Sex addiction, like other addictions, is a specific pattern of behaviour, which involves persistent dependence on various forms of sexual expression in order to cope with the stresses of life. Like other addictions, there is a cyclical pattern of behaviour, involving urges and cravings to engage in the behaviour, a ritualistic way of planning and acting out the behaviour, and a sense of relief or disappointment on engaging in the behaviour, followed by a period of withdrawal and at some point, the inevitability of repeated cravings and subsequent acting out.
It is this repetitive pattern of thought processes and behaviours that makes sex addiction an addictive process, which continues despite possible negative consequences for the person with the addiction and in some cases, for other people. The addictive behaviour may continues over an extended period of time, and once consequences become obvious and the addicted person is unable to stop the behaviour, they can feel they are losing control.
There are many different sexual behaviours that people can get addicted to, ranging from the benign to the criminal. There are many different consequences that can arise, some of which affect most people with sex addictions (such as relationship problems, specific sexual difficulties such as erectile dysfunction), and some of which affect fewer people (sexually transmitted diseases, financial problems and legal problems).
If help is sought with an experienced therapist such as myself, it can be very effective if adhered to. Similar approaches to treating other addictions have been successfully applied to sex addictions.
For further information, please contact me.