There’s a stark difference between the suffering of someone attached to the pleasure of sex and someone attached to the addiction of sexual activity. For someone who is attached to the pleasure of sex and sexual related activities, stopping at any time is a feasible option. On the other hand, for someone attached to the addiction of sexual activity, there is no control. Additionally, obliging to the demands of sexual impulsivity results with negative consequences in one’s life.
Sex addiction doesn’t look one particular way. Pornography, prostitution, promiscuity- all of these can individual or generalized methods for active sex addiction. The defining factor is that whatever the activity it is, it cannot be helped but be done- and it cannot be stopped. Sex addiction begins to take its toll when:
Sex addiction can put a lot of pressure on a romantic relationship or partnership. If sleeping with multiple partners, having affairs, and being relentlessly unfaithful is one’s expression of sex addiction, it can take a great toll on their partner.
One common manifestation of sex addiction is through paid sex. Phone sex lines, cyber sex services, sex workers, and pornography can become expensive habits. When necessary expenditures like rent, food, and bills go unpaid due to priority being paid to sex, the addiction has become a problem.
Physical Health suffers:
Sex addiction can cause physical health problems in reproductive organs. After while sexual organs can stop functioning normally or even cause pain during sexual activity. When sexual stimulant drugs are used in abusive matters they can cause diseases and cancers. Additionally, reckless promiscuity which neglects the use of sexual safety can result in the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
Mental Wellbeing suffers:
Like any addiction, sex addiction is accompanied with guilt and shame. Sex addiction may also be coupled with co-occurring disorders such as bipolar, known for hypersexual manic episodes, or PTSD.
The DSM-5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used to help doctors create a diagnosis, does not yet recognize sex addiction or hypersexuality as a diagnostic disorder. However, millions of people suffer from the effects.
As with other addictions, eventually the act of engaging in sexual activity is no longer pleasurable. The ‘high’ that was once received is lost, requiring more extreme and frequent acts of sex to satisfy the needs of a person suffering from sex addiction. Until that person can come to terms with their attachment to pleasure and addiction, the cycle will continue to interfere with their ability to live a peaceful life.
Refuge Recovery welcomes persons experiencing suffering in their lives to participate in one of our many treatment programs for addiction. For more information on our Buddhist based approach to recovery call 323-207-0276.