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Sexual Addiction: Causes and Treatment

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Article by Simon Weight

The term sex addiction is often used to describe a range of sexual behaviors that negatively affect a person’s life. Although sex addiction is not usually regarded as a diagnosable condition, many researchers agree that there is a clear correlation between sex addiction and “chemical” addiction.

Is Porn Addiction the Same as Sex Addiction?

Porn addiction is different from sex addiction. However, porn addiction is considered a type of sexual addiction that manifests itself differently than other types of sexual addictions. Porn addiction is also not considered a diagnosable condition. Like sex addiction, porn addiction can have significant negative effects on a person’s life.

Types of Sexual Addictions

There are no distinct categories of sex addictions, but sexual addiction manifests itself in different ways including pornography, voyeurism, use of masterbation toys and adult products, as well as prostitution.

Symptoms of Sexual Addiction

Several signs can serve as indicators of sexual addiction. The signs could be emotional or physical. It is important to understand the effects of sexual addiction and the need for sex addiction counselling. Sex addicts often find it difficult to talk about why masturbation is important.

Emotional Symptoms of Sex Addiction

If you or your partner suffer from sexual addiction, you may find it difficult to maintain healthy boundaries. Sexual addiction leads to feelings of humiliation, anger, depression, and alienation. Sexual addiction may also lead you to become emotionally or physically involved with people you do not know really well. Because people suffering from sexual addiction fear being abandoned, they may stay in unhealthy relationships or jump from one relationship to another. In addition, sex addicts may feel empty and incomplete. Moreover, sex addicts often get into the habit of sexualizing normal emotions like guilt, fear, and loneliness.

Physical Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Although sexual addiction may produce many physical side effects, few physical symptoms are associated with the addiction. One of the most common symptom of sexual addiction is feeling immobilized due to sexual and emotional obsessions.

Effects of Sex Addiction

The effects of sex addiction can be quite severe. More than a third of men and women with sex addiction contract some type of venereal disease because of their behaviors. Unwanted pregnancies are another common side effect of sex addiction. Moreover, sexual addiction may lead to a decline in personal relationships including social and family connections. Many sex addicts find it difficult to concentrate and be productive at work. Sexual addiction is also associated with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and poor impulse control.

Causes of Sexual Addiction

Some sex addicts have a genetic predisposition to impulsivity and sensation seeking behaviors. They may also be predisposed to other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Another cause of sex addiction is production of high levels of testosterone and estrogen hormones, which affect libido. People who are inclined to impulsive behavior and have high levels of sex hormones are more likely to engage in excess sexual activities.

Early childhood factors like adverse exposure to pornography or sexual content and abuse may contribute to the development of behaviors that lead to sexual addiction. Many sex addicts struggle with performance anxiety, impulse control, and depression. Rejection in relationships and social circles may also lead to sexual addiction.



Like many mental health issues, sex addiction can be treated. Treatment options include individual therapy with a professional to address sexual compulsive behaviors and associated disorders and cognitive behavioral therapy that uses self-talk to convert negative emotions to positive thoughts and emotions.

25 Nov 2015

Last Update: 14 Dec 2015

Article/Information supplied by Simon Weight

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.