Sex addiction is considered as much as coping mechanism as other addictions such as gambling addiction or compulsive eating, as it helps the person increase their pleasure and/or numb their pain. What most people fail to realize is that sex addiction is really made up of the building blocks of intimacy issues; many people with sex addiction have a dysfunctional way of relating to others and securely attaching to them. All humans strive for longing and connection. Those with sex addiction view the aspect of allowing others to see them authentically – no matter the consequences – as horrifying. What are signs of sex addiction?
Sex addiction involves a combination of compulsive sexual thoughts and acts, including masturbation, pornography, computer sex services, and illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, molestation and rape, in some cases. Sex addiction can involve a deep need for control, power, dominance, revenge, and even anger. Nonetheless, impulses can become dangerous for anyone involved.
The underlying concern here surrounding sex addiction isn’t sex – it’s intimacy. Assuming it’s strictly about sex implies the physical component as most important, when it’s not. U.S. News states that sex addiction should be called intimacy disorder because the real issue is with being vulnerable, being real, and telling the truth. How does sex addiction, or intimacy disorder, develop? There are many factors that contribute to the development of this, but many experts believe that sex addiction can be from dysfunctional treatment in childhood such as neglect or abuse from parents. Other factors, such as childhood trauma, can also shape the way a person views relationships, sex, and intimacy.
Many people seeking treatment for sex addiction work on transparency, which involves letting others know their thoughts and feelings, sharing humor, expressing talents, and even relaxing around others when they need it. Those with sex addiction often have trouble with these “simple” aspects of intimacy in relationships because they have difficulty getting close to and connecting with others. If we can change the way we talk about sex addiction and treat it more as an intimacy disorder, we may be able to break down stigmas that perpetuate negativity surrounding it.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers. We believe in holistic recovery, and we have several different modalities to help you restore your mind, body, and spirit. Place your recovery as top priority and call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.