Sex addiction has long been the butt of many jokes but, in truth, this is an illness that affects thousands of people and causes devastation to those they love. It is the one addiction that most partners feel destroyed by, with many admitting that they would prefer if their partner had a drink or drug problem. The partner of a sex addict often feels ashamed, embarrassed and betrayed by their partner’s addiction, and may suffer from self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Sex addicts often go untreated because many do not want to admit their problems. With an enormous amount of stigma attached to this illness, it is hardly surprising. Many people believe that sex addicts use the tag as an excuse for wanting to have sex with different partners or to visit prostitutes, for example. The truth is that many people simply do not believe that a sex addiction is a real illness. However, those who suffer with it and those around them would disagree completely.
Scientists have recently conducted a new study on sex addiction and have found that as well as the struggle sufferers face with their addiction, many sex addicts suffer from other conditions, including erectile dysfunction. This is in stark contrast to the image that so many people have regarding those with a sex addiction.
And despite the fact that many in society believe that sex addicts are having a great time, the truth is that these individuals have no control over their impulses. They often engage in risky sexual behaviour and ‘anti-social levels of solitary sexuality’.
Sex addicts are not simply individuals who like to have sex a lot. They may become addicted to paying for sex, watching pornography or spending thousands of pounds on sex chat lines. They may find it difficult to maintain a healthy sexual relationship with a partner because they often suffer from sexual boredom or erectile dysfunction.
According to the team who conducted the study, “clinicians recognise the role of erectile dysfunction as a feature of hypersexuality.”
Writing in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, they said that solo sex acts are often a sign of hypersexuality because they are “used to cope boredom associated with relationship difficulties”.
The researchers also pointed out that erectile dysfunction can affect a man’s psychological well-being and can have an impact on his self-esteem, masculinity, and sexual satisfaction.
As well as finding it difficult to maintain a healthy sexual relationship, sex addicts may be more likely to engage in cybersex, use pornography, masturbate, and seek out multiple sexual partners. The side-effects of this are that they often suffer from depression, guilt, shame and embarrassment.
Relationships frequently do not survive one partner’s sex addiction. Spouses and partners of sex addicts find it increasingly difficult to cope with the idea that their partner has a sex addiction, especially if they were unaware of it for some time. If they find out that their partner is addicted to paying for sex or watching pornography alone, they may feel inadequate and ashamed.
Getting Help for Sex Addiction
The good news is that help is available for sex addiction. Here at Addiction Helper, we have a team of counsellors and therapists with experience of working with people suffering from sex addiction. Our team are waiting to take your call and will assess your situation before making a referral to an appropriate treatment provider.
We can provide help and support to family members too, as we know how devastating this illness can be. If you or a loved one is suffering from a sex addiction, contact Addiction Helper today for free, confidential advice and support as well as information on the treatments available.