What is sexual addiction? Shannon Fox gives us the low-down:
1. Obsession: The person is consumed by thoughts of sexual activity. That doesn't mean just thinking about sex. It means they cannot focus on anything else. They are obsessed with what they are going do next, when it will happen, how they're going to hide it, etc.
2. Compulsivity: They completely lack control over their compulsion to have sex. They may have told themselves over and over again that they aren't going to do it anymore. They really want to stop, but they are unable to.
3. They build up tolerance. It's just like any other addiction in this way. Like alcohol, at first you only need one drink to get affected. As time goes by you need more and more drinks. With sex addiction, maybe sneaking a look at Playboy works at first. Then it doesn't do it for you anymore. You might go online after your wife goes to bed. Then you go online at work, then on the phone on the freeway, and then it escalates to masturbating in your car. You have to increase the frequency, intensity and/or risk in order to get that desired effect.
4. They continue the behavior despite the consequences. Even if their wife threatens to leave them, they're threatened to be fired or they even get arrested, they keep doing it. They need the rush--no matter what price they have to pay.
Do you think sex can be a real addiction? Comment below.
|Shannon Fox, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is an expert in relationship dynamics who has worked in private practice for nearly a decade, navigating issues of intimacy, honesty, and forgiveness.|
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