Sexual addiction

Sex addiction is a complicated condition that has garnered the interest of many researchers and the general public alike.

Sexual addiction | Table of Contents

What is Sex Addiction?

When someone has sex, they feel the burst of endorphins flooding their brains. This is much similar to the way certain medications cause the release of dopamine. Sex addiction can make the process of having and finding sex a burden in a person’s life. Rather than loving the sex they have, they are immediately forced to look for their next “fix.” What makes this addiction so tough is that, unlike using meth or other drugs, sex is essential for life. We, as humans, have a natural desire to have sex and to continue with our offspring. Hence, sex is not just something that many can forsake, especially if they want to have relationships and children in the traditional sense.


Can you be addicted to sex?

Yes, it is a possibility to become addicted to sex. It is possible to become addicted to sex when your focus is on sexual acts, feelings, and situations rather than engaging in healthy relationships.

Is there another name for sex addiction?

Sex addiction is also known as nymphomania in females and satyriasis in males.

How do I know if I am a sex addict?

If you find yourself unable to control your sexual behavior or thoughts, even if it leads to significant distress and complications, you may be suffering from sex addiction.

Symptoms of Sex Addiction

People who suffer from sex addiction have no control over their urges to a certain degree. Similar to how someone addicted to drugs will feel the need to spend a lot of time to satisfy their urge, people addicted to sex will do anything to fulfill their desires. They can cheat on others, lie to people, or even pay for sex. Symptoms of sex addiction may include:

  • Engaging in sex with more than one partner.
  • The desire to have sex to the point that it disrupts other commitments.
  • Continuously engaging in unnecessary sexual activity.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to reduce sexual activity.
  • Spending most of your time on activities linked to or that could lead to sex.
  • Disregarding other obligations in the pursuit of sex.
  • Continuing to engage in sexual behavior despite adverse effects on relationships.
  • Need to intensify sexual activity to accomplish the same desired effect.
  • Feeling withdrawals or getting negative feelings when unable to engage in sexual activity.

Wanting to have sex with multiple partners can lead to critical relationship issues, including divorce. Sex addiction can lead to the development of sexually transmitted diseases. Individuals suffering from this addiction are generally unable to control their feelings or even take precautions during sex. Excessive masturbation is another sign of sex addiction. While a male or female may masturbate a few times a week, a person with sex addiction may take it to the point that it interferes with their day-to-day life.


What are the signs of sex addiction in women?

The signs of female sex addiction are the same as those for men. Signs of sex addiction may include spending a significant time engaging in sexual behaviors, constantly preoccupied with their desire to engage in sexual behaviors, continuing to engage in behaviors even when it causes problems in their life, and being unable to stop such behaviors.

Can partners get help even if the sex addict doesn't?

Yes, it is vital for a partner of a sex addict to receive help so that they could navigate through their feelings of anger, loss, loneliness, and all other negative feelings felt over the years together. These feelings must be dealt with therapeutically.

What role does pornography play in sex addiction?

Pornography paired with daily masturbation is a regular practice among many sex addicts. Pornography provides sex addicts an escape into their fantasies without the need for emotional connections.

Can Someone Actually Have Sex Addiction?

The nature of sex addiction is a contentious-debating topic among professionals. While some professionals deny the validity of any non-substance addiction, other medical experts are trying to open up the definition of addiction and how people are vulnerable to it. Of all common behavioral addictions, sex addiction is perhaps the most problematic.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM) is considered to be the criterion for measuring what is and what is not addiction. In Volume Four, the DSM included sex addiction under the category “sexual disorders,” but not as an addiction. To this day, the only non-substance addiction recognized in the DSM is an addiction to gambling. Despite this, the DSM describes sex addiction as a “compulsive search for many sexual partners, compulsive obsession on an unreachable partner, obsessive masturbation, compulsive love relationships, and addictive sexual intercourse.”

When someone hears the word “compulsive,” it means that the person with those obsessions has less control than the average person. If so what are people suffering from sex addiction, if not those suffering from a biological compulsion to a substance?


Is there recovery from sex addiction?

It is possible to recover from sex addiction. The recovery process takes time and hard work, but with guided help, the sex addicts will experience restoration in all parts of their lives.

What's the difference between sex addiction and high sex drive?

Sex addiction is a condition centered on dysfunctional involvement in sex-related thinking, fantasy, or behavior leading to the destruction of relationships and other responsibilities. People with a high sex drive can lead a generally healthy and functional life and experience a sense of mental well-being.

How do I help a sex addict?

Encouraging them to help themselves get out of the addiction is the only way to help a sex addict. You can’t make them change or make it right unless they are willing to seek help for themselves. Help them locate a therapist or encourage them to participate in a Freedom Group or Sex Addicts Anonymous.

The Link Between Sex Offenders and Sex Addiction

Unfortunately, research has shown a close correlation between sex addiction and sexual predators. Approximately half of the convicted sex offenders may have a sex addiction, but what is lacking, however, is the difference between the two groups. People are commonly believed to be addicted to sex because of a chemical reaction in the brain. It is accepted that sex offenders do not act for self-pleasure. Instead, they act out of a twisted need for strength, supremacy, influence, revenge, or even rage. That being said, there are still modifications in their minds that are quite similar to those who suffer from sex addiction, but they’re not the same. Not all sex offenders have a sex addiction, and not everyone who is addicted to sex becomes a sex offender.

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