- What is sex addiction?
- Can sex be addictive?
- Am I addicted to sex?
- How do I treat my sex addiction?
- Is sex addiction really a myth?
Here’s what is undeniably true: many people struggle with an experience that has been named sex addiction. Unwanted desire, distracting lust, unsafe behavior, consuming focus on porn, cheating and more has been blamed on the experience of sex addiction. The experience is real, and often painful, and unwanted. We have compassion for everyone feeling this kind of pain and struggle.
But here’s what’s also true: sex addiction is (often) a myth.
The research is still out on if very few people prone to addiction can tangle sexual behavior into already addictive behaviors and personalities – but currently, sex addiction is not a diagnosis supported by any major mental health association.
We are not mental health experts nor therapists. Here are resources, links and research we have gathered from across the fields to help you get a conversation started about Sex Addiction.
Sexual Shame has been weaponized, and there is a huge industry built around “treating” sex addiction.
The biggest predictor of the experience of “sex addiction” is religious shame.
Sex Addiction is usually Compulsive Sexual Behavior – and there are effective treatments and interventions available to help folks manage all kinds of compulsive behavior while also addressing the underlying pain, shame or trauma that is causing it.
Here is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) position statement on sex addiction:
AASECT recognizes that people may experience significant physical, psychological, spiritual and sexual health consequences related to their sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors. AASECT recommends that its members utilize models that do not unduly pathologize consensual sexual behaviors. AASECT 1) does not find sufficient empirical evidence to support the classification of sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental health disorder, and 2) does not find the sexual addiction training and treatment methods and educational pedagogies to be adequately informed by accurate human sexuality knowledge. Therefore, it is the position of AASECT that linking problems related to sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors to a porn/sexual addiction process cannot be advanced by AASECT as a standard of practice for sexuality education delivery, counseling or therapy.
If you are experiencing compulsive sexual behavior, addiction like experiences or if sex is an ongoing source of pain for you, please ask for help. Use AASECT’s therapist finder or the tools here to help you locate professional support that is culturally relevant, accessible and affordable for you.