A sex addiction is a problem with managing behavior. In this case, that behavior involves acting out on sexual impulses. Just as it is with other forms of addictions, a sex addict will go through different phases of their addiction cycle. It begins with a craving to explore sexual fantasies through images or videos. These explorations often are combined with masturbation as a way of sexual release.
From there, the addiction cycle can lead to stepping outside of the privacy of a home and acting out these impulses in public or with other persons. In the full-blown addiction cycle, the planning and carrying out of sexual encounters take over a person’s normal routines. Of course, these are the basics. There are many other levels to an addiction cycle.
Consequences of a Sexual Addiction
The question to ask is, “How deeply has this compulsion taken root?” For a sex addict there is the compulsion to carry out their behaviors even when they know what they are doing is wrong. That sense of disgust can also trigger other substance abuse problems as the addict will seek out other forms of numbing those feelings of shame.
As a sex addict pursues their intentions, they are basically leaving everyone else in their life behind. A husband could begin a pattern of cheating on his wife. Obviously, this is going to cause major upheavals in the family dynamic especially if kids are in the picture. Often these kinds of situations can lead to separation or divorce. It is difficult to get a marriage back on track once infidelity has become an issue.
Another consequence of a sexual addiction is the involvement of high-risk behavior. Just as a drug addict is on the constant prowl for a bigger, longer lasting high the sex addict will also be seeking out ways to increase the level of thrills or excitement they might associated with a sexual encounter. This kind of acting out can lead to all kinds of trouble involving exhibitionism, child pornography, sex with a minor, prostitution or rape.
Once the law has been broken, it’s not a stretch to imagine that a sex addict could be arrested and put on trial for their offenses. If convicted, this will lead to having to register as a sex offender. Finally, there is also the increased probability of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.
Help Is Available for Sex Addicts
Often an addict will try to quit on their own rather than seeking professional help. Sometimes this works, but more often than not it’s a recipe for relapse. Without the proper understanding and development of effective coping mechanisms, it is difficult to completely break free of an addiction.
There are many therapists across the country that are trained in this specific area of treatment. Working with these certified professionals can help put the shattered pieces of your life back together.
There are many articles and resources available on the Internet to find out more information about a sex addiction. Ultimately, reading will get you so far. When you’re ready to take the next step, call the toll-free number on this page to speak directly to a trained counselor. They can help you find the best course of treatment for your problem.