What Advice Do We Give To Those Who Have Been Caught In A Compromising Sexual Addiction Act?

By Lawrence W. Daly
            When one thinks of what is sexual addiction, the mind immediately falls into line with who has been caught recently in a mysterious love affair, generally with someone other than their significant other.
            There are many definitions for sexual addiction. Some professionals see sexual addiction as a problem with hypersexuality; sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts that appear extreme in frequency or feel out of one’s control. As stated above, professionals that work in the field of counseling sexual addicts have not come to a consensus on where sexual addiction begins and where it ends.  In the years this author has counseled men and women, the foundation of most of the sexual addicts’ problems begins around the age of puberty and it surrounds them finding their father’s pornographic magazines, journals, books, VHS and/or DVDs.  In researching how many sex addicts there are, the information varies. In a most recent article I found, one researcher and author alleged that there are 12 million sex addicts in the United States. Further, worldwide the United States enjoys a 93 billion dollar industry when it comes to selling pornography. The statistics are astronomical and because of the increasing numbers, sex addicts do not appear to be winning the battle.
            The first step a sexual addict must take is verbally disclosing his/her sexual acting out with a close family member, friend, counselor, and/or therapist who specialize in dealing with sexual addiction issues. Telling the significant other that you are experiencing a problem with masturbation, pornography on the Internet, and acting out sexually should be examined, evaluated and analyzed before sitting your significant other down and telling them about your addiction. These sets of sexual acting out will be embarrassing for the sexual addict; they will feel regret, shame, remorse, anxiety about their behavior and their pride will get in the way; they don’t want anyone to know they have a sexual addiction problem and self-esteem will come into play.  The sexual addict may find himself or herself dealing with suicidal ideations.  These sexual addicts may find themselves, wanting to no longer go out with their family, friends, cohorts and so forth, because they are dealing with these sexual problems.
            In defining the problem, it appears that researchers have come to the hypothesis that six percent or more of the population experience sex addiction and one in five are women. Having a sexual addiction problem does not mean that only men have this problem as is seen in the above researcher’s hypothesis. The man and/or woman may begin their sexual addiction with frequent masturbation. Sometimes as men mature, and are alone, will masturbate five to ten times a day. Men and women confess that they can’t control the sexual urges and seek pleasure at work, with friends, home, and wherever there is a bathroom available.
            Some of the men and women begin and end their sexual addiction with casual sex; several affairs; excessive usage of pornography; feeling worried about the consequences of their sexual acting out; wanting to stop or change their sexual behavior; feeling unable to stop, despite wanting to; using sex as a way to cope with other problems; needing more sex to get the same fulfillment; feeling very low or guilty after; spending large amounts of time planning or engaging in sex; missing important social events or even work in order to pursue sex; and so many other reasons (Macnair, BBC Health, 2011).
            Sexual addicts have multiple behaviors and conduct disorders. The professionals who work with sexual addicts state that the two main signs of an addiction are loss of control and negative consequences due to the behavior. The reason sexual addicts continue to suffer from sexual addiction is because of the sexual material available on the Internet, cable television and videos; these numbers are ever increasing. Sexual addiction isn’t just about too much sex; sexual addiction is a major problem, where an individual engages in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior despite the negative consequences to theirs or other’s lives. Sex addicts, like other addicts, may have a history of being physically, sexually, emotionally, abused, and/or may have a family history of other addictions. 
Whatever the reasons are for the sexual addict to be out of control with the addiction, there are many places an individual can turn to when they need immediate help. There are sexual addiction clinics available for inpatient and outpatient treatment across the United States. Recently, Tiger Woods and Congressmen Anthony Weiner visited inpatient treatment centers; Tiger Woods alleging success and Anthony Weiner still in the initial phase of his inpatient treatment. Until the sex addict recognizes he/she has a problem, there is no need for them to step forward and seek help. The many treatment centers have their individual protocols, policies, procedures and timelines to when a sex addict can enter and leave their sexual addiction treatment. Some sex addicts fail at the treatment centers because they enjoy the ‘high’ they receive when sexually acting out. Their decision to fail comes from the many decisions surrounding the affects, behavior, control, power and so forth that they have over the sex partners and or themselves.
In the future, this author will research and write on the issues of ‘what causes sexual addiction’? The complexity of learning why an individual sexually acts out will be interesting and may be a benefit to anyone who reads this article and several other articles which have been already been published or need to be published.

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