Sex Addiction is the hidden pitfall of life. Many people do not take this condition seriously because they do not completely comprehend the illness. Often times addicts don’t even know they have a problem until some life-altering event brings them to reality. In this presentation you will learn what Sex Addiction is, how it develops, how the condition affects those who have it, and the different ways it is treated.
Ultimately, the goal of this presentation is to warn against the ignorant perspective people have about this disorder, because once you know the facts you’ll be empowered in understanding how it relates to you and how you can use the knowledge gained to help yourself and others. “Sex Addiction may be identified as any compulsive or impulsive sexual activity that falls into one of three categories: shameful, secretive or abusive. ” It is difficult for some people to accept Sex Addiction as a legitimate addiction since sex is a normal and natural part of life.
Sex addiction Essay Example
But it is classified as an addiction because people who live with it are dependent on the chemicals our bodies produce when sexually stimulated, much like how a drug addict gets hooked on the chemicals their drug of choice provides. Some studies even suggest that Sex Addiction is a form of mental disorder where the addict has a sexual compulsitivity deriving from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sex addicts become so obsessed with the sexually high that they will engage in risky activities to have it regularly.
These risky ventures encompasses many things and have great influence on personality and behavior, such as: compulsive masturbation, infidelity, multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands, consistent use of pornography, unsafe sex, phone and/or cybersex, prostitution or use of prostitutes, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual harassment, molestation, rape, and other sex-related crimes. Basically, sex addiction can lead to embracing a nymphomaniac lifestyle where the addict’s priorities revolve around sexual stimulation. Statistically, an estimated 6 to 8 percent of Americans have a sex addiction.
That is approximately 18 to 24 million people living in America. On the internet, 25 million Americans visit cyber-sex sites between 1-10 hours per week, and another 4. 7 million in excess of 11 hours per week. At least 200,000 Americans are addicted to E-porn, and with 1 out of every 6 women struggling with porn addiction it is no surprise that the number one searched topic on the internet is sex. In terms of money, the pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined, and in 2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues totaled $97.
06 billion. With the business of sex showing no weakness in the market, it’s safe to say that the subject of sex addiction won’t soon go away. But how does a person develop a sexual addiction in the first place? Is there a genetic factor? Are sex addicts just natural hypersexuals? Do some people simply have a strong sexual curiosity, or are easily stimulated because they are more sexually sensitive than others? Or is it completely environmental? Is the culprit our culture, the fault of a sexually suggestive society? Should we point the finger on the sexual revolution?
Can we blame the sexual images and messages we see in the media? Or perhaps some addicts were raised by parents with very liberal views towards sexuality? Whatever your disposition is–nurture, nature, or a combination of both–like all addictions, experts can agree that it is something that develops overtime, not overnight. It is also a common belief that sex addiction is a result of sexual abuse since many sex addicts have been victims of a sex crime. Some studies also suggest it may be caused by other traumatic events like a break-up or loss of a loved one.
But however the addiction forms, despite the various reasons the process is similar for all. For a developing sex addict, sex has turned into an insatiable itch that must be scratched. Sexual gratification gradually dominates the addict’s daily thoughts, and sex becomes the first answer to relieving stress. Then the addict views sex more casually, and having an emotional connection with a partner no longer is a prerequisite for potential lovers. It is all about physical pleasure now and much of the addict’s motives is driven by the promise of sex.
But eventually the mind becomes so imbalance that sex loses its pleasurable effects, and instead of relief the addict feels shameful after sex. It is this emotional distress that sets a person apart from those who have a healthy state of mind in regards to sex. It is similar to the guilt people with eating disorders feel after eating food. Psychologically, a sex addict will feel inferior for not having control of their sexuality. They lose self-esteem as a result of their abuse of sex, which consequently produces more stress and the urge to relieve it the best way they know how: sexually.
This is the mechanics that continues the cycle of sexual addiction. When sex addicts finally realize that they have a problem, usually the wake up call that does it is a major one. Sex addiction can lead to arrest and imprisonment, financial ruin, break-ups and divorce, homosexuality, disease, and even death. The judgment of a sex addict is distorted when making decisions because sound reasoning is always in competition with the sexual urges of the addict. An addict will have difficulty concentrating due to the mind being preoccupied with sexually orientated thoughts.
There is a constant sense of discomfort because of all the sexual tension the addict is under, and the overwhelming pressure to ease it. At its worst, the addict will stop at nothing to release this sexual stress, even if it means risking marriage, health, and career. It used to be that when addiction is mentioned in the media it usually referred to a chemical dependency on a certain drug, but now more and more references to addiction pertain to sex. Recently it is Tiger Woods who has been portraying the poster child of sex addiction, but there were other flag bearers before him as well.
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign from office after a sex scandal involving a high-priced escort ruined his career. The once popular children’s show star Peewee Hermann was arrested and sentenced to jail for lewd conduct inside an adult theater. Former President Bill Clinton risked his presidency after giving false claims concerning an affair with then white house intern Monica Lewinsky. And from Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian more and more sex tapes are being leaked and the people starring in the films feeling regretful about it.
