Many people scoff at the idea of being “addicted to sex,” assuming that other people use that term as an excuse for promiscuity. This brings up an important question: Is sex addiction real? The short answer to that question is “yes,” but there is a great deal of clarification to follow. Let’s take a closer look at what sex addiction is, along with tested and proven treatments for sex addiction.
What Is Sex Addiction?
As the name implies, sex addiction is a strong impulse to engage in or fantasize about sexual activities. It is natural for humans to think about and engage in sexual activities, but some people experience these desires at extremely high levels. Sex addiction may cause, result from, or develop in conjunction with other addictions, like alcoholism, drug abuse, spending addiction, and more.
Sex addicts experience many of the same symptoms as alcoholics or substance abusers. They may go through withdrawals after not having sex or acting in self-pleasure for an extended period of time. They may focus on sex so much that it disrupts their quality of life and their ability to interact with other people. Many people find themselves out of work or without friends because of their sex addiction, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
The most important takeaway here is that true sex addiction is not just a matter of “feeling in the mood” on a regular basis. This is a condition that becomes debilitating over time, affecting every facet of a person’s life. It’s a series of compulsions and seemingly uncontrollable actions/reactions, not just a passive thought from time to time. Luckily, there are ways to overcome sex addiction and enjoy “normal” life once again.
Signs Of Sex Addiction
There are many behaviors that can be associated with sex addiction, depending on the severity of the condition and the victim’s personal tastes. As a whole, any time sex takes over a person’s ability to perform day to day activities (go to work, attend school, etc.), it’s an addiction. If you feel like you cannot control your sexual thoughts or behaviors, you should seek sex addiction counseling to help you overcome your condition. Here are some common signs of sex addiction that you can watch out for:
- Strong, Uncontrollable Urges To Engage In Sexual Activities
- Recurrent Sexual Fantasies At Any Time Of The Day
- Having Sex As A Way To Cope With Stress, Anxiety, Depression, And More
- Obsessively Planning For New Sexual Adventures
- Sex With Multiple People In A Single Day, Week, Or Month
- Repeated Sex With Prostitutes, Or Engaging In Paid Online Sex Chats
- Going To The Strip Club On A Regular Basis
- Excessive Masturbation Or Watching Pornography
- Engaging In Unprotected Sex With No Regard For Sexually Transmitted Diseases Or The Possibility Of Pregnancy
- Seeking Sex Outside Of A Relationship In Order To Fulfill One’s Desires
Simply put, if you are “chasing the high” that sex gives you or using sex as a way to distract you from other issues in your life, you should seek help for your sex addiction.
How To Treat Sex Addiction
Sex addiction treatment often comes in the form of professional counseling. A patient will work directly with a sex addiction counselor to understand why he or she is behaving a certain way and find creative ways to overcome those feelings. There is a cause behind every addiction – a moment, a feeling, an experience that started the downward spiral. A counselor will work closely with a patient to identify what that cause was/is and figure out how to get past that. By eliminating the source of the problem, you can start to eliminate the problem altogether.
In addition to working with a counselor, a sex addict may take on a new hobby as a way to get through his or her addiction. The idea here is to fill the time and mind-space that sex is taking up with something more productive, like volunteering or playing a new sport. Sex addicts still need to work through the root of the problem in order to truly conquer their addictions, but they may also be able to use distractions to keep their minds occupied and their temptations low.
Sex addiction therapy may be combined with other forms of counseling as needed. For instance, a person facing depression and anxiety in addition to sex addiction may need a counselor who can help him or her cope with all three conditions. Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we pair each one of our patients with the best counselor for his or her unique needs. If you would like to learn more about sex addiction therapy or other counseling services we provide, feel free to give us a call at (248) 244-8644.