically and indiscriminately in search of a way to satisfy the impulse, this leads them to the adoption of habits such as:
Impulsive sexSex with random or unknown partnersThe search for voyeur scenariosExploitation of the partner during the sexual encounterThe enjoyment of anonymous sexExcessive consumption of pornographyThe encounter with prostitutesExhibitionismPreference for behaviors with zero emotional connection
Behaviors of a woman addicted to sex
Typical behaviors of a sex-addicted woman include:
Play the initial role of seductionEngaging in sexual fantasies and role-playing gamesWillingness to exchange sex in exchange for objectsSadomasochistic practices and pain exchange
This shows that the fact that being addicted to sex implies a progressive and substantial obsession does not mean that men and women respond in the same way. What the two genders agree with is that, regardless of whether it’s a man or women, addicts often manipulate the relationship to maintain sex and be able to cover this need.
Symptoms/signs of sex addiction
Sex addiction is usually a disorder taken lightly, it is thought not as serious as other addictions but this is a total mistake. This occurs because the brain becomes addicted to chemicals that are released into the sexual act, this stimulates it and if it occurs frequently the body produces a craving for elevating activity; the same goes for substances like alcohol or drugs.
Although some professionals claim that these behaviors must create significant discomfort in terms of work, social or personal so that problematic behavior can be considered, we speak below some signs of sex addiction that are just as important:
- You have withdrawal symptoms if you don’t get sex: it usually happens with all addiction, the body begins to manifest feeling of anxiety and nervousness when you don’t get what you want.
- Feeling full only when you’re having sex: you just feel satisfied and full during the act, but then a feeling of emptiness is installed in you.
- Your sexual behavior affects your daily life: lack of concentration at work, problems and family fights.
- It doesn’t make it easy for you to control sexual impulses: if a feeling is installed in you that tell you to satisfy the sex drive immediately, without measuring consequences.
- Have sexual thoughts on a daily and recurring basis.
As with all addictions, if the person does not act to satisfy this sex drive will experience withdrawal symptoms, these are as follows:
- Decayed mood.
- Excessive sexual appetite.
- Feeling guilty.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Feeling lonely.
How to recover
The first thing you should know is that this addiction is not considered a mental illness but a disorder for which treatments and rehabilitation centers exist. You can be solutioned on an outpatient basis or performing intensive therapies, it is not a quick process but it is possible to solve it.
The best way to perform recovery is a cognitive behavioral approach to learning how to control sexual impulses. Treatments impose a time limit in which it is a question of getting abstinence for 30, 60 or 90 days: it is not allowed to have sex with other people nor is masturbation allowed during the process.
If problems arise during this process, that situation should be turned into a group talk, with others who suffer the same addiction. However, for a full recovery it clarifies that addicts or addicts should not think that they have to give up sex altogether. But stay away from behaviors that are problematic
In some cases, psychotherapy should be accompanied by pharmacological therapy prescribed by the psychiatrist. SSRIs are antidepressant drugs that have been shown to be highly effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and are also frequently used to treat sex addiction.
Other drugs that might help include:
Antiandrogens. Naltrexone (extinguishes the level of pleasure that the patient presents).Bupropin (decreases exaggerated sexual appetite by stimulating the brain nucleus).Topiramate (improves impulsivity).
How do I know if my partner is a sex addict?
If you have doubts about whether your partner is addicted to sex, the first thing you have to do is find out about this and once you know a little more you should talk to your partner. Sex-addicted people have a number of behaviors or performances that are totally out of their control, these are obsessive compulsive behaviors. If in doubt, we leave you some signs that might help determine if your partner is addicted:
Excessive attention to the sexual: you can with signs, such as that in your conversation you include sexual topics very often, pay close attention to places like ‘sex shops’ or adult bookstores, or look for sexual content in TV shows, regardless of schedule.
Their sexual demands increase over time: addicts demand sexual behaviors from their partners that are not always willing to give or are not always consensual or thoughtful.
Invest a lot of time in sex: If you have noticed that you are constantly consuming sexual content and that this has set you apart from fundamental academic or work duties, as well as social or leisure activities, pay attention.
He masturbates constantly even after sex: Self-satisfaction is a natural thing, however, if you have noticed that your partner masturbates constantly even though their sexual activity is regular, maybe it is a sign that it simply cannot stop.
Flirts at all times: It’s not just about throwing or responding to complicit looks, it’s about flirting with strangers and having mainly sexual conversations with them.
Organize their sexual encounters too much: if your partner spends a lot of time planning this activity and the slightly altered or uneasy notes, it’s a sign. Especially if you don’t want to leave any random detail like fantasies, toys, place.
It’s important to keep in mind that enjoying it is not a sign of sex addiction. Sex is a common and healthy human activity, so if enjoying it is a normal reaction. Also, if the couple have a high level of sexual interest, it doesn’t mean they’re addicted. It is always advisable to assist a professional in any question.