Sex addiction is a global problem today. It affects very many people. Other addictions include: addiction to alcohol, gambling, drugs, and food as well. Many people view this specific addiction as ‘strange’ when compared to other ‘normal’ addictions like alcohol and drugs. This is because there may not be any visible effects of sex addiction, like it is the case for the other types. If one has an alcohol addiction, for instance, it’s very easy to tell, even from subtle things like the smell of alcohol. It is not easy to identify a person with an addiction to sex.
Definition of Sex Addiction
Addiction to sex is best defined as compulsive behavior where sex is involved, which leads to disruption in normal everyday living. Sex addiction is also referred to as sexual dependency or sexual compulsion. No matter what label it is given, this behavior ultimately characterizes an individual’s life.
Effects of Sexual Addiction
To sex addicts, sex becomes a priority and this could lead to strain on relationships with people in the family, friends, and other people too. It may also affect one’s efficiency at work, as well as how one relates to their colleagues. The people and the things closest to someone come second, while sex takes first place. Sex slowly becomes the center of who they are. They will give up everything else to engage in this behavior that is not only unhealthy, but is also shameful in most cases. Sex addiction is usually secretive, and that makes it even the more difficult for the addicts to stop as they cannot own up.
Forms of Sexual Addiction
Sexual addiction has many facets, thus cannot be defined based on only one behavior. When all or some of these behaviors have become characteristic of an individual’s life, then the person can be said to be addicted to sex:
- compulsive masturbation
- compulsive relationships where sex is involved
- indecent phone calls
- child molesting
- Internet pornography
The Phases of Sexual Addiction
It is really mind-boggling that sex addiction makes the deepest form of human intimacy become something so shameful and embarrassing, by all standards. There are four phases in the cycle of this very addictive behavior:
In this phase, a person will be completely engrossed in sexual thoughts.
This is the second phase where the addict’s own special routines lead up to the sexual behavior. The ‘ritual ‘ intensifies the preoccupation, adding arousal and excitement.
Compulsive Sexual Behavior
During this phase, the individual actually performs the sexual act. The individual is not able to control his behavior, and it’s impossible to stop at this point.
This phase immediately follows the performance of the sexual act. The addict gets a feeling of utter hopelessness, after performing the sexual act.
Overcoming sex addiction is not the easiest thing. For an addict to fully recover from this shameful, secretive behavior, they must seek help from medical practitioners, and be co-operative. A very strong will is required to fight the addiction, and to bounce back even in times of relapse. Despite being extremely hard, overcoming addiction is very much possible.
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