25 Sex Addiction Risks Everyone Should Be Aware Of
Sex addiction is nearly as common in the United States as Cardiovascular Disease.
These risks can put the sex addict’s loved ones in danger, or it may simply be a forewarning for trouble to come.
It all depends on the sex addict and the people in their lives.
However, knowing is being prepared.
That means you can address the issues and help the sex addict live a more productive life despite their issues with addiction.
- 1. Sex addicts lie regularly and always find an excuse to use
- 2. Cultural values have a lot to do with sexual addiction diagnosis
- 3. Some groups are controlled through the use of sexual addiction diagnosis
- 4. Medication is used to help “solve” sexual addiction
- 5. Victims of sexual abuse are likely to become sexual addicts
- 6. Trauma victims are also at risk to become sexual addicts
- 7. High levels of certain chemicals that help with pleasure sensation can lead to sexual addiction
- 8. Certain psychological disorders can cause sufferers to become sex addicts as well
- 9. Most addicts have more than one addiction at the same time
- 10. Women with eating disorders are more likely to become sex addicts
- 11. Sex addicts in a relationship are almost guaranteed to cheat on their partner
- 12. Pornography addiction is likely for those with sexual addiction
- 13. Neglect of responsibilities is typical with a sex addict
- 14. Even with treatment, successful recovery is limited to a small population – around 5%
- 15. Without treatment, the chance of recovery is 1 in 100,000
- 16. Individuals from dysfunctional families are at risk of becoming sex addicts
- 17. Drug addiction, alcohol abuse and sexual addiction tend to go hand in hand
- 18. Alcohol abuse in a parent may increase the likelihood of children developing an addiction to sex
- 19. Men are more at risk for sexual addiction than women
- 20. Motivation for sexually compulsive behavior is different for women vs. men, as are the potential consequences
- 21. Partners of sexual addicts feel betrayed when they discover the infidelity, breakups are common
- 22. Sexual addicts feel shame and can turn to self-harm
- 23. Treatment typically is an avenue taken after conviction of a sex crime
- 24. Individuals with sexual identity confusion tend to be promiscuous and can become addicted
- 25. Teenagers with intellectual delays can act out through sexual promiscuity and left untreated, addiction can develop
1. Sex addicts lie regularly and always find an excuse to use
A label like addiction tends to put the addict on the defensive.
It is very common that, on top of excusing their behavior to themselves, sex addicts will put the responsibility for their addiction on someone or something else.
It is not wise to allow this behavior to continue, as the excuses only build from that point.
2. Cultural values have a lot to do with sexual addiction diagnosis
The sad fact is that the way society views certain behaviors is actually fuel for the prevalence of sexual addiction.
In the US, for example, infidelity is viewed as improper while other countries find it to be part of life.
Group sex is another area of sexual activity that is viewed negatively in the US, allowing for more guilt and shame for the participants.
This means they tend to turn toward pornography or other hidden ways to deal with their sexual tension, and the individual increases chances of developing an addiction as a result.
3. Some groups are controlled through the use of sexual addiction diagnosis
Homosexuals and other groups, including women at one time, are viewed as immoral for wanting to engage in sex or enjoying the activity.
Even in today’s society, women who are unfaithful are viewed as immoral and even ill.
This allows society to control the perception of women and keep these groups controlled in terms of behavior and thought processes.
4. Medication is used to help “solve” sexual addiction
Today’s society sees the solution to every problem in the bottom of a pill bottle.
Doctors prescribe medication in almost any scenario.
When it comes to sex addiction, the marketing of certain drugs to help address the addiction is done off-label, which is illegal.
This is not to say that some addiction can not be effectively addressed through prescription medication.
However, with the focus on the money for pharmaceutical companies and not on the effective treatment for the patient, far too many people are saddled with prescriptions that are not needed.
It is important to understand what medications the doctor prescribes to a sex addict and whether they will truly be helpful to the individual in question.