These are just few examples of what sex addiction can do. Besides a person’s public image being ruined, there is also the family factor and all the shame and pain they have to go through because the addict they cared about lost self-control. It must feel like a sad irony for the addict: the same organ that can make a family, can break a family. But once an addict does acknowledge the problem and resolves to get better, there are programs designed help treat a sex addict. Mainly, the most common approach is structured after the 12-Step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous.
The goal of the treatment is to help sex addicts regain control over their sexual urges. It does not aim to stop the addict from ever having sex. The objective is to educate the addict to recognize the difference between a healthy sexuality and an addictive one. A therapist will teach an addict about the abnormality of their sexuality, how it developed, what triggers it, and the consequences of acting out their addiction. Through education and support groups, addicts will become more conscious about their disorder and can take preventive measures to avoid committing acts of addiction.
One of the first steps to rehabilitation is investigating the problem and its roots so that the right approach to alleviate the issue can be devised. The best method to retrieve information is to actually study the addict’s fantasies and why he or she has them. For example, if an addict is a chronic masturbator and likes to be in master/slave fantasies where he plays the dominating role, there may be a control issue involved possibly stemming from a failed relationship with one of or both parents. This was the case with one patient with a sexual addiction.
He admitted his mother was very controlling in his childhood and because of it he developed a comfort in roles where he was the aggressor. Because there is more security and control in the act of masturbation, the sex addict actually developed a preference to this over sex with others, and also assumed a dominatrix role because of the power he would command. By reviewing a patient’s past and fantasies the counselor was able to determine the mother as the variable to his development of sexual addiction.
But because a lot of trust must be given to a therapist since the information is very personal, many people are not ready to share private thoughts with a stranger, which is biggest problem concerning addiction in general. Addicts cannot start recovery if they can’t accept they have an issue in the first place. Usually they are very adamant in their denial because they really think their behavior is normal. And sometimes, if the addict is involved in an industry where an overly sexual attitude is accepted and encouraged, this makes treatment more complicated.
In industries like porn and prostitution, sex addiction is welcomed because it allows people to tolerate some of the disturbing things people in those industries are subjected to. And the fact that a sex addict can get paid for performing sexual acts is not helping their progress at all. The sad thing about the people who are in this situation is that they won’t start seeking help until they are removed from the negative environment, which is not an easy task if they have made it their profession and source of income.
Just like with any other addiction, recovery is not a concrete word. Sex addicts may go through cycles of relapse. It is a day to day struggle to stay focus and not let addiction rule you. Learning to cope with the addiction is difficult because certain cultures of society have conflicting points of view about sex. Some see sex with multiple lovers and opposite sexes as an act of freedom and sharing and expressing your love, while others view exhibitionism completely acceptable like nudist colonies.
On the other hand there are groups that believes engaging in improper sexual activities is a quick way to get a ticket to hell. In some subcultures of men sex is a mark of manhood and nothing says masculinity more than having sex with many women. And to be fair, some members of the female gender also treat sex objectively, using it to feel a sense of power over males, wielding their sexuality like a weapon to coerce favors from willing men. Children who grow up in this social environment, unless they are properly educated about healthy sexual behavior, are at risk for developing sex addiction.
One of the best ways to fight sex addiction is early education because these days children are exposed to a lot more adult matter than ever before, and preparing children young will help prevent future manifestation of this addiction. What contributes to the complexity of this illness is diverse. Compared to drug and alcohol addiction, sex is something that can be self-performed through masturbation. There is no need to obtain a physical substance.
Even with obesity a person still needs food to abuse the body, but with sex addictions the tools of sex are conveniently built-in, cost nothing, and is ready for use anytime and anywhere. All an addict needs is an imagination and privacy and the addiction is fueled with the stimulation it craves. Sex addiction is a silent crisis that affects a lot more people than what official records states, because not all addicts have come forward to be accounted for. And with the advent of the Internet, sexual resources like porn and websites that sell sex toys are now easily accessible.
The temptation for sex addicts is everywhere in the media, providing a constant reminder about the subject of sex. On a biological aspect, every animal on this planet have this primal instinct to find a mate and reproduce. Our intense drive to procreate is as natural to us as eating and sleeping. And because we are so biologically obliged to have sex, that is why sexual addiction is such a sneaky addiction. You can be very wary and avoid substance abuse by steering away from that path altogether, but for most people sex is a route that has no detour in most relationships.
It is how marriages are consummated, how babies are made, how lovers physically profess their affection, and how emotional bonds are kept and strengthened. Because sex can be beneficial to relationships, many people are reluctant to admit they might have a problem because sex addiction might not seem like a problem they are seriously willing to address. Though however complex the issue is, the truth remains: Sex Addiction is a valid form of addiction and it has real negative consequences on the addicts and their families.
But because of social views it is not taken seriously until it ruins an addict’s actual life. There are different ways an addict might develop the disorder but that would have be determined by a therapist. But some addicts do not seek help either because they see the addiction as a normal and natural thing, or are simply opposed to sharing personal information since much of the evaluation process investigates sexual fantasies and childhood memories. But if an addict does agree to treatment, programs are available to educate and empower the recovering addict to regain the control they’ve lost to addiction.