Statistics show that 3% to 6% of American women and men reported to have compulsive sexual behavior. This data alone raises the question, "Is sex addiction real?" and how compulsive sexual actions may have a negative impact on a person's daily life. We're here to provide you with a guide and help you answer the important question, "Is sex addiction real?" Continue reading to find out.
Is Sex Addiction Real?
The concept of sex addiction is controversial and hard to define.
The idea that one can be addicted to sex has been around for a long time it's been around since the 1960s and 70s. But it didn't start gaining traction until the 90s, and even then it was still very controversial. Today, it's still somewhat controversial—but more people believe in the existence of sex addiction than those who don't.
There are many ways to define sex addiction, but one way is using the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders (SUDs). For example: if you're having trouble controlling your sexual behavior (or feeling like you need to control it), have lost interest in other activities due to your sexual behavior, have risked your safety or health because of sexual activity, or have spent a lot of time thinking about sex or engaging in sexual activity despite negative consequences—these are all indicators that you might be struggling with a SUD related to sex.
Skepticism Surrounding Behavioral Type Addictions
There has been a lot of skepticism surrounding behavioral-type addictions. These behaviors include gambling, shopping, and sex addiction. The reason for this is that there is not enough research to support the fact that these are indeed addictions.
One of the reasons for the skepticism is that these behaviors can be very pleasurable and rewarding. For example, shopping can be very rewarding if you find what you are looking for or if you get a great deal on something you wanted. Another reason for the skepticism is that these types of addictions can lead to people feeling guilty or ashamed about their behavior.
Background of Sex Addiction (Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder)
Sex addiction, or compulsive sexual behavior, is a mental disorder characterized by out-of-control sexual urges and behaviors. The disorder is often associated with a hyperactive sex drive and can lead to risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, multiple partners, and anonymous sex.
The exact cause of sex addiction is unknown, but several factors can contribute to the development of the disorder including genetics, upbringing, and trauma. You can even see this when people exhibit difficulty in curbing sexual urges or compulsive sexual behaviors. Watching porn can be a gateway and you'll even find that there are even signs of porn addiction that you can take note of to determine whether your obsessive-compulsive disorder is legitimate in the same way as other addictive behaviors are.
Sex addiction has been classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders since 1980 as an impulse control disorder. It is estimated that 1-5% of the population suffers from this condition at some point in their lives.
Sex Addiction vs Hypersexuality (Is there a difference?)
Sex addiction and hypersexuality are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between the two.
Sex addiction is defined as an obsessive preoccupation with sexual thoughts and behaviors. It can manifest as compulsive masturbation, pornography use, or sex with multiple partners. It is typically characterized by extreme shame and secrecy about one's behavior; there is often a deep sense of loneliness and isolation in people who struggle with it.
Hypersexuality, on the other hand, tends to be much more outwardly expressed than sex addiction; it usually involves a high degree of impulsivity and risk-taking to engage in sexual activity. While hypersexuality does not necessarily include the feelings of shame or secrecy associated with sex addiction, it can lead to other negative consequences such as legal trouble, unwanted pregnancies, or risks of STI exposure.
It's important to note that anyone suffering from compulsive sexual addiction or has abnormal levels of compulsive sexual behavior must consider sex addiction therapy to correct their sexual behaviors. Seeking outpatient mental health to treat symptoms and curb addictive behavior may be necessary eventually when the sex addict has come to terms with that they have a real addiction and is given an official diagnosis by a clinical psychologist or a behavioral addictions specialist.
Treatment for Sex Addiction
Here are some of the treatment options available today for treating sex addiction. Let's look at them one by one.
Sex Addiction Treatment Center
These are clinics and facilities that treat sex addiction as a disease and use methods like cognitive behavioral therapy and 12-step programs to manage their addiction.
Individual therapy is where you work with a professional who specializes in sex addiction to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your behavior.
Group therapy is when you meet with other people who are also struggling with sex addiction to share experiences, learn from one another, and find support and encouragement along the way.
In support groups, people with sex addiction receive peer-to-peer support for overcoming their struggles together as a community.
While not necessarily considered a treatment for compulsive sexual behavior, sober living, and recovery homes are beneficial for sex addicts in helping them recover from their sexual addiction.
Can Transcend Recovery Community Help Sex Addicts?
Transcend Recovery Community helps sex addicts and people with, unnatural sexual behavior, porn addiction, or constant sexual thoughts to change their attitude towards sex while receiving treatment for their process addiction.
Our nurturing and holistic approach aims to help correct addictive behavior so that they can have a more positive experience with intimacy and enjoy sex without succumbing to behavioral addiction.
Find out how we can help our clients handle their compulsive sexual behaviors and other behavioral addictions without compromising their sexuality and feelings. Contact us to find out how we can help with your sexual and mental health.