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  • Dr Shelley Meihuizen

Sex Addiction - The Silent Killer

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

About Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is an issue that has been gaining much attention in recent years. It is a form of compulsive behaviour characterised by powerful urges to engage in sexual activity despite its potential consequences, such as negative impacts on relationships, health and work responsibilities. People addicted to sex may compulsively seek out and engage in sexual activities with little regard for the consequences. It has been known to be a silent killer as no one is aware of the sex addict's suffering , dishonestly plays a large role in the behaviour of the affected person. Due to guilt and depression their is also a high suicide rate amongst sex addicts.

Types of Sex Addiction

Types of sex addiction can include compulsive masturbation, compulsive pornography use, and excessive pursuit of multiple sexual partners. People may sometimes engage in risky or otherwise dangerous behaviours such as unprotected sex or frequenting prostitutes.

Their is also fantasy sex, which is an obsessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies. Intrusive sex which is violating boundaries of another person even without them knowing it and pain exchange sex when you inflict or experience physical or emotional pain during sex. There are many more types, it is up to each individual who thinks they are a sex addict to identify which category they fall into.

Signs of Sex Addiction

People unaware of their sex addiction often find it challenging to seek help independently. It is essential to be aware of the signs of sex addiction, such as continually engaging in sexual activities despite adverse consequences; the addiction puts the sufferer at risk of contracting a sexual disease, losing a job or even going to prison. In extreme cases, it can even lead to death.Other signs are the feeling of guilt and shame when engaging in sexual activities and difficulty developing or maintaining relationships due to the focus on sex.

Dangers of Pornography

Pornography usage in males or females can lead to several physiological changes in the brain associated with addictive behaviours. The dopamine levels in the brain increase when viewing pornographic material, leading to a craving or urge for more of the same. This activity can cause an individual to continue seeking new and exciting material, creating a cycle of addiction. The process is slow and can start slowly and then escalate dramatically. People watching porn must assess how much they do it and whether they believe it is healthy.


Is it required or Not?

Abstaining from sex is one of the first steps toward recovery from sex addiction. The goal of recovery is not to never have sex again but to do it intimately and healthily. A person should start with a period of abstinence to clear their mind, learn from the experience, and understand the withdrawals. If you are in a committed relationship, this seems counterintuitive, but in this case, communication with your partner is essential; they will understand if you are honest about it.

Finding out triggers and the three circle model

It is crucial to identify the triggers of your addiction and learn how to avoid them. It could include avoiding certain people, places or activities, which can lead to impulses to engage in sexual behaviour. Finding healthy outlets for stress relief and emotions, such as exercise and hobbies, is also essential. Finally, seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor may help address underlying issues.

The three circles model is often used to help those struggling with sex addiction. It consists of three concentric circles that represent different degrees of personal safety. The innermost circle is where all behaviours are safe and non-addictive; this includes activities such as talking with friends, reading books, or participating in hobbies.

The middle circle consists of activities that are safe to engage in but could lead to addictive behaviour; this includes activities such as watching television or going out with friends. Finally, the outermost circle is where the recovery individual must abstain from all addictive behaviours and actions. Sometimes, people make the innermost circle the circle to avoid and the outer circles safe. It is entirely up to the individual which route they want to follow.

The Recovery Process

Recovery from sex addiction is a process that requires hard work and dedication. But with the right help and support, it is possible to gain control over your behaviour and break the cycle of addiction. With time and effort, you can learn new ways to manage stress, cope with emotions, and establish healthy relationships.

For more interesting blogs on this subject please go to:

Find out what activities should be placed in the various circles to help you on the path to recovery.

Intimate couple on bed touching hands
Intimate Couple

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