Sexual addiction, can be better defined if compared with other types of addicts.  There is little difference between the voyeur waiting for hours by a window for forty seconds of nudity and the compulsive gambler hunching on a long shot.  An alcoholic’s relationship with alcohol becomes more important than family, friends, and work.  The relationship progresses to the point where alcohol is necessary to feel normal.  To feel “normal” for the alcoholic is also to be lonely and isolated since the primary relationship he/she depends on is a chemical and not other people.

Sexual addiction is parallel.  In order for the sexual addict to feel “normal” he/she will substitute a sick relationship to an event or process for a healthy relationship with others.  The addict’s relationship with a mood altering experience becomes central to their life.  They will be willing to jeopardize everything that they love.

Sexual addicts progressively go through stages in which they go further away from reality of friends, and work.  Their secret lives become more real than their public lives. Denial leads the list of ways addicts distort reality.  They deny to themselves and others that they have a problem.  Arguments, excuses, justifications, and circular reasoning abound in the addict’s warped mental processes.  Some of the excuses are: “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her,” “It’s my way of relaxing,” If my wife would be more responsive,” and “If I don’t get it every few days, the pressure builds up.”  Whatever the rationalization, it further cuts the addicts off from the reality of the behavior.

The next stage is sex addicts go through is sincere delusion in which they will believe their own lies.  When they vow to themselves that they will quit, they are sincere and may even experience a great deal of emotion- tears of pain or anger when someone doesn’t believe their good intentions.  However, their commitment to others is as false as their vows to themselves.  It is yet more evidence of seriously impaired thinking.

Sexual addicts are continually on the search, the hunt, the suspense heightened by the unusual, the forbidden, the illicit which are intoxicating to the addict.  These are the conquest of the hustler, the score of the exposer, voyeur, or rapist, or the temptation of breaking the taboo of sex with one’s child.  In essence, it is courtship gone awry.

Addicts are powerless over their behavior.  They have lost control over their sexual expression- which is exactly why they are defined as addicts.  Some definite signs that you have a sexual addiction are:

-When the police car pulls in your drive way and you know why they’ve come…

-When you have to leave your job because of a sexual engagement with a person you never really liked anyway…

-When the school counselor calls you to inform you that your daughter doesn’t want to be sexual anymore, and you are being reported to child protection…

-When you have a car accident while exposing yourself…

– When you tell someone “I love you” when you don’t even know their name and know full well that there are two others who also think they are the one you love…

-When you laugh at a flasher joke your friend tells, and then realize you are one…

When any kind of sexual behavior becomes compulsive or obstructs your daily necessities such as eating or sleeping, you can be sure that there is a problem to be addressed.

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