Dangers of Sex Addiction and Anonymous Sex
Some professionals dispute the exact nature of sex addiction and whether compulsive sexual activity can be considered an addiction. While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not currently include sex addiction, the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health describes sex addiction as “a persistent and escalating pattern or patterns of sexual behaviors acted out despite increasingly negative consequences to self or others.” Many sexologists, sex researchers and sex therapists agree that compulsive sexual behavior, especially when it involves negative and destructive consequences, can constitute addiction.
Sex addiction occurs in both men and women in rates consistent with other forms of addiction. Researcher Dr. Patrick Carnes has concluded that approximately 20% of people seeking treatment for sex addiction are women. However, given the taboo nature of the subject and the discrepancies regarding what constitutes sex addiction, the rates of female sex addicts may be higher. Many sex addicts of both sexes may be ashamed of their compulsion, afraid to admit they need help and reluctant to seek treatment. While this can skew statistics, it also keeps them struggling with a troubling condition.
The Risk of Contracting STDs or HIV/AIDS
Sex addicts are often compelled to engage in risky behavior, such as having unprotected sex with many anonymous partners. This practice involves the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and herpes. These diseases can lead to difficult treatment, occasional flare-ups for the remainder of the person’s life or even permanent health problems. Since the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the late 1970s the stakes have gotten even higher, and unprotected promiscuous sex can now result in a death sentence.
Other Consequences of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction can be especially hard on the sex addict’s marriage and family. Anger, resentment, guilt and shame over one sex addiction can destroy marriages and tear families apart. Sex addiction can also result in legal troubles. A sex addict who is compelled to engage in anonymous sex may visit prostitutes or have encounters with minors, either of which could lead to arrest and imprisonment.
A woman who is compelled to engage in anonymous sex is also at high risk for rape or other forms of assault, possibly including murder. It may seem counter-intuitive that a woman who is looking for an anonymous sexual encounter can be raped, but an encounter with someone she doesn’t know could result in forced participation in a sex act.
Help Finding Treatment for Sex Addiction
Sex addiction can be devastating and can cause just as many problems as drug addiction. It can also be just as difficult to overcome, so sex addicts can definitely benefit from professional treatment. If you are compelled to engage in destructive sexual behaviors, there are treatment options available that will help you overcome your addiction and control your impulses. If you would like help finding treatment for sex addiction, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day, so give us a call whenever you want help.
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