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Sexual Addiction and Rehabilitation

 
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There is a lot of buzz in the media right about sexual addiction. It is still a new term, and celebrities such as Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, and Gene Simmons have all been associated with it. But what does it mean to be a sex addict? Most men would spend all day having sex if they could, so what's the point of putting a name to it?

The medical field is constantly reexamining what it means to be addicted. At first addiction referred to chemical dependency in the form of alcoholism, smoking, or drug use. Then other addictions surfaced that appeared to have a more mental aspect, such as overeating and gambling. Currently we are faced with identifying and interpreting the addictions that arise as a hybrid of the two.

Whether an addiction is more mental or physical in nature, it is defined as a behavior which a person continues to engage in regularly even to their own detriment. As soon as a substance or activity is preventing you from enjoying other aspects of your life, it can be classified as an addiction. It is something you are compelled to do, not something you choose to do, and is very difficult to quit.

When understood in this way, virtually anything can be an addiction, including playing video games, watching television, and drinking coffee. A sex addict engages in intercourse pathologically. Sex becomes an act that satisfies a need other than pleasure or intimacy; it is a distraction or a way to avoid dealing with bigger problems. Sexual arousal and climax induces relaxing, “feel good” chemicals in the brain, which can also serve to obliterate negative emotions.

For a sex addict, the desire for (and pursuit of) sexual contact gets in the way of everyday life. An addict’s thoughts are dominated by the search for their next partner. This quest can easily get in the way of a healthy marriage and family life, as is the case with many celebrities. Most sex addicts are not necessarily dissatisfied with their significant other; rather, they need the rush of sex to feel alive.

Needless to say, the complex nature of sexual addiction makes it just as likely to occur in women as in men.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

This article is completely wrong. Sex addiction is not about that quest to find the next person or a rush of sex to feel alive. Sex addiction is more about being in a constant level of arousal. That zen like feeling or that high like stimulation is what it's all about. This is why most men with sex addiction would prefer going to strip clubs over common place sex because the duration of arousal is longer at these clubs compared to a specific sex act. Get your facts straight!!!

December 22, 2010 - 2:20pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Sex Addiction

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