Sex Addiction

For some people, compulsive sexual behaviour has become a way in which they try to manage or cope with their feelings and with the stresses of life. Such individuals feel compelled to ‘act out’ sexually even though there may be negative consequences.

Negative consequences can include loss of self-respect, self-neglect, self-harm, social withdrawal, spouse and family neglect, relationship problems, loss of productivity, loss of employment, financial hardship, loss of intimacy, and in some cases lawsuits and imprisonment.

Compulsive sexual behaviour usually has little to do with a person’s sexuality but rather, has more to do with the person’s inability to manage strong emotional feelings such as loneliness, shame, fear, anxiety, stress, anger and sadness.

People struggling with sex addiction often lead a ‘double life’ – portraying one image in public and family life, but living a secret life in private that includes sexual ‘acting out’ behaviour.

Sex addiction is sometimes called an intimacy disorder because addicts find it difficult to make and keep intimate relationships, often due to childhood wounds caused by lack of parental attachment, excessive criticism, emotional neglect and/or abuse.

Sex addicts make ‘acting out’ a priority and are often willing to sacrifice what they value most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy sexual behavior.

The good news is that we now understand a lot more about sex addiction and many sex addicts have experienced recovery and are living a happy, productive and fulfilling life in alignment with their personal values.