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Addictions

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Health And Wellness > Health Issues > Addictions > Sex

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Sex addicts are individuals unable to manage their sexual behavior. Like with other addictions, these people can’t stop having sex, despite negative consequences. Sex will also preoccupy the sex addict’s thinking, making it hard to develop healthy personal relationships.

Sex addictions include

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Extensive use of pornography
  • Using phone or computer sex services
  • Illegal activities like child porn
  • Voyeurism
  • Child molestation 
  • Rape
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual Harassment 

Other behaviors associated with sexual addiction include sex with multiple partners and/or one-night stands and engaging in unprotected sex. Sexual addiction can be caused by various factors, including being exposed to pornography at a very young age, physical and/or sexual abuse, abandonment and/or emotional trauma.  

Health consequences of sexual addiction include HIV infection, genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and other STDs. Other consequences of sexual addiction can be emotional, such as severe depression, suicidal tendencies, distorted thinking and low self-esteem. There are also legal consequences of sexual addiction when illegal behaviors result in arrest and incarceration. 

Treatment for sexual addiction includes support groups, 12-step recovery programs, Sex Addicts Anonymous, and in some situations, prescription drugs like Prozac used to curb the compulsive nature of the sexual addiction. By focusing on controlling the addictive behavior and helping the person develop a healthier attitude towards sex, a sex addict can soon be on his way to recovery. 

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