14 Jan All About Sex Addicton
Substance addiction isn’t the only type of addiction. It’s also possible — quite common, in fact — to become addicted to behaviors like gambling and sex. Sex addiction is one of the most common addictions in our society and its ramifications can be serious for both the addicted individual and the people or behaviors that they chase.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction occurs when someone becomes addicted to sex or sexual behavior. There may or may not be a co-occurring love addiction. These behaviors may include:
- Having sex
- Engaging in sexual behavior (such as voyeurism and watching pornography)
When the individual doesn’t get to experience these things they may become overwhelmed with cravings. These cravings are more intense than those that result simply from an individual’s libido. When someone addicted to sex or sexual behavior is unable to pursue these activities then they may be unable to focus or perform their daily activities.
Oftentimes, as a sexual addiction progresses, an individual may require increasingly intense stimulation in order to get their ‘fix.’ This may manifest as a need to partake in extreme sexual behaviors such as BDSM, or a need to watch more and more intense pornography or masturbate for more extended periods.
This is not dissimilar to the development of tolerance that drug users experience. As they become tolerant to a drug, they need more to get the same high. In a similar fashion, sex addicts require more and more intense sexual stimulation to feel satisfied.
Issues Associated With Sex Addiction
There are a number of problems that may emerge as a result of sex addiction. These can include:
- Dopamine problems. Any type of addiction can affect the brain’s dopamine system, in particular, the mesolimbic reward pathway. This pathway is generally activated in response to pleasurable activities that are good for our survival, including sex. By abusing sex, we are also abusing this pathway and can cause it to malfunction.
- Relationship issues. Sex addicts may be prone to using people in order to get them to have sex. This may take the form of emotional manipulation, ‘leading someone on,’ or choosing to disengage with someone after receiving sexual satisfaction. This can lead to emotional pain and trauma.
- Sexual dysfunction. Sexual addictions can also lead to sexual dysfunction of various sorts. Men, for example, may develop problems with premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction as a result of watching porn and masturbating too often. These problems can be both physical and psychological in nature and may take a while to undo with the help of a therapist a healthier lifestyle.
These are just a few of the most common issues associated with sex addiction.
Sex addiction is a serious problem that can lead to physical, psychological, and emotional problems for both the addicted person and the people involved with them.
If you think that you or a loved one are struggling with sex addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to nearby rehab centers in San Diego. You may be able to connect with someone who specializes in behavioral addictions who can help you manage the issue.