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What Is Considered Sexual Addiction and What Are Some Treatment Options?


Much like any other addiction, sexual addiction relates to having compulsive behaviors that interfere with important aspects of one’s daily life. In sexual addiction, the behaviors revolve around some form of sexual activity, including, sexual intercourse, masturbation, and sexual fantasy. Please note that sexuality is natural and pleasurable.

Enjoying sex is not a sign of addiction. Sexuality is also incredibly diverse among people based on a number of factors, such as religion, culture, and individual preferences. Some people have higher sex drives than others for biological reasons. However, some individuals can become addicted to the highs of sexual behavior like people can become addicted to alcohol or other substances.

Sexual addiction can be somewhat difficult to diagnose due to the range of normal human sexual behavior. Also, some religions can forbid certain types of sexual expression that may not otherwise be abnormal for others. Some of these taboos can include masturbation and homosexuality–behaviors that occur within the normal range of human sexuality, but that may be frowned upon in certain cultures or religious practices.

The defining characteristic of any addiction relates to how much priority the person places on getting their high. For sexual addiction, this could mean having obsessive sexual thoughts daily that seem out of control. Sexual addiction can also mean that a person engages in sex with multiple partners in a compulsive manner. They may also put their own partners at risk of needing to fulfill the needs of the addict, which can lead to relationship problems if one’s partner feels coerced or forced into sex to satisfy the addicted partner.

Much like any other addiction, sexual addiction can be treated by understanding the underlying issues causing the behavior. Most of those suffering addictions are attempting to escape emotional pain by getting a temporary high from some external stimulation, and sexuality can provide this high.

While the person may feel relief from emotional pain while experiencing their high, the feeling is only temporary and is not a pathway to healing. Chasing the temporary high of sexual activity to escape emotional pain can lead to long-term problems and potential victimization of others to fulfill the addict’s needs.

If you find yourself compulsively engaging in sexual activities and feeling guilty after the activity, you may have a sexual addiction. Sexual addiction, like other addictions, is treatable. The Guest House specializes in helping those struggling from addictions–drug, alcohol, sex, and others–to discover the underlying causes of their behaviors. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to begin your recovery from addictions and compulsive behaviors!