Sex Addiction or sexual addiction is a condition that is characterized by an unusually increased sex drive in a person. Like any other addiction, sexual addiction needs to be addressed with appropriate interventions. If left untreated, it may prolong and exacerbate into a more severe condition. In effect, the sex addict may continue to inflict destructive behaviors not just to himself but to the people surrounding him as well.
What are the roots of sexual addiction?
The addict’s intense craving for sex can be traced from his upbringing in his early years. As a child, he normally yearns for his parental love and attention but if these primary needs are unmet, he still has that unfulfilled need in his subconscious as he grows into an adult. In return, he resorts to sex to seek for more security. Insufficient parental teaching is also one cause. If the parent is usually emotionally unavailable to the child, it leaves the child with lack of love and respect for himself. This may turn him into an emotionally unavailable adult in the later years so withdrawing affection from others becomes his “normal” behavior. However, this leaves him unsatisfied for intimacy so he resorts to other substitutes such as sex to fulfill this need.
Sex addiction can affect relationship with partner
The addiction intensifies as the need for more sex escalates. This poses a great threat to the addict’s primary relationship with his partner. Pursuing their addiction is their primary concern rather than nurturing their interpersonal relationships. Real intimacy may not be achieved as the addict often isolates himself because he has a great fear of being vulnerable. In other words, sex addicts are not comfortable in dealing with their inner selves. As with alcoholics, the need for a “fix” gives them the feeling of being high. It is like euphoria for them but as soon as the feeling subsides, they long for more and more as they never get satisfied. They have a never-ending search for something missing but their efforts usually end up in vain because real needs are left unmet.
Sex addicts may engage in unhealthy and risky habits
Sex addicts often have distorted thinking and poor judgment. They engage in unhealthy and sometimes risky habits such as compulsive masturbation, having multiple sexual affairs, stalking, unsafe sex and prostitution. Addicts are emotionally and psychologically unstable as they easily switch from one addiction to another. They are blamers who continually stay at the state of denial, blaming others for their mistakes and misfortunes. Accepting their faults is often a hard task for they see no problem in themselves. The progress of this addiction if left untreated with proper interventions, results to a more serious problem. Committing sex crimes such as assault, molestation and rape may be done by them.
Sex addiction can be treated with cooperation from the addict
Sexual addiction is a great challenge for the person suffering from the illness. For the addict to be treated, the first critical step for him is to admit that he has a problem. The primary focus of therapy is controlling his compulsive behaviors and instilling in him a healthy manifestation of sexuality. For the addict to overcome the addiction, he must have a strong support system. Therapy may include individual counseling sessions, family therapy and education about sexuality.
It is never too late for an addict to be treated now. Recovery can happen as long as he is cooperative and submissive to treatment. Healthy relationships can be attained instead of a life abnormally occupied with obsessions and compulsions.