WHAT IS SEX ADDICTION?
What is Sex Addiction?
The terms sex addiction and sexual addiction refers to sexual behavior that includes limited control of excessive and problematic sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors. Sexual addiction leads to serious negative consequences in one’s relationships, health, and well-being. At the core of sex addiction is an unmanageability and powerlessness to quit - potentially causing major consequences like: STD's, arrest, losing your job, unintentional pregnancies, relational turmoil, divorce, and community status. Over time, the sex addict usually has to escalate their addictive behavior to attain the same results.
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.” Basically, despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, broken relationships, or arrest, a sex addict will continue to to engage in sexual behaviors.
Sexual addiction can involves behaviors such as: masturbation, substantial use of pornography, phone sex, computer sex services, and even illegal behaviors including exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, incest, child molestation or rape.
How Does A Sex Addiction Start?
Sexual addiction starts as a “feel good” escape mechanism that numbs underlying issues (unwanted feelings, emotions, conflict, or reality) of the addict. Natural behaviors such as eating, sex, and exercising are healthy and can be rewarding when done in responsible moderation. However, when the individual begins to suffer negative consequences as a result of their sexual behaviors and continues to do it, addiction is likely. Left untreated, sexual addiction progresses and only gets worse with time.
Studies report that about 80% of sex addicts have experienced emotional trauma or sexual abuse. Individuals with increased impulsivity are simply more prone to putting themselves in situations that are inherently dangerous to their well-being. When a person suffers from trauma, abuse, or abandonment, it is very likely that person will have a difficult time trusting others on an emotional level. In this context, sex addiction is more likely to be manifested because the behavior’s involved are emotionally detached, thereby giving the perception of being emotionally “secure” or “safe” for the individual who does not trust others.
Research shows that in the development of a porn addiction the porn addict experience’s many changes in the brain. Overtime the porn addict’s neural pathway’s become wider as they are increasingly over exposed to pornography causing the neural circuitry in the brain to automate sexual compulsive behavior. Studies have shown that the affects porn addiction has on the brain is the same affect of substance use. Overtime, as urge's and craving's increase in the porn addict's life they will often find themselves viewing more explicit porn to experience the same pleasure or high they originally experienced, leading to more consequences. Many porn addicts report experiencing Erectile Dysfunction (See the symptoms of porn addiction below.)
I think I am a sex addict. How do I know?
Symptoms of Sexual Addiction/Dangers of Sexual Addiction
Consider which of the following symptoms are true for you:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- You have an overpowering desire to watch porn
Finding yourself thinking and obsessing about porn and looking at porn
- Hiding your porn use and collection of pornography from others
- Have tried to watch less porn and can’t
- Tried to quit watching porn and cannot - Feelings of powerlessness to quit
- Have failed obligations and commitments due to your porn use
- Porn use has got in the way of sleeping, eating, or working
- Feelings of shame and guilt for watching porn
- Your porn use has threatened your life - job status, close relationships, marriage, or partner
Is There A Cure For Sex Addiction?
Though pornography is not a drug, it affects the brain psychologically the same as drugs and alcohol do. Due to the severity of the affect porn has on the brain, most often porn addiction is treated professionally. The "cure" for pornography addiction involves seeking proper treatment that effectively addresses the debilitating dynamics that cause an individual to become addicted to pornography. Freedom U's recovery program features an online comprehensive e-course, personal coaching sessions with one of our professional sexual addiction recovery coaches, and lifetime access to our daily recovery e-book.
Confidential Treatment for Sex Addiction
Overcoming porn addiction can be very challenging sexually and socially and getting help and admitting that you are struggling can feel very embarrassing or humiliating, at Freedom U we understand the importance of confidentiality and care around recovery. Freedom U Sexual Wellness Recovery Institute provides an comprehensive online based treatment program for individuals with complex issues surrounding pornography.
We are an online based outpatient treatment center with a specialized recovery program, dedicated to giving the highest quality of care. Our program is offered exclusively to individuals suffering from sexual addiction. Freedom U is We are an online based outpatient treatment center with a specialized recovery program committed to helping individuals achieve freedom and well-being from compulsive sexual behavior by demonstrating an ongoing commitment to safe, high-quality care, and treatment.