Addiction Wars: Porn: The New Crack? -- Research Summary
WHAT IS SEXUAL ADDICTION? Sexual addiction is the term used to describe the behaviors of someone with an unusually strong sex drive or obsession with sex. Sex addicts often feel out of control, and partake in activities despite possible negative consequences, which can lead to feelings of guilt or shame. Like other addicts, sexual addicts often engage in risky behavior (such as unprotected sex) and rationalize it later, often refusing to admit they have an addiction or blaming other people for their problems. Sex addicts often get little satisfaction from their encounters, failing to make emotional connections with their partners.
BEHAVIORS: Behaviors commonly associated with sexual addiction are:
• Compulsive masturbation
• Sex with multiple or anonymous partners
• Consistent use of pornography
• Unsafe sex
• Phone or computer sex
• Voyeurism or stalking
• Multiple one-night stands
Sexual addiction can also lead to many illegal behaviors, such as exhibitionism, prostitution or use of prostitutes, obscene phone calls, molestation or rape. However, not all sex addicts become sex offenders.
HOW DO YOU TREAT SEXUAL ADDICTION? As with other addictions, a sex addict must admit to having a problem before he or she can be treated. Treatment of sexual addiction usually focuses on controlling the addictive behavior and developing a healthy sexuality, and can include counseling or marital or family therapy. In some cases, drugs such as Prozac are used to combat the compulsive nature of the addiction. Twelve step programs for sex addicts also exist, such as Sex Addicts Anonymous.