Research papers on sex addiction from Paper Masters illustrate that it is an under-reported psychological phenomena that is common in society. Research can focus on the sociological aspect, biological aspect or the psychological aspect of the disorder.
Sex addiction is a conceptual model used to describe individuals unable to control their sexual urges or behaviors. There is controversy as to whether sex addiction is a psychological or physiological addiction, or a real phenomenon at all. There are, however, various 12-step programs designed to help individuals with sex addiction.
Sex Addiction as a Disorder?
In 2013, the US medical community declared that there was insufficient peer-reviewed evidence to classy sex addiction as a legitimate mental disorder. Yet a 2014 study by the University of Cambridge found that pornography triggers similar brain activity in those identified as sex addicts as viewing paraphernalia does in drug addicts.
The term sex addiction emerged in the 1970s as members of Alcoholics Anonymous sought to apply the 12-step program when dealing with infidelity and other compulsive sexual behaviors. The latest edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) did not include sex addiction as a mental disorder. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, includes "excessive sexual drive" as a legitimate diagnosis.
It is believed that sex addiction is a result from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or Borderline Personality disorder (BPD). Sex addicts also tend to display narcissistic personality tendencies. Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSAT) exist in order to help people with sex addiction.
Common Characteristics of Sex Addiction:
- Frequently engaging in more sex and with more partners than intended.
- Being preoccupied with or persistently craving sex; wanting to cut down and unsuccessfully attempting to limit sexual activity.
- Thinking of sex to the detriment of other activities or continually engaging in excessive sexual practices despite a desire to stop.
- Spending considerable time in activities related to sex, such as cruising for partners or spending hours online visiting pornographic Web sites.
- Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex.
- Continually engaging in the sexual behavior despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or potential health risks.
- Escalating scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve the desired effect, such as more frequent visits to prostitutes or more sex partners.
- Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired behavior.