Hyper-sexuality and Sexual Addiction
Sexual addiction is a behavioural disorder in which a person becomes excessively preoccupied with sexual thoughts or actions. Also known as hyper-sexuality, compulsive sexual behaviour or sexual dependency, a sex addiction has the ability to interfere with a person’s health, career and relationships.
A person exhibiting compulsive sexual behaviours may have affairs with strangers, view pornography, masturbate frequently and engage in sex chat rooms or phone lines. The person may do all of these things in excess, leading to impaired relationships and decreased quality of life.
Even people with healthy, enjoyable sex lives may be prone to developing an obsession. Often times, the addiction isn’t driven by sexual desire. Like many other addictions, sex addiction can often be attributed to stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders.
As a result of sex addiction, a person may exhibit any of the following behaviours and feelings:
- Guilt and shame
- Emotional dissatisfaction following sexual activity
- Loss of interest in work and/or recreational activities
- Excessive amounts of time and energy spent trying to obtain sex
- Obsession over attracting others, often leading to a string of relationships
- Inability to control sexual urges and respect sexual boundaries
- Inability to stop, reduce or control sexual activity and behaviour
Compulsive sexual behaviour can be as destructive and devastating as any other addiction, but the shame and fear of being stigmatized often prevents those with a sexual addiction from seeking the help they deserve. A sexual addiction can be treated through customized therapy just like any other disorder or addiction.