When talking about sex addiction, it’s probably a good idea to start with examples of what it’s not…
If you happen to be a Hollywood movie star, with fame and millions of dollars to your name, and you’re drawn towards cheating on your partner by having sex with lots and lots of attractive women…
You may be many things, but this doesn’t mean you have sex addiction.


Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is much more than a bad habit that’s been developed over a period of time. For some, 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.

Sex addiction can often have a negative impact on other areas of life such as relationships, work, finances, and health. Addicts are often tempted to engage in risky sexual behaviours when they experience difficult feelings such as stress, anxiety, anger, depression or sadness.


Signs you may be experiencing sexual addition include:

  • Trying but failing to limit your sexual behaviour or to stop it all together.
  • Being secretive about your sexual behaviours and fearful of being discovered.
  • Needing to engage in riskier sexual practices (even though you knew they could cause you harm) in order to achieve previous levels of arousal and excitement. This may include ‘cruising’ online sex networking sites, public restrooms, rest areas or parks looking for sex with strangers.
  • Neglecting and or struggling to concentrate on important areas of your life (such as job, family, friends, leisure activities) due to compulsive engagement in sex behaviours and thoughts.

Sex addiction is a complex problem. In treating sex 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 sex addiction is often long-term work, however left untreated, can have devastating effects on a person’s life and their family.