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Sex Addiction

The term "sexual addiction" is used to describe the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts engage in distorted thinking, often rationalizing and justifying their behavior and blaming others for problems. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions.

Sexual addiction also is associated with risk-taking. A person with a sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict's relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at risk for emotional and physical injury.

For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls, or molestation. However, it should be noted that sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders.

What are behaviors of a sexual addict?

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Multiple affairs
  • Multiple or anonymous sexual partners
  • Consistent use of pornography
  • Phone or computer sex
  • Prostitution or use of prostitutes
  • Exhibitionism
  • Obsessive dating through personal ads
  • Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
  • Sexual harassmentMolestation/rape

Statistics about Sexual Addiction:

  • The National Council on Sexual Addiction Compulsivity estimates that 6%-8% of Americans are sex addicts, which is 18 million – 24 million.
  • 25 Million Americans visit cyber-sex sites between 1-10 hours per week. Another 4.7 Million in excess of 11 hours per week.
  • One out of every 6 women struggles with an addiction to pornography.
  • More than 70% of men from 18-34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month.
  • More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week.
  • Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children.
  • 100,000 illegal child pornography websites.
  • Over half of evangelical pastors admit viewing pornography last year.

Average age for first time contact with pornography is around 9 years old.
Average age for seeking help is 30-35 years old.