Sex & Love Addiction

Sex and love addiction is intimacy related disorders. Although not formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the persistent sexual thoughts may affect someone’s ability to work, maintain relationships and fulfil their daily activities. Other terms describes sex and love addiction as sexual dependency, hypersexuality, and compulsive sexual behaviour. 

Identifying a sex and love addiction is difficult, as people often have different levels sex drive or libido. Also, a person with a sex addiction may be addicted to different types of sexual behaviour. It is worth noting that the disorder stems from the obsession to carry these acts out, not from the individual acts.

What is Love Addiction?

According to Alexandra Katehakis, Ph.D, MFT, CST, CSAT the founder and clinical director of Center of Healthy Sex, she describes a love addict in her blog as spending much time and effort on a person to whom they are addicted. They will value this person above themselves and often leads to the focus becoming obsessive. Read more on her findings

Typical activities associated with Sex Addiction

  • Practicing unsafe sex

  • Cybersex

  • Practicing prostitution

  • Compulsive masturbation

  • Multiple affairs or sexual partners

  • Pornography (please see more on porn addiction)

  • Exhibition/voyeurism

  • Sadistic or masochistic behaviour

Behaviours typically associated with Sex Addiction

Psychology Today describes behaviours associated with sex addiction as follow:

  • Have recurrent, intense sexual fantasies, urges, and/or behaviours

  • The behaviours consistently interfere with other activities and obligations

  • Behaviours occur in response to dysphoric mood states (anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability) or stressful life events

  • Engage in consistent but unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviours

  • Engage in sexual behaviours while disregarding the potential for physical or emotional harm to self or others

  • The frequency or intensity of sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviours cause significant distress or impairment

Treatment for Sex Addiction

Studies suggest a strong link between the addiction and risk-taking. Left untreated, the person can be left with strong feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. The following are options available for treating the disorder:

  • Self-help organizations – Most commonly found self-help organization is Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Visit their webpage to find meetings in your area. 

  • Treatment programs – Many in-treatment and out-patient programs are available for the treatment of sex and love addiction.

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – CBT proves as effective evidence based therapy for the treatment of sex and love addiction

  • Prescription medication – Studies suggest that some medication may be effective for the treatment of sex and love addiction.

Why choose PRC Recovery?

We are a registered treatment centre specialising in the treatment of addictive disorders. Our individualised approach to treating addiction is based on international standards and includes the many proven modalities in the treatment of addiction.

Key focus areas for an effective program:

  • Family involvement – family participation in the treatment of any addiction is vital.

  • Individualised approach – underlying issues prolonging any addiction is based on the individual and therefore individual treatment plans are an important component to effective treatment of addiction by a qualified professional counsellor.

  • 12 step program – Twelve step programs have proven highly effective in the treatment of addiction and starts forming the solid foundation in early recovery. It is also used as the platform to the introduction of self-help organisations, forming part of the aftercare.

  • Aftercare – Stopping the addiction is only the foundation phase in the treatment of addiction. A well thought-out aftercare plan is crucial to sustain long-term recovery.