For those with a normal, healthy sex life the mention of a sex addict conjures up lewd images of a man or woman with a libido that is out of control.
They will consider those addicted to sex as ready to give and receive sexual favours at the drop of a hat, and for them to function on a sexual diet that offers a banquet of pleasure on an unfeasibly regular basis.
The reality for those addicted to sex is very, very different. This diagnosed illness needs long term treatment and counselling of the highest order. Such treatment is a must if an addict is to come to terms with their issues and the effect it is having on their and others lives.
Definition of a sex addict:
No, it is not ‘Dick’ the barfly who will sleep with whoever shows the slightest interest. It is an extremely worrying and concerning addiction that is characterised by compulsive thoughts, need and desires that are never far from the surface.
If not treated this addiction will gradually deepen to the point where many sex addicts find it impossible to manage their sexual behaviour.
Sometimes referred to as sexual dependency or hyper-sexuality, the term nymphomania is a fairly well known moniker for females with this problem. What may not be so well known is the term for males with this condition; it is satyriasis.
Multiple partners, multiple ways of seeking ‘pleasure’:
It goes without saying that someone who is constantly having sexual thoughts will find as many sexual partners as they can fit in. It is all about quantity, not necessarily quality.
A percentage will also look to animals or children to help satisfy their needs, while the vast majority will use porn to the extreme and any objects at hand will assist while excessive masturbation is a given.
Inpatient treatment is strongly recommended:
Men and women with this addiction are in need of long term help and counselling. It is similar to alcohol or drug addiction in the sense that the addict is always chasing their ‘fix’, but it is very different in terms of the expected ‘healing’.
Those addicted to substances make a commitment to quit use for good, this approach is not feasible in relation to sex.
A normal, healthy sex life is an important part of a person’s being. What those with sex addiction issues need to be taught and treated for is to understand what is a healthy interest in sex as opposed to what is not.
Their constant sexual thoughts and deeds need to be addressed and reduced, and they will be taught how to control such impulses during the treatment process.
Due to such intense treatment it is felt that taking a sex addict out of their standard environment and into a well-respected inpatient rehab establishment is the most effective approach.
Two proven forms of treatment:
In-depth therapy sessions are a must. These will be on a one-to-one basis as well as group therapy sessions. Frank, open discussion is the order of the day and experienced sex therapy councillors will include such treatment methods as:
Using a 12-steps program follows the same recovery methodology as that employed by voluntary organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous. There is actually a Sex Addicts Anonymous organisation which can also help those currently addicted to sex.
As was previously mentioned, the difference between alcoholics or drug addicts and those addicted to sex is that this form of treatment will major on the sex addict learning how to refrain from, rather than give up sex completely.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Another popular and extremely effective form of treatment is CBT. This therapy will help a sex addict identify the multiple triggers which are causing these immensely powerful impulses.
Once these are established CBT then assists by teaching the addict what changes in behaviour are necessary to curb their sexual obsession. Such treatment is based around one-to-one sessions with a qualified therapist.
Sex is fun and enjoyable – Addiction to sex is not:
It cannot be stressed enough that just because a person has a healthy libido and enjoys regular and varied sex sessions how this is part and parcel of a normal, interesting and rewarding sex life.
But, if you have gone beyond this point and are obsessed with sex, increase your sexual partners as and when you can, and constantly need pornography as a backdrop to incessant masturbation then help is urgently required.
This problem will not go away on its own, indeed it will worsen as your addiction deepens.
It is felt by many sex therapists and councillors that the amount of people seeking help for this problem is simply the tip of the iceberg. Many, many more hide this addiction until their world comes tumbling down.
If you are one of these please seek urgent and much needed rehab assistance. It will do you and those closest to you the power of good.