Can sex be addictive? This is a tough question to answer because the definition of addiction is “the continued dependence on a substance or behavior despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Sex, like many other addictions can be both psychologically and physically addictive. This article discusses sex as an addiction both in the psychological sense and in the physical sense.
Sex is something that most people engage in on a daily basis. Most couples will engage in some form of sexual behavior or activity at least two times a week. Sex is an integral part of intimacy and marriage. As with any addiction, there are many who claim that it is not an addiction at all, just a normal behavior. However, to keep a relationship alive and healthy, one needs to have some form of control over their actions.
How do you know if sex is addictive? Many individuals will experience some form of sexual addiction when they begin to have multiple partners or become sexually active. Some who are religious have been known to become addicted to their spiritual beliefs and practices. Some may seek excessive sex due to anxiety or stress. Sexual addiction can also occur during relationships where one partner is more emotionally or mentally addicted to the other. The causes for these addictions are varied and complex.
One study, which looked at the effects of pornography addiction found that those with a pre-existing emotional or mental addiction to pornography were more likely to develop their own addiction through multiple partners. Those who were nestled within the “couple’s nest” were more likely to exhibit signs of addiction than were those without a partner to Nestle with. This is because addicts have developed an intense connection with their partner; so much so that when their partner leaves, the tester feels empty and seeks another to fill the void. The study concluded that those with pre-existing addiction to pornography were more likely to develop pornography addiction or at least more intensely desire their spouses even after their spouse had left.
There are many who argue that sex can be addictive but not in the same way as drug or alcohol addiction. While there is obviously some degree of psychological and physiological pleasure involved in engaging in sexual behavior, there is also an emotional component, which can be powerful enough to override our natural instincts and drives. Addictions such as alcohol or drug addiction can be treated through therapy and medications. Sex, however, can be addressed more head on using natural programs that teach you how to increase your erotic desire, increase your intimacy with your partner and ultimately delve deeply into your own self to unearth our true inner passions.
As is usually the case with addictions, it is those who suffer from addiction who are usually the first to be perceived as bad people. While there are many who suffer from sexual addiction and engage in unhealthy behaviors, there are also many who do not. Natural programs that teach couples how to enhance their intimacy and increase their desire are generally welcomed and well received. While the perception may be that people with sex addictions are bad or somehow tainted, those who suffer need help in order to overcome their disorder. Addicts cannot and should not be blamed for their behavior when they do not know any better.
People who say that sex can be addictive are wrong. The notion that sex can be a source of personal power and/or an escape from personal responsibility are flawed. Addicts do not need to know or understand why they crave their particular type of sexual behavior in order to indulge in it. Understanding a partner’s or spouse’s sex addiction can only come after suffering for some time with it. It’s only then that the partner’s realization that their partner is in a deep-seated, sometimes permanent, spiral of compulsive sexual behavior will be fully realized and for both parties a new understanding can begin.
Although there is a real danger of becoming addicted to any form of behavior, the danger of becoming addicted to sex is greater. Although most addictions can be overcome with the help of professional counselors and therapists, sex addictions, especially Internet-related addictions, are more difficult to treat. However, as with other addictions, there are several treatment programs and recovery centers that exist today. In order for anyone to get the best possible chance at beating their own addiction, it is important to consult a qualified and experienced therapist first. If the decision is made to try sex, the patient should take the necessary precautions to ensure they are able to resist any urges to return to their old habits and patterns.