SEX ADDICTS AND THEIR BEHAVIOURS
By Woman Savers
Sexual Offenders/ Addicts engage in illegal sexual behaviours which involve victimization; often demonstrating addictive elements and patterns in their sexual acting out.
Sexual Addicts engage in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.
Offending Sexual Behaviours Include:
Exhibitionism, Voyeurism, Child Pornography, Paedophilia, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, and Professional Misconduct
Addictive Sexual Behaviours Include:
Compulsive Masturbation, Multiple Affairs, Consistent use of Pornography, Unsafe Sex, Sexual Anorexia, Multiple or Anonymous Partners, Phone or Cyber sex, Sexual Massage, Escorts, Prostitutes and Prostitution
Social, Relationship, Emotional, Legal, Physical, Financial
Cycle of Sexual Addiction
Sexual behaviours that are compulsive and continue despite serious consequences are usually a sign of sexual addiction.
Like other addicts, sex addicts engage in distorted thinking; rationalizing, defending and justifying their behaviour while blaming others for resulting problems. They deny having a problem and make excuses for their behaviour.
Sex addicts usually participate compulsively in more than one type of sexual behaviour i.e.: compulsive masturbation, viewing pornography and patronizing prostitutes. Although some sex addicts are hypersexual, most are not. For the addict who has affairs, the thrill of the chase and conquest rather than the sexual experience itself may be the source of excitement. Like other addictions, the sex addicts report progression of their disease; i.e.: taking increasingly greater risks or trying new sexual behaviours to maintain the same euphoric effect. Sex addicts tend to sexualize other people and situations, finding sexual connotations in the most ordinary incident or remark.
Patterns And Examples Of Sexual Addiction
Fantasy sex: neglecting commitments because of fantasy life, masturbation
Seductive role sex: extramarital affairs (heterosexual or homosexual), flirting and seductive behaviour
Anonymous sex: engaging in sex with anonymous partners, having one night stands
Paying for sex: paying prostitutes for sex, paying for sexually explicit phone calls
Trading sex: receiving money or drugs for sex
Voyeuristic sex: patronizing adult bookstores and strip shows, looking through windows of houses, having a collection of pornography at home or at work
Exhibitionist sex: exposing oneself in public places or from the home or car, wearing clothes designed to expose.
Intrusive sex: touching others without permission, using position of power (e.g, professional, religious) to sexually exploit another person, rape.
Pain exchange: causing or receiving pain to enhance sexual pleasure
Object sex: masturbating with objects, cross dressing to add to sexual pleasure, using fetishes as part of sexual rituals, having sex with animals
Sex with children: forcing sexual activity on a child, watching child pornography
The main elements of addiction, whether chemical or behavioural are:
COMPULSIVITY – meaning loss of control over the behaviour – i.e. continuing to engage in a particular behaviour after repeated attempts to stop.
CONTINUATION – despite adverse consequences, such as loss of job, money, marriage, or health – or arrests or public humiliation.
PREOCCUPATION OR OBSESSION – with obtaining and using the substance or participating in the behaviour to the detriment of other essential life activities or goals
Addictions are defined not by how much of the drug or behaviour is used, but rather the effects on the person’s life. An addiction can be suspected when the behaviour has made the person’s life unmanageable. Some clues regarding sex addiction are:
- The problem behaviour is not an isolated occurrence; there is a pattern of this behaviour over a significant time span.
- Despite a previous significant adverse consequence, the behaviour is repeated. Sexual decisions do not appear to be made on a rational basis.
- Increasingly greater risks are taken over time. For example sexual encounters may initially take place only out of town, but later closer to home.
- The person denies to him/herself and others that there is a problem when it is evident to others, utilizing minimization, rationalization and justification to continue to engage in their behaviours while trying to explain the problem away.
Sex addicts, like most other addicts, have family histories of alcoholism, drug dependency, abuse or other significant family dysfunction. Often they are sexualized or exposed to sexual experience at an early age. This tends to distort their adult relationships encouraging isolation and superficiality in relationships.
Treatment for Sexual Addiction involves the same approach as for other addictions. Treatment is focused on bringing the addicts out of their distortions and denial, forcing them to realistically confront themselves and the damage their behaviours have caused. Family members must be involved in the process, learning the full reality of the Sex Addicts disorder and lastly committing them in prayers.