Sexual compulsion is best identified as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts.
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Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder develops. Gradually, the addict most often has to redouble the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.
For the majority of sex addicts, conduct does not progress beyond compulsive masturbation or the extensive use of pornography or phone or computer sex services. For others, addiction can involve illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene telephone call, child molestation or rape.
A great many sex addicts are themselves victims of childhood trauma, most often coming in the form of sexual, mental, physical abuse or neglect.
Healing these past traumas through therapy, understanding the disease concept of addiction and how it manifests on a personal level (triggers), and finally developing new patterns for healthy sexuality; these are essential tools for the sex addict to become a well integrated and fulfilled sexuality.
If You feel that you are ready to take the next step towards a happy and healthy sexuality, free from addiction please call or make an appointment today:
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Sex addicts do not inevitably turn into sex offenders. Moreover, not all sex offenders are sex addicts. Roughly 55 percent of sentenced sex offenders can be considered sex addicts.
About 71 percent of child molesters are sex addicts. For many, their issues are so severe that imprisonment is the only way to ensure society’s safety against them.
Society has recognized that sex offenders act not necessarily for sex-related gratification, but instead out of a disturbed need for power, dominance, authority or revenge, or a perverted expression of anger. More recently, however, an understanding of brain changes and brain reward associated with sexual behavior has actually led us to recognize that there are also strong sexual drives that motivate sex offenses.
The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” In other words, a sex addict will continuously engage in particular sexual behaviors in spite of facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even incarceration.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four defines sex addiction, under the category “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified,” as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” According to the manual, sex addiction also involves “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.”.
Increasing sexual provocation within our society has generated an increase in the number of individuals participating in a variety of uncommon or illicit sexual practices, such as phone sex, the use of escort services and computer pornography. More of these individuals and their companions are looking for help.
The same compulsive behavior that characterizes other dependencies also is typical of sex addiction. However these other addictions, including drug, alcohol and gambling dependency, involve substances or activities without any necessary connection to our survival. For example, we can live normal and happy lives without ever gambling, taking illicit drugs or consuming alcohol. Even the most genetically susceptible individual will function well without ever being subjected to, or provoked by, these addictive activities.
Sexual activity is truly distinct. Like eating, having sex is required for human survival. Although many individuals are celibate– some not by choice, while others choose celibacy for cultural or religious reasons– healthy and balanced humans have a strong desire for sex. Actually, lack of interest or low interest in sex can signify a medical issue or psychological illness.