Compulsive sexual behavior is a condition in which an individual cannot manage their sexual behavior. Persistent sexual thoughts interfere with their ability to work, maintain relationships, and complete their daily activities. Some people refer to compulsive sexual behavior as sexual addiction. However, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists AASECT published guidelines advising that sex addiction and porn addiction are not diagnosable psychological disorders due to a lack of empirical evidence. In this article, we explain compulsive sexual behavior, including its symptoms and treatments, and the controversies around its diagnostic criteria.
What to know about compulsive sexual behavior
What It Means to be a Sex Addict & How to Treat Sex Addiction
T he term sex addict is used quite often these days, though most people do not know what it really means to live with this condition. We live in a society where we inaccurately label things as addictions, especially when it comes to behaviours. People tend to believe that a sex addict is a person who has a higher libido than what is considered to be normal or has weird fetishes, whilst others use it as an excuse for particular behaviours like cheating. However, the underlying problems are the same. People who suffer from sex addiction cannot or do not know how to get their needs met in healthier means. Additionally, the internet has made it even easier for individuals with compulsive sexual behaviour to look for ways to gratify their compulsions.
What It Means to be a Sex Addict and How to Treat Sex Addiction
Sex addiction the compulsive sexual behavior described here should not be confused with disorders such as pedophilia or bestiality. For some people, sex addiction can be highly dangerous and result in considerable difficulties with relationships. Some report that it may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations. A person with sex addiction may significantly alter their life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day and are reportedly unable to control their behavior, despite severe negative consequences.
Your doctor or other mental health professional can do a psychological evaluation, which may involve answering questions about your:. With your permission, your mental health professional may also request input from family and friends. There's an ongoing debate in the psychiatric community about exactly how to define compulsive sexual behavior because it's not always easy to determine when sexual behavior becomes problematic. Many mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 , published by the American Psychiatric Association, as a guide for diagnosing mental health problems.