5. Victims of sexual abuse are likely to become sexual addicts
Situations where another person has forced sexual contact onto the individual can increase the risk of sexual addiction at a later time.
This is particularly true if the sex addict was abused during childhood.
These formative years are important, and the introduction of sexual activity at a young age can cause an unhealthy connection to the activity that blooms into an addiction during the teenage years or adulthood.
6. Trauma victims are also at risk to become sexual addicts
Trauma typically causes the victim to have a strong desire for control in their life.
While not many other areas of their life are easy to control, the access to pleasure through sexual activity is one that is easy to dictate on their own.
It becomes far too easy to focus on sex to gain pleasure and forget problems.
Therefore, it is easy to become a sex addict once someone has been involved in a traumatic event.
7. High levels of certain chemicals that help with pleasure sensation can lead to sexual addiction
Some people naturally produce chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine at high levels.
These individuals are more likely to become sex addicts because these chemicals both help with mood regulation and are involved in the experience of pleasure.
They can influence the individual to seek sexual release as a guaranteed access to pleasure and a better mood as a result.
8. Certain psychological disorders can cause sufferers to become sex addicts as well
Dementia and other mental conditions, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, can increase the individual’s likelihood to become a sex addict.
These mental conditions impact the brain in different ways and drive the sufferer to seek pleasure and happiness in an area of their life that they can control, such as sex.
9. Most addicts have more than one addiction at the same time
It is very common for people who are easily addicted to have more than one addiction at once.
Therefore, if someone in your life seems to have a gambling addiction, an addiction to theft or other inappropriate behaviors, it may be worthwhile to investigate whether they have addictions to other vices.
This can and typically does include sex, and it applies in reverse if the sex addiction is discovered first.
10. Women with eating disorders are more likely to become sex addicts
As with other mental illness, eating disorders are an indication that some processes in the brain are not functioning as they should.
Women are particularly susceptible to eating disorders.
Those that suffer from these disorders are more likely to have a sex addiction.
Therefore, the discovery of one issue should encourage loved ones to look into the possibility of other addictions or issues like an eating disorder.
11. Sex addicts in a relationship are almost guaranteed to cheat on their partner
Because of their compulsion for sex, sex addicts tend to make rash decisions and look for sex wherever they can get it.
That means an increased risk of pursuing sexual gratification with someone other than a committed partner.
Basically, the need for sex is always the overarching priority.
12. Pornography addiction is likely for those with sexual addiction
As with above, sex addicts have an overwhelming need for sex.
This means they want to be engaged in sexual activity more often than their partner, if they have one.
Pornography is a way to obtain that sexual gratification, which is why it is very easy for a sex addict to become a pornography addict as well.
13. Neglect of responsibilities is typical with a sex addict
Any addiction comes first in the life of the addict.
Therefore, for sex addicts the most important thing for them is engaging in sexual activity.
That means daily responsibilities, including work tasks or family interaction, are considered a distant second on their list of priorities.
Neglecting obligations is not necessarily intentional – the addiction is driving the decisions.
14. Even with treatment, successful recovery is limited to a small population – around 5%
Treatment for this addiction can be challenging, since the underlying causes vary widely and each addict is different.
Medication may be used, and psychotherapy is a common approach to identifying and addressing the root cause, which works for many to control the addiction.
But the rate of success largely depends on the addict and their commitment to overcoming the addiction.
15. Without treatment, the chance of recovery is 1 in 100,000
The strength of a sexual addiction, due to the neurotransmitters in the brain being engaged, is such that it is almost impossible to beat the addiction on your own.
Treatment is key to helping a sex addict beat the compulsion and find a way to live a more productive life.
Shame is a significant part of the reason why addicts never seek help.
They can not beat the addiction on their own, but they don’t want anyone else to know they are addicted, and the cycle perpetuates itself.
