Understanding Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is a term used to refer to a behavior characterized by a very intense sex drive. It is simply an addiction or an obsession with sex. Although most scientists do not prefer calling the said behavior as an "addiction", they refer to such a behavior more as a sexual compulsion. Such a condition is not included in the list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.

Characteristics of sexual addict

Sexual addiction or sex compulsion is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to engage in highly sexual activities. It can be a range of intimate behaviors such as voyeurism, masturbation, sex with prostitutes, etc. Such a behavior is considered as a psychological addiction wherein certain individuals are thrilled and stimulated to the point of obsession in order to realize a certain pattern of sexual behavior.

Causes of sexual addiction

Sexual addiction may be caused by biological, psychological and emotional factors. There are sex addicts who have reconditioned their body biologically to receive endorphins as well as other brain chemicals to provide a certain "high" through sexual fantasy reinforcement. This results usually in ejaculation that provides the body with the said chemicals.

There are also sexual addictions that develop when a person thinks of the need to engage in sex as a form of medication for a psychological issue. Others may increasingly engage in sexual activities as a means to escape certain physical and emotional abuse.

Other people may develop their sexual addictions because of fear of establishing a more intimate relationship with another person. That is why they try to connect with others through highly impersonal intimate relationships such as engaging in sex with prostitutes.

Symptoms of sexual addiction

There are several factors that may indicate a person having a sexual addiction. One is compulsion where a person loses the ability to choose whether to stop a certain behavior or continue it.

Obsession is another indicator of a sexual addiction. A person obsessed with sex seems not able to stop thinking about a particular sexual thought or fantasy. This can sometimes go on all day long and can be preoccupied with it that it starts affecting other aspects of life.

Another indicator of sexual addiction is continuing the habit despite the consequences. At some point, a person’s sexual addiction can get out of hand that it starts to have a negative effect on one’s life. But in spite of this, the sexual addict still continues the behavior and indulges in excessive sexual activity.