What Is Sex Addiction?
If you are concerned about your sexual activity or porn use or have any questions regarding sex addiction and would like to talk to someone in confidence, please get in contact to discuss it further or to book an appointment.
Sex addiction can also referred to as “sexual compulsivity”, “compulsive sexual behaviour” or “sex and love addiction”.
Sexual addiction is characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. The sexual act becomes an addiction when the person feels they cannot control their sexual behaviour despite the negative consequences it is having on their life. Like alcoholism or drug addiction, sex addiction is merely a symptom of the actual underlying problem. While it may sound like a contradiction, sex addiction is not necessarily about sex nor is it about orgasm – very often climax or the sexual act itself can be a disappointment. Sex is merely the behaviour used to alter the mood of the individual and it, along with eating, is the most primitive mood altering behaviour there is. If sex did not evolve to be a pleasure giving experience, what would motivate a species to have sex to reproduce? Unlike alcohol or other substance addictions, sex does not require manufactured chemicals to have an affect, it is an organic mood alterer. Sex does not even require another individual to affect the addict, no external means of stimulation are required, masturbation and the fantasies of the mind can be enough to maintain the compulsive behaviour.
Signs of Sex Addiction
Before understanding the signs of sex addiction, a note should be made as to what sex addiction is not. Sexual addiction is not a high sex drive, nor is it having lots of sex. Sexual offences such as rape or sexual assault are not signs of an addiction. Addiction should neither be confused with paraphilias such as fetishism, bondage, transvestism, sadomasochism etcetera nor activities such as swinging, public sex acts like “dogging” or use of prostitution. If excessive use of these acts become unmanageable, out of control and detrimental to the individual, these may be signs of an addiction. It is the inability of the person to stop despite the adverse consequences their behaviour is having on their life which may be a sign of addiction; their ambivalence of wanting to stop but being unable to. Constant sexual obsession and fantasy and engaging in sexual behaviours to a greater extent and for longer than intended can be signs of addiction. This can include making promises to only watch porn for a short period, only for hours to pass. Other signs of addiction include neglecting social or occupational commitments due to sexual activity or severe mood change if the addict is kept from their sexual behaviours.
Porn has changed in Ireland, drastically. Gone are the days when porn was distributed manually via VHS from one person to another. With the internet, porn is instant and even more hardcore, it is the crack cocaine for sex addicts. Every whim and fantasy can be found, very often for free, the only cost – a broadband connection. Statistics from pornography site Pornhub states that Irish visitors to the site have increased 20% in the last 2 years, with a 77% increase since 2010. This could be linked to the increase of smart phones with high speed internet access available anywhere. Unlike alcohol or other narcotic substances, there is no need for the addict to even leave their home to acquire his fix, it is only a click away.