Sexual Addiction is a process addiction. Process addictions are defined as behaviors that, because of their perceived or inherent rewards, become addictive overtime despite negative consequences. Examples of process addictions include: gambling, gaming, spending, working, sex, eating, and exercising just to name a few.
Sex Addiction, also referred to as hypersexuality, compulsive sexual behavior or, compulsive sexuality, is a topic that has been brought into the light by celebrity scandals involving some of the biggest stars in sports, music, acting and politics. However, it is not a new topic. At times, the media may try to glamorize the affliction; however, those who battle sexual addiction know first handedly the devastating impact sexual addiction has on self, family and life as they know it. Addicts are at risk of losing their families, jobs, health, freedom and some even lose their lives.
Sex Addiction Q & A
Q: What factors contribute to sexual addiction?
A: There have been several things that have been statistically seen in those who have sexual addiction:
- Abuse / Early Trauma (emotional, sexual, physical)
- A ridged and disengaged family of origin
- Addicts in the family
- Other addictions past or present
Q: How do you know if you have sexual addiction vs. a high libido?
A: When there is addiction of any kind, there are inherent consequences and an inability to stop despite the negative consequences. Consequences may include: loss of control, loss of time, loss of family, job loss, loss of hobbies, health concerns related to sexual choices, inability to fulfill obligations, an inability to think of anything else (preoccupation), and withdrawal symptoms just to name a few. There might also be escalation of the behavior, in that behaviors that once “scratched the itch” do not work anymore leading the person to seek out other behaviors, which may lead to increased risk taking or more time spent on the behaviors.
When someone has high libido, negative consequences and escalation are not experienced.
Q: I think I (or a loved one) might have sex addiction, what are my options?
A: First off, you should celebrate the immense courage it has taken to get you to this step – the first step towards a life of health, wholeness, and recovery. Some people choose to seek inpatient treatment, others join 12-Step Groups, others seek solace in their faith practices or connection to their higher power, others find a sponsor, and others find an individual therapist. Many choose to do a combination of things. Successful recovery involves dedication to living your life completely differently and to making the decision to live your life around recovery.
Q: What is pornography addiction, is that the same as sex addiction?
A: Yes and No. There are some similarities, but there are also differences. While they both involve sex, whether it is with another person or with self, pornography addiction brings with it other potential issues to be considered. Many people who struggle with pornography addiction have found themselves to be isolating from friends and family, some people find that they can not become sexually aroused without pornography, some find that being sexual with another person is impossible, and some experience physical ailments such as PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction). They may also experience some of the same difficulties as those who struggle with sex addiction including trying to stop but being unable to stop and loss of friends or jobs. Escalation is also possible in the frequency of pornography use might increase or the subject matter of the pornography might change as well.
That’s why we’re here. At Flyleaf Counseling, all of our therapists have completed training in the treatment of Sexual Addiction through IITAP (International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals) and have earned the distinction of CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) or ASAT (Associate Sex Addiction Therapist). We are capable of working with the addict, and their spouses, children, and families as all persons move strive towards a life of recovery.
Many things have brought you to this webpage in this moment. Whether it be fear, curiosity, hurt, active addiction, failed prior recovery attempts, or something else, you’re story isn’t over. We’re prepared to help you be the author of your own great story. Your next chapter starts now.