When you say sex addiction, this simply pertains to a range of behaviors which are done in excess and greatly affect one’s life negatively. Having said that, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (simply called as DSM-5) doesn’t include sex addiction to the list of diagnosable condition so far. However, a study discovered that there’s a clear frequency of confrontational sexual behaviors, which is relatively the same in the development of a chemical addiction.
Therefore, how can you identify if someone is addicted to sex? The director of the Center for Addiction Research situated at the University of Texas Medical Branch Kathryn A. Cunningham, Ph.D. told that symptoms include:
- The individual engages himself/herself in cybersex, phone sex, pornography, hiring prostitutes or exhibitionism.
- Sex has been controlling an individual’s daily life.
- The individual masturbates habitually.
- He or she has different sexual partners or worse, cheats on partners.
- For some instances, the individual involves in criminal activities such as child molestation, rape, incest, or stalking.
- Lying just to cover their obsession
- Feels guilt or remorse after having sex
What’s the difference between sex addiction and a healthy sex?
In every sexual addiction, there is always some obsession which can be considered as a healthy sex. People have a libido in the body which activates their longing for sex. However, it goes beyond once the individual cares more about the performance itself than the partner involved as per Kathleen Nickerson, Ph.D. does.
She further added that a sexual addiction oftentimes establishes itself in one or two ways such as replacing sex for love or pursuing varied, different, or extreme sexual activities, which are more focused on the sexual acts, usually not on the type of relationship between the couples. While the term sexual addiction is utilizedcommonly to define the condition of the person. According to Nickerson, it is typically an indication of a deeper mental struggle.
What happens when the condition is left untreated?
When it’s left untreated, the person who suffers from this condition will keep on engaging in hazardous behaviors. Most likely, they may sacrifice their well-being and even the health of their partner(s) with unprotected sex. When they are in a relationship or married, there’s a possibility that they’ll transfer sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to that, sex addiction could destroy marriage due to the stress of infidelity.
A sex addict should learn how to differentiate a natural and healthy sexual urge from addictive ones. Not only that, he/she should know how to achieve a positive sexual encounter without being dominant. This condition doesn’t necessarily need a cure, but the right ways to handle their addiction so one could live normally. It doesn’t mean that they need to deal with it forever.
It is crucial for an individual to seek professional help for a sexual addiction so they could find a skilled and trained therapist. This therapist understands the distinctions of the healthy sexual relationship against healthy ones and is able to guide you toward a long-term recovery.