Sexually Addicted People

15. July, 2013Articles, Mental Health CounselingNo comments

New cover for 2013 edition.

Sexually addicted people are preoccupied with or persistently craving sex. Sex addicts want to cut down and often have made unsuccessful attempts to limit sexual activity. Continually engaging in excessive sexual practices despite a desire to stop is another symptom of sexual addiction. Sexually addicted people often spend a great deal of time in activities related to sex, such as looking for partners or spending hours online visiting pornographic Web sites. Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex is a common trait of those who are sexually addicted. Continually engaging in the sexual behavior despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships, financial hardships, or potential health risks is a symptom of sexual addiction.

Sexually addicted people escalate the scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve the desired effect, such as more frequent visits to prostitutes or more sex partners. The withdrawal symptoms of sexual addiction include: Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired sexual behavior. Also, an individual must show a pattern of sexual activity in response to unpleasant mood states, such as feeling depressed, or a pattern of repeatedly using sex as a way of coping with stress. A sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships, or even arrest. As a result sexually addicted people suffer from increasing feelings of guilt, remorse, and even suicidal thoughts. Common behaviors exhibited by active sexual addicts include: Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography as well as exhibitionism or voyeurism.

Sexually addicted people abuse sexual fantasy to produce the intense, pleasurable feelings that provide temporary relief and freedom from life stressors. Over time, the hidden fantasies, rituals and acts of the sexually addicted person can lead to a double life of lies to self and others, manipulation, splitting, rationalization, and denial. These defenses allow sex addicts temporarily to escape their core feelings of low self-worth, fears of abandonment and depression or anxiety, as sexual fantasy and sexual acts are abused in an attempt to fulfill unmet emotional needs. For sexually addicted people sexual acting out most often takes place in secret. The problem can occur regardless of outward success, intelligence, physical attractiveness, or existing intimate relationship commitments or marriage. Adapted from “Symptoms of Sexual Addiction” by Michael Herkov, Ph.D.

At Tern Christian Counseling we believe that an intimate relationship with God is a crucial to dealing with all addictions including sexual addictions. Adopting a Biblical view of sexuality as He designed it is an effective weapon in battling sexual addictions. Dr. Frederick wrote and publish a very practical approach to sexual addictions in his book “Conquering Pornography: Overcoming The Addiction”. Dr. Frederick’s book is available through as well as Barnes and