Sex addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterised by compulsive
sexual thoughts and acts. It is not defined by the amount or type of sexual activity involved, but by the
particular relationship the person has to compulsive sexual experiences.
Most adults will be familiar with the tremendous power of sex, the rush of sexual pleasure and the
intoxicating sensation of an orgasm. However, those suffering with sex addiction find little pleasure or
gratification in doing anything else. The world is seen through a sexualised lens and the quest to
duplicate the “rush” of sexual euphoria, over and over again, becomes an obsession.
People with sex addiction use sex just as those addicted to drugs or alcohol use substances; as an
escape mechanism that allows them to cover up other deep seated problems such as dissatisfaction,
loneliness, depression or childhood trauma. Sex is used to anaesthetise these painful realities as a way
to regulate their moods whenever they feel stress or anxiety. As sexual preoccupation increases in
terms of energy and time, the addicted person typically experiences emotional states that duplicate
those of people addicted to substances; feelings of loss of self-regard, denial, frustration, shame, guilt,
anger, self-hatred and confusion.
Sex addicts engage in all types of sexual activities. The preoccupation with sexual arousal and ritual
causes them to inexorably act out, no matter how much it betrays their values and standards of
acceptable behaviour. Obsession with immediate gratification through intense sexual arousal blinds
them to the consequences of their actions and compels them to act in ways that conflict with their
essential values. This can eventually escalate over time and lead to substantial harm. It may begin with
an excessive amount of sexual fantasising, porn addiction and masturbation. Later multiple extra
marital affairs and frequent visits to sex workers can occur where there is purposeful avoidance of
meaningful intimate relationships. Often the sexual compulsions are acted out in secret, hidden from
family and friends and cause irreparable damage to interpersonal relationships and their life can
become characterised by a failure to fulfil important life roles such as employee, student, spouse,
parent, friend, etc. In time it can also lead to risky, dangerous, or unhealthy sexual behaviours. In
extreme cases illegal acts such exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, child molestation or
rape. These acts can have severe financial or legal consequences.
Often those suffering with sex addiction will arrive at a point where they realise they need treatment
for their addiction. The endless cycle of sex addiction can be stopped! It requires a firm commitment
for change and reaching out for help to make that change a reality. Having the willingness to develop
and follow through on a recovery plan is also necessary. Your plan may include a curative, nurturing,
non-judgemental relationship with a therapist experienced in sex addiction. But one-on-one therapy
alone isn’t enough. Sex addiction is about hiding and isolation and therefore it is crucial to recovery to
come out of hiding. Understand that you are not alone in suffering with this affliction. Getting to know
others in recovery through group therapy is also an important step in treatment and rehabilitation.
At Ibiza Calm, we have an expert team of professionals available at all times for any number of
addictions you or a loved one may be suffering with, so please do not hesitate to call us if you need any
help or advice.
Call us for immediate help:
Phone: +34 664 443 433
(24/7, English speaking)