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Understanding Sexual Addiction and Possible Treatments

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.6 
  • Words: 1890
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Men and women who have or exhibit excessive or unusual sexual urges or behaviors can be considered sex addicts.   An example would be a man who sits at his computer and engages in Internet pornography, regardless of the fact that he is married and his marriage is suffering because of his activities.


Another example would be a woman that engages in extra-marital affairs, knowing this could end her marriage and possibly result in her being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.   These are just two examples of possible compulsive sexual behaviors.


To complicate things, sex addicts frequently exhibit other indulgent or addictive behaviors such as drug abuse, gambling addiction, alcoholism or eating disorders, just to name a few.


The goal of this paper is to assist the reader in understanding the process of this addiction and possible treatment plans.


What is sexual addiction and how do you treat it?   Compulsive sexuality is an addiction.   Sex addicts will experience a driving compulsion to engage in sexual activities that can be destructive or even dangerous.   They will go on binges, striving to satisfy their sexual cravings.   They also will pursue sex even when there could be dire consequences for their actions.


Some patterns of a sex addict could be:   compulsive masturbation, cyber sex, fantasy sex, anonymous sex (one night stands), paying for sex, voyeuristic sex (pornography, peeping), intrusive sex (touching without permission), and forced sex (rape) (Carnes, 1991).   These patterns are progressive and usually start in the order given, progressing toward an involvement with the law if no help is sought.


Let’s take a look at the progression of this addiction by beginning with the addict who engages in compulsive masturbation and fantasy sex.   When these acts are no longer stimulating to the addict they may become more aggressive in their sexual acting out.   They may start looking for greater sexual fulfillment by...

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