Defining The Term "Sex Addict"
What is a Sex Addict?
Is is hard to think of someone as a "sex addict". It is also hard to define those terms and certainly even harder to label someone as a sex addict. The late Jon Marsh of Recovery Nation did some good thinking about these terms and definitions. The following is the result of years of counseling people for sexual addictions and helping people recover from negative sexual habits.
Your Questions About Sex Addicts
Defining sex addicts is almost more important than the defining sexual addiction. This is because they are the people engaging in the sexual behavior. The behavior doesn't result in addiction by itself since sex is a part of life and regularly occurs in many healthy relationships, marriages, and unions. The negative component is brought on by the unnatural focus on the sexual behavior in negative and harmful ways.
There are certain questions that come to mind about sex addicts. They include:
- How do you know if someone is a sex addict?
- What does it mean to be a sex addict?
- Is there anything that can be done, once the diagnosis of "sex addict" is made?
Keep in mind these above questions only matter to a certain extent when trying to define whether or not someone is a sex addict or addicted to sexual behaviors. If someone is displaying sexual behavior that is for some reason or another having a negative impact on your life (or theirs), then something needs to be done.
From Negative To Positive
Things need to change from a negative aspect to a positive aspect. This is the case no matter if that negative sexual behavior in question meets the definition of "addiction". It also presents a need to change no matter if the person meets the criteria for "an addict" either. The point is change must be made for a healthy relationship to continue.
The Sex Addict Label
Let's talk about labels for a minute. Nobody ever recovers from a label. A label is like a stigma. It is a mark is disgrace associated with a particular quality of being a sex addict in this case. The label stays with the sexual addiction. What they can do is recover from their reliance and dependence on their unhealthy pattern of sexual thoughts and behaviors. When this happens, they leave the sex addict label behind.
The Meaning of a Sex Addict
What it means to be a sex addict is that an individual is currently displaying a pattern of compulsive sexual behavior that is having a negative impact on their life. This negative impact can affect their relationships, personal lives, social connections, economic well-being, and a number of other things related to a healthy, productive life.
The Types of Sex Addicts and Condition Management
Keep in mind not every part of their life is one-hundred percent affected by the sex addiction. These people can still have the same types of sincere feelings, good thoughts, meaningful actions, and emotional quirks that we all experience. In short, people diagnosed as "sex addicts" have learned to use sexual behavior to manage their emotions (temporarily).
This is the same idea that other people sometimes balance their emotions with food, cigarettes, spending, or alcohol. In the case of sexual behaviors, sex addicts use sexual thoughts and behavior to manage their emotions. Unfortunately, like other addictions, this type of stress management is quite effective for immediate relief. However, the negative impact that is felt later tends to only increase the stress that they feel.
Therefore, sex addicts feel the continuous need for even more "stress management" and repeat the cycle of addictive behavior. It's a vicious cycle that at some point gets completely out of hand and the person eventually loses touch with society's values. At that point, they begin to depend on the sexual behavior to regulate their feelings and emotions.
This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to break people in this state out of their cycles of addiction and get them into a recovery program or support group that includes an emphasis on personal and social values. Without breaking the sexual addiction cycle, recovery will just be a matter of replacing one unhealthy behavioral pattern with another pattern. That is a dangerous and destructive situation which can spiral out of control even further leading to multiple addictions.
Learn More About Sexual Addiction & Other FAQs
Understanding sexual addiction is the key to getting past negative sexual behaviors and moving on to a productive future. Learn more about sex addiction and what you need to know about it.
Get Sex Addict Help From Recovery Nation
Looking for sex addict help? Get sex addict help from Recovery Nation. They offer sex addiction worksheets, discussion forums, workshops, and support groups. Learn more about their health-based recovery solutions.