Addiction still carries a stigma in today’s society, even after science has proven it is a disease and not a moral or character weakness. Those who have never used don’t understand why their loved one can’t just quit. Those who can’t stop using feel guilty and ashamed of their choices.
When facing sex addiction, the challenges of recovery are compounded. Women with sex addiction feel extreme guilt for cheating on a loved one. They feel ashamed for their uncontrolled drive and inability to make the right decisions. And they feel intense shame given the type of addiction — women are often raised to view sex in a different way than men.
To make matters even more difficult, sex isn’t something you can abstain from completely when you’re in a committed relationship — and it isn’t something you should want to sustain from. For a healthy relationship, love and intimacy go hand in hand. When you’re dealing with sex addiction, however, finding that healthy balance can be a struggle.
Sex addiction is a commonly misunderstood diagnosis. Many people confuse sex addiction with promiscuity or cheat behaviors. While these can coexist with sex addiction, it is important to understand that sex addiction is a serious affliction that should be treated professionally. If you are worried that you or someone you love may be suffering from sex addiction, recovery is possible.
Learn how our sex addiction treatment center can help you gain control of your addiction and enjoy a healthy life.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction refers to someone who displays compulsive behaviors regarding sex. Like drug or alcohol addiction, sex affects our brain activity. Sex causes a rush of feel-good neurotransmitters to send messages to our brain. These synapses lend us feelings of euphoria, bliss, and relaxation. Many drugs have this same effect on neurotransmitters.
Over time, repeated exposure to sex or masturbation causes you to crave the feeling at faster rates. Eventually, it can be increasingly difficult to get the “high” you used to feel from reaching sexual climax. At this point, one may engage in excessive or riskier sex or masturbation to achieve the same “high” he or she previously enjoyed from regular sex. This is how sex addiction begins.
As sex addiction continues, its effect on the brain becomes more apparent. Eventually, it can be all-consuming. A sex addict may have trouble thinking or doing anything other than achieving sexual climax. This level of addiction can cause jobs, family, romantic relationships, hobbies and friends to suffer. Additionally, sex addiction leads addicts to participate in activities that are risky or illegal in order to get their adrenaline pumping and feel more excitement from the encounters. When sex addiction begins taking over life and affecting areas other than one’s sex life, it is time to seek help.
What Causes Sex Addiction?
There is no one cause of sex addiction. It occurs because a person becomes addicted to their body’s chemical response to sexual activity. It is difficult to understand why it happens to only a select number of people. While not conclusive, sex addiction is strongly associated with childhood abuse or trauma. Specifically, if an individual suffered rape or sexual assault as a young person or child, he or she is much more susceptible to sex addiction.
It is said that premature sexualization can predispose someone to sex addiction by distorting his or her understanding of healthy sexual relationships. In order to feel “good” from sex, a sex addict may engage in traumatic or harmful sexual behavior so that it feels familiar to their first sexual encounters.
It is also important to consider that sex addiction can commonly coincide with other disorders. Sex addiction is often comorbid with substance abuse, eating disorders or mental illness. Sometimes, people use sex as an escape from their own way of thinking or their distorted view of reality.
What Are the Sex Addiction Symptoms in WOmen?
Sex addiction does not only refer to the pursuance of sexual intercourse between two individuals. Sex addiction can mean:
- Excessive viewing of pornography
- Compulsive masturbation
- Excessive masturbation
- Public masturbation
- “Flashing” or exhibitionism
- Frequent extramarital affairs
- Regular one-night stands
- Soliciting sex via the web and/or prostitutes
- Pleasure from anonymous sex
- Risky/dangerous sex
- Obsessing about sex and compulsively pursuing it
- A lengthy history of short, failed, sexually charged romantic relationships
Recognizing the sex addiction symptoms in women is not as easy. Women have a hard time admitting they suffer from sex addiction. They don’t open up about their past experiences regarding sex because of the stigma they may feel. When they don’t reveal their behavior, it can be difficult to notice the subtle signs of sex addiction in women, including:
- The inability to focus without thinking about sex
- Covering isolation and abandonment feelings by having sex
- Inappropriate sexual relationships, such as with married men or bosses
- Having sex with partners who are unwilling to commit
- Using drugs, alcohol, food, gambling or another inappropriate outlet when not having sex regularly
- Back-to-back or concurrent sexual affairs
- Gaining weight to prevent sexual advances, followed by weight loss and hypersexual behavior
- Using sex to obtain a reward, whether it’s money, companionship, drugs or gifts
Often, women’s sex addiction doesn’t surface until they enter treatment for another addiction or mental health disorder. As with other forms of addiction, co-occurring disorders also exist alongside it, such as depression and anxiety.
High-risk sexual activity, such as public, anonymous or unprotected sex, can show symptoms in the bedroom. A loved one with sex addiction may have trouble reaching climax or even arousal from regular sexual stimulation or activity. He or she may wish to view porn, use toys or engage a third party regularly in order to heighten the experience.
If you or a loved one are displaying the signs and symptoms of sex addiction, there is help for you. You can, once again, enjoy sexual activity on a regular basis and restore normal brain function.
Women Who Love Sex Addicts
If you are in a commitment relationship with a sex addict, you need to seek counseling — both individual and couples — to help you through this difficult time. Having your trust broken can shake your self-esteem, which can lead to your own challenges.
Through counseling, you can develop a deeper understanding of the addiction. By learning about the science behind it, you’ll have an easier time separating the person you love from their hurtful past actions. You’ll also have the tools you need to communicate more effectively and heal past hurts.
Sex Addiction Treatment in Tennessee
Seeking professional treatment for sex addiction is highly recommended. Because the behaviors associated with sex addiction can result in illegal activity, child abuse and even self-harm, professional guidance is recommended.
Our sex addiction treatment center in Murfreesboro, TN, is here to help you through the treatment process. We understand it is not realistic, or even healthy, to sustain an abstinent lifestyle as an adult. We will help you recreate healthy relationships with your mind and body, so a healthy sex life is achievable for you.
At JourneyPure Women’s Professional Program, our treatments for sex addiction include a range of therapies, from individual and group to cognitive behavioral and art therapy.
Get Effective Female Sex Addiction Treatment So You Can Move on With Your Life
At JourneyPure Women’s Professional Program, we also understand that sexual addiction cannot often be treated in isolation. We have professional counselors and
specialists to help treat other aspects of your health such as substance abuse, trauma and mental illness. If you are suffering from sex addiction, don’t suffer alone. Contact JourneyPure Women’s Professional Program online or call 615-965-8909 today to learn more.