Sexual Addiction - When is it Too Much

by Sam Malone

The word sex is always known to tickle your brain to some extent; however sexual addiction is something that is known to be extremely painful and known to cause a lot of damage in a person's life. The term "sex addiction" is used to describe the behavioral patterns of a person who may or may not have a strong sex drive but someone who is constantly obsessed with sex. With technological improvements, access and exposure to sexual material is but child's play and this is majorly responsible for the increase in the number of sex addicts. A sex addict's thoughts are dominated by sex which makes it difficult for them to sustain healthy personal relationships over the long term.

As with most forms of addiction, the behavioral pattern follows the classical obsessive compulsive pattern. A sex addict's thought patterns are often distorted and they can justify and rationalize even their most outrageous acts. Denial of their problem, irresponsible behavior and blaming others are some of the other hallmarks of the sex addict.

Sex addiction is also associated with higher levels of risk taking. This is evident from the number of high risk sexual activities the person is involved in irrespective of any adverse consequences they may have. The addiction eventually affects all spheres of the addict's life including personal relationships, work and social life.

For some sex addicts, the disorder may progress to other illegal acts such as exposing oneself, molestation, rape and sodomy. However, it is important to note that being a sex addict does not imply that one would also become a sex offender.

Most of the symptoms of sex addiction are usually found in the behavior of the addict. Some of these symptoms include compulsive masturbation, multiple affairs, one-night stands, unprotected sex and excessive pornography and phone sex. In extreme cases, the behavior will include stalking, molestation, rape and other types of sexually aberrant behavior.

Sex addicts usually derive little or no pleasure from any of these sexual activities and rarely forms any emotional bonds with any of his or her partners. They usually have no control over their thoughts and behavior and are compelled to act even though they may be aware of the consequences of their actions.

Treatment for sex addicts usually involves individual, marital and family counseling by a professional and includes education about a healthy sex life. Counseling can help the addict to identify destructive thought and behavioral patterns. Once identified, the behavior can be controlled, helping the addict to develop a healthy sexuality. Medications such as Prozac can also help to control obsessive compulsive behavior. Self-help groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous can also help addicts break their denial and to rehabilitate themselves.



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