What is Sexual Addiction?

Addiction may be present when one’s sexual behavior results in significant distress and continues in spite of adverse consequences. This behavior may include:

Patterns of Sex Addiction/ Compulsivity

  • Fantasy Sex– sexually charged fantasies, relationships and situations. Arousal depends on possibility.  Obsession & preoccupation prolong feeling. Masturbation may be compulsive.
  • Anonymous Sex – High risk unprotected sex (usually oral) with unknown persons.  Usually bathhouses, public restrooms, bars, locker rooms, parks, adult bookstores.
  • Seductive Role Sex – Seduction of partners.  Arousal is based on the hunt, conquest, and gaining power over another.  Once “seduced”, arousal diminishes.  Cybersex chat rooms, bars, health clubs.
  • Trading Sex – Selling or bartering sex for power.  Arousal based on gaining power/control using sex as leverage.  They receive money, services, drugs, etc. in exchange for sex. Prostitution, swingers clubs, amateur pornography, sexual massage.
  • Intrusive Sex – Boundary violation without discovery: Obscene phone calls, sexualizing conversations with people in inappropriate situations, sexual harassment, stalking, touching “by accident”.
  • Exploitive Sex – Exploitation of the vulnerable.  Arousal may occur in the “grooming” process of building trust in potential victims.
  • Boundary violations – explicit, and often illegal.  Professional misconduct; child molestation; child pornography; rape (stranger, acquaintance, or marital), violence against sexual workers (by clients/pimps), administering drugs or alcohol to victims, sexual murder.

Some other valuable sources of information include: