What Is the Difference between Sex Addiction and Love Addiction?

Category : Sex Addiction Information

What Is the Difference between Sex Addiction and Love Addiction?Sex addiction and love addiction share many similar characteristics, such as having obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, and persons can have dual addictions to both sex and love at the same time. However, there are distinct differences between these two addictions. Where a sex addict will be unable to control or unable to stop engaging in specific sexual behaviors, such as looking at pornography or performing sexual acts, love addicts are addicted to emotional relationships.

Sex addictions are disorders where individuals’ habitual, compulsive sexual behaviors and obsessions interfere with their life, causing dysfunction. Common examples of sex addiction include compulsive masturbation, compulsive use of pornography, risky sexual behaviors, sex with multiple or anonymous partners, sex for pay and compulsive voyeurism.

Love addictions are characterized by a pattern of intense, painful or obsessive relationships that negatively affect one’s life and functioning. Individuals struggling with love addictions crave the “emotional stimulation” that romantic relationships provide, experiencing “reward” during the initial stages of a relationship. Sexual tension, intense infatuation, intrigue and over-attention can provide love addicts a euphoric sensation. Other characteristics of love addiction include clinging to a partner even when the relationship is destructive, jumping from one relationship to another, being unable to deal with a relationship ending or having to avoid intimacy with a partner.

Characteristics of Sex Addiction and Love Addiction

Both sex addiction and love addiction can stem from severe emotional issues, past abuse or trauma. They are seen as issues that stem from intimacy problems. The difference between a sex addiction and a love addiction is that the compulsive and routine behavior of a sex addict involves acting out sexual behavior, with no focus on another individual or relationship. The cycle of a love addiction will involve compulsive obsessing over a person and the relationship with that person. Both sex and love addictions will eventually change the addict’s brain chemistry though these sexual behaviors and relationships, and withdrawal symptoms can present themselves when either the sexual behavior or relationship ceases.  Common symptoms of withdrawal for sex and love addicts include depression, irritability, anxiety, restlessness and hopelessness.

Addressing the root issues that have influenced a sex or love addiction is the chief component of recovery. Different therapies, counseling, support groups and other forms of treatment can all be utilized in the addiction recovery process. Addicts can learn to work through their emotional and intimacy issues, learn to manage stress and other triggers for addictive behavior and develop skills for building healthy relationships.

Finding Treatment and Recovery Services for Sex or Love Addiction

To find treatment and recovery help for sex or love addiction, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with a trained addiction counselor who can assist you with your questions, concerns and information needs. Our addiction counselors can discuss your many options for treatment and recovery for both sex and love addictions. We are here to listen, but we can also lend a helping hand if you are ready to take action and find help for your addiction today. To learn more about how we can help, call and speak with an addiction counselor today.