Behavioural Patterns of Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is the addict’s experience of powerlessness over a compulsive sexual behaviour. However, no form of sexual behaviour constitutes sexual addiction. Relationship between this behaviour pattern and an individual’s life determine the existence of sexual addiction. Once the addict is unable to control his compulsive sexual activity, it will make their lives unmanageable and can even produce serious effects. The addict is preoccupied with the addiction and is completely engrossed with his sexual fantasies which already interfere with his other activities. Here are some Indicators of Sexual Addiction:

First is the Out-of-Control Sexual Behaviour. Sex Addiction is the addict’s mechanism to temporarily self-medicate or alleviate stress. It can start with compulsive masturbation, indulging in pornography, phone or cybersex, prostitution, molestation or harassment. Though some people have naturally strong sex drive, we can determine sexual addiction when the sexual activity becomes habitual and the addict is unable to control it, making the addict’s life unmanageable.

The addict is also unable to stop the sexual behaviour despite knowing its severe consequences which may include marital or relationship problems, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, exposure to AIDS and legal risks. He has also a persistent pursuit of self-destructive behaviour and an attitude that says “I’ll deal with the consequences when they come.”

When the effects of sexual addiction become apparent, the addict tends to have an ongoing desire or effort to limit the sexual behaviour. He moves to new neighbourhood or city, gets married or enters into new relationship or splurging in material things to get distracted. The addict also uses sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy. His sexual fantasies are being satisfied by indulging in pornography or masturbation, and later on to more serious sexual activity.

The amount of sexual experience is also regularly increased because the current sexual activity is no longer sufficiently satisfying. The addict ventures into more risky acts which may also produce more serious effects such as health problems and violation of the law. The addict is also engaged in multiple chronic affairs but does not develop any intimate relationship. As a consequence he is suffering from severe mood changes related to sexual activity. This includes moral conflict, despair, intense anxiety, loneliness, self-deceit, severe depression, shame and low self-esteem.

The addict is also spending inordinate amount of time obtaining sex, being sexual and recovering from a sexual experience. He also tends to disregard his responsibilities at home or at work and fails to attend to more pressing issues of the society. The compulsive sexual behaviour makes him neglect important social or recreational activities.

The sexual addict usually denies the existence of sexual addiction; these indicators will help determine if one is sexually addicted so that the necessary steps may be taken to avoid further injury to the individual, his family and the society a well.

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