Sex addictions can be just as destructive and debilitating as any drug addiction. Thoughts of sex, anticipating sexual contact, and acting out fantasies can consume individuals to the point that they can’t function in their daily life. There is an element of shame associated with sexual addiction; the addict usually tries to keep his/her addiction a secret because knowledge of the activity could put a strain on familial relationships.
Types of sex addictions
Sexual addiction isn’t about love and affection; it’s not about forming close bonds. If anything, sex addictions create fast chasms in friendships and relationships. The dynamics of the family often erodes until the sex addict feels totally alone. When does wanting sex become an addiction? The answer is quite obvious. When wanting sex, fantasizing about sex, having sex becomes problematic; when sexual thoughts and behaviors take over one’s life, it becomes an obsession or an addiction. Sexual addictions can take on many forms which include the following.
Sexual fetishes can ruin a relationship if they are risky, or outside what is considered normal by society. For instance, some men and women get sexually excited when a person passes gas. It sounds ridiculous and funny, but it can be annoying and embarrassing to anyone who doesn’t share the same affinity for that particular fetish. Fetishes can include submissive or dominant sexual roles, sadism, masochism and a myriad of others. Addictive fetishes can overtake an otherwise healthy sex life. When individuals can’t or don’t feel comfortable expressing their sexual fetishes, they may go outside of the relationship have his/her needs met.
Phone sex and cybersex
Phone sex and computer sex, which is also called cybersex. Lots of people may engage in phone sex or cybersex, but it wouldn’t be considered an addictive behavior until the behaviors disrupt one’s life and relationships. A married person or a person in a relationship may have a phone or cybersex addiction that could interfere with the normal dynamics of the relationship.
Overuse of pornography
Lots of people use pornography to spice up their sex lives; using pornography for sexual gratification isn’t a problem until it causes a problem. Many people who use pornography to fill a need will create distances between themselves and their loved ones.
Exhibitionists have the need to expose themselves in an inappropriate way. This sexual addiction puts the addict at risk for being jailed for lewd acts upon unsuspecting individuals. The exhibitionist inflicts his/her sexual perversion onto other people. The victims of exhibitionism may be men, women or children. The families of exhibitionists often suffer from great shame and embarrassment. Oftentimes, the sex addict gets an immediate sexual high and then suffers from shame.
Other forms of sexual addiction include voyeurism, compulsive masturbation and having sex with strangers. People who engage in sexual harassment may be addicted to this behavior. Sexual addictions are forms of risky sexual behaviors. Even when a sex partner isn’t part of the addiction, the addict can be at risk for losing their relationships and their jobs. The sex addict who compulsively masturbates may even masturbate on the job. This person is at risk for being discovered and fired.