Making love is one of the best feelings in the world and it is normal that we sometimes just can’t get enough of it with the person we love. However, have you ever asked yourself the question whether sex can be addictive and if it can actually destroy your life? We all know that we can get addicted to drugs and video games, but what about sex? Nowadays, we often hear people talk about sex addiction, however, there is not much information to be found on the topic. So, is it true? Can sex be addictive? And if so, where are all those sex addicts and how has it affected their lives?
Throughout this article, Luvkis will share with you all you have to know about the so-called sex addiction.
Understanding the Psychology
When we talk about addiction, it is hard to say if something, whether it’s a behavior or product, can be addictive. Addiction is all about psychology and, unless it’s a chemical compound such as a drug, it’s difficult to call something truly addictive. I mean, think about it. Shopping is to most of us a completely normal activity, however, to some people it has turned into an addiction. Does this mean that shopping is addictive? No! It means that this person who got addicted to shopping has a certain psychological profile that makes him or her vulnerable to become addictive to a certain behavior.
The same goes for sex and so-called sex addiction. Although sex feels great, most of us do not think about it non-stop. However, as explained above, some people have a certain addictive profile which makes them more sensitive to certain feelings or acts. As a result, they might become addictive to something that, in this case, can be sex. Therefore, it has to be understood that people can get addicted to nearly anything. However, when we talk about regular activities such as shopping or sex, becoming addicted has nothing to do with the act itself being addictive, but, instead, it is the result of this person’s personal addictive psychological profile. As of such, it’s safe to state that people can, indeed, get addicted to sex. However, the act of having sex itself is not addictive.
What is Sex Addiction?
Now that we know that, for some people, sex addiction is a real thing, how can we best define it? As with any addiction, sex addiction can be referred to as a range of behaviors that are done in excess and, as a result, significantly impacts one’s life in a negative way. When we talk about sex addiction, we can, for instance, think about excessive masturbation, spending (too much) money on prostitutes, or simply not being able to concentrate throughout the day because your mind wanders off to your sexual fantasies every time again.
It has to be understood, however, that, at the moment, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-5) does not yet list sex addiction as a real diagnosable condition. However, research has proven that some people do, in fact, suffer from addictive behavior when it comes to sex. Studies indicate that there is a clear prevalence of adverse sexual behavior, the development of which can be compared to that of chemical addiction.
Is Sex Addiction the Same as Porn Addiction?
No. Sex addiction and porn addiction are two different disorders. In fact, porn addiction is considered to be a certain type of sex addiction. This addiction can manifest itself in different ways than actual sex addiction. Just like sex addiction, porn addiction has also not been officially diagnosed by DSM-5. Nevertheless, we know that for some people porn addiction is a real thing what has influenced their lives significantly with major negative consequences as a result.
Different Types of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is just a general name that includes a collection of different types of smaller addictions, all related to sex. Below, we have listed down a number of addictive behaviors that all can be considered as a type of sex addiction:
- Watching excessive amounts of pornography to an extent that it negatively influences your life
- Spending (too much) money on prostitution on a regular basis
- Constantly thinking about masturbation and/or a sexual fantasy
- Acting sadistic or masochistic towards others in society
- Participating in exhibition/voyeurism by showing off your private parts in public
Effects of Sex Addiction
Like any other addiction, sex addiction brings along a number of effects and symptoms. For starters, people who are addicted to sex often lose their personal boundaries and may thus feel less comfortable to go out in public. Many sex addicts feel alienated, isolated, depressed, or angry. Some are even embarrassed about their addiction what, in turn, further lowers their emotions. Because sex addicts do not like to talk about their true feelings towards sex, they often have unstable relationships and switch between partners relatively often. As a result, sex addiction has a major impact on a person’s personal relationships with partners and, in some cases, even family members. Added to that, the constant urge to think about sex furthermore drops productivity, making them less efficient at work.
Besides the emotional burden, sex addiction may also lead to physical effects. According to the Departmental Management of the USDA, approximately 40% to 50% of all men and women suffering from sex addiction have a venereal disease as a result of their over-active sexual behavior. For women, there is an added risk of pregnancy. A staggering 70% of women with sex addiction reported that they have had at least one unwanted pregnancy as a result of their addictive behavior.
In some cases, sex addiction can go even further by bringing along profound psychological effects. The feeling of shame towards your addiction can lead to psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and even to the addiction of other substances such as drugs and alcohol. As of such, it is very important to know whether your urges for sex are natural and, if not, to consult a professional on time.
How Can I Treat My Sex Addiction?
Although both sex and porn addiction are not formally diagnosable, they certainly do exist and may bring along serious consequences. As of such, it is essential to recognize a sex addiction on time and to search for professional help right away. As there is no known medicine that reduces the urge for sex and lowers the symptoms of sex addiction, the only solution is through therapy. Therefore, you typically want to speak to a mental health professional such as a psychologist who can help you to underline the factors that are maintaining your addiction to sex. For more information on how to treat sex addiction, please check out this article.
Always remember that, although it might feel embarrassing, having sex addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Psychologists are trained professionals who are there to help you with any addiction, whether it’s sex, porn, gambling, or drugs.