Sex addiction and sexuality are different things. There are some people who have an incredibly high sex drive, making it seem as though their sexuality is insatiable. Sexuality can mean different things- like being sexual, but also a sexual identity. Having a high sex drive is not the same thing as having a sex addiction. When a high sex drive is unmanageable or leads to problems in life, it could be considered a sex addiction. Sex addiction is not necessarily characterized by wanting to have a lot of sex often. In fact, sex addiction might not even involve having sexual intercourse, and sex addicts don’t always want to have the sex they’re having. Here are some of the other things you need to know about sex addiction:
- Wanting to have sex regularly, or more than regularly, is not sex addiction. It can’t be repeated enough in enough ways. Wanting to have sex often is not sex addiction. Wanting to have sex to avoid negative feelings, stress, or life responsibilities, is sex addiction. People with a high sex drive might be embarrassed by their sexuality and even feel a little bit of shame by their constant desire to have sex or engage in sexual activity. People who are sex addicts, on the other hand, have sex out of shame often, and feel a crippling sense of shame after each time they participate in sexual behaviors which feel out of their control. If someone with a high sex drive doesn’t have sex, they might get frustrated, but they can manage the experience. When someone with sex addiction doesn’t have sex, they can experience obsessive thinking, intrusive thoughts, and even go through some symptoms of withdrawal.
- Sex addicts may not like sex. At some point in their drinking and using, an addict of any kind doesn’t like what they’re doing anymore. This is true for any chemical addiction, behavioral addiction, or process addiction. Eventually, the brain stops getting “high” on the production of dopamine produced by the sexual activities. The sex isn’t providing the emotional analgesia anymore. Shame felt after sexual engagements is so painful that someone with sex addiction feels they must engage in more sexual behaviors to get rid of that shame, which is just going to be recreated again. Sex addiction can even hurt physically. Sex addiction stops being enjoyable because it was never really enjoyable to begin with. When the sex stops masking the painful underlying issues, the pain becomes very present.
- Sex addiction has many causes. Sex addiction can develop from a number of sources. Some sex addiction spawns out of childhood, sexual abuse, or exposure to sexuality. Other people’s sex addiction might include an addiction to cybersex activities or pornography. Cybersex addiction could include chat rooms, webcams, forums, and more. Pornography addiction includes any kind of pornographic material. Becoming addicted to digital forms of sex can lead to a physical sex addiction. Sometimes the addiction strictly stays digital.
Residential treatment for sex addiction which has gotten out of control is available. If you or a loved one are struggling with sex addiction, Avalon By The Sea provides treatment programs with results you can trust. Call us today for a confidential assessment and more information: 888-958-7511.