Sexual addiction has been described as a hunger that can never be satisfied… an uncontrollable need for sexual gratification that frequently can place the person in a position of serious harm or risk. Rather than finding appropriate and healthy ways of controlling negative emotions, preparing for sex, thinking about sex or having sex becomes the sex addict’s primary way of coping with life’s challenges.


Cyber Sex Addiction

Cybersex in general describes any type of sexually motivated Internet behaviour that is carried out using any one of many different types of internet application.

Whilst some cybersex applications are more interactive (e.g., sex chatting, self-displaying sexually or watching others perform sexual actions via webcam), others are more passive (e.g., watching pornography). In a broader sense, cybersex includes not only watching material but can also making sexual contacts on the Internet, buying products from online sex shops, searching for information about sexual issues, using online sex services, and making Internet-based contact with prostitutes.

Watching pornography on the Internet is assumed to be the most widespread form of cybersex, at least for males, however recent research has shown that women can also become addictive cybersex users. From a psychological perspective, it’s easy to understand why cybersex is so popular. For most, cybersex provides a pleasurable outlet. It’s easily accessible, affordable (almost freely available) and allows users to act with almost total anonymity.

For most, cybersex provides a pleasurable outlet. It’s easily accessible, freely available and allows users to act with almost total anonymity. Like most activities, cybersex is not necessarily problematic unless or until it starts to interfere with intimate and social relationships, work and regular day to day functioning.


So when is Cybersex a problem?

Cybersex addicts frequently report that their behaviours are generally secretive and when discovered often have caused harm to important personal relationships. Like many compulsive behaviours, cybersex addiction will often require expert treatment in order for it to be overcome.

Whilst many Internet pornography users perceive a positive impact of cybersex, some users report having problems controlling their cybersex behaviour. Like most activities, they are not necessarily problematic unless or until they start to interfere with regular day to day functioning. Warning signs of Cybersex addiction include:

  • Greater sense of isolation -Diminished social interaction
  • Reduced attention to personal hygiene
  • Significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Increased irritability
  • Reluctance to change the compulsive behaviour

Users habitually use cybersex in order to cope with stress or depressive moods. Cybersex addicts also frequently report that their behaviours are generally secretive and when discovered often have caused harm to important personal relationships.

Like many compulsive behaviours, cybersex addiction will often require expert treatment in order for it to be overcome.


So what can a ManFocus Clinic sex therapist do to help treat Cybersex Addiction?

Like other forms of harmful addictive behaviours, Cybersex addiction is a complex problem. In treating Cybersex addiction, therapy needs to address both the underlying issues that form the addiction and to provide practical relapse prevention strategies.

In addition, treatment needs to explore healthier emotional management techniques and how a fulfilling life can be achieved, without the addictive behaviours. Overcoming Cybersex addiction is often long-term work, however left untreated, can have devastating effects on a person’s life, relationships and their family.