South Africa's Best Sex Addiction Therapy Centre

Recovery Direct provides safe therapeutic environment for individuals suffering with sexual addiction disorders and the many associated substance or mental health related conditions.

Understanding Sex Addiction

Compulsive sex addiction is a common yet treatable issue for many people in South Africa and around the world. Recovery Direct offers specialist counselling for a range of behavioural addictions like sex and porn addictions. The facility in Johannesburg is secure, discreet, and highly confidential. Hosting both residential and out-patient care services that are focused on individual care.

Sex addiction is a compulsive behaviour that conflicts with acceptable social or moral norms and the core standards (values) of people. It can result in severe distress for patients, their partners, families, friends and, in some cases, 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 sex or porn addictions, 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 and often reckless sexual encounters expose these individuals 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 acquaintances).
  • 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 (coercing 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.


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.

Frequent Questions Between Sex and Porn Addictions

  1. What is the primary difference between sex addiction and porn addiction?
    • Sex addiction involves compulsive sexual behaviors with partners or oneself, whereas porn addiction is specifically the compulsive need to view pornography.
  2. Can porn addiction lead to sex addiction or vice versa?
    • While they are distinct conditions, compulsive behaviors in one can sometimes influence or exacerbate the other.
  3. Is the psychological impact of sex addiction different from porn addiction?
    • Yes, the psychological impacts can differ. Sex addiction might involve issues with physical intimacy and relationships, whereas porn addiction often deals with unrealistic expectations and virtual escapism.
  4. Are the treatment approaches for sex and porn addiction similar?
    • Both addictions may involve similar treatment strategies like therapy and support groups, but the focus and specifics of the treatment can vary based on the individual’s behavior patterns.
  5. Can someone suffer from both sex and porn addiction simultaneously?
    • Yes, it’s possible for an individual to suffer from both simultaneously, as both are rooted in compulsive sexual behavior.
  6. How does the accessibility of pornography affect porn addiction compared to sex addiction?
    • The ease of accessing pornography online can make porn addiction more prevalent and harder to control compared to sex addiction.
  7. Do sex and porn addictions have different social stigmas?
    • Yes, social stigmas can vary. Porn addiction often carries a stigma around the consumption of explicit material, while sex addiction might be stigmatized due to promiscuity or infidelity.
  8. Are the triggers for sex addiction different from those for porn addiction?
    • Triggers can vary; sex addiction triggers might include emotional or relationship issues, while porn addiction triggers could be more related to boredom, accessibility, or anonymity.
  9. How does each addiction impact relationships differently?
    • Sex addiction can directly impact physical relationships and intimacy, while porn addiction might affect perceptions and expectations within a relationship.
  10. Is the risk of legal consequences different between the two addictions?
    • Yes, depending on the behavior, sex addiction can sometimes lead to legal issues such as solicitation or public indecency, whereas porn addiction typically does not involve legal consequences unless illegal content is involved.

Understanding Pornography Addiction in South Africa

In South Africa, pornography addiction has become a growing concern, often overlooked due to societal stigmas and misunderstandings. This addiction involves compulsive behavior that disrupts daily life, relationships, work, and personal well-being, similar to other addictions. It affects the brain’s reward centers, with repeated exposure leading to a need for increasingly explicit content to achieve the same dopamine surge, mirroring substance addiction patterns.

The escalation in seeking more extreme material signifies the damaging nature of pornography addiction, leading to dependence, distress, and withdrawal symptoms. The effects of this addiction extend beyond mental and emotional symptoms, dramatically altering behavior and impacting relationships and work. Despite its non-substance nature, pornography has addictive properties and is widely accessible, making it a significant mental health concern.

Recognizing pornography addiction can be challenging due to its private nature. Signs include excessive viewing, neglecting responsibilities, escalating needs for more explicit content, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The addiction’s effects ripple out, affecting relationships, work performance, and increasing the risk of risky sexual behaviors and mental health issues.

In South Africa, acknowledging the need for help is crucial. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and counseling, focusing on root causes and rebuilding healthy relationships. Medications may also be prescribed for co-occurring mental health conditions. Support for loved ones is also key, with therapy and support groups available for family members and partners.

Recovery is an ongoing process, necessitating aftercare programs for long-term management and relapse prevention. South Africa offers various aftercare services, including therapy, support groups, and self-help strategies, to support sustained recovery from pornography addiction.