Sexual addiction has the power to be as detrimental to a person’s life as a substance addiction, and most don’t understand everything the addiction entails. Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses.


A person suffering from sexual addiction is not always easy to identify, as they don’t necessarily end up as sex offenders, and sometimes their behavior is hidden. While not all sex addicts are sex offenders, about 71 percent of child molesters are sex addicts. Some sex addicts don’t exhibit behavior beyond compulsive masturbation, compulsive use of pornography, or compulsive use of computer or phone sex services. In more severe cases, the addict can end up in legal trouble due to acts of exhibitionism, child molestation, rape, and voyeurism.


According to the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, sexual addiction is defined as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” This means sex addicts will do whatever it takes to engage in sexual behavior, even if it means they will be negatively affected by them.


We know many sex offenders act out of a need for power rather than sexual gratification. The reason behind the acts can include a need for dominance, control, revenge, or even a warped demonstration of anger. However, in some cases, a strong sex drive is behind the motivation to commit sex offenses. It doesn’t help that sexual provocation has been increasing in our society largely in part to technology growth. Computer pornography has become more and more available, as well as phone sex, escort services, and other illicit sexual practices.


The tricky thing about sexual addiction is the fact that normal, healthy humans have a natural sex drive, and it is considered necessary for survival. This makes it a little more difficult to treat than a drug or alcohol dependence, because we are able to survive normally without using those substances. So, treating a sex addict to enjoy sexual activity in a non-compulsive manner can be complicated, as it doesn’t simply require complete abstinence as the case with other substances. The good news is there are many facilities out there with treatment programs tailored for sexual addiction.


Dealing with a sexual addiction can be difficult. For more information on rehab options, call Treatment Now today for professional advice.

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