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What is Sexual Addiction?

Sex Addiction, Porn Addiction, and Compulsive Sexual Behaviors

Sexual addiction, or what is clinically known as Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder, can be a devastating problem for the addict as well as his or her loved ones. Sexual addiction may be expressed in many forms of sexual “acting out” behaviors. These behaviors do not make someone a sex addict. In fact, many of them are on the spectrum of healthy sexual expression. Nevertheless, these same behaviors may be part of a sex addict's compulsive behavior patterns:

  • Masturbation
  • Fantasy
  • Viewing Pornography
  • Emotional Affairs
  • Sexual Affairs
  • One-Night Stands
  • Anonymous Sex
  • Prostitution
  • Group Sex
  • BDSM Behaviors
  • Cybersex
  • Cross-Dressing
  • Sexual Behaviors with Minors
  • Same-Sex Acting Out
  • Fetishism
  • Paraphilias
  • Use of Chatrooms for Sexual Purposes
  • Serial Relationships
  • Sexual Acting Out Combined with Drugs or Alcohol

Engaging in any of the above behaviors is not enough to be considered an addiction. As stated, many are even healthy. Others may be problematic, illegal, or against a particular person’s value system. Regardless of someone’s opinion of the behavior, it is not an addiction unless some additional criteria are met.

Are you wondering if you may have sex or porn addiction? Click here to take a free online assessment.

Addictive Behavior Must Include the Following

  1. Loss of Control: In sexual addiction, the addict continues to do the behavior even though he doesn’t want to. A sex addict may attempt to stop or cut down on a particular behavior with little success. Despite the addict’s desire to follow certain rules or boundaries with his sexual behavior, he finds himself crossing the line over and over again. A sex addict can not reliably predict when he will be able to stop acting out. If he does stop, he can’t reliably predict when he will start again.
  2. Continued Behavior Despite Negative Consequences: A sex addict continues to participate in acting out behaviors even though it is negatively affecting her life. Though she knows the consequences, she can’t stop the behavior. Her sexual addiction may be affecting her relationships, her work, her hobbies, her spirituality, her physical or emotional health, or her finances. Yet, she has lost control and cannot keep herself from acting out.
  3. Preoccupation/Obsession: Sex addicts find that their acting out takes quite a bit of time, energy, and/or resources in their lives. Hours and hours may be spent fantasizing about a sexual encounter, viewing pornography, being sexual online, reading romance novels or erotic material, preparing for a sexual encounter, engaging in sexual encounters, recovering from sexual encounters, and/or feeling shame and guilt about their sexual activity. Sex addicts often find that they were unable to do other life activities due to the preoccupation with sex.

Harmful Consequences

If someone struggles with compulsive sexual behaviors, the consequences are hurtful. In addition to the intense emotional (as well as physical and spiritual) havoc sexual addiction can have on the addict, often partners, children, family members, friends, co-workers, and even entire communities are left in the wake of the addict’s acting out behaviors.

Help is Available

If you or someone you love struggles with compulsive sexual behavior or pornography use, hope and help are available! There is a solution and you don’t have to face this problem alone.  If you wonder if you might be a sex or pornography addict click "Take Assessment" button below to take our online test. If you struggle with sex/pornography addiction or if you have been affected by someone's compulsive sexual behavior, keep reading to learn how the Trauma and Addiction Recovery Center can help you.

Is Sex or Pornography a Problem for You?

Are you wondering whether pornography or sex addiction may be a problem for you? Take a self-assessment that will help you answer this question.

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Healing Way Programs

Treatment for Sex and Pornography Addiction and Betrayal Trauma

Self Assessments

At the end of the assessment you will be given a score and what it may mean about your sexual behaviors. We recommended you seek help if you believe you have a problem. Our Certified Sex Addiction Therapist will help you explore your behaviors, conduct further assessment, and determine solutions.

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We applaud you for taking an important step toward healing and recovery by visiting our website. The next step is for you to learn how TARC can best support you. During the assessment process, we will thoroughly review an inventory of your thoughts, feelings and associated life choices in order to determine a plan of action that is most beneficial for your recovery.

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