No matter how strange or ridiculous it may sound to some, sex addiction actually exists. All types of addictions develop as a method of a person coping with one’s inner and outer problems and stress in life. Psychologists say that the development of addiction to sex may actually be the result of emotional, physical or even sexual abuse in an earlier life.
The nature of sexual addiction is rather different compared to other obsessive compulsive disorders. Firstly, as there is a wide variety of drugs a drug addict can choose from there are also a lot of forms to which a sex addict can feel compulsion for. A person could be addicted to masturbation, prostitution, heterosexual sex, pornography, cybersex or to several forms at a time.
Secondly, this type of a disorder is usually a progressive one. A person suffering from this particular type of addiction usually starts from small “doses” of sex or masturbation until he/she actually increases the amount and effort spent on sexual behavior.
Another difference from other types of obsessive compulsive disorders is a huge shame to admit or tell others that you actually suffer from this pathology. A 30-year-old man confessed he felt a freak because he had a huge impulse to watch pornographic movies most of the time. He realized it was something wrong and unhealthy but he was too ashamed to talk about it with his wife and seek for professional help.
Despite all the differences mentioned it has a very similar pattern in development and features, like with other obsessive compulsive disorders. Sex addiction, as any other addiction, is a pathologic method to cope with various psychological and physical problems of life. Such a person usually has no power in controlling the habit and even if he/she tries to stop it is always unsuccessful. The longer and the harder an addict tries to quit the habit the more shameful, lonely and guilty he/she feels.
Sex addiction may change your life
A person addicted to sex loses relationships, marriages and friendships in the end. He/she finds it hard to concentrate on work and cope with other obligations in life since sexual preoccupation requires so much energy. The end result of such helplessness may be depression, problems with alcohol or even suicidal behavior.
As types of sex addiction are concerned, psychologists note that there is an increased number of people occupied with cybersex. This type is becoming more and more popular in the societies, statistics saying that 9% of internet surfers spend more than 11 hours per week looking for sexual content. Unlike with some other obsessive disorders both male and female populations are affected equally.
If you think you have problems with your sexual behavior do not feel alone or be ashamed to talk about it with a professional. You can also join the “Sexual Addicts Anonymous” club, where you would be able to talk about your problem with people experiencing pretty much the same and trying to find the solution from this pathologic behavior just like you do.
In case you are not sure whether your sexual manner is pathologic or not, you can answer this questionnaire to find out about it.
- Do you keep mysteries about your sexual and romantic actions from those important to you? Do you live a double life?
- Did you have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose just because you needed this?
- Do you look for erotic articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
- Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are holding you back from coping with problems?
- Do you often wish to escape from a sex partner after having sex? Do you often feel ashamed or guilty after a sexual intercourse?
- Do you feel ashamed or uncomfortable about your body and your sexuality, so that you do not like to touch your body or engage in romantic relationships? Are you afraid that you might have no sexual feelings?
- Does each new relation tend to have the same destructive orders which led you to leave the last relationship?
- Do you need more variety and intensity of sexual and romantic actions than earlier to get enough excitement?
- Does your craving for sex or romantic relations intrude with your spiritual beliefs or progress?
- Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
- Have you ever felt hopeless, lonely, or suicidal due to your sexual or romantic behavior?
If your answers were positive to more than one of these questions, you could be encouraged to find more literature as a resource or talk to a professional. Remember, there is always a way out and there are people eager to help you find it.