Understanding Sex Addiction

Compulsive sex addiction is not a moral failing, it is a diagnosable and treatable problem faced by many individuals in South Africa. Recovery Direct offers specialist treatment for sex and porn addictions. Secure, discreet, residential and out-patient care services, focused on individual treatment of sex related disorders.

Sex addiction is compulsive, repetitive behaviour that conflicts with acceptable social or moral norms and the core standards (values) of most people. It results in distress for addicts, their partners, families, friends and, in some cases, even society in general.

Help for sex addiction is simply a phone call away. At Recovery Direct, our counsellors are able to handle your questions about compulsive gambling, and provide long term treatment.

Sex addicts focus excessively on impersonal sexual acts that disassociate them from love or emotional intimacy with others. Normal relationships with other people or regard for their feelings are neglected.

The addict disregards the negative consequences and opts for unencumbered sexual behaviour fuelled by an uncontrollable impulse for basic sexual excitement.

For some addicts it satisfies a hunger to control others, to empower themselves. Ultimately, it leads to a host of personal and social problems that degrades their personal lives and the lives of others.The consequences encompass relationships, employment status, social standing, emotional and physical security. Random, often reckless, sexual encounters expose them to venereal diseases and other physical security risks. Addicts and those associated with them are subjected to ridicule and shame. Some acts can lead to legal problems, even arrest or imprisonment.

When the addictive behaviour becomes known to life partners, the partners experience extremely painful emotions. The relationship damage affects the addict and the partner. Both of them need help to move on. Just like those addicted to alcohol or drugs, all sex addicts find it very hard to curtail or stop by themselves.

The symptoms, causes and treatment of the above subsets differ in some aspects.

Types of sex addiction (also called hypersexual behaviour):

  • Impersonal (no emotional intimacy – often with various people).
  • Anonymous (with strangers, using false name, or in secret pacts with aquintances).
  • Prostitution (includes phone and internet sex paid for by addict).
  • Pornography (obsession with printed or digital media).
  • Exhibitionism (exposing their genitals – includes sending pictures).
  • Voyeurism (spying on naked/partially naked people).
  • Intrusive (sexually touching or rubbing against someone without consent).
  • Seductive role playing (other person must seduce addict in a game/act).
  • Exploitative (coersing others to participate – includes rape, abuse of power).
  • Sadomasochistic (inflicting or receiving pain in a sexual setting).
  • Fantasy (escapism – covers a range of imaginative erotic stimulants).
  • Masturbation (including, in some cases, public display).
  • Paedophilia (sexual feelings towards children).

Seven common characteristics:

  • Compulsion: Cannot control it or stop it (unless helped/treated).
  • Guilt: Feel guilty afterwards (but urge returns in a vicious cycle).
  • Security: Exposed to multiple mental and social risks.
  • Preoccupation: Constant invasive/intrusive thoughts about sex.
  • Relationship issues (poor bonding, betrayal, etc.).
  • Denial: Usual response when confronted.
  • Progression: Condition gets worse over time.

Causes

Sex addiction is not driven by a desire for sexual enjoyment. Some causes are:

  • Stress, anxiety, inhibition, unresolved trauma and other emotional problems.
  • Need for dominance / control over others.
  • Need for excitement.
  • Loss of impulse control.
  • Alcohol / drug abuse.
  • Escapism.

A sexual act also triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that feels pleasant and elevates your mood. This response is produced by the release of dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, serotonin and endorphins. Addicts use sex to trigger this sensation and to relief their feelings in the process.

Help is just a phone call away

Luxury Rehab can empower addicts to gain control over their behaviour and to restore healthy and normal relationships in a safe and open-minded environment. We offer:

  • Advice and recommendations about the addiction, as well as treatment options.
  • Discussion of (possible) physical diseases and treatment options.
  • Family or partner conversations/guidance in a professional setting.
  • Effective treatment for long term empowerment.
  • We also offer family therapy for partners and close relatives.

Please feel free to phone our sex addiction rehab for advice or to make an appointment for a highly confidential discussion with a professional counselor.