Sex addiction, also called hypersexuality, hypersexual disorder, sexual compulsivity, and compulsive sexual behavior disorder, is a behavioral addiction focused on sex. More specifically, sex addiction is a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors, usually involving the obsessive pursuit of non-intimate sexuality – pornography, casual and/or anonymous sex, prostitution, etc. This adult pattern of sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors continues for at least six months, despite attempts to either stop or curtail the activity, and directly related negative life consequences – relationship instability, emotional turmoil, physical health problems, career trouble, legal issues, and more.
In short, sex addiction is an ongoing, out-of-control pattern of sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors that causes problems in a person’s life. Sex addicts use denial, rationalizing, minimizing, and lying to avoid the truth to themselves and others.
They typically have difficulty with closeness in committed relationships and use their sexual addiction behavior to escape painful and stressful feelings. The sex addict typically cycles through an addictive cycle of preoccupation, ritualization, compulsive sexual behavior, and despair or shame.
Without treatment and recovery, overcoming sexual addiction can be very difficult. Partners and spouses of sex addicts have specific consequences and require help as well.
Sexual health is the objective in sexual addiction treatment. Sexuality should be an integral and balanced part of our life experience. However, when sex becomes all consuming, or when a person deprives themselves of healthy sexual expression, their sexuality acts as a barrier filled with shame and self-contempt.
Do these questions describe your behavior of the behavior of your partner?
Preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
Hiding some sexual behaviors or activity from others?
Sought help for problematic sexual behaviors?
Have others suffered due to sexual behavior?
Feel controlled by sexual desire?
Feel depressed after sexual behavior or activities?
What should I do?
lf you are wondering if you or someone you love might be struggling with a sexual addiction, Fr. Greg can help you determine if the symptoms and behaviors you are experiencing indicate a sexual addiction.
Please take the next step and contact Fr. Greg or a sexual addiction counselor you trust if you or someone you love are experiencing:
Loss of Control - Performing more sexual behaviors than you want or intended to
Compulsive Behavior - A sense that your sexual behavior is out of control
Unable to Stop - Failed attempts to stop or lessen Sexual behavior
Lost Time -You spend a significant amount of time engaged in or thinking about sexual behavior
Preoccupation - Frequent thought about sexual behavior
Inability to Fulfill Obligations - Sexual behavior gets in the way of work, school, family, or friends
Continuation Despite Consequences - Continuing sexual behaviors even though they have created problems with your relationships, work, health, or finances, and/or have led to legal issues
Escalation - Sexual behaviors increase in frequency, intensity, or risk
Losses- Losing, limiting, or giving up valued parts of your life in order to engage in sexual behavior
Withdrawal - If you stop your sexual behavior for a period of time you feel irritable, sad, angry, nervous, or physically uncomfortable