16. Individuals from dysfunctional families are at risk of becoming sex addicts
Neglect during childhood, emotional abuse and sexual abuse are all contributing factors for sex addiction.
These situations do not always arise in a dysfunctional family.
However, individuals who were raised in a dysfunctional family are more likely to become sex addicts because they often lack an alternative source to provide a stable foundation for growth.
17. Drug addiction, alcohol abuse and sexual addiction tend to go hand in hand
Drugs and alcohol provide a distraction from reality and a way to cope with depression, anxiety or stress.
For a sex addict, the sex provides a similar distraction as well as a coping mechanism to deal with their issues.
It is common for someone with a sex addiction to turn to other mind-altering substances to increase their “high” which often results in a secondary addiction.
18. Alcohol abuse in a parent may increase the likelihood of children developing an addiction to sex
Results from research involving self-avowed sex addicts participating in group therapy programs show that over 40% were raised in a household with an alcoholic parent.
Emotionally unstable relationships are a hallmark of families that struggle with an alcoholism.
Children in this situation often have no immediate model of a healthy intimate relationship.
Absent exposure to sex as a natural expression of emotional intimacy, they may develop dysfunctional sexual behaviors as a substitute.
19. Men are more at risk for sexual addiction than women
Men have a natural drive to procreate, which tends to blossom into a general need to engage in sex more often than women.
This higher sex drive can develop into a sex addiction easily, as the body’s sex drive to keep the species alive can combine with other risk factors to provide an ideal foundation for addiction.
20. Motivation for sexually compulsive behavior is different for women vs. men, as are the potential consequences
In women, an addiction to sex often stems from a need to control and dominate, while for men the anonymous sex act and the pleasure derived from it is the driver.
The need for power can drive female addicts toward increasingly risky behavior including giving or receiving pain during sex, prostitution, and dominatrix role-playing.
Severe physical injury and legal jeopardy are very real potential consequences for female sex addicts.
21. Partners of sexual addicts feel betrayed when they discover the infidelity, breakups are common
Most people feel they are lacking in some way when the find out a partner has cheated on them.
In a situation where the person cheating is a sex addict, it is common to provide excuses rather than be honest about the reason for cheating.
The person that was cheated on feels betrayed and is not interested in investigating further.
The sex addict is then single and goes seeking sexual pleasure wherever they can.
22. Sexual addicts feel shame and can turn to self-harm
As noted above, society views certain sexual behavior as deviant.
This means the individual is likely to be ashamed and turn to self-punishment or to self-harm as a way to feel relief from the feelings of shame.
These feelings can also be a contributor to the abuse of alcohol and drugs that so often goes hand-in-hand with a sex addiction.
23. Treatment typically is an avenue taken after conviction of a sex crime
Because shame is a common partner to sex addiction, most addicts will not seek treatment on their own.
Their behavior leads to an inappropriate or illegal action and charges are filed.
Only then will treatment be an option, and that is typically introduced as part of the sentence for the crime that was committed.
24. Individuals with sexual identity confusion tend to be promiscuous and can become addicted
Society has certain expectations for people depending on the gender that is assigned at birth.
For those who have sexual desires that do not follow the accepted path, confusion can result.
Individuals who are confused tend to struggle with their desires, and that struggle can turn desire into compulsion.
From there, sex can become an addiction that is hard to break.
25. Teenagers with intellectual delays can act out through sexual promiscuity and left untreated, addiction can develop
Sex is a simple process, and it can be understood more quickly and completely than various intellectual processes.
For teens who are struggling to connect in other ways, sex is easy and rewarding.
However, that need for connection can re-focus into a compulsion for the sexual activity itself.
This leads to an addiction because the teenage brain is still developing and is susceptible to such tendencies.
The teenage years are also a time when promiscuity is almost expected by society, so the actual addiction can be missed or ignored.
This means it goes untreated and the addict is left with a long-term struggle against the addiction with no support or treatment from family or other individuals in their lives.